Top 3 Things That Support Peak Mental Health
Everyone is aware of the importance of being physically healthy, but being mentally healthy is also important. It helps us be productive and provide positive results at work, in school, and other things we engage ourselves in.
Reaching our peak mental health also helps us enjoy life and face challenges. It gives us the feeling of comfort and self-assurance. Dr. Diane Harner joined us again for the third part of The Brain Deep Dive, where she discussed the top three things to optimize your mental health. She explained in-detail why these things are essential and how they help us with our daily lives.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleeping helps our brain get rid of all the toxins we get from the day that just finished. It regulates our emotions and consolidates memories. When we are sleeping, we think about the things that transpired. Our dreams flash images and scenarios, it is our brain’s way of distinguishing if the events that occurred are important or not. Being able to sleep well refreshes us and prepares us for what the next day brings.
Are you having problems sleeping? Here are some tips you can follow to resolve your sleeping issues:
Make Time for Exercise
Tiring yourself through exercising is linked to sleeping. It’s a lot easier to sleep when the body feels tired. Exercising doesn’t feel good when you’re doing it but you will feel the positive effects physically and mentally afterward.
Exercising stimulates endorphins, a chemical naturally produced by our body to handle stress and pain. It’s also referred to as “feel good” chemicals because they boost happiness and lessen the pain in our body. Exercising prevents other conditions such as dementia, depression, and anxiety.
Building good relationships with the people around you provides joy, support, and assurance. Connections are important for our mental health because it protects us from depression and anxiety.
Also, engaging in physical interactions such as hugging, kissing, and even a simple pat on the shoulder stimulates oxytocin, a hormone which is often called the “love hormone.” Oxytocin helps prevent conditions including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and anorexia.
Dr. Harner also stated the importance of refraining from chemical substances. Those won’t be needed if you’re doing the things mentioned. These are just some tips you can follow. There’s a lot of stuff you can do to be mentally healthy. Just make sure to practice them consistently to be at your A-game.
Make sure to catch the next #SplashofColour podcast available on Spotify, iTunes, and YouTube.
Worrying About What Others Think and Dealing with Anxiety
Whether you admit it or not, hearing negative opinions and experiencing unpleasant behaviour towards you can feel uneasy. A lot of us pretend that we don’t care about what other people say and think about us, but the truth is, we do.
Other people’s opinions can cause anxiety. And this response is normal. There are reasons why anxiety happens and there are ways to manage it by arming yourself with tools.
All these were discussed in the second part of The Brain Deep Dive, where we were once again joined by Dr. Diane Harner. She explained the scientific reasons behind anxiety and shared ways to deal with it.
Why Do We Even Care?
People do care about what others think, and studies have backed that up. The human brain develops more effectively when we share a good connection with the people in the same community. As our brain evolves, we learn that having a good relationship with others and worrying about what they think is linked to our survival.
Knowing that people around us have positive views towards us makes us feel safe. It gives us the a sense of belonging and security. On the other hand, the feeling of not being part of a group makes us feel that our lives could be in danger.
How to Handle Negativity
We would normally want to see ourselves in a positive perspective. Knowing that others think differently challenges that thought and creates quite an impact in our lives. Reflecting helps us deal with this matter. We have to check how we really feel about it to understand why we care about what others think and feel.
Key factors to keep in mind:
A lot of individuals experience anxiety but are not aware of it. According to Dr. Diane Harner, the first thing we have to do is to know the difference between anxiety and anxiety disorder. Anxiety is our body’s natural reaction to stressful events, and we need to learn how to respond properly to such situations.
A part of our brain called the Amygdala triggers our fight, flight, or fright response to threatening situations, and then goes back to our normal emotional state when the threat disappears. People who having challenges in returning to a normal state once the threat has passed are the ones experiencing an anxiety disorder. This can be caused by different reasons such as chemical imbalance, mental illness, or their surroundings.
There are two ways to manage anxiety, the first one is the top-down approach, which is more about managing the way we think. This requires regulating our thoughts. The other one is the bottom-up approach, which is more about relaxation through activities like yoga, meditation, etc.
Everyone desires to be accepted. Earning the respect and trust of the people around us is part of our nature. There is nothing wrong with caring about what others think because pretending that you don’t can make you feel anxious. It would be safe to say that communication is helpful in dealing and resolving these matters.
