Connecting Mental Health to the Four Cornerstones of Beauty
Your mental health dictates your overall quality of life and goes well beyond the feeling of joy when things are going well or sadness when your life seems stuck in a rut. Your mental well-being isn’t just a temporary, emotional reaction but a state of mind that influences how you handle stress, make decisions and relate to others.
I talk about mental health and my personal experiences and struggles on my Feel Good Podcast, but it’s been a while since I’ve shared my thoughts in my blog. We all face mental health struggles from time to time, and I believe mindset is incredibly important for your overall health.
Every day I take time, and have created rituals, that allow me to work toward greater peace, joy and clarity by approaching things through the lens of my Four Cornerstones of True Beauty philosophy. By taking a holistic approach to my mental health, I’ve been able to better address and work through my own unique struggles.
What is Mental Health?
Your mental health or well-being is so much more than fluctuating emotions, but it does affect how you feel, think and act every day. It influences your stress response and approach to your everyday life.
There are so many factors that have an impact your mental health:
Family history of mental health problems
Abnormal brain chemistry
Stressful life experiences— including trauma or abuse
I’m so grateful to see more resources becoming available more recently. There is a greater acknowledgement and recognition of how mental wellness impacts every aspect of our lives.
Sadly, millions suffer from mental illness each year. It can take a long time to recover fully.
Common mental health disorders include:
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Social anxiety disorder
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
Even if you don’t struggle with mental health disorders, it’s still possible to occasionally struggle with your mental health. Life can get hectic between work, kids, and everything going on in the world!
A positive mindset can make dealing with stress much more manageable when the going gets tough. Because even when things are stressful, it’s important to remember the old saying: “this too shall pass.”
Even when we are at our lowest, it’s important to remember that the stresses you face each day will eventually be nothing but a frazzled memory in the rearview mirror.
The Benefits of Positive Mental Health
When you picture mental health, you immediately paint a picture of a mental illness, a stormy canvas looming over your head. Maybe you’re feeling more optimistic today and see a masterpiece of vibrant colors dancing above.
The truth is, your mental wellness isn’t a finished painting but a blank canvas that you paint each and every day. A positive mindset is something you create and maintain to help you get through the day. Positive mental health enables you to cope with life’s stresses when— not if— they happen.
Remember, we’re only human, and we live perfectly imperfect lives. Not everything will always go according to plan, and that’s okay. What’s important is being able to roll with the punches and cope with them in a healthy way.
I understand that a positive mindset won’t fix everything! If you constantly feel worn down, sad, or anxious, you may be at risk of developing a mental health issue. This is especially true if you’ve recently experienced a stressful life event— like the death of a loved one, losing your job, or ending a long relationship.
Warning Signs of Mental Illness
Recognizing your mental health is the first step to enacting positive and effective change. Some common warning signs that you’re experiencing mental health problems may include:
Feeling helpless, hopeless, or sad for an extended period
Withdrawing from your family, friends, or loved ones
Overeating— or not eating enough
Oversleeping— or not sleeping enough
Feeling anxious, forgetful, angry, or on edge— and you’re not sure why
Intrusive thoughts— unwanted thoughts that you can’t get out of your mind
Low energy, or feeling unable to complete daily tasks
How The Four Cornerstones of True Beauty Affect Your Mental Health
Long-time readers of my blog will know exactly what I’m talking about when I mention my Four Cornerstones. If you’re new to Solluna, welcome! I’m honored that you’re here.
The Four Cornerstones drive my philosophy dedicated to empowering you to live your True Beauty.
It’s important to nurture each of these cornerstones equally so you can truly thrive. When you neglect or ignore any of the cornerstones, and become hyperfocused on the others, you preventing yourself from embracing your whole self.
The Four Cornerstones of True Beauty are:
Nurturing each of the Four Cornerstones can help you live your best and happiest life. I know this from experience.
I’m a much happier person now than I used to be. In fact, I used to struggle with my mental health a lot.
I didn’t like myself, and I didn’t feel comfortable in my own body. I would constantly nitpick every detail of my body, which I was obsessed with making skinnier. As a result, I struggled with eating disorders and low self-worth. I was so hyperfocused on the food and body cornerstones that I neglected my emotional well-being and spiritual growth.
It wasn’t until I nurtured all Four Cornerstones that I began to feel better, reclaim my health, and thrive!
How to Nurture Your Mental Wellness with the Four Cornerstones of True Beauty
So you may be wondering now— how do some of these cornerstones contribute to your mental health and how can you each cornerstone make an impact on your sense of self?
