“The journey is learning that pain, like love, is simply something to surrender to. It’s a holy space we can enter with people only if we promise not to tidy up.” – Glennon Doyle
If you haven’t already noticed, the subject of mental health has become more and more of a topic of conversation in recent years. The term “mental health” describes an individual’s degree of emotional and mental fitness, but maintaining a healthy and balanced existence requires attention to both one’s physical and mental health.
The struggle of dealing with mental illness is a subject that Glennon Doyle never shies away from, and she has tons of insight on how to navigate through these situations. Luckily, we’ve compiled 10 principles from her teachings that are sure to help you heal as you progress along your mental health journey. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with a mental illness and are looking for advice on how to live a happy and comfortable life, continue reading!
The Importance of Mental Health
To start, there are a great number of benefits to taking care of your mental health. It raises your quality of living in every way, from your ability to get things done to the quality of your relationships to how satisfied you feel with your life. It improves your stress tolerance, decision-making skills, and outlook on life, and, additionally, you’ll be better prepared for the ups and downs of life since you’ll have built up greater emotional resilience and healthier coping methods.
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Second, there are a number of methods for maintaining psychological wellness, such as regular physical activity, self-care, and professional counseling. Exercising regularly has been shown to benefit mental health by increasing endorphin production, decreasing stress, and enhancing sleep.
You can also do things for yourself to better your mental health like meditate, keep a journal, and get outside. Aside from eating right and getting enough sleep, going to therapy is a great method to take care of your mental health. Working with a therapist can aid in problem identification and resolution as well as give emotional support and the development of novel coping mechanisms.
The Dangers of Unaddressed Mental Health
Disregarding your mental health might have serious repercussions. Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and substance misuse, can have serious consequences. Impairment in work or school performance, trouble keeping relationships together, and overall lower quality of life are all possible outcomes of these problems.
Many people fail to take care of their mental health because of prejudice against those who suffer from mental illness, a lack of readily available resources, or cultural beliefs that discourage them from getting treatment. If you want to take good care of your mental health, you need to find ways to overcome these challenges.
These obstacles can be overcome by the promotion of open dialogue on the topic of mental health, the promotion of resources and support for mental health, and the seeking of assistance when needed. Care for your mental health with the same importance as you do your physical health. In other words, you wouldn’t let social stigma keep you from treating a broken bone, so why is treating mental health any different?
Maintaining good mental health is essential to living a successful and satisfying life. You may strengthen your mental health, boost your resilience, and learn effective coping techniques by engaging in activities like exercise, self-care, and therapy. Serious problems can arise from ignoring mental health, so it’s important to push through obstacles and get treatment when you need it. You can have a happier, healthier, and more satisfying life if you give some attention to your mental well-being.
Who Is Glennon Doyle?
Glennon Doyle is a well-known American author, lecturer, and activist who rose to prominence through the honesty and perceptiveness of her writing on topics such as women’s struggles, mental health, and spirituality. Her writings “Untamed,” “Love Warrior,” and “Carry On, Warrior” are among her most well-known works.
Doyle was raised in a devoutly religious household during her childhood in Burke, Virginia, where she was born in 1976. She battled addiction, bulimia, and a variety of other mental health disorders for a number of years, but she eventually found recovery and started writing about her experiences. Her earlier works concentrated on motherhood and parenting. However, her more recent work has grown to embrace a wider range of issues such as feminism, social justice, and personal development.
One of the most important ideas that Doyle explores in her writing is the concept that women have been trained to place the requirements and anticipations of others ahead of their own desires and inclinations. She encourages women to embrace their true selves and to live in a way that is congruent with their genuine values and aspirations rather than conforming to the expectations of society in the book “Untamed,” which she authored.
The importance that Doyle places on empathy and compassion is a further vital part of her body of work. She writes frequently about her personal challenges with mental health, as well as the ways in which she has learned to be more empathetic and compassionate toward herself and others, including how she dealt with her own past trauma. She encourages her readers to do the same, as well as to face challenging situations with an open heart and a willingness to listen and learn from others.
In general, Glennon Doyle’s writing is distinguished by a profound feeling of honesty and vulnerability, as well as a commitment to social justice and personal development. Many women who experience being silenced or ostracized as a result of cultural conventions have been motivated by her writing to live lives that are more honest and meaningful
- Live Untamed
You had to expect the title of her most popular book to surface at some point, right? In the prologue of Untamed, Doyle talks about the sadness she feels looking at a cheetah in a zoo enclosure. She thinks about how the cheetah must know that this life isn’t what she was meant for — the cheetah has to know something is not quite right. She then draws the parallel between the cheetah and all women, addressing the fact that many of them, including herself, only accept a certain life because they’re been groomed their whole lives to expect it.
Doyle admits that she, like most women, learned to be “good” around age ten and to suppress feelings that were not socially acceptable while exhibiting emotions that were deemed “correct” — such as being generally pleasant and agreeable. The main point here is not to live wildly just for the sake of being different but rather to question every decision you make to ensure it is what will truly make you happy and isn’t simply what is expected of you.
