Abid Azam 🇨🇦

Feb 3, 2022

Essential Knowledge About Mental Health Distilled Into Five Quotes

#1. “Every bad feeling is potential energy toward a more right way of being if you give it space to move toward its rightness.” – Eugene Gendlin

If you want to truly understand yourself, you must start tuning in to the signals your body “emits” in response to the events, and people, in your life. You must notice the slight elevations in your heart rate, the tension in your midsection, the trembling of your hands, the pressure on your shoulders. Your body will tell you what’s “right or wrong’, if you give it space to feel and to let it guide you.

#2. “Emotion is not opposed to reason. Emotions guide and manage thought in fundamental ways and complement deficiencies in thinking” – Les Greenberg

Emotions are “high speed thoughts”. They arise from our subconscious brain, where we “store” our vital memories and core instincts (e.g., the “fight or flight” response). This doesn’t make them any less valuable than conscious thoughts. Humanity’s great gift is to be able to have conscious and subconscious inner lives. If you set the intention to truly understand yourself, you can learn to become aware of both thought and emotion processes, hold them both with acceptance, and use them appropriately.

#3. “Almost all people suffer some form of intense inner pain at some point in our lives. The suffering might be depression, anxiety, substance use, or suicidal thoughts and it results from the battle we wage against our thoughts as we futilely try to get rid of our history” – Steve Hayes

The brain tragically does not have a “delete” button. Painful memories are seared into our neurophysiology as a function of survival. Thoughts and emotions “spill” out in present situations that resemble past instances of pain, in places where we work, play, and love. Suffering arises when we get locked into a never-ending battle of numbing our pain through unbalanced pursuits in success, recreation, and relationships.

#4. “If you’re living a goal-focused life, then no matter what you have, it’s never enough” – Russ Harris

You are not a human having, you are a human being. Having things of value is nice, but being a person living out values is more conducive to long-term life satisfaction. Instead of focusing on what you want or what you lack, ask yourself how would I like to show up in this moment for myself and loved ones?

#5. “Love is a constant process of tuning in, connecting, missing, and misreading cues, disconnecting, repairing, and finding deeper connection” – Sue Johnson

There must be room in loving relationships to falter, doubt, and be vulnerable. Finding and seeing each other in these moments is the route to richer, meaningful, and enduring connections.

Abid Azam 🇨🇦

I write to demystify mental health, promote self-study, and inspire self-development.