I want to talk about reframing your mental wellbeing, or ‘mental health’ today.
I kind of just want to change the conversation up a bit if i’m honest.
Last week in the UK was mental health awareness week and I have a bit of a love/don’t love relationship with these awareness days and weeks.
I LOVE the fact that they start the conversation and they get people sharing their stories or struggles and start to normalise it and that’s great.
But I kind of feel like it’s a big thing for people to actually talk about it in that week.
People struggle to put themselves out there for that week.
It’s a big stretch and it’s uncomfortable.
It’s seen as a big, brave, bold move…which it is of course…
So why do I see that as a potential issue?
I see it as an issue because It shouldn’t have to feel that way in the first place. It shouldn’t have to feel like such a big thing to talk about.
We should be able to talk about these things ALL the time. Not just in that week.
People shouldn’t have to feel any sort of shame, embarrassment or ANYTHING like that because the reality is, it IS so normal, it’s just not been NORMALISED!
It should feel NORMAL to talk about it as if you’re talking about the weather. It shouldn’t feel hard.
I talk about things I’ve struggled with in the past to people as if it’s as easy as breathing.
I talk about eating disorders, anxiety, the intense paranoia when it came to people abandoning me that I struggled with through my teens and twenties, I talk about my struggles with emotional eating.
I talk about depression.
I talk about the crazily low self esteem I struggled with for most of my life.
I’m here for it all!
We should all be able to.
There’s so much shame over ‘mental health’. So much stigma around it and i’m SO pleased how much more mainstream it’s becoming but there’s a really long way to go.
A huge reason I’m able to is because I’ve done so much work on myself, this is my obsession, understanding how we tick and why we do what we do.
Struggling with these very things is what has led me to right here, being in your earbuds and able to give really practical tools, tips and strategies to help you. To normalise it.
Doing this work and having the qualifications that I do, the biggest thing I’ve learned and want to pass on to you is how much we all make total sense.
It may not feel like it at the time, It may not be ideal when you’re in a pattern, but you can stop beating yourself up. Know you make sense, you aren’t broken and you don’t need fixing.
It’s just maladaptive responses that had their place in your life at one point!
So I want to try and reframe the conversation a little bit today.
The way I see it is your mental health is JUST as important as your physical health.
But here’s the thing, EVERYBODY is on a spectrum here.
We can see physical ailments, often, a lot more easily right?
There’s the hidden struggles for sure. I’ve had osteoarthritis in my knees since my 20s and used to get so frustrated because they would assume I was lazy when I didn’t want to walk places and the first thing I’d do in a bar would be try and find somewhere to sit.
BUT, that’s by the by, the point is, often we can see if we haven’t been looking after ourselves physically. We can see if we have a broken bone or a cut.
Mental health issues are harder to spot sometimes.
Even that, ‘mental health issues’ sounds wrong to me.
Mental well being is more accurate in my opinion. But our mental wellbeing is a spectrum, just like our physical wellbeing is right?!
So let’s normalise this stuff.
Everyone has their ‘stuff’ in one way or another. I know this because I know how we’re wired as humans!
We all have ego, we’ve all had our little T traumas as kids and throughout our lives that have led to nervous system deregulation which affects how we show up as adults.
We all have our own individual foibles.
Some of us are more aware of them than others.
But so many of us try to hide them because someone, somewhere has told us we shouldn’t have them.
Whether it’s a parent, sibling, the mean kid at school or something you’ve picked up from society that stigma is there.
That idea that it’s something ‘wrong’ with you.
But really, the biggest issue in my eyes is that people just don’t have the information they need to be able to understand themselves.
So we deal with these things quietly, beating ourselves up behind the scenes, hiding.
The negative self talk is loud.
The self doubt, the procrastination, the overwhelm, the stress, anxiety, depression and other (not so) fun forms of emotional dysregulation.
We only really get the information when we start to seek it. Probably part of the reason why you’re here listening to me. Trying to find another way because you KNOW life isn’t meant to be such a struggle.
But it’s so accepted and normal to do things to look after our physical health. We can follow a programme, hire a personal trainer, go on YouTube and follow along. We know we don’t have the information, find it and follow it.
So why isn’t it the same for our minds?!
The relief I see on someone’s face when i’m open and honest about something and they go ‘me too’ and know there’s zero judgement. Or the other way around where they kind of sheepishly tell me something as if they’re giving me confession and I say ‘me too’. Being able to visibly see someone’s shoulders drop in that moment where they can just be 100% themselves is magical.
It’s a gift for me to be able to give to other people and I’m so grateful for it. But it wasn’t an easy journey for me, it was a long one!
Because I identified as the ‘strong’ one, the ‘capable’ one. The one that could juggle a million things at once. At work at least I identified that way. The people closest to me knew I was an emotional wreck most of the time. It felt like I was living a double life.
But the more honest I am about things, the more I aim to understand myself and other people, the more myself I become.
I want that for you. Because I know how possible it is.
But the thing that’s also important here when i’m talking about emotional and mental health being just as important as physical health there’s something that needs to be highlighted and it’s an easy parallel to make.
There is no ‘destination’ to get to. There is no moment where you go ‘yeay i’m fixed’ and that’s that.
We all know this. Any diet, when you start eating the way you were before, the weight comes back on!
Any gym or exercise regime, when you stop training, you lose muscle mass!
It’s the same for your mind.
This is life long.
This is constant improvement but in the BEST kind of way.
It’s about a lifestyle change.
Sustainable weight is the same right. We all know to eat less and move more. That sounds super easy but when we try the instant gratification route of cutting things out of our diet, or going all in at the gym but in an unsustainable way…we all know what happens right!
It’s the same with your mental wellbeing.
Softly, softly, catchy monkey! Gently does it.
When you try to go from 0-100 in 60 seconds flat it causes more issues than it solves. Your nervous system is NOT gonna like it! Unfamiliar = unsafe.
Let’s realise how normal it is to have struggles…BUT, let’s also realise it doesn’t have to be that way.
It’s about figuring out what works for you and committing to it.
I’ve been LOVING teaching this stuff in the SOS! Programme. People have been understanding themselves and why they do what they do, or don’t do on a deep level.
I keep saying, don’t beat up that previous version of you who didn’t have this information.
The brave thing is starting the journey knowing it’s not about a destination.
So let’s start talking. Let’s start to understand we’re not on our own. Let’s change the narrative and seek the knowledge and the answers that we just don’t have yet.
Fran Excell, Subconscious Success Mentor – Helping Business Owners Overcome Self Sabotage & Get More Done In Less Time at www.franexcell.com
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