We control 100 percent of our thoughts. Therefore, we also earn 100 percent credit for our mental health. Thoughts are things, and when we scrutinize and manage what we allow in our mind, life improves.
We are each responsible for our behavior; we can’t blame someone else. That being said, words and actions from others can enhance or decline our mental wellness. For example, it is difficult to maintain perfect mind control if attacked for something you said, did, or didn’t do. On the other hand, when someone is kind, appreciative, or complementary, it is easier to see the brightness of life.
Among us we have proof of the power of love and kindness. Contemplate the following examples.
A woman called to let me know of the passing of her mother. The daughter had been attentive to her parents before and since the illness, and she was by her mom’s side during her final days, as well as a primary support for her dad.
Years ago, the younger brother of a high school friend, put his career on hold and moved back home to care for his disabled mother.
My parents spent their last year at Devonshire. My dad, a man of few words, once said, “I look forward to your footsteps.” (He recognized my heels clicking as I walked toward his room) My mother, who suffered many strokes and sadly didn’t know me anymore, rested more peacefully, ate more dinner, and drank more water when I was there.
Also at Devonshire, a woman had been an Alzheimer resident for over five years. Her family still visited her regularly and treated her with love and compassion.
Many times while sitting with my parents in Devonshire, Rex Monahan, a bigger than life sort of guy, would stride through, bringing joy by playing the piano, and greeting many by name.
A former client modified her home so she could care for her mother as long as possible. The time was a mixture of challenge and reward but never regretted.
Even as the mother became more frail, her daughter’s constant care provided comfort to the mother’s final stage of life.
A man took care of his wife with Alzheimers as long as he could, and until her death in a care facility, visited her every day.
When my kids or grandkids call or stop by for a visit, it always boosts my spirits.
People who receive your kindness are not the only ones who benefit; you do too. Few things in life feel better than doing the right thing.
Never underestimate the power to improve your mental health plus boost the positive mood of others. We can so easily spread kindness. Let’s do it, and improve our world — one thoughtful act at a time.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of “My Clients…My Teachers,” and the blogger and writer of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.
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