Claim Your Own Mental Fitness

square mosiacSince struggling mightily, at age twenty-seven, to overcome anxiety that trashed my sleep, nightmares and panic attacks that made me fear for my sanity and waves of depression that threatened to drown me for good, I have looked for a way to define just what is useful and necessary to secure mental health. I gradually realized that just seeking mental health didn’t take me far enough. I needed a stronger grip than that. I finally determined that mental fitness was what I had to strive for, then I could count on mental health and guide others to that confidence. What we need is a Big Picture view of how to navigate human existence. I determined to write a manual for how to operate our own selves that we all need at least by the time we’re sixteen and get behind the wheel of a car. It’s named Claim Your Own Mental Fitness: How to Manage Your Mind to Overcome Addiction, Anxiety, Anger, Grief, Trauma and Depression and Form Positive Relationships.

You’ll probably think that’s a really extravagant title; how could that be done in 360 pages? Well, it required paring down each idea to its leanest form and selecting only the examples that would suffice to get the ideas across. There wasn’t room to develop ideas with the freedom books tackling each of the topics enjoy. But the primary goal is to give you the Big Picture, the forest and not the trees. It’s simply easier to make ideas your own if you have a way to organize them.

When you move from one home to another, don’t you start feeling like you can create your new life only after you’re put your stuff in order? Or when the rug under your life is ripped out and your feet seem to fly up in the air, you need a handle to grab and right yourself. If you’re on a sailboat that gets knocked over in a squall, you have a keel that will pull your boat upright. This book gives you the tools to provide your internal handle, your centering keel for when life forces you to move your sights.

Therefore, I begin this blog with the plea that you’ll buy this paperback book for under $15.00 at Amazon Books. It will give you the background to understand and organize what I’ll share with you in this blog. Evidently I must write a blog to let you know my book exists, and hopefully to let you consider that I’m not just full of hot air. And blogging will allow me to expand on many of the ideas in the book that had to be kept brief, due to its whole-forest focus. On their own even the most elegant trees or well-defined concepts become a jumble after you’ve studied too many.

So I decided to call this blog Mental Fitness Formula (MFF). I considered “Crone Wisdom,” because I come to this as I retire at almost age seventy and helping you find practical wisdom is a key goal of my book and my blog. But it has to be “formula” to capture the main focus, which is to provide you with a clear guide for how to manage your feelings through your thoughts. The first seventy-two pages of my book lay out this formula for you to follow step-by-step like a recipe, or a potion.

I remember climbing downstairs along the sidewalk, to a New Age shop in Tacoma, WA in about 1989. I loved savoring the sandalwood incense, delighting in the colorful and exotic clothes from India, touching the smooth, soapstone sculptures and being soothed by the dreamy instrumental music of the shop. Thus transported, I came upon this foot-long clear plastic rod filled with water and little specks of confetti in many bright colors which drifted from one end to the other as I turned it. I thought, I don’t need another such toy, but there must be some excuse for getting this. Ahhh! I thought, when my clients come in and want me to help them overcome some set of problems that have simmered for years and do it in a few weeks, I can gently draw this out of my drawer and, turning it end-for-end, say to them with heartfelt compassion, “I wish this “magic wand” worked.”

I still wish for something like magic that could cut through and help those who suffer panic attacks as I did for several years or creeping anxiety or impulsive outbursts they regret later or debilitating depression or tragic marriage and family problems. Claim Your Own Mental Fitness is the closest I’ve been able to come to such magic after forty years of providing counseling and psychotherapy. This blog is offered to be sure you have enough background and examples to grasp and hang on to the “magic formula” in the book.

  1. Excellent,Rea! So glad to see this and looking forward to reading regularly.

  2. Congratulations for all that you’ve accomplished! I’m looking forward to your blog.

  3. The site looks great! I’m hooked on keeping up with it.

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