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
- 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.
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.
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.