Developing an Integrative Mindset
Our culture continues to face uncertainty and stress at an alarming rate. Typically a national stress comes with one challenge at a time but major social, economic, and viral concerns are all happening at once. Many people are experiencing fear, outrage, and a sense of powerlessness in the face of these events. It is challenging to maintain a positive outlook when we all feel the continuous onslaught of major events that are outside of our control. This article’s purpose is to encourage functional growth in the face of stress as a way to engage with the world that helps us to become stronger from adversity.
An Integrative Mindset
An Integrative Mindset is an outlook that seeks to use internal or external stressors as a way to drive internal growth. Maintaining this mindset allows us to continuously work towards optimum health both mentally and physically. Finding this mindset in life is difficult due to the constant stress we all experience and is especially difficult in recent times. However stress, pain, frustration, and discomfort etc.. will always be inseparable from the human experience. The Integrative Mindset allows us to embrace or join with stressors we experience in order to grow more resilient in the end. Stress experienced in both voluntary and involuntary manners are necessary catalysts for growth. The more we can embrace this process and voluntary delay gratification the stronger we can become in the face of adversity.
Going Through the Process.
A good example of this is someone who works on their physical or mental health in coming to therapy. Patients typically experience a chronic stress with their mental health that causes a disintegrative response in their overall well being. For example a person is suffering from anxiety or depression, personal coping skills do not work, and the person becomes more and more disempowered both physically and emotionally in the face of this. They present to therapy and receive treatment for their stated symptoms and how they relate to previous experiences. Over time they get better due to growing their awareness, making small changes over time, experimenting with the process, becoming more safe and vulnerable during sessions, all things that lead towards a pathway of integrating the stress experienced both physically and emotionally. And in the end I often see our patients transform from a low point in their life to a high where they feel stronger than ever before.
Taking it Into Your Life
The Integrative Mindset is valuable when understood as a principle that you can apply to any stressor experienced in your life. The beginning of this process is to gauge the impact of what might be causing stress in your life. Events outside of your control, issues with your family or spousal relationships, physical health issues, etc.. Ask yourself what the impact of this is on your quality of life, determine your readiness or motivation to make a change. Then you can create a plan to slowly approach this discomfort with the intention to eventually integrate it into your life where it ceases to be a continuing stress. However simple this may seem it's not easy. I encourage you to embrace the process, understand and find your tolerance for stress, and reach out on this site to engage with this in a more direct fashion.