The 2% Solution: 30 Minutes to Transform Your Life

Mental Health 101: Embracing Mental Health for a Happier You

January 15, 2024 Dai Manuel Season 1 Episode 43
The 2% Solution: 30 Minutes to Transform Your Life
Mental Health 101: Embracing Mental Health for a Happier You
The 2% Solution with Dai Manuel
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Show Notes Transcript

I remember a time when mental health was a shadowed topic, rarely touched upon, let alone openly discussed.

Now, as I share my intimate journey with depression, social anxiety, and the destructive allure of alcohol, we chart a course through the tempest of tackling mental health stigma and finding strength in vulnerability.

The 2% Solution podcast deeply delves into the confluence of work, relationships, and the anxiety that haunts many of us.

Through my lens, we navigate the complex tapestry of mental well-being, underscoring the importance of alignment with our values and the bolstering effect on our confidence and decision-making.

The couch conversation with my wife, Christie, marked a pivotal moment in my life, one that many listeners might find familiar—a turning point where facing mental health challenges becomes an act of courage.

In this episode, I recount facilitating men's groups and the profound revelations shared within those walls.

Normalizing these discussions and showing empathy lay the groundwork to dismantle stigmas.

Join us as we foster an environment of support, educate on the significance of mental health, and walk together in understanding, hoping that anyone grappling with similar issues might find solace and solidarity in our stories.

Link to the Vancouver Wellness Show

Mental Health Resources

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Speaker 1:

Hey there, wellness warriors, welcome back to another empowering episode of the 2% Solution podcast. Today we're embarking on a critical journey from merely surviving to thriving and mental health. I'm Diamond Well, your host, and this episode is close to my heart as we unravel the tapestry of mental well-being. Let's start with the story. After this, a young man, overwhelmed by the world's expectations, finds himself at a crossroads. He's juggling work, relationships and inner battle with anxiety. He feels alone even in crowded rooms. His story is not unique. It mirrors what many of us face in our journey through life. This story isn't just a tale. It's a reflection of our collective struggle with mental health.

Speaker 1:

On my journey, mental health wasn't always on my radar. A series of wake-up calls led me to focus on it professionally. I've seen firsthand the impact of ignoring our mental well-being and I've just dedicated myself to breaking the silence around it. I had depression and social anxiety as a teen when I was battling morbid obesity. Later, in my 20s, I turned to alcohol as a means to fit in and connect, but it only created more disconnect between who I was and who I wanted to be. Most recently, about six months ago, I was dealing with some uncertainties and big life changes, I found myself spiraling into a feeling of depression and heightened anxiety again.

Speaker 1:

But a common misconception I encounter is that mental health issues are a sign of weakness or failure. This couldn't be further from the truth. Mental health is as crucial as physical health. Acknowledging it is a sign of strength, not one of weakness. But I didn't always believe that. If you listen to my TEDx talk, you know that I was rather apprehensive when it came to even opening up about some of my own struggles or even asking for help and buddy well, I shouldn't say everybody. A lot of us struggle with it and I know six months ago, with all these life changes that were going on, I struggled with just making it all fit, and I think that's something that we all deal with right. It's that struggle with the juggle of life, and this is why it's important to know what our values are, because when we align with values, it's a lot easier to say yes and no. It also gives us a little bit more confidence and predictability when it comes to making decisions, because often you know, when we're feeling depressed it's about things that we can't change, and when we're feeling anxious about things that we don't know that yet might be coming. It's usually future-based and a lot of the times my anxiety is over things that never, ever even remotely happen the way I was imagining it and, fortunately for me, I figured out ways to manage it and I've gotten professional support when I've required it.

Speaker 1:

We need to open conversations and education to create a more supportive environment. Creating down stigmas starts in our homes, our workplaces, our communities. It's about normalizing these discussions and showing empathy and understanding. One of the biggest barriers is stigma. Many feared judgment or misunderstanding, making it difficult to seek help. Accessibility to resources and finding the right kind of support can also be challenging. Supporting a loved one with mental health challenges is about listening without judgment and encouraging professional help. Be present, offer empathy and remember it's a journey you're walking together. They're not fixing for them.

Speaker 1:

It was about 15 years ago. I remember sitting on the couch with Christy, my wife. At that time I was really dealing with a lot of overwhelm just in life in general. I had learned to cope with a lot of these mental health challenges and some of these insecurities, really just masking them. I masked them really well with alcohol. It was also a way for me to just ignore life in the moment. Give myself a little bit of reprieve, but it was never actually doing me any good. In fact, it was actually bringing me back and causing a lot of other challenges that came through lack of motivation, having days where I just didn't feel up to it because my body was rebelling based on the alcohol I was putting in it. It was just really a challenging moment.

Speaker 1:

I remember Christy one night giving me space on the couch just to let me share what I was feeling as well as thinking. As we often say it at some of the men's groups, I've facilitated. We'll open up with a question like what's alive and real for you? It was a really powerful question what's alive and real for you right now? What is that thing that's on your heart, on your mind, present right now? It's very real, very alive. It's a serious, present moment of something probably very significant.