Feel free to open up to people who don’t have good things to say about you and be willing to listen to them as well. Don’t be afraid to talk about the things that make you anxious as it could also help prevent experiencing an anxiety disorder.
Catch our 3-part #SplashofColour Brain Deep Dive podcast with Dr. Diane Harner on iTunes and Spotify or click below to watch it on YouTube.
Mental health has long been a topic not everyone is comfortable talking about. However, in this day and age, discussing this subject is becoming increasingly important. With the number of suicide cases rising exponentially, it’s high time that we break the taboo and raise mental health awareness.
Mental Health Spectrum
It’s important to recognize that mental health lies along a spectrum. It’s not only about mental conditions, such as depression and anxiety. If there are struggling and coping, there’s also achieving wellness. We all got mental health, and at some point in our lives, we might struggle with a mental health issue. It’s just that it’s more natural for women than for men to be more vocal about it. This is why awareness, understanding, and connection in a deeper level and a more innovative way are needed in today’s society.
Thanks to our recent podcast guests, Daniel Allen and Edward Ross, we learned valuable insights about mental health from a male perspective. They are the founders of Trademutt, an Australian social enterprise workwear brand that not only makes tradies and workers look and feel great. In partnership with their foundation, TIACS (This is a conversation starter), they also aim to help boost awareness on men’s mental health and reduce male suicide rate in Australia.
Not only women can form and get support from their tribe. Men can also reach out and get help from their fellow blokes and even female pals! With these three ‘Es,’ we can unlock the ‘M’ word and promote better mental health for both women and men.
The standard image of masculinity may equal toughness, but that doesn’t mean men can’t be soft, sensitive, and empathetic. Sure, most men are not comfortable to talk about their feelings. However, showing even a little empathy can make a lot of difference. By understanding and sharing the feelings of your male friend, you are helping him cope with whatever mental health problem he’s struggling with.
It is one of the keys to taking down the barrier and establishing a communication line with him. Knowing that someone cares and shares the same emotions or is in a similar situation could help him open up, start a conversation, and take that first step toward mental wellness.
We can't emphasize enough the importance of having a tribe. Be part of that tribe that supports and encourages a loved one or friend dealing with mental health issues. Once he starts to communicate and share his thoughts and feelings, be a good listener. Give him encouraging and uplifting words.
It’s important to acknowledge, though, that you are not the only one who can help and motivate him. Encourage him to talk to and socialize with his mates, too. Support him with his interests and the things that make him happy. Your understanding, openness, and encouragement will push him to be better.
If there’s such a thing as women’s empowerment, men’s empowerment should also exist and be promoted. Men can also start movements, forge groups, and launch services that provide knowledge, tools, and help for overcoming mental health problems.
Men can empower each other to create growth and positive change. Sometimes all it takes is hearing one man talk about mental health. That can start a simple conversation that will eventually lead to the creation and growth of a culture where men are empowered. Seeing somebody struggling move forward and make himself better is so inspiring that others would want to follow suit.
It’s about time that we crush the stigma of mental health illnesses and suicide and recognize and boost efforts that promote mental health awareness and wellness. Like Daniel and Edward, we can all help change the face of mental health. Through empathy, encouragement, and empowerment, you can make a positive difference in the lives of others.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health problem, don’t hesitate to seek help. Talk to somebody you trust. Start a conversation with your tribe. With support from the right people, achieving mental wellness is possible.
Listen to our full podcast with Daniel and Edward on Spotify or catch it on YouTube.
Confidence is not an easy thing to get and it does not build over night. If you are uncomfortable in situations where confidence and boldness is required, it maybe scary, but it is not unachievable.
Confidence is not arrogance, but it’s an attractive and important quality that we as Humans have the opportunity to develop and possess. Being confident is about believing in your abilities and skills and if you don’t believe that, take the risk and do it anyway. It is an essential element in achieving your personal dreams and professional goals. Even if you’re an introverted person, you can also build confidence in yourself.
We’ve learned that and more in our recent podcast with Stephanie Leahy, founder of Cloval.co - a global marketplace for socially conscious clothing. Stephanie mastered and mustered the confidence that allowed her to shift her path from climbing the corporate ladder to building a start-up which pursued a passion. Like Stephanie, you can build your confidence, too! Here are some key tips from the podcast we’d like to share with you.
