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#mental health

Comparing mental health with physical health – solutions

The Similarities

When comparing mental health and physical health its important to you that you understand the reality for many people in this world so you know what to do and what to say because this hard hitting blog will open your perspectives in new ways.

I’ll put to one side clinical mental and physical health because those issues deserve much more attention so this blog focuses on general mental and physical health.

Let’s look at the similarities

  • Everyone experiences physical and mental health
  • Both fluctuate depending on life choices
  • Both can improve
  • Both can decline
  • Both have support organisations offering help
  • Not everyone will experience negative mental and physical health
  • Some take both very seriously
  • Some live a life where both aren’t an issue
  • Some live a life where both are an issue
  • Both are the results of experiences and life choices

The Differences

  • You can see the results of one

We are quick to judge when we see others. It’s how we are programmed in our unconscious minds to keep the human race alive and so we judge people by their looks to help us connect and realise if that person is worthy of our time and attention.

We are social animals so we have to create judgements so we create a social circle that meets our beliefs and values so we fit in and have a support mechanism around us.

Looks Aren’t Everything

The world is full of people of all shapes and sizes and we are quick to judge their physical health based on what they look like.

We see all different types of body types, colours, shapes, heights and we create a judgment based on our expectations and beliefs of the world that allow us to understand what we see and we make judgements on the type of person they may be without actually speaking with them.

Is it fair we judge others without getting to know them?

We form opinions of them just as they form opinions of us.

Let’s say you see someone across the room at a party and they are overweight. It would be easy to say their health is at risk and assume they struggle with phsycial activity. But once a conversation starts, you learn more about their situation and the initial judgment melts away as you create a new understanding and appreciation for them as a human being.

Hiding Behind The Mask

Physical health is obvious and when we consider sports, we know when an athlete is out of shape.

Their data is poor, their times are poor and by looking at how they move, you can tell where they are at through comparing their data and movement with others. There is no hiding from having poor physical health as an athlete.

But mental health can be hidden behind a select few words “I’m OK coach, I’m just tired”, “I’ll get over it. I only missed a penalty”, “it’s another loss but I’ll put more work in”.

Hiding behind this mask not only sends the wrong message to others, but it questions your self-worth, creating a dangerous mix of incongruence and hiding the truth, meaning others and yourself will continue to behave as though nothing is wrong.

Making Choices

As I mentioned earlier there are many similarities between physical and mental health and deciding to do something about it when things are going wrong is a choice.

There are people out there who don’t value their physical health. They will continue to eat junk food, take no exercise, drink too much and live a life that’s over endulgant, even though they know their health is at risk and accept they will work it out for themselves and they will be ok

In the same breath, there are people who don’t value their mental health. They are overwhelmed, feeling stuck but feel they should work it out for themselves and they will be ok.

There’s a lesson I’ve learned over the years that I want to share with you because as much as we don’t like to think of people suffering on their own and there has to be more done to help, we have to accept some people don’t want help.

A New Perspective

But knowing not everyone wants help, we can provide help for those that need help. We have to push harder to provide cultures and environments where admitting you’re struggling, admitting you’re finding it hard, admitting you’re in a challenging place and you need help, is seen as courageous and normal.

These environments and cultures need to be implemented in professional sports and within organisations and anywhere where there’s human interaction and responsibility.

Empowerment And Self-Worth

We have to encourage individuals to appreciate, the choices they make will impact on their health.

We have to encourage individuals to understand what you do doesn’t define you but rather who you are defines you. A person shouldn’t be defined as a footballer that’s made a mistake. A person shouldn’t be defined as a player who’s no longer good enough. A person should be defined through how they approach a problem or challenge and if needed, offered the right support.

What Next?

If this blog has allowed you to understand mental health a little better, please comment and share with your network because as you know, you can’t see mental health issues but you can put information in front of a person, allow them to digest it and make a choice.

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The media and celebrity status – what can be done differently?

Before anyone becomes a celebrity, they are first a human being with desires and a passion to do well at their craft.

Whether it’s acting, presenting or sports, it is their desire to succeed that drives them forward.

As they drive forward, Some others begin to take notice and others see opportunity and it is here where the problems are born.

Some others see opportunity to make money and enhance their own brand and drive their own passion forward through this person. 

Some others think of themselves first. 
Some agents, sponsorships, the press; some have their own agenda.

Some will say they care about the person as their journey forward grows. 

Some only care about making money and making their own living.

The thing is we all have to make a living. 

So how can the relationship between the media and celebrities change
Two things stand out

  1. Celebrities and those in the public eye must have coaching in how to handle changes, challenges and those moments when it seems everything is going wrong. 
  2. Agents, sponsors and the press must understand how to recognise when a person is struggling and back off and show support rather than dismiss them.  They must understand, this person is striving to make a living in the only way they know how, just as they are. 

This change isn’t just about being kind but understanding us humans make mistakes and as much as we love what we do, we don’t always get it right. 

I’m sure there are people feeling guilty after what’s happened to Caroline flack and I say this to those people – if you could change how you spoke or reported on her on social media or the press, what would you do differently? 

Change can happen. Change can be good and change can still provide you with a decent living, doing what you do best, WITHOUT creating an environment of destruction.

If you know of anyone struggling I urge you to pass on my details.

#tellmewhatsgoingoninyourhead

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The phrase you need to learn if you’re in the public eye

There are times in my life when I really don’t give a fuck!

Thinking about others, doing things for others and spending energy others can be very draining at times.

So sometimes I say to myself ‘Fuck it! I’m doing something for me!”

Now if you’re in the public eye or play professional sports, I know you’ve had these thoughts or something similar and I applaud you for having those thoughts.

Part of you will be thinking of self-preservation, while part of you will be thinking of your career and not wanting to piss certain people off…just in case.

Self-preservation or self-compassion is an act that is often overlooked as you get caught up in the expectations others put on you.

Public appearances, interviews, guest speaking, media sessions etc can all take their toll on you.

Yes, you will have obligations through certain sponsors, and agreements but you also have an obligation to look after yourself because when you aren’t operating at a level that gets the best out of you, others will begin to judge you negatively and when that happens, it can be a slippery slope to something much worse.

You can also get caught up in pleasing others, because you feel your livelihood is in their hands.

If you’re struggling to create a balance between self-compassion and the obligations you have, then perhaps it’s time to sit back and say ‘fuck it!’ while you take stock of what’s important to you and your values.

A wise man once said…

“A selfish mind is only the perception of those who treat you as an asset.”

Perhaps you need to realign your values and what you currently have on your plate.

Perhaps you aren’t giving enough?

Perhaps you are giving too much?

Perhaps it’s just time for a little break?

Whatever it is you need to do to find a balance in your life, I urge you to take action so you can continue to be the best you can for yourself and those important in your life.

Do you need to find a balance?

Is there something you need help with?

Please message me privately if you want things to change.

Take it easy

Mike