The mind is a wonderful tool, and I’ve probably mentioned this before – it can be our best friend, as well as our worst enemy. The reason why I am so passionate about mental health awareness is because many people struggle to understand their own personal psychology and it causes them to be afraid, suppresses them and it limits their capabilities.
If we can learn how to get the best out of ourselves and how to transform negative thoughts into positive behaviours we will live a more fulfilled life – a life where we actually enjoy facing the challenges that come to us.
Along my journey of raising awareness for mental health and breaking down the stigma, I have come across a number of inspiring minds, namely Mark Manson and M. Scott Peck. Let me talk a little about what they have taught me and I hope it will reveal to you why I am so passionate.
Mark Manson emphasises the fact that we need to set our values straight – we need to have effective scales of measuring ourselves, so we should avoid comparing ourselves to others because this is not a very valid metric, we need to measure ourselves on factors such as consistency to perform a task. We can’t be expected to hold ourselves accountable for not measuring up to other people – that’s not within our power, but what we can hold ourselves accountable for is our commitment to achieve the tasks we have set for ourselves consistently. He also urges that our values will change from time to time and we have to be willing to risk the loss of who are now for who we could be in the future. We need to stop caring about the little things so that we can focus our energy on the things that are truly important.
M. Scott Peck taught me that people struggle with mental issues more than we are aware of. He shares a lot of stories about patients he has treated (obviously with confidentiality) and he emphasises the fact that people that are deemed ‘normal’ in society can go through psychological battles that may seem to make them into a monster, but he says these are natural realisations. A lot of the pain brought on by mental struggles is a feeling that we are not in control, but that’s far from the truth – the control comes from our mindset – so if we lose our mind we can lose it all.
So if you feel like you’re a maniac, chances are you’re not. We’ve all done some pretty crazy things in times of mental turmoil. So if I answer the question now, why am I so passionate about mental health awareness? It’s because I want people to know and understand what being depressed, anxious and overwhelmed really is. It’s not weakness, but it’s a battle that takes the most strength to overcome.
We need not be afraid of who we are, where we have been, what we have done. We are wholesome and we are full, but we let our negative thoughts dictate who we are sometimes and that’s what I want to share with people…
We are not our mental health, however we are the one’s that are responsible for getting ourselves back on track. I’m passionate because my experiences have taught me skills and tools to overcome battles, both personally and in helping others. I still fall short from time to time, even though I have all these tools – the truth is I will always face mental battles at different times of my life, they’re inevitable – so when I do that’s when I pull my tools out. And these tools, you will find scattered throughout this website and I hope they can inspire. My 10 Rules For Life – I reckon that’s a good place to start.
Your passion should give you goosebumps when you think about it and it should make your heart tickle a little bit – that’s how I know I’m on the right path.
~ Adam, 2019