Imagine you come home, unlock your door, and enter your house. You drop your keys, sit down exhausted when, suddenly, you feel a bit of a breeze coming through. The windows are closed, so is the balcony… where is this breeze coming from?
You return to the living room, baffled… where is this damn breeze coming from? You can feel it but are unable to find the source. Is there something you missed? Such a breeze must have a clear and distinct point of origin. You call your friend to come over and help you look. Your friend arrives soon after and upon entering your house exclaims:
“Why is there a big hole in your ceiling?”
I know, seems like a ridiculous example. There is no way you wouldn’t notice such an obvious hole in real life. Well, maybe you would. But if you apply the same logic to your personality, you will realize that you have a lot of blind spots.
This is the problem all of us have. You can feel you have a problem and you can see the symptoms it causes you. But you can’t fix the problem until you find out what the actual problem is.
The breeze is just a result, not the cause.
The same way, you may feel anxious and depressed. You may see you have low self-esteem, low confidence, and bad social skills. You may realize you are lazy, prone to procrastinating, and unhappy with your life.
But these things are just the result, not the actual cause.
The first step in fixing your problems is to understand what those problems are. When it comes to others, it’s easy to see the gaping hole in their ceiling. Since you are not as invested in others, you can be more objective. When it comes to yourself, spotting such obvious things is not easy.
Knowing yourself means not only realizing that your personality has huge holes in it but realizing these holes have been there for a long time… and that’s a hard thing to admit to yourself.
You can ignore the hole and convince yourself that you don’t mind the breeze. You can cover yourself with blankets, light up the fireplace to keep yourself warm, and pretend that the problem doesn’t exist. You can convince yourself that the breeze isn’t that bad and that you can learn to live with it. But sooner or later, the wind blows stronger, the blankets are thrown away, and the fireplace is extinguished.
The hole is still there, unchanged, only now you are forced to deal with it in one way or another.
Why Taking Care of Your Mental Health Is Ridiculously Important
There are things in your life that are important, you know they are important, but you still don’t care enough to take care of them properly.
We smoke despite knowing the risks. We eat greasy fast-food even though it’s hazardous for their health. We don’t acknowledge the importance of stress, exercise, or sleep nearly as much as we should. All of it contributes to the general decline of our health, and it’s ridiculous how much it’s important, but irrelevant to most of us.
The only thing more dangerous than ignoring known threats is not even recognizing them.
Most things I mentioned are predominantly related to physical health, because the results are easier to manifest. If you get fat, your belly swells up. If you’re not in shape, you develop chronic pain. If you smoke too much, your throat hurts and feels like the inside of a chimney.
But just as important, arguably even more important, is the state of your mental health. Sadly, this is something most people not only ignore, but disregard completely. A lot of us don’t even recognize mental health as a necessary part of your health. At the same time, literally everybody on this planet deals with issues such as insecurity, anxiety, or depression at least once in their lives.
It’s ridiculous. We’re willing to go on crazy diets for weeks on end but won’t take five minutes a day to sit down and meditate with a free fucking app that literally tells you everything you need to do.
I’m no stranger to this. When I quit my job in 2017, I spent most of my time at home, working 14-hour shifts and rarely going outside. It took less than two months for me to crack. Despite spending my time helping other people build mental strength, I cracked like a fucking eggshell on the kitchen floor.
My mind was racing with intrusive thoughts. I started having regular anxiety attacks. I was the weakest I’ve ever been, literally hugging my knees trying to find a peace of mind while my thoughts were screaming in my head, going a thousand miles per hour straight into a brick wall.
As anybody who’s been through this knows, it’s not a pleasant experience.
Then came the depression. The random days, or weeks, where I’d feel like everything I do is meaningless. Write a new article? Fuck that. Nobody’s going to read it anyway. Imposter syndrome kicked in. My habits were shit. My discipline was non-existent. And my “Mind of Steel” became more like a “Mind of Spaghetti”.
All of this happened because I ignored my own mental health.
And I know you do it too. You don’t take care of yourself as much as you should. You don’t sleep enough. You don’t train your brain. You don’t reflect on your life or address the core issues troubling you. Bit by bit, these things eat away at your sanity until one day everything tips over and the anxiety, depression, and all that other negative shit spills inside your skull and melts down your mind as if it were acid.
But you can stop it. You must stop it. And I’ll show you how.
Managing Your Mental Health: A Simple Guide for Not Going Insane
Mental health is a big issue. I could write a 50,000-word guide that covers everything in-depth, but I know for a fact you won’t read it. After all, you have this problem because you’re too distracted to take care of a few simple things in the first place.
But that’s okay. Keeping your mental health in check doesn’t need to be complicated.
In fact, I’ve found that all of the common negative states that plague us — anxiety, depression, doubt — usually spawn from only a few core reasons. By neglecting them, these issues compound until they overflow and… well, you know the rest.
The good news is that improving these areas of your life is not nearly as complicated as you might think.
- Sleep. The same old, boring advice. I know. Fuck you, though. It’s important. Not sleeping properly is the first weak link in your mindset. You can work and workout like a beast, but without a proper sleep schedule, your mind is going to end up on the fryer. Most people function the best at 8 full hours of sleep. Some can do seven. Anything below that, and you’re risking serious impairment in your mental stability, especially if you keep it up for longer than a few days. Be smart, catch some zzz’s. (No, taking daily naps isn’t a substitute for a full night’s sleep).
- Routine. One of the most interesting things I’ve noticed when coaching people, including close friends and myself, was that depressive “I don’t give a shit” mental states usually arise when you don’t stick to your habits and routines. We need stability in our lives. We need to know we’re not going to be homeless tomorrow and that we have enough money to buy food. Once you lose that stability, you begin to feel more anxious and depressed. And one of the fastest ways to start losing that stability is to drop your habits. To prevent this, stick to a daily routine that promotes good habits and pushes you in the right direction.
- Focus. Focus is the opposite of distractions. Distractions pull your mind in a thousand different directions and scattered it all over the map. Unlike distractions, you have to fight to stay focused in your life. You need to develop focus by look inward and forgetting the next dopamine hit. Meditate. Analyze yourself. Define your goals, vision, and values. Build a new skill. Focus only on one thing at a time. In today’s hectic world, this will be like a vacation for your mind.
Start Here: Best Articles for Improving Mental Health
Mind of Steel is a philosophy that promotes building mental strength in various aspects of your life. Here are the most popular articles for improving your mental health. You can find a list of all articles on this topic if you scroll down.
- How to Permanently Calm Your Anxiety. If you’ve ever experienced anxiety, you know how much it can affect your life. Here is how you can understand and calm your anxiety.
- What to Do When You Feel Depressed. Sometimes you feel depressed and that’s okay. But don’t let it be a reason for giving up on everything you have going on. Here’s how to deal with depression.
- How to Break Nasty Habits and Stop Your Addiction. We think of addicts as people with severe substance abuse. In reality, everybody is addicted to something. Here’s how to break bad habits and stop addiction.