Anxiety, depression, stress, and burnout.
All of us have experienced at least one of these. Most of us have experienced more than one.
Mental health is a key component of overall health and wellbeing, yet many Australians experience the effects of poor mental health. According to Beyond Blue, around 1 million Australians experience depression, while over 2 million have anxiety, in any one year. In addition, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that 13% of Australian adults (2.4 million people) live with high or very high levels of stress.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, these rates have increased. While it’s hard to know exact figures, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that the demand for mental health support services has skyrocketed and the number of mental health-related prescriptions has also increased considerably.
In short, there are a lot of people with poor mental health.
What really impacts mental health?
Most people believe that the state of their mental health is a result of their external environment and the stressors of their life. For example, right now many people think their higher levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and burnout as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the pandemic has just revealed their habits, mindsets, beliefs, and fears which are reflected in higher levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and burnout.
In other words, the real reason people experience poor mental health is due to their habits, not the external events around them.
While external events can trigger reactions such as stress, anxiety, and depression, these reactions are just a reflection of your deeper habits, beliefs, and identity.
In order to improve your mental health, you need to address the habits that are contributing to your poor mental health.
Habits to ditch if you want to improve your mental health
One of the worst things you can do for your physical and mental health is to diet. Dieting steals your health and happiness, robs you of your confidence, causes you to feel worthless, leads you to obsess about your body, and causes you to develop a poor relationship with food. Dieting also leads you to compare yourself with other people, worry about what you look like, and let a number on the scale dictate how you feel about yourself each day. In addition, dieting contributes to you developing an identity of someone who is overweight and needs to diet. We explain this in more detail in our blog Who you become when all the diets fail: The high cost of dieting. You might also like to read about how the diet mindset impacts you in our blog Change your mindset to lose weight fast.
Attaching your worth to what you look like, how much you earn, how popular you are, what you do, and what you achieve is not the key to long-lasting happiness. Your sense of worthiness should be tied to the fact that you a are human being. Lack of self-worth is a key reason why people struggle with their physical and mental health. But the good news is that you can build your self-worth and feel healthier and happier. Our blog How to build your self-worth so you can lose weight for good explains how to do this in detail.
Comparing yourself with others
If you compare yourself with other people, chances are that you feel stressed and anxious. When we compare ourselves to others, we always focus on our shortcomings and end up feeling like we’re not good enough. This creates a great deal of stress, especially if you’re always striving to be like other people. Comparing yourself to others prevents you from feeling proud and excited about your own life, leaving you unhappy and discontented. However, you can learn How to stop comparing yourself to others.
Trying to be perfect
Do you believe you need to get everything perfect? If you do, this will contribute to high levels of stress and burnout. Perfectionism has been defined as the relentless striving for extremely high standards that are personally demanding. Not only does trying to be perfect cause a great deal of angst, but it can prevent you from achieving anything at all because they fear of getting something wrong or making a mistake actually causes you to procrastinate. This can then have a snowball effect and cause you to feel even more overwhelmed with the list of tasks that you are yet to tick off your list. The truth is that perfection is just an illusion and chasing it will only compromise your mental health. We explain this in more detail in our blog Why 52 imperfect weeks is better than 6 perfect ones when it comes to weight loss.
The people you surround yourself with will have an enormous impact on your mental health. People who should be in your circle are those who encourage and support you and inspire and motivate you. People who tell you what you want to hear may seem ‘nice’, but enabling you to continue self-sabotaging habits isn’t helpful and will only keep you stuck in the same patterns that are contributing to your poor mental health. Relationships based on gossip will also bring you down. You can read more about the importance of relationships in our blog Why you need a weight loss support network to succeed.
Not being able to say ‘no’ to other people and put yourself first is a recipe for disaster when it comes to your mental health. Doing things for other people to keep them happy means that you’re not prioritising yourself and meeting your own needs. This will have a knock-on effect on your weight and physical and mental health. People-pleasing will mean you’re always too busy which leads to you feeling resentful, overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed. Overcoming the habit of people-pleasing is crucial for long-term mental health. You can learn more about this in our blog Why you struggle to put yourself first.
