Seeing the Bigger Picture
It is no secret that I have, at times, struggled with my mental health. Long bouts of loneliness and anxiety and depressive lows have frequented my mind for the last decade or so. And when you’re going through mental health struggles it can be difficult to see any patterns. It all feels random and unpredictable. But there are commonalities to each time I’ve sunk back into a low. The circumstances of my life can be used to predict whether a mental health issue is imminent.
The most accurate predictor for my own mental health struggles is a failure to see the bigger picture, or indeed not even having a bigger picture in mind. Perhaps this is something you’ll relate to.
Not having something on the horizon to strive toward has often enough resulted in my mental health deteriorating. It is the times in my life when I am floating aimlessly without direction that I begin to fall apart. However, when there is a structure, something to chase after, and a potential for productivity, my mental health is less likely to take hits.
And this isn’t to say you’ll become immune to mental health issues once you can see the bigger picture. Rather, you will find within you a strength to persevere through mental health struggles if there is something important to you on the road ahead. You can withstand the onslaught of anxiety and depression if you keep your bigger picture at the forefront of everything you do.
That said, we’re not all the same. The idea of a bigger picture works for me. It won’t work for everyone, but it might be helpful to someone. Mental health issues happen moment to moment. Anxiety drips by seconds at a time. And nothing you ever feel can last forever. The lifespan of feelings in brief.
But the bigger picture isn’t momentary. The bigger picture is always down the road and therefore is not bound by the emotional present. You can look beyond whatever is going on right now and find solace in the bigger picture. This has always helped me to overcome mental health problems. Understanding that my present doesn’t define me, and that feelings are fleeting helps me to look beyond the feeling itself and see the self underneath – the part of me which is unaffected and simply experiences. When you can link to this part of yourself, any hardship becomes more manageable.
Find your bigger picture. Hold it in mind daily, and when the hard times come (and they will come) you will be able to persevere. The bigger picture makes the present moment endurable. You take back power when you have a bigger picture.