Speaker 1:

I started to share with Christy and this was our first time in our relationship. At that point we had been together gosh, I guess about seven or eight years already. We already had two kids as well. I just opened up. I felt like it was like verbal diarrhea. It was just like all over Christy, but she held space for me. She was a most generous listener, touching my thigh, grabbing my hand, just really being present while I just vented and shared everything that was going on. You know what? At the end of it she's looking at me and she did the best thing she could have. She said thank you for opening up with her. Also, she said it's going to be okay, we're going to get through this, you're going to be okay and I love you. I think you should speak to somebody. She was in a professional After I was about 40 minutes into this dump on to Christy thank you, geez. I just told you everything. Why did I go to Ops? Don't go talk to anybody else. I just talked to you. But that's the point.

Speaker 1:

Professionals have a framework, have a system, have schooling and a deep education and understanding how the human mind works and the human condition, and they deal with this stuff day in, day out. You know what? It was the best thing I could have done. Literally, it was about four months. I worked as a psychologist, I worked as a therapist for a little while as well. All I said and done, probably six or seven months of working with a professional, and after that everything was right as rain.

Speaker 1:

But I embraced the work. I did a lot of work. I was having a couple of sessions a week and it was all in. I was treating it like a sport and I wanted to get better at it. I really wanted to deal with these challenges that have been holding me back in life and I guess that's the thing right. Loved ones can hold space for us, they can be present for us, they can even support us in getting the help that we need, but they can't do the help for us. There's got to be some space there. So, anyways, supporting the loved one with mental health challenges is about listening without judgment so remember that right and encouraging professional help.

Speaker 1:

I recommend starting with small, manageable steps for everyday mental health, self-care, practice, mindfulness or meditation, even just for five minutes a day. You know there's great free apps like Insight Timer that have all these different time domains, different styles of meditation. So don't worry if you've tried some sort of breath work before and you're like I didn't work for me. Well, try, try and try again. Believe me, there are so many different types of meditation and breath techniques. I know there's one out there for you. Just give it a try until you find one, as well as regular physical activity, a balanced diet, an adequate sleep are foundational, and never underestimate the power of connecting with others, sharing your feelings and seeking support when needed. And man, I'm talking to you Find a men's group, really find one. They're so powerful and so needed, and it's wonderful to get around a other group of men that are modeling and mentoring one another through these challenging conversations. And you know what the cool part is Rising tides raise all ships and I've always encountered in these men's groups that everybody benefits from that relationship and showing up and everybody sees improvements. It's really powerful to know that. You know you always leave that gathering feeling better than when you got there.

Speaker 1:

I have something exciting I want to share before we wrap up. If you want to dive deeper into this mental health conversation and you're finding yourself in Vancouver, I invite you to join us at the Vancouver Wellness Show for the mental health panel, at which I get to be on. That's super cool. I was asked to bring together some amazing people to be on the panel and it's literally going to be so much fun. I know it's sensitive to conversations, sensitive topics, but we're going to be there in a very proactive way to support everyone. So I'll share some of our own personal stories, so there's an incredible lineup of experts discussing how we can all move from surviving to thriving in mental health. The date is going to be on Sunday, february 4th, from 2.15 to 3.15 pm on the Living Well stage. The panelists include RAS contractor Simone LaValle, pete Twist, janice Bannister and myself.

Speaker 1:

Dive-anne Will, ras Contractor, is a renowned mental health advocate and speaker With a psychology background and a deep understanding of mental health challenges. Ras focuses on innovative approaches to mental wellness. He is known for his work in high-level thinking strategies and cognitive behavioral techniques, helping individuals navigate complex mental health issues. Simone LaValle is a fitness and wellness coach passionate about holistic health. Her approach combines physical fitness with mental wellness strategies, emphasizing the interconnectedness of body and mind. Simone's work centers around empowering individuals to take control of their health and well-being through lifestyle changes and self-care practices. Peter Twist is a celebrated fitness and conditioning coach, specializing in mental resilience and sports. His expertise lies in developing physical and mental strength, helping athletes achieve peak performance. Peter's approach integrates physical training with mental conditioning, promoting a well-rounded approach to athlete wellness and Lassie. Janice Bannister is a creative therapist and laughter coach. Her unique approach to mental health involves humor and creative expression. Janice believes in the therapeutic power of laughter and uses her skills to help people find joy and resilience through difficult times. Her workshops and sessions are known for their uplifting and transformative experiences.

Speaker 1:

If you'd like some more information, you can email me at info at timeandwellcom. Those are also in the show notes the contact information Because this is going to be a session you don't want to miss. And as we close today's episode, remember that mental health is a journey, not to a destination. Each step, no matter how small, is a victory. Keep striving for that 2% better each day and know you're not alone. Together we can create a world where thriving is the norm, not just surviving. Thank you for tuning into today's episode. If you found value in our conversation, please share it with someone who might benefit. Let's spread the word and the wellness. Until next time, stay strong, stay positive and keep growing towards a better you.

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