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Reflecting on the Idea of Permanent Solutions

When it comes to problems and challenges in our lives, we all want the perfect solution. We want to know what we have to do or say to make the problem go away. Maybe we can buy a product that helps us overcome the challenge; other times, building a new routine is the way to go. Finding a solution to a problem is a daily occurrence for most people. It happens in every area of our life — and it is especially apparent when it comes to our mental health. But these solutions aren’t always permanent, and that’s the challenge that brings me to this blog post today.

Finding the Right Solution

So, what do I mean when I talk about mental health solutions? I’m using that term to describe all the things we do in our day-to-day life to take care of our mental health. While this includes activities like therapy, exercise and meditation, it goes beyond that. There are smaller choices we make every single day that impact our lives and our well-being, and finding mental health solutions, to me, means figuring out the best ways we can move through our day.

For example, my anxiety can make decision-making quite difficult. I also can feel pressure to communicate with people in the “right way” (spoiler alert: there isn’t one right way, as it turns out), or want to make sure I’m giving someone the correct answer every time they ask a question. Over the years, I’ve found solutions to these issues, both in terms of how I deal with the problem, but also in how I view it. And while I’ve spoken about these solutions in previous posts, it’s just as important to remember how to best approach these solutions. I’ve found that the most important thing to remember is that when it comes to our mental health challenges, not all solutions are permanent.

Embracing Impermanence

Embracing the idea of impermanent solutions is difficult. A permanent fix to our problems would be ideal: you identify the issue, you find a solution, and you make sure that when the problem comes up again, you remember how you solved it before. While that is all well and good for most problems, it doesn’t always work with mental health issues. And that is because not only does our mental health change, but we change. Sometimes, a solution that used to work for us doesn’t anymore. And that’s okay.

Maybe this post is just inspired by the meditation app I use, which places a heavy focus on the impermanence of things. I used to view this approach as troublesome and hard to navigate, but I’ve learned to embrace it. Every moment is different because we change, grow and adapt to new situations throughout our lives.

Focusing on What Works Best For You

But even though most solutions aren’t permanent when it comes to my mental health, there is a freedom in that. I used to think that if I gave up on something (a new mental health technique, a different type of therapy, etc.) when it came to my mental health, I was failing; that there was something wrong with me. I’ve now learned to have the courage and foresight to know that not every mental health tip is going to work for me and that when it stops working, I don’t have to keep banging my head against the wall until it does.

Now I do want to be clear that I’m not encouraging folks to make major life changes or major changes to their mental health plans without consulting anyone. It would not be good to stop proven solutions like medications or consistent talk therapy at the drop of a hat (in fact, stopping SSRI’s abruptly can be dangerous to your physical and mental health). This post serves more as a reminder that sometimes when things aren’t working, it’s okay to explore other solutions. Our mental health ebbs and flows throughout the course of our lives, and it’s important to respond to those changes when they occur.

And though it is likely that not all mental health solutions will work for us forever, it’s possible they will. Everyone’s mental health journey is different, and as long as you’re working to find healthy solutions that work for you, while respecting and being mindful of the people and world around us, you’re on the right path.

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