- Avoid External Validation
Let’s face it, we all like to have our feelings validated by people whose opinions we respect. This applies to the important matters of our lives, such as whether or not you should take a new job that’s been offered and leave your current one, all the way down to the minutiae, like where you are going out to eat dinner. Asking for another’s input relieves some of the pressure on your own shoulders to make a decision and validates your own feelings when you’re unsure of the correct path forward.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting your feelings validated, but Doyle points out the importance of sitting still and letting the answers to your questions come from within. Doyle herself went to Google to ask if it was the right time to leave her husband when she was having marital trouble before sitting in a dark closet with the door closed to allow the answer to come to her naturally.
- Never Discard Your Dreams
As a child, we’re encouraged to dream about our future and what we want to do when we grow up. Some of us dream about becoming an astronaut or scientist, and others dream about becoming a teacher or firefighter. However, somewhere along the progression into adulthood, we lose sight of our dreams and settle for whatever is accessible or easy.
Glennon Doyle has a different opinion on dreams. In Untamed, she implores readers to think about that dream they had when they were a child. What would the perfect life look like for you? That vision is not a pipe dream but rather should be treated as the blueprint for your life. Dreams are attainable, and they should never be discarded.
- Love Yourself
In the first few pages of Untamed, Doyle recounts a memory when her young daughter came home upset about a body-shaming incident at school. She was beginning to grasp the fact that she was bigger than other girls her age and couldn’t ignore the constant barrage of advertising and media promoting the “ideal female body image.”
As Doyle has struggled with bulimia her entire life, she was careful to address this situation because, after all, there’s not really a perfect answer. According to Glennon, life as a woman comes with two choices — to be true to yourself or be true to the world. She encourages readers to raise their daughters with this same principle.
- Be Confident
We know this is way easier said than done. You can’t just snap your fingers and gain confidence in yourself. However, as articulated by Glennon, confidence is neither a state of affairs nor a collection of characteristics like drive, persistence, or extroversion. To be confident, all you need to do is be true to yourself. Who you are as a person shines through in everything you do, and you truly do live from the inside out.
That is to say, you always say “no” when you really mean “no” and “hell yes” when you want something badly enough. That’s an emotion that can’t be bought with a smaller waistband or a higher pay grade.
- Accept Your Feelings
All of your emotions deserve to be felt — that much is certainly true. Our culture has conditioned us to believe that we should never feel anything but joy. When we experience negative feelings like grief, tension, or anger, we justify these reactions by telling ourselves that they are serving some sort of constructive purpose.
The important thing to remember, though, is that it’s okay to feel whatever emotion arises, no matter how unpleasant it may be. Experiencing emotional distress is a normal element of being human. Suffering shapes us into better versions of ourselves. There is no greater appreciation for the positive aspects of life than when we have experienced the negative aspects.
- Chase That Spark
Because of our long-held idealization of it, the concept of a “spark” makes for fascinating language. We’ve used it to clarify “love at first sight” and discuss how to nurture that feeling in long-term relationships.
Glennon, though, makes very different use of it. Contrary to popular belief, the thing that gives us the most energy is not the chemistry or fate of the people in our lives. Despite what The Notebook would have us believe, “the spark” merely indicates that we are choosing to act in accordance with our own desires rather than those of society.
When asked by her fiancé, Glennon’s mother said she hadn’t seen her “this alive” since she was ten years old. Perhaps the spark isn’t something we should work to maintain in our relationships but rather a sign that we are still functioning as individuals. This isn’t just applicable to our love partnerships but also to our social interactions, professional spheres, and natural surroundings.
- Disappoint Others
Perhaps the most memorable lesson of all is that you’re going to have to disappoint others. Many of us go our whole lives with the primary objective of not disappointing others due to a fear of letting others down. This will only lead to you viewing your own self-worth through the lens of other people.
“Your job, throughout your entire life, is to disappoint as many people as it takes to avoid disappointing yourself.” – Glennon Doyle
It’s strange that with all the people we try to please on a daily basis—whether it’s our work, dates, or families — we rarely pause to consider whether or not we’re actually pleasing ourselves. Let go of other people’s expectations of you before you let go of yourself.
- Act In Your Best Interest
Any fan of Glennon’s writing knows that the author is Christian — a faith that, like many others, isn’t exactly recognized for its support of independent women. Fans of Doyle’s will also know, however, that the memoirist’s religious beliefs are entirely her own invention. She looked to her church community for assistance as her marriage crumbled in the wake of her husband’s infidelity, only to discover that her church family values the preservation of marriage more than her personal happiness.
Instead, Glennon has built her own code of ethics, one that promotes women’s distinct and precise authority as individuals and serves as a role model of strength and independence for her young girls.
- Believe in Yourself
According to Glennon, motherhood is a feminist act, and she discusses this idea in her book Love Warrior. It’s a strong statement for women’s rights. Making the decision that is best for you, rather than what others think you should do, is a profoundly feminist act in every situation. When you live life untamed, you can be anything you want.
Untame Your Greatness
Not only is mental health talked about much more today than it used to be, but we have amazing, inspirational true stories from powerful individuals like Glennon Doyle to help us along our journey. When you take care of your health and live life unashamed of your body and mind, you’re only one step away from greatness.
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