What Connections Support My Mental Health?

This month, we've been moving through The Five Dimensions of Wellbeing and this week, we've arrived at the Bliss Dimension. The Bliss Dimension explores your connection to yourself and to the world around you through three sub-dimensions: connection to self, connection to community, and connection to something bigger. On this episode of Inner Warmup, Taylor helps you define the connections in your life that support your mental health.

Episode Transcript

Welcome back to Inner Warmup where your inner work begins. My name is Taylor Elyse Morrison, creator of Inner Workout and you as always are our expert guest, thank you for being here. We are in a multidimensional Mental Health Series, where we're looking at our five dimensions of wellbeing and how they relate to our mental health. Today we're looking at the Bliss Dimension of Wellbeing, which is all about connection. The three sub-dimensions are being connected to yourself…the truest piece of yourself, the essence of yourself, being connected to a community, and being connected to something bigger than you, whether you do that through spirituality, or religion, or being in nature. But that connection is really vital to our our overall wellbeing, and definitely, specifically our mental wellbeing.

When I was researching for my book, I stumbled across the fact that we live in, I will say we as in me living in the United States, I live in a the most individualistic society in the world. And even though I was exposed to beautiful examples of community growing up, and have continued to experience that throughout my adult life, the water that I'm swimming in, so to speak, my socialization is to be a hyper independent. And I noticed this spilling over into our conversations about mental health and self-care and personal development. The tendency that I see is for us to put everything on the individual. And in some ways I get that, we started out the series by talking about choice, right? Like what is the choice that we have? What are we able to do and to control? I get that, I get that we want to focus on the self, because it is what we can control. And because two things can be true at once.

It is also true that we need each other. We as humans have always existed in a community for a reason. And that is because we are not meant to go through life alone. 

When you bring it back and you think generations and thousands and thousands of years back to your ancestors, they lived in a community. And different people had different roles. Some people were doing the hunting, some people were farming, some people were tending to the children, some people were working in trades, building shelter. Everyone had a role. And everything, everyone was necessary. We need each other. And so the question that we're exploring today is what connections support your mental health? What connections support your mental health? And what my hope is, is that this question opens you up to the fact that yes, there are points of connection. There are people there. It could be animals, spiritual relationships, that support your mental health. And this is really getting into like the community and the something bigger dimensions of wellbeing. 

So as you think about this in your own life, you might notice that certain friendships, support your mental health or that having certain support practitioners, support partners, like a therapist, like a coach or even someone like an acupuncturist or your yoga teacher, support your mental health. Even if they're not a traditional mental health practitioner, they're doing something that is good for your mental health. You might find that when you go to meditation class or you go to temple or church, being in that community and having that place to connect to your something bigger than you is a connection that supports your mental health. But it also doesn't have to be another human, it could be an animal that supports your mental health. I was just talking about this with my husband yesterday. For me, having a dog is so good for me. Having a dog that is super cuddly, and loves to be around me, and wants for me to pet him is really good for my mental health. 

Because my first love language is words of affirmation but my second is physical touch. And having him there all the time, just does wonders, especially when I'm anxious to have something that I can hold and care for and stroke that's appreciating the love and all the head scratches. And beneath this question, because I'm going to hand it over for you to reflect in a moment, I want you to start to notice too, are these points of connection? Are they just kind of things that just happen when they happen? You have your conversation with your girlfriend when it happens but you don't intentionally create a space for these types of conversations? Or are there things that are really intentional? And for the things that are maybe happy accidents right now, how might you make those points of connection more intentional? Could you set up a monthly feeling circle? You don’t have to call it that, that’s just what came to mind. That was not in my notes, but have a monthly like, this is where we chat about how we're really doing or being proactive about seeking out a therapist even though everything feels good right now, but knowing that this is a move to sustain you for the long haul. Maybe you're realizing that certain contemplative practices are really supportive, but you only do them when you feel like they fit. But maybe if you joined like a full moon circle, or you joined a small group at your church, you would do these practices more intentionally. 

So I want you to think about that, like answer the surface level question of what connections support your mental health. But then think about how you can make those connections more intentional, instead of just oh, they happen when they happen. So I'm going to hand it over to you for a couple minutes to reflect what connections support your mental health?

I hope that reflection served you well. And if you maybe realize like, oh, I could use some more connection and community around my mental health, might I suggest joining the group chat. Yes, you have access to an online community but you also have access to two monthly live events with the Inner Workout community where we're talking about these topics, self-care, inner work, mental health. If you want to try it out, it's $11 a month and if it doesn't serve you, there's no commitment. You can leave whenever you'd like, but we'd love to have you for as long as you're interested. We'll include that link in the show notes. Thank you as always for listening. Thanks for your expertise, and take care!