Why I’m happy mental health is more of a talking point today than ever before
Written by Chris Daems from Cervello
In the past few decades we’ve made significant jumps forward in so many aspects and areas of our lives.
We’re generally healthier and live longer than previous generations. We’ve never been more connected. We’ve got access to amazing amounts of knowledge. Prior to the pandemic we had the ability to travel the globe with ease compared to previous generations.
In so many aspects of our global lives including equality, global education, access to water and much much more we’re doing better as Humans than we did just a few years ago.
For an amazing amount of data on why we should be optimistic about the progress we’ve made check out www.gapminder.org and read the accompanying book Factfulness (insert link) – both are incredible.
One aspect of our lives which has improved is the fact that we can now have more open and honest conversations about mental health and access to a wide range of tools and techniques which help us lead happier and healthier lives.
Let’s be absolutely frank, no one has perfect mental health. We all worry unnecessarily at times, we all put too much pressure on ourselves and at times not do the things we know will either make us happy, make us healthy or both. Some of us will go through a situation where we struggle with our mental health more than others but I firmly believe that the fact we can be more open and honest with each other starts to remove the stigma poor mental health has been in previous generations.
I find that reading Stoic philosophy, exercise and writing supports my positive mental health. Your list might be different and might contain Swimming, Yoga, Therapy, Drinks with Friends, Travel (when we can do that sort of thing!)…However regardless of what it is that support us to do this we’ve all got an obligation to do one thing..
Work out what makes us happier and do more of that.
Certainly one thing we can do is be more transparent, open and honest with the ones we love about how we feel.
However it’s important to highlight one particularly area which often has a negative impact on our mental health. The subject of Money.
According to recent research by Close Brothers the majority of UK employees worry about money with 40% worrying about money ‘always or often’.
My experience is the stress of money is caused by a myriad of things. Our relationship with money is often a complex thing and is certainly no always entirely logical. Emotion plays a large part in our relationship with money and it’s important to accept this.
So I accept that I haven’t got all of the answers to improve your relationship with money.
Firstly it’s important to, if you’re in a partnership, to have an open and honest conversation about money.
Many of the issues I’ve seen with couples and their money is when communication isn’t clear, secrets are kept and one member of the couple feels that it’s down to them to completely shoulder the financial burden.
A problem shared is normally a problem halved and working together so that you have not only an individual understanding but a family standing of your financial affairs is a step in the right direction.
Secondly being clear on where you are financial empowers you to make decisions and take action.
Most of the clients I work with tend to be ‘stuck’. My clients tend have done relatively well financially but they’re thinking about what’s next in their lives and they want to have a clear understanding of where they are financially.
The worry and stress they face is from not being clear about what that financial future looks like and wanting some help to navigate their way to a clear plan to financial freedom.
However this principal applies to all of us. The right step forward in this regards is to understand what financial independence looks like for you, take a look at the money you’ve accumulated and look at the gap.
Often the fear of the size of the gap stops us doing this. However one thing is for sure. Finding out you’re already financially independent or you’ve got a humungous gap between your financial independence and your wealth…knowing this allows you to take control and take some action.
Getting clear on where you are financially and Taking control allows you to stop worrying unnecessarily. It’s the first step towards both positive action and a positive relationship with your money…regardless of whether you’ve got more than enough or still quite early in that journey.
Lastly, make sure you take enough time to look after yourself…Enjoy the things and spend time with the people you love. If you’re not feeling top notch do something you love or speak to someone you trust…
After all we all need to make sure that we do what we can to be kind to ourselves.
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