This little book changed my life. Literally…. I’m not joking!
The Thrive book holds several lessons on holistic health, with a focus on improving quality of life for those who struggle with depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. The curriculum was developed by the Mental Health Grace Alliance, in Waco, TX.
How I Learned About Thrive:
I first got involved with the Grace Alliance after my church counselor failed to address the main concerns with which I’d come to her: my fear of conflict and increasing anxiety levels. I wasn’t ready to see a professional counselor yet, but knew I needed help.
At that time, my friend Jenna was on staff with the Grace Alliance, so I reached out to her for more information. We scheduled a meeting, and she told me all about the Thrive curriculum. I was intrigued!
The Difference it Made:
For the next few months, I met weekly with a Thrive coach, who helped me walk through the material and held me accountable in applying those truths to my life. The first topic was about sleep, and it was life altering!
At that time, I was working way too many hours at my job. I’d often stay in the office well past midnight. Yikes!! Not surprisingly, it was negatively affecting my memory, quality of work, stress levels, and overall sense of wellbeing.
The thing was, I didn’t care about myself enough to even consider making a change. The possible negative repercussions (not getting everything done perfectly, feeling like a failure, not being prepared, etc.) were too risky.
The Thrive lesson on sleep discusses how important sleep is for quality of life as well as proper brain functioning. Our application step for that week was to try and sleep at least 7.5
hours each night, and to keep a sleep log, recording hours and quality of sleep, as well as how I felt during the next day.
I noticed these immediate benefits within just one week of proper sleeping habits:
- A huge decrease in stress levels
- An almost complete reversal of my anxiety
- Improved memory functioning
- More efficient, productive work days
But the BIG revelation was this:
I had been working myself into the ground, partly because I’m a perfectionist, but also because I truly wanted to serve people well and give back to the community. I thought that working a lot of hours was helping me get more done and provide better services, but it was slowly killing me.
Because of Thrive, I learned this vital lesson:
If I want to continue giving back to the community for the long haul (i.e. the next 30-40 years), I have to learn how to take care of myself now, so that I’ll be alive for the long haul.
And once I realized that…
Amazing! I truly don’t think I would have learned that lesson without having completed the Thrive curriculum. And that revelation was a springboard toward many other positive changes that have overall helped transform my life!
I’m so glad I got connected with the Grace Alliance and would highly recommend this resource to anyone!
So Here Are the Deets:
The Table of Contents is posted on the Grace Alliance website, but roughly, the book covers the following topics:
- Physical Needs:
- Mental Needs
- Finding Balance
- Renewing Your Mind
- Stress Management
- Cycles and Triggers
- Brain Resilience
- Spiritual Needs
- Relationship with God
- Finding Purpose
- Relationship Needs
- Healthy Relationships
- Conflict Management
- Overcoming Stigma
- Serving Others
Each topic includes:
- 1-2 Scripture verses related to that topic
- Questions for discussion / reflection
- A bulleted list of relevant facts for better understanding of the topic
- “Making a Change” section that gives tips and ideas for how to improve your habits and quality of life with respect to that topic
- Homework (i.e. mood charts, sleeping logs, meal plan worksheets)
Mental Health Coaching
The Thrive book can be completed alone, but (depending on location) the Grace Alliance might also be able to provide a mental health coach who can help walk you through the curriculum. Having a coach gives you someone with whom you can discuss the material, as well as someone who will pray for you and help hold you accountable to applying the material. And accountability does wonders!!
The coach is not normally a licensed professional, but rather a peer, and should not replace professional therapy.
There is a small cost associated with utilizing a mental health coach through the Grace Alliance. It’s $35.00 per session and was designed to be not much more than a typical insurance co-pay.
Accessing a mental health coach through the Grace Alliance requires having someone in your area who has gone through their training process, but it’s my understanding that the training process is readily available. If you, or someone you know, is interested in becoming a coach, I would encourage you to contact the Mental Health Grace Alliance for more information.
The Thrive curriculum is designed for those who struggle with mental illness, but honestly, I believe it’s a great reference for just about anyone, providing practical skills and knowledge on holistic health.
- The steps are easy to understand and apply
- The curriculum emphasizes small, manageable changes that are sustainable, rather than large, unrealistic changes all at once
- Each application section includes a variety of suggestions, so the book appeals to any experience level, and the reader can choose which portion he or she wants to focus on
- Working with a coach provides accountability, which is huge!
- Depending on where you live, it may be hard to find a coach
- $35 a week for a coach comes out to $140 a month. It’s definitely worth the price, but for some, that might be too expensive. I ended up moving our meetings to every other week, to better fit my budget. The good thing is, they can be flexible with you.
Where and How to Get it:
You can purchase the Thrive book through the Mental Health Grace Alliance’ website. The booklet is $25.00 for a paper copy and $22.00 for digital only. They do have some bulk order discounts available.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this review and hearing about my personal experiences! I loved working through the Thrive booklet as well as attending a Grace Group with this organization.
To all the wonderful staff and volunteers of the Mental Health Grace Alliance, thank you for all you do!