Love and Mental Health in the Time of the Pandemic

Love and Mental Health in the Time of the Pandemic

Painting by Rassouli

Love and Mental Health in a Time of Pandemic

Is love the source of mental health or is mental health the source of love? We have defined for a long time mental health as the absence of illness but how many people who never visit the doctor’s office suffer because of the disconnection from our sources of mental health: acceptance, peace, love, meaning? The more suffering we feel, the more disconnected we become to the flow of love. Love is for the soul what vitality is for the body, a resource that facilitates mental health and well-being. It energizes us to connect, it motivates us to share with others, it gives us meaning. At the same time, love diminishes we feel less and less of its flow when we are out of balance.

Fear about the health of our bodies under the threat of Covid-19 has sent us into isolation. Our soul is grieving the loss of connection. Some people are with their families, some are alone. Some families are easier to live with than others. We can connect via the abstract medium of the internet, but we still miss embodied presence, sharing our energies. What if we take this time to reflect on the presence and quality of love in our life? To what extent do you feel you can give your love to others? How open is your heart? How do you cultivate love?

Our ability to give and receive love depends on three factors: our attachment experiences, the sum of our previous love relationships and our mental state.  As we become healthier in our thoughts, emotions and perceptions, we open up to more love, which acts like the gift that keeps on giving. As we experience more loving connections, we also become mentally healthier. Having a closed heart may make us feel safe and protected inside but it also isolates us from love, the main source of our mental health. I invite you to start anywhere: create more peace in your mind through mindfulness practice, create more loving relationships by talking to people about your needs and theirs, connect to people who can guide you. You are not alone!

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