Discover your passion
Passion fuels the fire inside you and pushes you to achieve what you want. If you’re passionate about something, you’ll have more courage to do anything related to that passion. Discover and visualize your passion and your confidence will naturally come out.
Figure out what you want to be confident in
Identify the specific area of your life that you want to be confident in and focus on it. For Stephanie, it was public speaking. As a self-confessed introvert, it was not that easy for her to speak in front of a large audience. But she focused on that area and slowly built her confidence. Do you want to develop confidence in a sport or craft? Pay attention to it. Own it and you’ll soon be comfortable showing your skills and abilities to others.
Create an action plan
You need to be proactive in order to create change. If you want to be more confident, it’s important that you create an action plan for your development. Is public speaking also not your thing? Attend events and ask the speakers some questions during the Q&A sessions. Go ahead and pitch your brilliant business idea to groups you’re eyeing sponsorships from. Whatever it is that you’re scared to do, just work on it. Do it over and over again. What you used to see as a weakness can eventually become your strength.
Step out of your comfort zone
Lack of confidence go hand in hand with anxiety and fear. Usually, we get anxious and terrified of things we’re not familiar with or used to doing. To build confidence, you need to overcome fear and anxiety and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Grab new opportunities that you would normally dismiss. Take baby steps toward that transformation and be positive. Think that it will be for something that you really want and are passionate about.
Surround yourself with people who inspire you
Keep your tribe close to you. These are the people who inspire, appreciate, and push you to be confident. Also, spend more time with and talk to confident people. Because confidence can be contagious, you’ll possibly acquire this trait in no time.
Building confidence may be tough for some people and situations. But these key action steps can help you achieve this goal. With passion, a target, an action plan, the courage to get out of your comfort zone, and people who motivate you, you can make significant strides toward becoming a more confident person.
Catch our full #SplashofColour podcast on Spotify, iTunes or click below to see it on YouTube.
The concerns of young adults in their 20s today are different from our concerns when we were in our 20s. Generation Z is the demographic born between 1995 and 2015. They are born knowing that terrorism exists and financial crises seem to be commonplace. Gen Zed youngsters are born with technology and social media constantly watching, sharing, and judging their every move.
Compared to us, life in our 20s was much simpler. There were fewer comparisons and less pressure from society. In our recent podcast with Tanya Meeesmann, Founder and CEO of FUEL (Girl Shaped Flames) we discussed the advice we would give our 20-year-old self. Knowing what we know now, it’s great to look back and share what we’ve learned to young people today.
With all the information and advice you will receive, you have to stay balanced. The key to doing this is by having a perspective and maintaining objectivity. Break down the situation first before you react or go crazy. Be objective as much as you can so you can make decisions rationally. Talk things through with people you trust so you can get as much perspective as you can.
Pay attention to things around you
Understand other people’s reactions to successfully navigate things and relationships. Look at things from their point of view. Put yourself in their shoes. Paying attention is more than just listening. The more you understand people and their motivations and reactions, the more you will understand how the world works.
This simply means the passing on of information from older and more knowledgeable people to younger people like you. Learn as much as you can from people who know more than you do. Respect what you can learn from your seniors. Listen and observe the work ethic of others. Learning from seasoned professionals will prepare you to be the best version of yourself.
Seek advice, help, and support
Reach out. Surround yourself with people that support and motivate you. Have your tribe around you. Find consistency on who you ask for advice. Make sure you seek counsel from people you trust—the ones who truly understand the intricacies of your situation. Don’t ask everyone for advice because you will get too many opinions.
Relax a little bit more
Don’t be guilty or hard on yourself when you fail. Be gentle on yourself first so you can have more empathy for others. Don’t dwell too much on the failure. Let go quickly and move on. Be gentle when others commit mistakes as well. You’re all on a learning journey.
You can experience a lot in your 20s
Ten years is a long time in your 20s. You may have seven different careers in that span of time. Focus on happiness. Do what makes you happy. Time is so precious to be wasted on things that don’t make you happy. Don’t limit yourself to a list of things to do.
