Think About Innate Health

Innate health is elusive. Put your right hand about six inches away from your face and spread out your fingers. Look at your hand. What do you see? I see 5 fingers. Still holding your hand and fingers in the same spot, look beyond your hand. How many fingers do you see now? I saw 2 additional fingers.

Thinking Clearly

This is a great example of what our thinking is like and how it affects our perception. Sometimes what we think can be true or not. Our thinking can be tricky. For example, a few years ago I worked at a company that I really liked but somewhere along the way, I started to dislike it. I was no longer happy working there. I would have to pull over on my way to work every morning because I would have a panic attack, and then I would have another one at work which made it impossible to work. My job performance declined, and I went from being the boss’ favorite to the least favorite, or so I thought. I couldn’t focus anymore. What was going on with me?

At that time, I blamed my unhappiness on my job. My thinking was that it was my job’s fault I was having panic attacks and that it was my job that was doing this to me. But was it? Could a job really go that far just to make me feel this way? They were doing it on purpose so that I would quit, so I thought. But I wasn’t a quitter. I was going to show them that I wasn’t going to quit on their terms and continued to work there with the same mentality, but nothing got better. They didn’t change. But that was it. In the whole 3 years, I worked there, my job never changed. My job stayed the same the whole time. So, what did change?

New Frame of Mind

Somewhere along the line, I started to think that my job was too much work. It was too overwhelming. They didn’t hire enough people to help me. I wasn’t going to be able to do this job alone. I’m not good enough, and so forth. My thinking and perception of my job and myself were so negative.

“I think, therefore it’s true.”

-Author unknown
Pink elephant tied to rope by the ankle
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The elephant is being held back not by the puny little rope but instead by its belief system.

I started to believe my thoughts of inadequacy. Like the elephant, I put a tiny rope around myself, staked it to the ground and told myself I couldn’t move forward. So, I didn’t, for a while.

I continued to blame that same job for my problems, even after I had quit. I went to therapy which helped a lot, but I still couldn’t understand why I was still having problems if the “main problem” was no longer there.

I soon came to the realization that maybe the problem wasn’t my job, but instead my thinking. If I could change my thinking about my job and myself then maybe this would solve my problem. This is a great example of what is referred to as “Innate Mental Health,” which comes from “The 3 Principles” teachings from Sydney Banks. Innate Mental Health means we are born with mental health and because we are born with this, we have the ability to be mentally healthy at any time. In other words, we have the power to solve our own problems simply by changing our thinking. By doing so, we come back to mental health.

Innate Mental Health

When I finally changed the negative thoughts of myself and my job, I was able to look at myself and that job in a more positive light. In all reality, that job provided me with great clerical skills, multitasking skills, and skills for how to run 2 departments. I also proved to myself that I was able to solve my own problems.

The way we think affects our perception, which then affects how we behave. In other words, changing your thoughts to more positive ones can change your perception of more positive ones, which can also lead to more positive actions. Once we realize we have innate mental health we can get back to mental health by changing our thinking.

Author: Briana Rivera

Elephant Image Source: Chuks Emma

Cover Photo by Markus Spiske

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Steven Crouch

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