Many people especially Athletes try to eat right along with working out and exercise. Being physically healthy is important but what about your mental health?
As I mentioned in an earlier blog Sports and Mental Health. Sports are good for your mental health but there is much more to being healthy mentally than just learning how to be social, lessen anxiety and calm stress.
In fact being both physically and mentally fit can not only improve your self-being it can improve your game. Your mental health is all about your emotional, social and psychological well-being. It influences your perception, behavior and cognition. It also determines how you handle relationships on a personal and interpersonal level along with how you handle stress and decision-making.
Being Mentally healthy.
Being mentally healthy means you have the ability to cope with everyday stresses of life. You don’t get POed or irritated because you struck out. You may be disappointed but you don’t yell, scream and cures. WHY? BECAUSE YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS OK TO NOT BE PERFECT! You are aware of your abilities and accept that you cannot always get a hit, but you try to that is what matters. And because you know disappointment is different than anger you are able to control your emotions better and this helps you work more productively with others.
Everyone experiences every day stresses such as pressure to preform, shortcomings or issues in a relationship. Good mental health helps us learn how to cope with these.
Good Mental health is about self-control. Knowing our emotions and how to respond. You don’t become overwhelmed by fear, love, anger, guilt, jealousy, stress and anxiety.
You feel good about yourself and your abilities as a player and a team member.
You are capable of having lasting relationships and friendships.
You feel comfortable around other people.
You have respect for yourself and others even if you have a difference in opinion or culture etc.
You can accept disappointment and handle problems when they arise.
You can make well-rounded decisions.
You can adjust to different environments.
These are signs that you have good mental health or are at least working on it.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Do you feel you are not mentally healthy don’t be afraid to talk to someone. A friend, a coach. Emotional problems are not a weakness. In fact being able to ask for help is a sign of strength.
For an Athlete to preform well they must prioritize their mental health as much if not more than their physical health.
With some recent events more awareness of the mental health issue has come to light and is beginning to lose its stigma in sports.
Many athletes have come forward.
In recent years Many Athletes have spoken up about their mental health. Some have opened up on social media, Sought professional help and some have even walked away from their sport.
I know you have heard the saying that your physical health effects your mental health well the same works in reverse. Do you are not mentally healthy you can not be fully physically healthy neither. Physical and mental health work together.
A few ways to work on mental health along with professional help are.
1. Keep active
2. Talk about your feelings with friends or loved ones.
3. Drink sensibly. “Don’t try to wash away your issues with drugs or alcohol”
4. Eat well and stay hydrated.
5. Do something you are good at.
6. Try meditation and listen to Affirmations ” This works for me “
7. Set realistic goals.
Having a positive mental outlook makes life easier. Now I am not saying if you get angry you have a mental issue. We all get angry from time to time it is how we choose to deal with that anger that makes the difference.
How to know when you should seek help.
As I said above we all have days when we feel down, Get angered easily, get anxious or feel lonely. So how do you know when to ask for help. Here are some signs you should talk with someone and/or seek help from a mental health professional.
If your sadness or depressed mood last longer than two weeks or you feel like it is getting worse.
If your mood, anger or anxiety is interfering with your everyday life like job, family or social life.
Or if you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or others or having thoughts of suicide.
There is no shame in seeking help. It just shows that you are aware that something is not right and you want to make it better.
Stay on top of your physical health, stay on top of your mental health and stay on top of your game.
Taking care of yourself both physically and mentally will truly make you feel batter about yourself not only as a person but as an Athlete. This is a subject that hits close to home for me. So please do yourself and your family a favor if you feel you need help please get help.
Below I have included some links and phone numbers.
1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) If it is an EMERGENCY Call 911
National Suicide Prevention Lifelinesuicidepreventionlifeline.org
The National Alliance for Mental Health (NAM) text 741741 or call 1-800-950-6264