Worrying about what others think
Do you worry about what others think of you, and modify your behaviour, conversations, and social media activity? Constantly worrying about what others think of you means that you don’t have power over your choices, and you end up doing things that you don’t necessarily want to do. This leads to you being unhappy, depressed, anxious, and hesitant. Your relationships are also likely to be toxic because you’ll be associating with people who don’t necessarily have your best interests at heart or respect your boundaries. We discuss this in more detail in our blog Why caring what others think leads to weight gain and how you can stop caring.
Not being your authentic self
Not feeling free to be yourself and feeling like you need to wear a mask is very draining. Being afraid to be your authentic self is because you worry that showing your true self will mean that others won’t love you. This fear of being judged, gossiped about, not loved, and not accepted will cause you to hide who you really are, in an attempt to control what others think of you. Not being your authentic self leads to poor relationships, lower self-worth, people-pleasing, and self-sabotage. Find out How to be your authentic self so you can lose weight.
Trying to control everything
Most people like to feel that they’re in control of what’s going on around them. However, trying to control everything takes an enormous amount of energy, and only leads to high levels of anxiety and stress, particularly when things are out of control. The truth is that you actually control very little. Learning to understand this and let go of control will do wonders for your mental health. You’ll feel more relaxed, you’ll be more present and you’ll enjoy life a lot more. We explain this in our blog How to feel in control when everything is out of control.
How does therapy fit in?
Of course, sometimes it may be necessary to seek the support of a qualified therapist to help manage symptoms of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and stress. However, therapy alone won’t solve a problem that is exacerbated by your habits. It’s a bit like taking painkillers for a persistent headache. While this may ease the symptoms they won’t treat the cause of your persistent headache, which means you will still get headaches when the medication wears off. To successfully treat your persistent headaches, you need to uncover and address the reason why you get them.
Addressing your mental health is the same. As well as therapy, you need to simultaneously work on your habits that are triggering your feelings of anxiety or depression. For example, do you struggle to put yourself first? Do you compare yourself with other people? Do you lack self-worth?
How DATSTM and PDSTM Programs help
Even if you think your mental health is fine now, that doesn’t guarantee you won’t experience anxiety or depression in the future. Just like physical health, ensuring good mental health long-term requires you to be proactive. That means addressing the habits that compromise mental health before you have a problem.
The DATSTM Personal Coaching Program (habit, mindset, and weight loss) and our PDSTM Program (habit, mindset, and personal development) will take the guesswork out of your personal growth and development and help you identify the habits, beliefs, and mindsets that are contributing or may lead to poor mental health, and help you change them into habits that will support long-term mental health. While we don’t offer psychology services, we do work alongside psychologists to get rid of the habits that are contributing to the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and burnout. Because unless you address the root cause of your mental health challenges, you’ll be destined to keep going in the same cycle over and over.
We work with you to identify the keystone habits that are impacting you the most and then develop a personalised action plan to help you overcome these and implement new ones. DATSTM will give you the knowledge, systems, tools, and skills to keep you progressing — even on your worst days.
- People think that external factors are what impact their mental health the most
- However, it’s your habits, mindset, beliefs, and fears that have the biggest influence on your mental health
- While seeking psychological support can be helpful to manage the symptoms of poor mental health, to improve your mental health long-term you need to address your habits.
- Our DATSTM Personal Coaching Program and PDSTM Coaching Program will help you identify the habits that are contributing to your poor mental health, and help you to overcome them.
- We can work alongside psychologists to support the counseling process and to help you address the root cause of your mental health challenges.
- Our DATSTM Program and PDSTM Coaching Program gives you the knowledge, systems, tools, and skills to assist with your mental health even on your worst days.