Yesterday morning I slept in, ‘Hoorah!’ You might say!
No, not hoorah for me, I should have been up at 5.30am, out by 6.15am and at a breakfast networking meeting by 6.40am. Even more importantly I should have been subbing for a business colleague at that meeting and I was looking forward to it. I’d set two alarms, I went to bed reasonably early for me and I was feeling a bit tired but that’s why I set two alarms!
I woke up thinking… ‘I feel like I’ve been asleep for ages, I wonder what time it is? Why is it getting light? It shouldn’t be getting light if my alarm hasn’t gone off yet. What time is it? Oh my god it’s ten past 8! Oh my gosh no how did that happen!?’ I was just like ‘what!! I set two alarms! Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it’.
My heart sunk, not only am I late I missed the meeting entirely. I scrambled my thoughts together, went and found my laptop, sent a thousand apologies to my colleague immediately, I was mortified to have let her down.
So today I’m talking about mental wealth – yes you heard me correctly. Mental wealth versus mental health, why? Because this coming week is Children’s Mental Health Week and my passion and reason for being on the planet is to positively impact the minds of our young people. 10 million young people globally to be exact
Right now we have an epidemic of young people who have low confidence and low self-worth, very little resilience and so many young people believing that they’re not good enough. There’s no school curriculum to address these things on a consistent and impactful basis. Kids believing they’re not good enough put themselves down, beat themselves up, compare themselves to others and wonder why they’re not like other people.
Comparing is despairing is that the saying?
You’re not like other people because you’re not other people, you’re you, beautifully unique, individual, special and gifted in your own way and I bring this up because when we are so used to negative thoughts whizzing round our heads about ourselves and the world all that we see is negative, and we look for the evidence that everything’s negative to back us up in our negative thoughts, have you ever done that?
So my interesting start to the day yesterday, coming back to my over sleeping, gave me a really great lesson and realisation. It made me realise just how far I’ve come in my thinking and how amazing it is when you start to grow and nurture mental wealth and how the only thing that we have control of is our internal world through the thoughts that we have and the meaning that we create or recreate and this is what we need to teach our kids and raise awareness about.
Sadly our mental health awareness weeks will most likely be about labelling our kids with anxiety, depression, attachment disorders, OCG, autism, dyslexia, ADHD, and so on and so forth. Highlighting the symptoms, talking about the problems and encouraging people to get conditions diagnosed or they’ll self-diagnose. Then they lose the opportunity to really get to the root cause of the symptoms and behaviour and instead give away their power to a label. I think that’s just heart-breaking and at the risk of offending many people who embrace labels I’m sorry, we do not, in capital letters underlined DO NOT have an epidemic of mental health disorders in this world. We do have Big Pharma wanting us to believe that so they can sell us the solution in the form of medication, I know, I’m a cynical pharmacist but we do have a society that wants a quick fix and we do have a generation of young people not being equipped and empowered from a young age to know they’re all gifted, talented, wonderful human beings just beautiful just as they are.
So whilst I will say yes, some of those mental health disorders do exist at a higher level, we do not have epidemic. What we do have is that young people, or people in general not understanding what goes on between their two ears so that they can take control of what they think and create their internal world so that they reflect and behave differently in the external world.
Yesterday morning it would have been so easy to put myself down, beat myself up. What thoughts would you have had going through your mind if you’d overslept so spectacularly and let a colleague down?
Typical thoughts – ‘oh my gosh, I’m so unreliable’, ‘I’m so stupid, how could I have slept through two alarms?’ ‘I’m so lazy, oh my gosh I’m so untrustworthy’, ‘I’m so rubbish,’ ‘I’m so terrible.’ ‘How could I have let somebody down like that, what will they think of me?’ ‘Oh my gosh they’ll never trust me again, I’m such a flake’. And those thoughts would create negative feelings in your body as you keep recycling the thoughts in your mind and your day is affected and you feel rubbish and you feel guilty all day, that’s what most people do right! And that’s kind of what we are allowing our kids to do, dwell on all of that. Or like me, you can appreciate we are all human, yes, I’m human too! Apologise profusely, know that no matter what amount of feeling bad is going to change the event, nothing can change the event. It doesn’t matter how rubbish I make myself feel, how guilty I make myself feel, how much I berate myself, it isn’t going to change the event. So you just have to appreciate you’re human, apologise, let go.
So this week here’s my little challenge for you – take notice of your thoughts, which ones keep going round and round creating irritation, anxiety, depression, guilt, sadness, hurt etc.
Is it time to ask what really happened? I slept through my alarm!
What meaning am I giving it about myself? I must have been really, really tired, more tired than I thought. I know I pushed myself to the limit, I don’t have a stop button I just wait until my batteries run out, I must have been recharging them!
But what could it mean instead if I was to be kinder to myself? Exactly that, is there simply something I needed to learn and now I have the learning I can let go, accept it’s done, move on with more empowering thoughts. Press the reset button for your day and you can press reset any number of times throughout your day.
So for me, I pressed the reset button, I got myself up, dressed and after I’d sent my apologies I had a meeting with my researcher, a great meeting with my researcher by the way! I headed over to The Retreat to enjoy a spa day that my daughters had bought me for my birthday – I know, lucky me hey! Now I could have gone with somebody for company and to share the experience with and that would have been absolutely amazing, that’s what I intended to do, however, anyone who knows me knows my life is really busy and it’s been incredibly busy since my birthday in November and planning is not one of my natural talents and so of course, being the Astronaut profile that I am, I leave it to the last minute and then realised oh my gosh the voucher runs out on Sunday and I either have to lose it or I have to go by myself. Well I didn’t really want to go by myself because I would have preferred to have taken somebody and had the company but I didn’t want to lose it, why would I choose to lose such a lovely gift and I so clearly needed it after my sleeping in experience, the universe was saying ‘TeeJay you really need to go to that spa experience, you’re more tired than you think!’ and so, I could have and I would have done this in the past,
I have to say, the old me would have talked myself out of it with thoughts that would have gone something like this – see if you recognise any of these ‘you’ll be the odd one out, you’ll be there all by yourself, people will wonder why you’re alone and judge you, it’ll be really awkward. I won’t enjoy it by myself blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!’ You know what thoughts whizz round our heads! So instead, I decided I was really, really grateful on a cold and rainy day to go and relax, be pampered have a little glass of bubbly, have my lunch in nice surroundings and absolutely make the most of every non-working moment. I had a fabulous day and so how will you create your days over the coming week? How will you create your mental wealth for you and the people around you because of course you get to share this?
Use your thoughts not to create the usual doom and gloom and make yourself feel rubbish but why not use your thoughts to create Disney happy-ever afters instead. It’ll not only brighten your day but of course the day of the people around you because your energy affects and infects the people that come into contact with. So I thought I’d share that as it’s coming up to Mental Health Awareness Week for young people and I thought it was pretty relevant as my thoughts for the day could have gone either way.
I am TeeJay Dowe, this is the Spark to your Success, it’s been my pleasure sharing with you. I‘d love to hear your thoughts on the matter and how you’re taking care of your mental health, growing mental wealth.
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