What does gravity have to do with mental wellbeing?
When we talk about gravity being connected to mental wellbeing, we are, of course, talking about psychological rather than physical weight. This was a theme explored in a previous blog about improving mental wellbeing, but a recent conversation has now given me cause to look at it afresh and with new insight.
That previous blog introduced ‘above the line’ and ‘below the line’ thinking, but Kev, a friend of mine, had read it and asked me a great question the other day that challenged that thinking.
There is a graphic within the article that ably demonstrates what we mean by ‘above the line’ and ‘below the line’, which contains 15 words above the line and only 10 below the line.
This intrigued Kev, who’d counted the words and asked why, if there are more words to describe it, is an unhealthy state of mind ‘above the line’ and not ‘below the line’?
There is a reasonable answer provided in the article, but Kev’s question gave me the opportunity to reconsider the answer.
The answer had nothing to do with the volume of words but does boil down to weight. Not physical weight. Weight that is more like gravity. Weight that is more like grounded-ness or intensity.
When we experience the words that appear ‘above the line’ it feels heavy. When we’re shrouded in those thoughts and feelings, it seems like we are carring the weight of the world on our shoulders, slowing us down and halting our forward momentum..
Our true nature acts like gravity and draws our thinking to ‘below the line’
The words ‘above the line’, the thoughts, the feelings that go with them, are all transient in nature. The thoughts themselves are fickle, they flutter, like leaves in the wind. They come and they go. They have no substance in and of themselves. Without our attention they are like clouds in the breeze. They float on by.
The only reason they feel heavy is because we attribute weight to them. We pay them attention. We pump energy into the thoughts and feelings, and that gives them the sense of heaviness.
I looked up the definition of the word ‘weight’and this is what it said:
‘The force that gravitation exerts upon a body, equal to the mass of the body times the local acceleration of gravity.’
The answer is to do with gravity. The words below the line have more substance. Like gravity. The thoughts and feelings below the line keep us grounded and secure, yet they don’t hold us down. In the same way that gravity doesn’t tie us down. They give us lightness and freedom. We feel secure and confident and we become fleet of foot and nimble.
In the same way that gravity will bring us back down to earth, our true nature will bring us back ‘below the line’. Our true nature acts like gravity and pulls our thinking from the fickle, heavy thoughts and feelings, back into our lightness of spirit.
Below the line we are grounded, secure, happy. Above the line we are heavy and insecure.
The words ‘below the line’ have a different intensity. It’s a different kind of weight.
You know this from when you do a pros and cons list. You can have 10 items on the cons list and one item on the pros list, but that one item outweighs the 10 on the other side of the list. The words ‘below the line’, outweigh the words ‘above the line’.
We fight and struggle with ‘above the line’ thoughts
This is why it is so much easier than people realise to get ‘below the line’ back into their innate mental health and wellbeing. Gravity pulls them there, their true nature pulls them there, with no effort whatsoever on their part.
It’s just that people don’t realise that’s how it happens. And because they don’t know it, they fight and struggle with their ‘above the line’ thoughts and feelings and that keeps them ‘above the line’. They pay attention to them, and that gives them the energy to remain in place.
People never give gravity a second thought. We know it exists and we never worry that one day we’ll wake up and it won’t function any more. We don’t worry that we’ll have to work out how to stay ‘grounded’. When you jump up, you know you will come back down again. When you fly, you know you will land. If you jump off a cliff, you never go up, you always go down. Gravity in action.
We’ve forgotten that our true nature works in the same way as gravity and we think we have to work out how to stay ‘grounded’.
Your true nature is as trustworthy as gravity.
The beauty of our true nature is that, unlike gravity, no matter how high you go ‘above the line’, when you come back down to your true nature it is always a soft landing.
If you would like to understand more about gravity and mental wellbeing, we’d be delighted to hear from you. You can speak to us directly on 0344 335 0205 or email us at email@example.com
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