MENS HEALTH WEEK - PART THREE
So, Welcome to post three in the mini-series about helping young men to improve their mental health.
The first post talked about establishing good foundations for your mental health,
The second post talked about building on those foundations by taking practical steps.
The first two posts are what we like to call the 'nuts and bolts'. But there is more to life than just the nuts and bolts. This third and final post deals with what we can calll the;
Huh? What is Woo Woo? Well it's time to get deep folks. Woo Woo is anything a bit, well, special. The things that make life rich full and meaningful. The things that make life beautfiul. Ok, now don't roll your eyes. You Know what woo woo is. Have you ever heard your favourite song blasting out through the sunkissed air at a festival and felt the chill down your spine? Have you ever been swimming or sat out back in the ocean and just felt a strange feeling of peace, like things might just turn out OK? What about your first kiss? What about that internal air punch when you have worked your backside off and got the nod - whether it was for a Uni place, a job, or just something else your really wanted? Have you ever danced like an idiot and not cared what anyone was thinking? What about looking into your dogs eyes?
Then, my friend, you are familiar with Woo Woo,
also known as,
The reason we are so keen for you to attend to your headspace - and everything that makes it a bit of a better place to be - is to give you the chance to touch these moments. These are what some psychologists call, 'peak experiences'.
Now don't be misled into thinking that peak experiences only happen when you are doing something enviable and 'instagramable'. It doesn't have to be an outwardly special moment. It's just a bit of beautiful peace amidst the chaos of life. It could be walking the dog with your favourite coffee, or the feel of the duner on the morning of a lie-in. Often mental health issues like depression and anxiety can drain the colour out of life and make it feel like we will never touch these peak expereinces ever again.
This is the tyrant in your head telling you the same old 'nonsense story'.
Here are some tips to increase your chances of bringing the 'Woo Woo' back into the mix.
1 keep a Gratitude list
This is a little list of things that you are happy are in your life. It could be people, pets, anything or anyone - Just something that you are glad is in your life. You will be amazed how quickly focussing on the things you are grateful for can help you start to 'spot' other things which you are also grateful for, but maybe you were taking for granted. Other people may also notice the change and in this way you can spread the love. The spirit of gratitude is contagious - so start spreading it!
2 Find your 'Flow'
Maybe there are things that you used to do that helped you feel "awe struck'. Often these are things out in nature. We are fortunate enough to live in a big, wild beautiful country. Take a trip beyond the ashphalt and strip malls and remember what it feels like to feel in touch with nature. Sports that get you 'out amongst it', like cycling and surfing are great for this. But you don't need to go far, just a walk around the lcoal park or chilling out by the beach watching the Indian Ocean swallow the sun can be enough to make you feel the Woo Woos. There is a flow to life that is bigger than your sadness, more powerful than your depression. Feel it.
3 Have a 'D. n' M.' with a mate.
A, 'D n' M' is short for, "Deep and Meaningful'. It's the stuff you talk about with someone when you are both sick of small talk and chit chat. Often Blokes can be super uncomfortable with this type of chat, because they somehow see it as being, 'soft' or pointless. The truth is though that often these chats come out anyway, it just might only happen after a good few beers, or it might only happen when the wheels have totally come off your life - or the life of your mate. We would say - why wait until you are drunk or in serious trouble to open up? Wouldn't it be better to talk about the deeper things with people in a healthier and more controlled way? Often when people have these type of chats they are afraid that it will push people away from them, but nothing could be further from the truth. Often opening up to your mates - especially for blokes - can be so useful that it brings people closer together. Life is a journey, and we are not meant to travel it alone. We are all in this together - so open up and if your mate asks you how you are going don't say, 'fine' if you're not. You never know how useful a sober D. n' M. might be. It could get you (or someone else) out of a hole.
So there you have it - 3 blog posts that will hopefully give you a little bit of a kick-start towards a better headspace. Healthy men with healthy minds are a very important part of a healthy society. You have a place. You matter. Define your values and then live up to them. Don't let anyone - society - or even your own mind - tell you that you don't matter or that you don't have as much say or as many rights as the next person. You do. You are of value. You can always improve your situation and we are here to help.
And don't be afraid to contact us because we've got your back.