How to Unwind Mental Distress (and Live Your Best Life)
I want to talk about something pretty serious. Something that has had an impact on my life from the time I was very young. Something that many people deal with in varying degrees in various ways, and something that affects our society deeply and wholly:
When I was young, mental illness in my family erupted in ways that essentially took over how my family operated. Those who struggle with mental illness many times become the focus – and it is not a comfortable focus. Loved ones don’t know how to help or are uncomfortable with the situation so they say the wrong things which make things worse, or they ignore the situation, or some come to avoid it altogether. Things stop being open and fun and loving and instead become dark, unpredictable, or sketchy. Parties don’t end well. People don’t feel good. People stop giving love and start pulling back.
This article is not about the darkness though. This article is about the light. I’ve spent my career in pursuit of making work a positive thing. We spend more than half of our lives working – too frequently trading time for paychecks – and we ought to be able to have a good experience and feel good about all the time we spend doing it.
As I’ve worked with organizations and leaders over the last 20 years, I have not only learned a lot about human psychology, I’ve also connected some dots that incidentally make a big difference in the world of our mental well-being.
Despite the fact that we enter this world full of enthusiasm, open to exploration, and aware of our capabilities yet willing to try new things, who we become is shaped day by day as we interact with others and their fears, beliefs, and experiences. We grow up to make decisions and life choices that are not always the best decisions for us, starting as early as grade school and certainly on a regular basis as we work with and for others. The end result is that our daily actions no longer reflect much about the core of who we are. When we make choices out of confusion, convenience, or necessity, we end up struggling to adapt or thrive because those actions don’t fit who we are. We lose our way and face daily battles in our souls just to wake up and get through our days. This, my friends, is what I call mental despair and I truly believe it is one of the root causes of much of the mental illness we see in adulthood. When we don’t live in alignment with who we truly are and surround ourselves with people and activities where we shine and feel good about ourselves, it has a tremendous negative impact on our families, our friendships, our work relationships, and our careers.
So what can you do?
On the surface, it is a pretty simple solution. But in practice, it can be an extensive unlayering of how you live your moments. Ultimately, we need to reawaken our soul and align our lives with our core energy.
At Energize Leadership we use a specific grouping of assessments that help you to regain connection with your true strengths and talents; the things that drive you. We work hard to discover purpose for your life and your decisions, and then we apply enriching daily activities and habits to help you recraft how you make decisions, get work done, and generally organize your life in a way that ensures you are living in awesomeness the grand majority of the time. It has become my core belief that if we learn more about who we really are and what we need to live a fulfilling life, we can make intelligent and responsible decisions about what environments we put ourselves in, what behaviors we tolerate from others, and how we can optimize our daily routines to support the best version of ourselves. The great news is that it is never too early or too late to get started!
Our focus at Energize Leadership is ultimately to help people be more true to who they are, bring their best to the world, and build positive and supportive relationships with those who mean the most to them. Check out our Weekly Launch Pad that helps you start your week intentionally, and put what matters most first!
With mental illness becoming more and more of an open conversation these days, I think the time is ripe for looking at how to better leverage the tools that organizations and consultants use to improve human performance and interpersonal experiences at work and apply them to our everyday lives as individuals. My goal as CEO of Energize Leadership is to bring tools, knowledge, and experiences to individuals so they can be true leaders in their everyday lives. I believe together we can make the world a better place.
Please note: Although I studied psychology for many years, I do not claim or pretend to be an expert in mental illness in any way. Please reach out to a professional psychologist if you feel you need help, or as the recorded message says, dial 911 if you are having an emergency.