7 steps to support your thinking — The foundation for well-being and the key to your brilliance

7 steps to support your thinking — The foundation for well-being and the key to your brilliance


“May it be.” —Enya and Roma Ryan, from Peter Jackson’s 2001 film, “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”

Welcome to May! We are almost halfway through the year! May is Mental Health Month, according to Mental Health America, which states: “Wellness is more than an absence of disease. It involves complete general, mental and social wellbeing. Mental health is an essential component of overall health and well-being. The fact is, our overall well-being is tied to the balance that exists between our emotional, physical, spiritual and mental health.”

These days, most health professionals have realized how much mind, body and spirit go hand in hand and that we need all three to be balanced in order to maintain our overall state of health. Yet, as a licensed mental health care professional, I still hear many sceptics question the validity and effectiveness of the science involved in the very concept of mental health. As a result of this skepticism, many people are afraid to seek out the assistance of a mental health provider such as a therapist.

Unfortunately, it stems back to the days when many individuals with severe mental health issues such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and chronic depression were often institutionalized or labeled “crazy” by society. Others fear the effect of and potential dependency on pharmaceuticals such as antidepressants, perceiving them to be unhealthy crutches as opposed to the nobility involved with getting one’s act together independently. The fears that surround those misconceptions about what mental health involves have continued to spin an unwarranted web of taboo around it.

“About a third of my cases are suffering from no clinically definable neurosis, but from the senselessness and emptiness of their lives. This can be defined as the general neurosis of our times.” —C.G. Jung

Anthony Storr was a highly talented, prolific and innovative English psychiatrist and writer whose career spanned the second half of the 20th century. His objective was to “show that the dividing lines between sanity and mental illness have been drawn in the wrong place.” The word “psychology” dates back to the days of Aristotle and Socrates. Its original interpretation was that of the study of the “soul” or “self.” Today, it connotes the study of the brain and resulting behaviors, including thoughts, feelings and contributors to one’s overall behaviors of daily living. Therefore, there is a shift from a holistic way of viewing one’s mind-body-spirit connection (as Storr saw it) to a fragmented, even isolated, way of looking at one’s brain and its effects on the rest of the body and spirit (which is currently the model in contemporary, mainstream medicine).

Many famous people have lived with mental illness. Interestingly enough, many also qualified as genius intellectuals, scientists, writers, artists, entertainers and politicians. This list includes: Abraham Lincoln, Virginia Woolf, Sir Isaac Newton, Ernest Hemingway, Michelangelo, Winston Churchill, Vivien Leigh, Patty Duke, Charles Dickens, Jane Pauley, Judy Collins, Brooke Shields, Carrie Fisher, Mick Wallace, Tracy Ullman, Theodore Roosevelt, Vincent Van Gogh, Tennessee Williams, John Keats, Leo Tolstoy, Ludwig Von Beethoven and Lionel Aldridge. Anthony Storr researched and analyzed several of those individuals.

“My point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The piña and the colada.” —Ellen DeGeneres

Many great people who have done profound work have suffered inside a kind of void and isolation. Yet they experienced great ups and downs that ultimately did not get in the way of living out their passion and authenticity. They simply had the drive to do what drove them — despite their overwhelming mental and emotional difficulties. They had to have had the ability to cope with and ultimately overcome those obstacles whenever they arose.

Ironically, this is one of the skills needed to maintain balance and well-being of one’s mental health. Overcoming challenges usually feels difficult and is something most people try to avoid at all costs. But with specific, practiced methods, they can learn to effectively cope with and overcome those challenges. Mental health professionals teach their clients to problem solve, set goals, release anything blocking them from living out their most successful selves, build self-awareness, life coaching and many other critical services.

Experts in the field of holistic psychology maintain that what we think manifests itself somewhere in the universe. In other words, our thinking creates our reality. In our world of cause and effect, like attracts like and we want to make sure our thinking is aligned with our goals so that our intentions transform into our desired effects. Here are seven steps to support that cause-and-effect system:

  1. Learn to manage your thoughts and become aware of your internal dialogue. This will help uplift feelings and emotions (negative to positive).
  2. Discover and nurture your authentic self no matter what!
  3. Get quiet, go within and find a place of balance.
  4. Take care of your bodies by eating healthy foods, and getting enough sleep and exercise.
  5. Connect and socialize with people you relate to — your support system.
  6. Find and maintain ways to feel joy, regardless of the tribulations you might be going through.
  7. Face your fears head on and be open to ongoing growth and transformation.

Jill E. Greinke, MSW, LCSW, SAC, is a holistic psychotherapist and transformational consultant specializing in transformational counseling and coaching, group coaching, workshops, teleconferences, presentations, speaking engagements and consultations. To get her free report, “Five Steps to Miraculous Living,” visit http://jillegreinke.com.

This article originally published May 2014 Natures Pathways Magazine http://naturespathways.com/editions/southeast-wi-edition/


  1. What a timely post, Jill! 🙂 ~ I’m currently working on a module for one of my programs – on the topic of “navigating the ebb and flow of life” – and what you share here is so aligned! ~ I love the quote from Ellen DeGeneres. It gets right to the point!

  2. Wow, that quote from Carl Jung is as relevant today as it was when he said it. Isn’t that a sad indictment of our “progress” as humans? The time is ripe for that to change and for people to really embrace their life purpose.

  3. Very interesting post about how the field of psychology has morphed over time. Unfortunately for many drive is not enough to overcome physiological deficiencies of brain function. Your post is full of useful information that can help many people interrupt the thought patterns that lead to such severe issues and find their way back to wellness. I know you are helping so many, Jill, find a better way of living!

  4. Jill –

    This is such an important post…many of my family members suffer from mental illness and this statement really stood out to me- Experts in the field of holistic psychology maintain that what we think manifests itself somewhere in the universe. A holistic approach to living life is what has allowed me to navigate some pretty choppy waters in my life. I feel so blessed to have had this inner guidance and professionals like yourself to empower growth and stability. Thank you!


  5. I can’t help but think about all the incredibly gifted people you listed, who also had their dark times. I think we all have our ups and downs, our challenges and our joys. Mental health, or mental illness, isn’t as clear cut as we’d like to think it is. You offer great tips we can all use to manage our lives as best we can. Thanks for the post!

  6. Great post Jill! These seven steps to support your thinking would do well posted across the internet, and elsewhere; for it is much needed information to be shared. As a mental health professional myself, this awareness can never be too exhausted. The more people know and understand the causes and effects of mental health and the way we think, the more compassionate we would be towards ourselves and one another. At least I’d like to think that anyway. Mental health and well-being is just as important as physical, financial, and spiritual health, and needs to be addressed more than just in this special month, because every aspect of our lives in some way is mental; especially our thinking. Thank you Jill for providing a moment to pause and reflect on this special topic.


  7. This is such an important post Jill – I believe we are all faced with difficult situations that may arise from the inside or from the outside, but it is all in how we manage it and grow from it that makes the biggest difference in our mental health status.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom!


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