Mental health is an asset that is no less important than physical health itself. Some of us sometimes neglect our mental health and only focus on our physical health. Especially during the pandemic, the risk of mental health has the potential to increase for many individuals.
Ophelia Wang, an ex-pat also a professional mindset coach, will share the importance of maintaining mental health, especially during the pandemic.
Ophelia Wang is from Taiwan/USA, as a consultant, professional mindset coach, hypnotherapist, and hypnosis instructor at The Caring Nature System. She co-founded The Caring Nature with her partner, Yogi Arijit.
Her career as a former researcher led her to make Indonesia a destination country, both for career development and as her ‘second home’.
“I’ve been in Indonesia for over 7 years. I first came to Indonesia after working in academia as a researcher in the USA for a long time and feeling burned out. I took a gap year to travel and accepted an invitation from a project collaborator to visit Indonesia to do some voluntary research work. During those 3 months, I grew interest in exploring the next chapter of career and life in Indonesia, so several months later I packed up and moved to Indonesia,” Ophelia explained.
Compared to experiencing culture shock, she admitted that she was more curious about cultural diversity shortly after being in Indonesia.
“It was more of great cultural curiosity than shock, as I was absorbing information with a lot of excitement. The real shock was the traffic and commute time in Jakarta, which I never experienced anything comparable to that in countries I had lived and visited,” she said.
For more than 7 years in Indonesia, Ophelia got an impression of many places in Indonesia. Moreover, according to her, Indonesia is a country with a variety of cultures and arts as well as diverse environments.
“The Ubud in year 2013 was the most different experience to me: the architecture, Balinese culture, scenery outside the town, and the vibe back then. Since then, for work and leisure, I’ve been to many major cities and provincial capitals on different islands. My next desired destinations will likely be outside of cities, such as eastern Flores and Papua,” she explained.
Having a career as a professional mindset coach, her life’s journey in the past was full of work pressure. This condition made her move to help others to grow and develop themselves from adversity.
“The inspiration began with my journey of going from breakdown to breakthrough after major transformations in self-worth, self-value, and relationships with myself and others. This empowered me to get back in control after struggling for years with stress, anxiety, depression, and too-much behaviors,”she explained.
Before deciding to become a professional mindset coach, Ophelia was an academic researcher and consultant. She is heavily involved in various international projects. The various life experiences she experienced had influenced her to a career in mental consulting.
“For the consulting work, I transitioned from a researcher in a university as adjunct faculty, to working for international development projects. For the self-healing, self-growth, and therapy work, I was first inspired by how much holistic healing helped me when nothing else worked, after cycles of stress, chronic pain, chronic depression, chronic anxiety, and passive suicidal thoughts,” Ophelia said.
“After my marriage fell apart and a journey of reconnecting with myself to rediscover what needed to heal internally, I began to feel my calling of sharing the path of self-development with others. From there I realized my bigger purpose in life is to help others who need my support, and that was when I decided to become a therapist,” she explained.
Apart from her past, many professional figures in this field have also inspired her to ‘heal’ other people from the lowest point in their lives. It is the desire to help others that makes Ophelia dedicate her life as a professional mindset coach.
“Along the way, a lot of healers and therapists inspired me, by showing how complete, fulfilling, and meaningful life can be when living in alignment with life’s bigger purposes. Just like me, many of them went through major upheavals in life before they started helping others, which also inspired my realization that my journey could be a gift leading towards the path to becoming who I am,” she continued.
Her inspiration to help others prompted her to start The Caring Nature System.
Ophelia explains that The Caring Nature System empowers busy professionals to get stress relief, reduce anxiety, ease pain and eliminate limiting beliefs, with a unique blend of mind-body strengthening and emotional management tools, to enable an ability to break through the old patterns in rapid transformations.
“The seed was planted when the two founders (myself and Yogi Arijit) met and realized how much our personal journeys resonate with many people because we used to be like them, have been there, and have done it. At first, I was helping Yogi Arijit setting up Yoga and meditation workshops, and then gradually emerging, flourishing, and blossoming from our respective pain and hurtful past, we decided to build a progressive system together that will guide people through the healing,” she explained.
Starting a career in consulting and then to mental health is certainly not an easy thing. Ophelia admits that she continues to push herself to deepen her expertise in this field. Realizing the potential that exists within her, she continues to advance and become a professional as she is now.
“One challenge I could say is knowing what I want to learn, the purpose of learning, and feeling the connection with the authentic intention of those trainers who teach. When I was a rookie hypnotherapist, I looked up to some successful senior fellows and the techniques they developed very much, but then became deeply disappointed when they showed an egotistic attitude that made me doubt my entire truthful being. I had to heal myself through self-hypnosis from such experiences, by knowing that my core values should not be compromised, and it is OK to set my boundaries firmly,” she said.
Ophelia said that mental health is the basis for a healthy life. This is because mental health is related to other aspects of health.
“Mental health is absolutely the foundation of a happy, healthy life. Emotions and physical issues are interrelated. Anxiety and stress cause tension, which causes pain, sleep issues, lowered energy, and lowered mood,”Ophelia said.
“When you are going through emotional ups and downs in your life your physical health really gets impacted and causes suffering. If you are working long hours at a desk with lots of stress and pressure, you are missing the quality of life that you want to be living, which defeats the purpose of your original intention to work hard for,” she continued.
In this time of the pandemic, of course, many of us are prone to stress, anxiety, and even depression. In order not to get worse, Ophelia gives tips and first steps to overcoming this.
“Boosting your self-healing ability will strengthen your immunity. You can achieve this through lifestyle: maintaining a healthy diet, regular activities, and me-time for yourself to allow the mind and body to get settled in and settled down,” she said.
“1) Whenever a disturbing thought appears, ask yourself “is it true, false, or a belief?”.
2) When something/someone triggers you, physically take a step back or move your body backward, breathe for a second, and then respond without blowing out of proportion.
3) If/when a worry arises, ask yourself “what will happen, really happen?” and “so what, if that happens?” a few times, to avoid overthinking and over worrying unrealistically.
4) Whenever your mind spins and races, ask yourself if it serves any positive purpose?” she added.
Not to forget, Ophelia also gives advice to anyone who is currently going through the most difficult times in life.
“If there is no solution to the problem, then don’t waste time worrying about it. If there is a solution to the problem, then don’t waste time worrying about it.” (Dalai Lama XIV). Extending from that quote, look at the situation that bothers you and ask yourself, if it really, really will still matter in 5 years? If yes, then identify a strategy to solve the problem. If not, then is it worth it to let it disturb you for more than 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days?
With things that seem “impossible” to resolve at this moment, think about this quote: “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible!” (Audrey Hepburn). As long as you are present, your existence of ‘I’m” makes it possible”, she said.
In conclusion, mental health is an asset that must be maintained. Even though it’s invisible, you can feel it. Mental health is one of the most important aspects that we must pay attention to.