Trying something new is a challenge for anyone. Starting something new is a totally different ball game. Especially when you are a man of a certain age – well 48 to be exact! I decided a while ago that I needed to change the way I was approaching my life but I needed a structured approach to help me, and my mental health.
When looking back over my life so far I kind of think I am thankful for what has happened. Yes, there have been times where I have been close to ending it all and with good reason (in my opinion). The mental health that I have endured over the years, has affected me more than I have realized.
But there have also been times that I have needed to reflect on, and look at what it has taught me. I look at the chronology of events and what I did at the time and being honest, I could have done a lot better.
I never had the confidence to speak up nor to complain about issues that I felt I had been wronged. How I wish I had been able to do so as I feel that my life may have been different, in a good way.
This is not meant to say I wanted anything different to happen. I don’t feel as though I would be writing to you now if I had the squeaky clean life that our parents would want us to have. We are all individuals with separate decisions to make in our own, complicated way. At least, it makes sense at the time with those decisions.
Mental Health is just as important as physical health. It seems that I have never realized or chosen to take note of, the effect and toll it has taken on me. There is no need for me to look back anymore as it cannot be changed. Having said this, I can determine what I would like to have in my life going forward, and it is a more basic approach that appeals more.
Focus on now
There are numerous things I want to do. I could list them here but I don’t think it would appeal to everyone so it is for my eyes only! Among these things, however, are items that will enhance as opposed to leaving me in a state of dystopia!
Only on looking in on myself, understanding how I needed to change and finding the reason of why I wanted to change, has allowed me to reach this point in my journey. The ‘journey’ is a cliche that is used so often but I suppose it is one of relevance as nobody can really say what happens when we leave this earth. But, every journey comes to an end – I just want to ensure that I enjoy the time I have left here.
But enough morbidity! Let me focus on where I am now and how it may help others if they feel the need to. Firstly, I have been implementing yoga and meditation into my life and I know this is where I use the ‘journey’ phrase. But honestly, it does make you feel better. I am more relaxed and focused (but this may also be the medication I am on), but nevertheless, I feel it is an important element of my progress. It may not be for you and fair enough, but don’t discount it.
Yoga and meditation are going to be fundamental to my wellbeing and to see this through, I am using a couple of techniques that I feel will benefit me the most which are:
I do not know how connected these areas are but having read the book, An Autobiography Of A Yogi, it gave me an insight into what might be, and I liked it. Try it for yourself.
Wim Hof (The Iceman) is something which I have recently started and it is great! Difficult at first (for me) but something I am going to use going forward. It may not be for everyone but research has proven that it is good for you. Take a look at this information on Facebook.
My diet is a major factor in my life that I want to address. I, like many other people in the UK, and beyond, have a shite diet. You have heard of clean living? As I understand it, it is a diet free from artificial ingredients and this coupled with water, will make a massive difference! But before all of this, I am trying to fast for a couple of days and just drink water.
What does this mean then? The process is to be able to plan the rest of my life so I focus more on the positive mental health, as opposed to the negative mental health. This starts from within and what I put into my body. Before you all scream that this ‘is another healthy focused blog’, you’re wrong. It is entirely up to you what you want to do with your life and who am I to tell you otherwise?
But there has to be some sort of structure to the life I am going to have. The daily shift away from the routine I would like, is commonplace, as the polar opposites of two magnets. For the reality to come to fruition, the plan must meet the expectation. In other words, I need to make one and stick to it. Having said this, it must also be flexible as there seems to be so much that I want or ‘need’ to cram in!
Want to include in the journey of a ‘new me’:
- Water – lots of it
- Diet – reduce gluten in all its horridness – also reduce processed food, caffeine.
- Exercise – cycling, walking, yoga, hill-walking
- Mindfulness – meditation, law of attraction, be a little more spiritual, look at Buddism (strange, I know, but it intrigues me)
- Happiness – smile, positive, acceptance, outdoors, nature, laughing and family.
- Relationships – to have more intimate and positive relationships with my family
- Personal Development – counselling course, reiki course, spiritual, positive, new job, expanding The Silent Man
- Finance – become financially stable, investing, my own business
- Giving back – become more charitable, joining a charity, providing a social enterprise
All of the above is what I am going to implement over the time I have given myself. This means that between now and my 50th birthday, I want everything in place to allow me to enjoy my life for once. One aspect that I haven’t included is the use of my own intuition.
Intuition for someone who has suffered from their mental health is something that hasn’t been there. Not so much there, but more put further towards the back of the queue. The pleasing of others has always been at the forefront of my mind but from now on, it is the plan to follow my intuition and let it guide me through my life.
What does it look like?
How would you measure success in this field? I really don’t know but the journey is there to be enjoyed. Yes, it will have its ups and downs and things will not always go to plan, but it will be how I cope with the stresses and strains that life throws our way.
If you can determine happiness as a success, then that will do for me! But what level is happiness? What does it mean? If taking the past decades of my life into consideration, happiness to me would be a calm mind, without the turmoils that currently resides in it. The ability to think straight and not have my judgment clouded. A smile I wear on a daily basis and a life free of doubt. The ability to make decisions that are equal to all and the freedom that a stress-free bank account would bring.
All the above is achievable at whatever level you are at. But if you are in a similar position, then you may have your own ideas of what happiness will be. Let us hope it just brings one thing – peace of mind.
Have your say: join my private Facebook group, The Silent Man, today.