It’s going to be absolutely fine
Don’t freak out. You’ll be absolutely fine. Take the pressure off yourself. Don’t be scared of missing out or not accomplishing everything within your 20s. Calm down. Life doesn’t end in your 20s. You will be okay even if you do things at your own pace.
Be proactive in taking care of yourself
Every alcoholic drink and cigarette you take will come back to bite you. Be more proactive in taking care of your physical and mental wellness. Treat yourself with respect and kindness. You are precious and you should be taking care of yourself.
You’re gonna fail and it’s okay
Embrace failure because you’re going to learn so much from it. Everything is going to be a lesson. They are detours that will bring you back to where you want to be. Don’t fear failure because they are lessons in disguise.
Being in your 20s is an amazing season of life. Embrace it with courage and joy. Learn as much as you can and savor the journey. You will only go through it once so you might as well enjoy every minute of it!
Catch our full podcast on Spotify!
Women and men are capable of doing the same things. Girls are even outperforming boys in school, particularly in STEM subjects. However, there is a clear disconnect in real life since more men still end up in leadership positions. Even if you remove gender bias, financial status, biological clock, and other limitations, women are still likely to be outnumbered.
This is one of the baffling issues we are wrestling with today. Laura Gervais and I discussed this at length in our podcast and in this blog. I want to share with you some of our insights and pieces of advice. Together, we will look at the reasons behind this phenomenon and the solutions to it.
What is really missing?
If women are capable of doing the same things, what stops us from being where we want to be? Why are we not in more board rooms? Why are there fewer women entrepreneurs? The missing factor in this equation is our ability to say YES to opportunities. It’s not like we can’t do it, it’s more of we are hesitant to do it.
What stops us from saying YES?
If you come to think of it, saying yes is relatively easy especially when it's risk-free. However, the most crucial YESes are those that involve risks. These are the life-altering opportunities that we need to say yes to. But more often than not we are hindered by the walls of fear and self-doubt.
Fear. We fear rejection. Just thinking about the risk we're about to take and the possibility of being rejected makes us shrink easily. This happens in both big and small decisions. We also fear failure. Hence, it cripples us from saying yes to that first step we need to take to advance. We would rather stay in our comfort zone and “be safe than sorry.“
Part of this is also because we fear being judged. We don't want to come off as ambitious even if there's nothing wrong with being one! We value other people’s opinions too much to the point that it stunts our own progress and advancement.
Self-doubt. This is where the Impostor Syndrome comes in. We feel that we don't deserve to be where we are or in the position we want to be in. So, we don’t say yes. We doubt our own capabilities when we know very well that we can do it. It’s an inner confidence battle we're waging in every time an opportunity presents itself to us.
What will help us say YES?
We all have fears and self-doubt but that doesn't mean we cannot overcome them. There are ways you can say YES to opportunities. You don't have to shy away from them!
Be accountable for your actions. What will you do with your situation? Don't sit and watch if you can do something and make a difference. Advocate for yourself. Take a lead in your situation. Take risks and be comfortable being uncomfortable. Remember that ships are not meant to stay in the harbor. They are meant to conquer the seas and so are you.
Practice saying yes. The more you say yes, the braver you will be. Over time, you will be able to identify opportunities that are worth your time and effort. It doesn't matter how long it will take for you to do it as long as you say yes. The more you take risks, the easier it becomes!
Connect with your tribe. Be with people who will cheer you on. Talk to like-minded individuals who have been there and done that. We all need cheerleaders who will just tell us, “Go for it.” Open up to these people and allow them to look objectively at your situation.
Stop critiquing yourself. We are the harshest judges of ourselves. Focus on your strengths, not your weakness. Leverage what you're good at. Be more conscious of self-doubt and try not to listen to it. Just outright shut it.
Don't fear failure. Ask yourself, “What's the worst thing that's going to happen?“ If it's not a matter of life and death, if you can recover from it, then just go for it! Failure is part of the process and it doesn't go to waste because some of the best lessons come from it. Even the best executives and entrepreneurs didn't get it right the first time.
Say YES more. Seize the opportunities before you. It's better to take risks than to live with regrets. What you want is within your reach if you say yes to the steps that will get you there.
Check out Splash of Colours Episode 1 - Where my Co-Host Laura and I deep dive into the Topic - saying Yes!
Spend less time caught up in the clutter and more focusing on what is truly important.