Let’s think about the heart of the matter.
Emotional and mental well-being go together. Yet, they often go their separate ways. It is their nature. Their different approaches to the world are what often causes the most conflict.
Even as the heart beats a steady rhythm, it gets out of sync from time to time. The mind may seek a logical sequence, yet tangents onto an unhealthy path. The heart and the head need one another to stay in balance or well-being plummets into ruminating palpitations.
Consider how these two butt heads in the center of the Myers-Briggs temperament types. Feeling and Thinking often dictate the box into which a person falls. Intuitive personalities know this because their big-picture response to any situation is influenced by whether they are Feelers or Thinkers. Sensing personalities would like to believe their facts-only decisions are driven by Judging or Perceiving. But, Feeling or Thinking tips the scales of the Judging and opens or closes the eyes of the Perceiving.
Not feeling the essence of my logic?
That’s okay. Sometimes this Introverted Intuitive gets a little confused herself. Introverted Intuition shows itself in INFJs and INTJs. They have similar characteristics, but it is the Feeling or Thinking that determines the decision-making Judgement. Based on personality-type testing, a person with a close Feeling or Thinking percentage can flip between being an INFJ to being an INTJ.
That would be me.
Which is why I need to put my emotional and mental well-being goals in line with each other or that physical pendulum I described in my last post gets extremely fast or slow. I can become too focused and wear myself out. Or I can become apathetic and bore myself.
Put another way: if I am in the proper frame of mind and on an even keel, everything is right as rain. But, if my mind drifts to pondering those looming clouds on the horizon and my heart worries about what they might bring, I have to brace myself for the pending storm.
So, as I look at my emotional and mental goals for well-being, I have to balance each with the other.
Because Feeling is my predominant Judging dictator, I know I require a logical approach to my relationships. When I don’t, I become too vulnerable and sometimes reveal my true self to the wrong people. I discovered I had done that about two-and-a-half years ago with horrific consequences to my emotional state and my physical pendulum. (Thankfully, my spiritual well-being kicked me back on track, but that is for the next post.)
With the help of counseling and my own personal study, I determined to redefine my relationships. I began to ask myself these questions in specific circumstances:
What do I hope to gain?
What do I plan to give?
What do I want to receive?
More importantly, I selected key individuals to be in my circle of trust. These people were chosen for their character as well as their current roles in my life. The difficult part was having to exclude certain people who had not proven themselves trustworthy.
A few words about that…
Designating those who will be in a circle of trust is a vulnerable endeavor in itself. It is important to decide what will be shared with each of those people as well. Some of them will know most of what is happening. But, in reality, only one or two will have the privilege of knowing everything.
In truth, within any circle of trust, there is a risk of betrayal.
Count on it. Plan for it. Therefore, maybe, prevent it.
For example, I mentioned my recent biopsy. The majority of the people I interact with on a daily basis hadn’t a clue. I only told the people in my circle of trust. I knew that if some people heard the word biopsy, they would immediately leap to the worse case scenario and be planning my funeral. As it happens, the biopsy showed an anomaly that isn’t cancerous or precancerous. But, I need to take precautions to prevent either of those diagnoses. For most people, all they want and need to hear is nothing or that I’m as fine as I was yesterday.
I took precautions to prevent any future occurrences for another anomaly as well. I allowed one person within my circle of trust to share the information with one group outside the circle. Those particular relationships have been so redefined that I doubt they will have re-entry into the circle. So, why allow them to know?
To prevent inadvertent betrayal from the person within the circle. To prevent potential occurrences of betrayal toward the redefined relationships.
In other words, I didn’t want this group to hear about my biopsy from anyone else except someone from within their circle of trust.
How does this all apply to goal-setting?
I have learned–the hard way–that to keep my physical pendulum swaying at a steady rate I need to keep asking myself those key questions in every circumstance and retain my redefined relationships within a circle of trust. Without those two logical parameters in place, my pendulum will swing too wide or too narrow.
Another hard lesson has been to redirect rumination. I can get so concerned about the clouds on the horizon that I forget to row the boat to shore. So, my goal is to redirect rumination with doing rather than thinking.
I’m a proponent of multi-taking, so here are some ways I plan to direct my redirection and how these mental activities flow into the other areas of well-being.
- Devotions (spiritual, emotional)
- Write a poem or a chapter or both (spiritual, emotional)
- Blog (spiritual, emotional)
- Map Out the Day (emotional)
- Book Clubs (emotional)
- Coffee Times (emotional)
- Music (emotional, physical, spiritual)
- Publication Marketing (emotional)
- Audiobooks (physical, emotional)
- Sermons (spiritual, physical, emotional)
- Music (physical, emotional,spiritual)
- Favorite TV Show (emotional)
- Read (emotional)
- Journal (emotional)
Notice how emotional well-being is met in each area. That is because much of what I do mentally balances me emotionally. Some are even a triple or quadruple threat if they fall under the exercise category. These are also just examples. I have more areas of interest. But, these are some I plan to develop over the course of the coming year.
Some of these may not make complete sense in the emotional category, but they do for me. When I am working on publication marketing, I am socially connecting my writing with the outside world. Any writer will admit that this activity takes emotional fortitude as well as mental know-how!
Watching a favorite TV show might not seem mentally or emotionally stimulating under statistical analysis, except that I tend to watch TV with my husband. That’s our time.
Why is “mapping the day” emotional? Because I have to set the day in a proper trajectory. I thought about moving this activity to the end of the day, but that could be a problem. I would have to review the day I just finished. That might not be the best idea. Here is where a time of writing in a journal is added instead.
It is important to remember that this list of mental activities is fluid. Activities come and go. They become more or less specific. The point is not to over-do or under-do. Simply do.
Which is what I better do. Until next time… .
Book Reader and Reviewer
Labrador Retriever Owner
Mother of Three Boys
Quiet Moments (a rare commodity!)
Singer in Church Choir
Wife of My High School Sweetheart
Yarn-Lover (the wool kind and the story kind)