Clarity in the Face of Fear: Practicing Mental Fitness

I’m going to get a little serious in this post purely because the only way I know how to process a scary experience I just had is to write about it and, perhaps, create dialogue, consideration, and positive action.  Here’s what happened…

Today, I was in a large mall here in Atlanta in a popular and always-crowded tech store with my 5-year-old daughter.  We were happily milling about when a male customer starts screaming at the also-male employee, “GET AWAY FROM ME!”  I can’t say what precipitated this outburst, but it obviously hushed the entire store as we watched to see what would unfold. 

At that moment, the former New Yorker in me first thought, “Oh, he’s just another crazy person having a bad day”…then the other side of me which is well aware of this past week’s latest string of horrific shooting events in the news media thought, “OMG, I now live in a state that is armed to the teeth and this guy seems out of his mind.  I need to get out of here with my daughter immediately before things go from bad to worse.” 

While the point of this story is NOT to incite a political debate here (and please don’t comment as such), I just want to say that when you’re in that position of fear, my first inclination was not to be thankful that there may be 50 other people in this store ready to pounce and defend, but rather, I needed to get out of there and that upset man needed a counselor.  It was pure clarity for me.

And here’s where I’ll make the connection to wellness as I see it.  We have a responsibility in America to do our part to improve mental fitness.  From what I’ve learned to date in my health coach school (and to be clear, I’m not a licensed medical or psychological professional), we have an opportunity to truly clean up our diet, make exercise a mental practice not just a physical one, work to improve our relationships and communication skills with each other, regularly perform breath-focused practices that support our nervous system and reduce stress like deep breathing/tai chi/qi gong/restorative yoga, and practice more kindness and gratitude towards ourselves and one another each day…just as a start.  Why?  Our bodies have been barraged with processed foods and other toxins that are invading our bodies and our minds making stress, poor health, and bad sleep a byproduct – just to name a few. 

A recent lecture I attended featured a Nutritional Biochemist, Dr. Libby Weaver, who noted, “…It is hard to maintain patience and kindness if you are devoid of nutrients.”  Of course, clinical mental illness is a much deeper and more complex beast than this high level assessment and discussion (as again, I am not an expert), but if each of us who are relatively healthy could begin to do our part to help our mental wellness as a service to ourselves and others, it most certainly must be a step in the right direction.  Right? 

Improving the quality of our life isn’t just about longevity and physical looks, but about being able to enjoy the day-to-day a little bit more, living in a happier environment, handling stress with a bit more grace, and hopefully contributing to a more positive, safe, and productive world.  Let’s work together to create that ripple effect of a balanced, happier, and more-sustainable lifestyle.  Will you, please, join me?

With gratitude,

Danielle – Creator of The Well-Intended


Disclaimer: “The Well-Intended”, and its associated blog and social media pages are owned and operated by The Well-Intended LLC and does not provide medical advice.  The Well-Intended’s author is not a physician, licensed medical or mental-health expert.  The content provided shares perspective on a personal wellness journey and lifestyle approach practiced by its owner in order to achieve their own health and happiness.  Please consult your physician for advice and/or guidance regarding your own health, vitamins, supplements, fitness plan, and/or anything else health- or wellness-related.

Danielle has a degree IN advertising from Michigan State University (Go Green!) and a degree OF sarcasm in life.  Her perfectly imperfect pursuit of wellness is rooted in the research and practice of wellness in efforts to revitalize her mind, body and spirit after 20 years as an executive in the advertising industry and a hobby of collecting home addresses in Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City and Atlanta. You can reach her on The Well-Intended social channels or at danielle@thewellintended.com.

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