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Holton Community Hospital History

Mental Health Awareness Month

Mind(fulness) Over Matter:


What does it mean to be mindful? Being mindful is an individual experience. By definition, the practice of being mindful is having the awareness of how you are feeling moment-by-moment. This can be broken down further into your senses, emotions, the environment around you, and the thoughts going through your mind in those moments. It’s easy to get swept up in the day- to- day routines of everyday life, leaving behind moments that actually fulfill inner peace and calmness. My hopes are that after reading this article, one can step back and practice being more mindful of those moments that cause stress, make us laugh, make us angry, make us smile and how these situations are being responded to. Recognizing these emotions and breaking them down into the “why” can be good for your health and help to relax the mind and body resulting in improved mental health.

Emotions and senses are felt differently at every stage of life due to a variety of reasons: a lot contributing back to experiences. What a middle schooler perceives as being mindful will more than likely look different from a 20 year old or someone who is elderly. At every stage of life one goes through, it’s important to step back and recognize and take into account how our life experiences have affected us emotionally, physically, and how senses have adapted. Following are perceptions of what being mindful means to a variety of age groups:

Anonymous- “Even with limited life experience under my belt, the 20’s have brought a better sense of how to understand and manage the emotions that come with life. Being a mom of two, I now understand just how difficult it was to express my feelings into words when I was younger. Vulnerability is never easy at any age but I realize now that feeling vulnerable and asking “what am I feeling and why?” can also bring understanding and healing.”

Anonymous- “Mindfulness to me in the mid 50’s is always a work in progress. I feel I’m constantly trying to gain control of my roller coaster of emotions that were definitely not so much an issue when I was younger. Life passes by so quickly and as life changes for good, bad, or not exactly how planned, I recognize how important it is to be present and work hard to find those things that bring me happiness.”

Anonymous- “What mindfulness means to me in my 70’s? For me, this question is not easy to answer.  Even when I was young I did not pay attention to life and lived it by flying by the seat of my pants. Now as I think about it at this point in my life my thoughts and actions are slower.  One thing I try to do every night before going to sleep is to calm down with no TV or phone and pray.  This one small habit is a mindful exercise I started only a few years ago has made a satisfying change in my life.”

What causes us to not be active participants in our own mindful practices? There can be a variety of factors, intentional and unintentional, that impact the way we register or handle our emotions. Sometimes feelings get brushed to the side because of the negative effects it can cause mentally. Being mindful can bring sadness, anger, and anxiety. However, in the same note, breaking down and understanding what we are feeling and why we are feeling a certain way can bring one into the present moment helping to give one those tools that are necessary to help cope, manage stress, and reduce depression/anxiety. It can be challenging to break down emotions. For this reason, Dr. Gloria Willcox created “The Feelings Wheel.” This is a tool that is used to help break down feelings into words so that they can be more identifiable and understandable. The wheel can also be used as a communication tool for all ages to help better express emotions. The center of the wheel signifies one’s core emotion. As the wheel expands out, it breaks down into more specific emotion. This tool helps put the state of being mindful into practice. Along with utilizing The Feelings Wheel, here is more tips/trick on how to improve awareness and improve mindfulness from the Mayo Clinic, 2022.

  • Take in your environment and account your senses
  • Live in the moment: Find joy in simple pleasures.
  • Accept yourself: Treat yourself the way you would treat a good friend.
  • Focus on your breathing

Holton Hospital offers mental health services to help benefit the community. Holton Family Medicine offers Behavioral Health, mental health, and psychiatric services for adult and children. These are telemedicine services. Areas of focus for this service are as followed: psychiatric care, medication management, individual and family care, mental health, substance abuse, intensive care coordination, crisis intervention, depression, anxiety, PTSD, behavioral management, grief/loss, and abuse/neglect. Please contact Holton Family Medicine at (785)364-2126 to schedule your visit.

There is also a program available for seniors seeking help with mental health. Senior Life Solutions at Holton Hospital is an intensive outpatient group therapy program that serves older adults who suffer from age related depression/anxiety. This can look different for everyone but examples of age related change can include but are not limited to: loss of loved ones, feelings of hopelessness, low self-worth, struggling with chronic health conditions or new diagnosis, loss of independence, difficulty sleeping, low energy, isolation, loneliness, etc. The Senior Life team can be reached at (785)364-9610. No doctor referral is needed.

-Nicole Baum, RN/Program Director for Senior Life Solutions

To get connected with the Suicide Prevention Lifeline dial 988. If you, or someone you know, is in immediate danger or in a mental health crisis please call 911.

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2022, August 11). Mindfulness exercises: See how mindfulness helps you live in the moment. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved April 6, 2023, from Mindfulness exercises See how mindfulness helps you live in the moment.