I Want To Normalise Anxiety...
More importantly I want us to normalise the conversation around mental health, because if we accept it as a normal part of the human condition, we open the conversation around it too. I’m going to talk about anxiety because it’s something I have a very personal experience of but this piece aims to talk more broadly around mental ‘health’ too.
My anxiety manifested around health. It started after my Mum died and it turns out, I am not alone. In fact every person I have spoken to who has lost a parent at a young(er) age, seems to have experienced it, and that makes me think; why didn’t I know this before? Why didn’t I know it was normal and why did I suffer in silence and shame.
Why is a parent dying not treated with the magnitude it deserves? As monumental, life changing total paradigm shifting…and still, we as individuals and as a society gaslight it as ‘part of the natural order’ and therefore manageable; that is until you go through it yourself.
It’s not uncommon not to be able to empathise with someone’s situation unless you have experienced it yourself. As a (relatively new) mother I realise I had no idea what my friends were going through until I had my son. It’s a running joke between parents: ‘why didn’t anyone tell me?’, we are woefully underprepared and it turns out under-supported.
So in both birth and death, we are not recognising the impact those things have on our mental health and what about everything in between? Moving house, going to school, being made redundant, relationship breakdowns, accidents, illness, bullying, financial stress, disagreements with friends, identity crisis, self image crisis and managing our own health.
When I say ‘health’ we assume physical health? But what about mental health? Are we really taking care of that? Are we really acknowledging it? Or are we waiting until the cracks begin to show before we get help?
Even if we acknowledge we need help, do we know where to get it? Therapists are great, mindfulness is great, self care is great, sleeping well is great, yoga is great, but what I truly feel is the missing piece is that we still associate a sense of shame with anxiety, depression, OCD and everything in between.
We only have these conversations in safe places with certain people whom we know will understand. And we only tell the other people when we can ‘tell our struggle with triumphant humour’, but why?
Why are we still ashamed? I heard a ‘Coach’, who’s quite well known in the personal development space talk about his take on it and he explained that he ‘also gets clammy hands and raised heart rate etc before he goes on stage’ but he calls it ‘excitement’ and if we just ‘reframe’ anxiety as excitement then we will see it completely different and it’ll be a good thing.
I’m all for reframing but what total BS and I am not for gaslighting those people who have invasive and life-altering mental health conditions.
What I am for is honest conversations; being vulnerable and brave enough to say ‘me too’, and to mostly normalise everyday strategies to help us manage our mental health.
Mental health is not linear but I do believe it is possible to truly overcome totally pervasive anxiety and I will talk about it in a cafe where people can over hear me because I am not ashamed. I am a survivor and my story is there so that one day I’ll tell someone how i got out of what they are currently going through and they will use it as their survival guide.
I am not just a personal trainer but through gym sessions and coaching I will help you transform a lot more than your physical health! I’ve worked with 100’s of women on their physical transformation but the reason those results happen, and really last is the work we do on the mindset, the mental health and the identity that you create during our time together.
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