Someone reached out to me the other day and said, “I like what you’re doing with This Man Thing. I really like what you’re doing. And how it pertains to mental health.”
I explained that is one of the subjects we cover, because it’s important to men, but This Man Thing is more than mental health.
He replied, “But it’s at the basis of everything. You know, because of your brother.”
I had really thought about it before. Yes, I know many believe suicide is a mental health issue. However, I never thought about my brother dying by suicide had to do with his mental health. I never tied it together. Maybe it’s because there’s still a stigma related to mental health. Maybe it’s because I didn’t want people to think there was “something wrong with him.” Maybe because of the shame involved with both mental health and suicide, it seems like a double whammy to link them.
My brother was highly intelligent, so I didn’t give much thought to his mind. What if the one thing that was such a gift ended up being his biggest weakness? That for as much as his mind gave him in intelligence, it didn’t give him the flexibility to be human…to be flawed…to be imperfect.
I also didn’t consider that as smart as my brother was in his mind, maybe his emotional intelligence wasn’t as advanced, directly affecting his thinking, behaviors and actions.
That although my brother the wiz could pick up a calculus book and do differential equations like 20 years hadn’t passed since the last time, he might not know how eliminate self-doubt, overcome second guessing, or tackle shame. That those things we are never taught in school would be the things that truly held him back from being…from living. SHARE THIS!
Society treats mental health like it’s a red headed step child. Something to be thought about only if and when it rears its head. Not something to be proactive about. Physical health is important to be proactive about but mental health…nah, we’ll deal with it when and if it comes up. The challenge with that is…it will always come up.
I believe mental health is the core of everything else. Over eating/eating disorders, abuse, violence, addiction, and depression among many others come from mental health. And so does joy, happiness, wellness, vulnerability, and authenticity.
Emotional well being is like the blood that flows through your veins. When you don’t know how to feel, process, and express your emotions, your blood stops flowing smoothly which can lead to clogged arteries, blood clots, or blood diseases which then affect every other aspect of your body, just like emotional well being affects every other aspect of your life.
Most of us don’t stop to consider how our emotional well being affects our lives. We just go through the days…our routines and never think about how we are feeling or not feeling is affecting our thoughts, behaviors, or actions. We just say, “This is how I am. This is how I’ve always been,” and we continue being that way until something major like a meltdown, break down, or mid life crisis happens. Then we wonder, “Where did that come from?” TWEET THIS!
It’s time to ask yourself the hard questions. Be proactive with how you feel. How you process. How you express your emotions. Do you allow yourself to express your emotions in a healthy way, talking it out with someone else, or do you immediately go to rage, anger, or wanting to punch the wall (or someone)?
It’s time to look at your mind and how stress, pressure, and other people affect you. How do you deal with conflict? How do you handle and relieve stress? How do you let these things affect your thoughts? Do you replay your limiting beliefs like an 80s mixed tape? Do you hear the inner critic or the voice saying, “Who’s going to like it? Who’s going to like you? Who’s going to love you”?
Your mental health is literally affecting everything else in your life and if you’re like most, you’re not even thinking about it. What would happen if you gave a few minutes a day to get a better grasp on your mental health? It literally would change the rest of your life. SHARE THIS!
You’d have a clearer understanding of yourself, allowing you to develop deeper relationships, create stronger client connections, and increase your confidence. It establishes a solid foundation on which to build everything you want in life. Ask yourself one question a day to better understand where you are in the world or how you feel. You’re worth it. I only wish I could’ve shared that insight with my brother. It might just have saved his life.
I want to hear from you. In the comments below, share with me your thoughts on mental health. What will you do today to improve your emotional, psychological, or social well being?
Jessica Rector’s mission is simple: transform the lives of men. As someone who attempted suicide at 17-years-old, had a lot of self-judgement around being a single parent, and has a brother who committed suicide, Jessica knows challenges, issues, and pain. She knows personally how shame can manifest in parenting, relationships, leading, working, and living. Through her own experiences, research, and strategies, she now helps men walk through the process to free themselves from their inner struggles. As a thought leader, keynote speaker, and author of two books, Jessica is able to help men become who they are while stepping into their power by becoming a better badass version of themselves. Get Jessica’s soon to be released third book, Breaking the Silence: Taking the Sh out of Shame and follow her on Facebook by CLICKING HERE. Connect with her and join her tribe for men at THIS MAN THING FACEBOOK GROUP.