10 Essential Mental Health Vitamins for a Supple, Vital Body & Mind
By Anita Boeninger
Vitamin #1: If you are not feeling strong, you are not feeling strong. Don't contrive "strength." Artificial displays of strength erodes mental health across time.
Vitamin #2: Share doses of transparency and vulnerability at key moments. When you reveal "weakness" or vulnerability, and you share that with others at appropriate moments, it's actually medicinal to everyone. It alleviates the burden of having to appear perfect... for everyone. Also: being wrong about something is different than something "being wrong" with you. Know the difference. It's okay to make mistakes.
Vitamin #3: Grieve. Grief is a verb. It's an expression of great aliveness, great passion, and love -- to grieve. It's not depression... though inactive grief sitting in the body is a major cause of depression. When sorrow and tears come up, let them come OUT. This cannot be emphasized enough. If you do not give your requisite offering of tears when Grief demands it, Life has a funny way of forcing them out of you much later in very unpleasant ways.
Vitamin #4: Speak up. Say what you actually think. Do it respectfully. Respect the other but do not cater or pander to the other... you will slowly poison and deaden yourself the more you only speak what you think others want to hear from you.
Vitamin #5: Laugh often. Laugh at yourself. Find yourself adorable. Find all your neurotic inclinations utterly hilarious. We're a pretty absurd and silly species when you step back and really look at our collective behaviors.
Vitamin #6: Banish pessimism and dystopian thinking. It's suicide in slow-motion, an extremely demoralizing form of self-hate. And it's kind of an insult to the Divinity within you.
Vitamin #7: See if you can catch yourself before dropping down the perilous spiral of demonizing the person who does not agree with you. Demonizing the other infects your own mind with unhappiness and co-creates a demonic experience more than you might realize. Sure, some people are jerks. And a small handful of humans are truly pathogenic. The rest are just trying to figure stuff out, like you. Give grace. It'll soothe your own spirit and you'll be able to hold things with greater compassion.
Vitamin #8: Get thyself into Nature. Often.
Vitamin #9: Thinking the worst is gonna happen is a form of mental cancer. Stop it. Recognize that billions upon billions of dollars are made off of this type of cancer. Reverse this mental tumor by including in your awareness all the ecstatic, the hopeful, the benevolent, the kind, the patient, the loving behaviors of humans and creatures all over the planet.
Vitamin #10: Be gentle with yourself. Be patient. Be kind. Forgive yourself. Trust yourself and realize the infinite potential of Spirit to generate goodness in this world.
Anita Boeninger is the Senior Campaign Copywriter & Marketing Manager for summits at The Shift Network. Prior to coming on board with Shift, she served as an integrative health educator in a variety of clinical settings and maintained a private healing arts practice across a 10-year period. She also produced an acclaimed event series called "The Sex & Medicine Summit" for nearly four years, reaching tens of thousands of healthcare professionals around the world with empowering holistic sex education. After 15 rich and eventful years in New York City, she resettled in the Bay Area in 2019, where she happily indulges in daily hikes, gardening, and tree climbing.