Firstly, let’s tackle the eternal question: how do I know what action to take to proactively better my emotional well-being?

That is a very context-dependent question. The reality is that it isn’t always clear, and can be very, very unclear. Here I’ll call on a neat little term I learned in school: ethnomethodology. It means learning the social rules of a culture by breaking those rules. Sometimes this is the only way. If an action to learn is done without negative intent, and with the best intention in mind, it ultimately will not hurt much. But the immediate backlash can be quite painful, as I can personally attest to!

Here’s an interesting thing to try:

  1. Have a clear goal, issue, and/or emotion that you want to troubleshoot in mind.
  2. Have your higher goals in mind (reach as high as you want!)
  3. Take a hot shower, at as warm as make you comfortable
  4. With the water running on you…
  5. Close your eyes
  6. Bring the issue in mind in all honesty
  7. Bring your higher goals in mind
  8. Take four fingers of your hand you use to write with, and lightly tap your solar plexus three times
  9. Listen to what your inner-being is telling you right after

Asking a close friend or family member that you trust helps, too. We know things that no one else can know about ourselves, but other also know things that we could never know about ourselves.

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Admittedly, this bulk of this section is somewhat difficult to come up with. This is because, in my opinion, recovery can take so many paths depending on an almost limitless number of variables (circumstances).

To take an extreme, simplified example, someone with parkinsons disease will not follow nearly the same route to wellness as someone with schizophrenia, as the former is largely caused by a deficit in dopamine, and the latter, too much dopamine.

Recovering from mental illness can roughly be compared to a child learning how to walk.  In the beginning, there is a great amount of awkwardness. For example, the kid might stand up and not know how to balance after stepping forward, but, they improve with practice. This is an example of a psychological law proposed in 1905 called The Law of Effect. It means that, the more one does something, the better they’ll able to do it.

Also, the younger one begins at something, and the more they train, the greater they will be.

Again, the path to recovery is poorly defined. There is no blueprint, the owner’s manual depends on the unique traits that make up the individual.

This infographic is a great synopsis of factors that can be included in recovery:

That said, there are two sets of goals, each with three parts, that if attended to, increase the chance of a full recovery. These are…

Which intersect with…

The most crucial information tends to get repeated. All of this can be a lot to take in.

If there is any measure of prognosis (how ill one will be in the future), it comes down to is willpower.

How far will you go, how much will you endure, how much faith in the process do you have, in order to ensure your future stability? At the same time, pushing too hard can have a negative impact. Consoling oneself in moderation is not just fine, it’s humane!

Finally, let’s examine one perspective of recovery:

First off, the positives:

  • Health involves several parts, great on that
  • Exercise is, if done right and in the proper physical state, an amazing tool of health
  • A healthy amount and quality of sleep is also super important in promoting health
  • Many of us mistake dehydration for hunger, so great on the water

And a bit of criticism:

  • It’s pretty presumptuous to make such a blanket statement of what health involves
  • Bridging on that, doesn’t health involve socialization
  • What about people who honestly need psychiatric medication, or even herbal remedies, for significant emotional issues?
  • The food referenced does not fit the needs of many. For instance, I’m 250 pounds and over 6′ 1″ who exercises a lot every single day, am I to think that a “tiny bit of nuts and seeds” will give me what I need to continue this exercise, it being integral to my health
  • Personally, I do need about ten hours of sleep; eight hours is not enough
  • Lastly, and most curiously, happiness is presented as some kind of given, so long as we’re grateful, practice mindfulness, and smile; this approach is simply not as strong as many people require to be happy, such as myself

But, maybe it works for you. And if it does, that’s great. My experience has taught me to take a more comprehensive approach, though.

Finally, let this chart (hopefully) allow you to communicate with others to a greater quality. It’s a good one to print out and take to therapeutic sessions!

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Sources: Ben Komor, Dr. Stephen Komor, Dr. Colin Dauria