08 Oct Develop mental wealth for your mental health as a teenager
I have a personal story to share and I’m sure you will relate to it on some level. You may have even caught yourself doing it recently. It’s about mental wealth and your mental health as a teenager.
Yes, this is correct, it’s not a typo. Mental wealth versus mental health is a passion of mine. The reason for me being on this planet is to positively impact the lives of young people when it comes to their mental wellbeing. Ten million young people to be exact!
“Feelings are not facts.”
Now for my story…
I slept in big time yesterday. You might say ‘hurrah, there’s nothing better than a lie in’, but not for me and certainly not yesterday. I should have been up, ready and out of the house at 5:30 am for a business-networking meeting. The event started at 6:45 am and I was representing a colleague and their business while they were on holiday.
I set two alarms because I was feeling tired, but never did I think I’d sleep through both! Have you ever done this? I don’t mean hitting the snooze button but actually sleeping through the entire alarm ring. It was like I was in a coma!
I woke up thinking ‘I should be up by now, it’s getting light.’ When I glanced at my clock, reality hit me like a deep dive into a cold swimming pool. It was 8:10 am! ‘Nooo … how did that happen?!’
Have you ever missed an important event that didn’t only impact you but impacted other people? I was devastated, and my heart sank. I wasn’t late for the business meeting, I’d missed it entirely. I’d let my colleague down and I was mortified. I leapt out of bed, grabbed my laptop and went about sending apology emails to my colleague, the business meeting organisers and a couple of other people I should have been speaking to.
“Be careful not to do something permanently stupid because you are temporarily angry, stressed, scared, tired or hungry.”
Comparing yourself to others is not healthy
Right now, we have an epidemic of young people experiencing low confidence and self-worth, who have very little resilience. So many people, not just youngsters, believe they are not good enough and I find it very concerning that there is no school curriculum to address this issue consistently and with positive impact. Have you ever felt like this? Do you constantly compare yourself to others? If you have done, take a moment to jot down an example as to when this happened and also think about why it happened.
Remember, you are not like other people simply because you are not other people. You are your own unique person and you are unique in what you think and what you do. To compare yourself to others immediately attracts a negative thought process because you will look for something that’s missing or the differences between you and someone else to back up the claim that you’re different.
Accept that you are who you are and that you don’t need approval from others to be happy in your own skin. You have your own abilities, skills and desires. This is more than good enough. The only thing that you are in control of is your internal world through the thoughts you have and the meanings you create or re-create.
“Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.”
Never burden yourself with negative thoughts
Anyway, back to my oversleeping incident … the more I thought about it, the more I realised how far I had come in my own thinking. I used to seek the approval of others and felt the need to please people by always saying the right thing. I never wanted to put anyone out or upset anyone, so I completely understand this type of anxious pressure.
Oversleeping gave me a big lesson. It was my body’s way of telling me I was super tired and burnt-out, and that I needed to recuperate.
Yes, I felt terrible to begin with but no amount of feeling bad would have changed what had happened. It would have been easy to put myself down, beat myself up, and say things like ‘you’re so stupid, so lazy, so untrustworthy, you let someone down, they’ll never trust me again.’ And these thoughts create negative feelings inside your body as you dwell on them and recycle them over and over. You would feel rubbish all day but what would that change? Nothing, apart from the fact that you no longer feel happy but rather miserable.
Instead, the best thought process is to appreciate that you’re human and you make mistakes. And that’s exactly what I did.
Is there a new you to listen to?
I appreciated that I’d overslept, apologised to the people it had affected in some way and I let it go. No amount of putting myself down would have reversed the outcome of me missing a business event, so I pressed the reset button for the day. I got up and moved on. In fact, I had a great meeting with my researcher and enjoyed a spa day bought for my birthday by my daughters. I even went by myself because I’m not good at planning! The spa date voucher was imminent and I had to go that day. Why else would I choose to go by myself?
The old me would have talked me out of going on my own because I would have been the odd one out. It would be an awkward situation and people would judge me because I was on my own. Does any of this sound familiar? The new me decided I’d go for a wonderful relaxing time and make the most of every non-working moment. I had a lovely lunch, a glass of bubbly, and chilled out. I listened to my body telling me to recharge my batteries and I stayed positive about everything. And therein lies the wealth of mental health.
“Trust life a little bit.”
Do not associate yourself with a label
To come back to something I mentioned earlier, we have an ‘epidemic of young people experiencing low confidence and self-worth’. There will be many people that disagree with me here that we do NOT have an epidemic. What we do have is a society that wants a quick fix and a young generation (or just people in general) – and that includes you – who aren’t equipped and empowered from a young age to understand that they’re all gifted, talented and beautiful just as they are.
Some mental health disorders do exist at a higher level such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, attachment disorders, dyslexia, OCD, autism etc, but the important issue is that you don’t self-diagnose. Yes, society now encourages you to talk about feelings but it’s so easy to lose the opportunity to find the root cause as to how and why you are feeling low when you associate yourself with a label. You are stronger than that.
Understand what’s going on in between your two ears so that you can take control of what you think and create your internal world to reflect and behave differently in the external world. Be resilient and build your self-confidence.
“I can only give my best to others when I am in touch with the best in myself.”
Let’s end with a challenge
- Which ones repeat in your head that create feelings of anger, irritation, anxiety or depression?
- Ask yourself what really happened to make you feel this way.
- What meaning are you giving to an event that took place, a comment, or an action?
- Is there something that you need to learn from this?
- Which thoughts make you happy or intrigued?
For me, oversleeping meant I was working too hard and needed to recharge. My battery had just run out! The day could have gone either way but I chose to not dwell on the situation and to turn things around in a positive way. I moved on and so can you.
Create ‘happy ever after’ Disney-style thoughts and actions instead. Generate positive energy for yourself and this, in turn, will enthuse those around you. Soon you’ll gain the realisation about how amazing it is when you start to grow and nurture mental wealth for your mental health.
Choose the life you want to lead
Find your spark and you can begin to light up yourself and those around you. This is a gift to share. It’s been my pleasure to share this story with you and I’d love to know how you take care of your mental health to grow mental wealth. Connect with me…
I look forward to your comments, have a truly incredible week and stay amazing.