Discipline and Mental Health
Discipline is a moral obligation for all. Discipline is derived from the Latin word “Discipulus” which means to learn. Literally, discipline is a mode of life in accordance with certain rules and regulations. It is a sort of self-control reflected in actions. This control is not forced upon the individual. It flows out from within. Hence, discipline is spontaneous and not a mere submission to authority in an obedient manner.
No one has a clean slate they can just integrate healthy mental health or discipline into their life with no opposition. We have bad habits. We have bad character traits. We have terrible past experiences and trauma. We have bad sleep schedules.We have anxiety and depression. We are flawed humans. So, the idea of doing what’s best for you and not doing what hurts you in the long run (discipline) is more difficult than it seems.
Discipline doesn’t mean you are taking away the struggle and pain that comes with a problem. It just means you are experiencing all the pain that you would feel in the future but now and at a diluted rate.
On the flip side, in the struggle of a mental health battle there will be days you flat out lose. Whatever it may be in your individual case. Maybe it’s staying in bed all day, maybe it’s cancelling a counseling appointment or maybe its relapsing on a past habit. The key point is how you react. Do you let that day turn into a week then a month then a year? Or do you accept that you failed today but tomorrow is a new dawn with new opportunities? You did not lose the war, you simply lost the day – get back after it.
Discipline of working out for example, there are somedays you will skip the gym for whatever reason. You may be tired, felt ill, on vacation, or just plain lazy. Does that mean you are a lost cause and you should just stop going to the gym all together? No it means you failed, and now it’s time to get back on track.
The point being, no successful individual who is disciplined just woke up and was disciplined. Just like no one conquering a mental health struggle woke up one day and beat it. It’s like a battle with one’s mind and requires the mental fortitude to try again which is believe in one’s self, commitment and consistency.
Rachel Affiong Umoh