Food For Thought
The food you put into your body has the power to heal you, but the wrong foods can make you sick. To prevent this, you should always eat wholesome, nourishing plant-based foods. Your diet should have plenty of the following:
Fresh fruits and vegetables— organic if possible.
Whole grains— such as quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, and teff. I recommend gluten-free where possible!
Healthy fats from sources like coconut oil and avocados.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is high in meat, dairy, and processed foods— so its acronym, SAD, is a very fitting name. These foods are not only bad for your physical health but for your mental health too!
Processed foods, in particular, can increase inflammation throughout the body and can contribute to anxiety and depression. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables contain nourishing vitamins and antioxidants that help improve your mood and fight depression.
It’s important to stay vigilant to ensure your diet nourishes your mind the same way it nourishes your body.
When you overthink, you disconnect from your body’s natural wisdom without even realizing it. The best way to connect with your body is through daily practices and routines that will help you feel light, clean, and connected with your body. This doesn’t just include exercise— but I recommend it! Taking a walk, or yoga can be especially beneficial for your mental health.
While a healthy diet provides energy and nourishment, exercise encourages your brain to release endorphins and chemicals that enhance your sense of well-being.
The Body Cornerstone includes all the ways you can physically care for yourself, including sleeping and taking care of your skin. With all things mental health, consistency is key! That includes a consistent sleep schedule and a skincare routine that keeps your body feeling refreshed and ready for the day.
Sometimes, caring for your body involves taking no action at all. Don’t overdo it!
A hectic schedule and a stressful lifestyle can leave us feeling fatigued and unmotivated. At times, your body needs rest and relaxation to avoid burnout and to revitalize your mindset!
I highly recommend taking some time out of your day to give yourself ahot oil massage. It’s an absolute must for me!
Your emotional well-being can dictate all aspects of your life. If you have an unhealthy mindset, you may struggle with resentment, anger, shame, and other stressful emotions that inhibit your overall well-being.
Over time, I’ve found the importance of allowing myself to process my feelings fully to be at the core of my emotional health. If you’re stuck in your emotions and unable to resolve your feelings, then making progress on the other three cornerstones will be near impossible.
Emotion is a rollercoaster of fleeting feelings that twist and turn with no end in sight. This means you need to be able to feel, process, and resolve all of your feelings— especially if they’re negative.
I know it can be tricky, but progress starts where comfort ends, and coming to terms with your emotions can profoundly impact your overall mental health.
If you bottle up your emotions, they’ll begin to fester and impact your overall well-being. Only by letting yourself feel and release these emotions can you truly accept your inner beauty and seek spiritual growth.
Spiritual growth doesn’t rely on going to church every Sunday, but if this makes you happy Beauty, keep doing it!
Spiritual growth refers to the energy— or spirit— that flows through you, me, and everything else. Spiritual growth means being in touch with your true self, and knowing that you are worthy of love just as you are.
Self-acceptance is being able to recognize the beauty that lies inside you.
I speak about self-improvement often, but you can’t truly improve yourself if you don’t first accept who you are. Self-improvement without self-acceptance and understanding will lead you down a path of disappointment in yourself, no matter what measures you take.
We tend to over-fixate on our imperfections and get stuck in trying to find areas of self-improvement. You have to understand the innate perfection within you, despite what your perceived imperfections may make it look like. The more you connect with this inner spirit, the more grounded and peaceful you become.
Two ways that have helped me on my journey of spiritual growth are yoga and meditation. These practices have provided me ample time for self-reflection, which has been vital for connecting with my inner spirit and exploring who I am.
Life is a beautiful gift— but it’s not always easy. There are both good times and bad, and that’s okay. I just want all you Beauties out there to know that you are worthy of happiness and joy— especially if you’re struggling with your mental health.You are more than you think you are— you’re strong, vibrant, and beautiful, even if you don’t feel that way now.
In love and support,
Mental Health Resources
Mental illness is serious. If you’re feeling like you need more help, and are concerned you may be struggling with a mental health disorder, please reach out to professional resources that are trained to help you navigate how you’re feeling. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to turn, help is available.
There are many mental health care resources available— the ones below are free to use and are available 24/7.
Holland, Kimberly. “Why Do We Have Intrusive Thoughts?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 21 Sept. 2020, www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/intrusive-thoughts.
Woodyard, Catherine. “Exploring the Therapeutic Effects of Yoga and Its Ability to Increase Quality of Life.” International Journal of Yoga, Medknow Publications Pvt Ltd, July 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc3193654/.