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Make Yourself These Two Promises For Stronger Mental Health

by Live Better

This is our last email during Mental Health Awareness Month. We've highlighted different components of mental health, created awareness around the need for better conversation for mental health, and promoted "challenges" to help you address six key elements that make up mental health.

In our last email directly addressing this topic, we need you to make yourself these two promises:
1) The next time someone asks how you're doing, give them an honest answer. The "I'm good, how're you?" answer is played out. You're also not doing anyone any favors by answering, "I'm fine" when very clearly you are not fine.

Maybe you're in the best headspace of your entire life. Jason walked into Big Shoulders coffee just yesterday and answered, "The best ever of all time!" and got his coffee comped because the cashier liked his positivity. You never know what a smile and enthusiastic response will get you - the world is tired of mediocre, dull responses.

...but what if life is a little rough right now? Maybe you're barely hanging on by a thread. By giving an honest answer, you'll make an honest connection. You're the easiest person to fool, but people can tell when you bullsh+t them. Now they're too uncomfortable to actually help you when you're in need because you've shut them out. This even applies to strangers; people may surprise you with the amount of random, good care they may offer. We are all human, after all, and crave this honest connection.

2) Make today's intention about growth. Rough day yesterday? Today is a new day. Rough morning so far? What are you going to do to make the afternoon better? Ultimately, we are in charge of our emotional response to *our (i.e. the one we construct in our head) world.

Many suffer from real illness that affects this perception, leading us down an emotionally dark path. It is always in our power to ask for help, however. It is always a choice to choose honesty in our response, to treat our friends and family like the support system they are. This doesn't mean we have the solo power to fix our headspace; it means we have the ability to rely on others for help when we can't do it ourselves.

Our pride gets in the way. We enjoy the sorrows of our burdens because they give us an out on failing to reach our own expectations. This may happen with a small task, like procrastinating right through a missed deadline, or with a big task, like failing to tell our spouse we are unhappy with the way things are. We may lack the know-how or simply the physical strength to pull ourselves from the gutter; we must not lack the willpower to ask for help when we need it most.

The mental game we play is the only game we play. The most important conversation we have all day long is the one we have with ourselves.

Motivation is out there. Help is out there. We must listen and internalize those messages for when we need them most. Whether you suffer from mental illness or not, we all deal with some sh+t. Everyone has demons that poke holes in our ego and in our confidence. We have weaknesses that undermine our strengths.

We must find strategies that help us make decisions when we need strength the most, whether that's deciding not to quit at Mile 20 in the marathon or asking for help when our depression is at its pinnacle power.

We've developed the "Best Day Ever" mindset for a reason. It is not for when things are all in alignment and life feels like vacation. It is for taking ownership of the real control we have over our ability to respond to the world around us, making the next moment better than the last...even if that means giving up our personal control and asking for help.

We are stronger as a community than we are alone. We are stronger when we prepare for the tough times by creating strategies and routines in times of positive and clear headspace. We build our physical body up to be resilient to stress, injury, and the demands of today's pace. We build our social network up to rely on friends, family, mentors, and peers when the odds are too difficult to overcome solo. And we fortify our mind so that when the time comes to have that tough conversation with ourselves, we respond openly and honestly.

How will you make today about growth?