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Mental Health, 7 tips to keep it tip top

IF you are on my newsletter list you’ll already have heard that I’m planning on doing something stupid to raise money, and awareness, for Mental Health.

I’m going to perform 1 mile of walking Kettlebell Swings.

Kettlebell Poster 2016 extra 2

With a 28 kg Kettlebell.

This is going to go down in Irishtown Stadium, Dublin on November 12th of this year.

And I’m already nervous.

At the bottom of this post you’ll get a charity donation link.

But before that, lets talk mental health.

As far as I’m concerned, there is no line between mental and physical health, they are inextricably linked.

So yes, keeping fit, strong and mobile has a direct carry over to mental wellbeing.

Unless you take it to the extremes, extremes are never good.

So here’s a list of things you can do to keep your mind and body operating at full tilt:

1: Switch off.

I mean the TV, the Radio, even the lights. Have your mind focused on one thing and one thing only, the simplest thing is to simply count your breaths. But a walk in the park, on the beach in the mountains, a cycle ride, even a set of barbell squats also work.

Some call this meditation, some call it mindfulness, I just call it switching off because that’s what it feels like. It’s like getting off the crazy carousel that is our modern plugged in world.

Try it, you’ll thank me later.

2: Learn to breathe.

Yes, I mean it, most people breathe terribly. As you inhale your belly should expand and your shoulders should stay relaxed. As you exhale, the belly will contract. It’s best to breathe through the nose, try to feel the air coming into the nostrils and then just allow it exhale out again all by itself. Combine this with point 1, and you’re well on the way to a more relaxed brain.

3: Challenge yourself

We’re rarely challenged outside of our working environment. So I ask you to once in a while go do something that scares you (there’s a scary event on the 12th November you can join me on….) Overcoming a challenge is mentally very stimulating, you beat the nerves, beat the anxiety, beat the voices telling you to quit and you came out the other side.

Find a challenge, follow through, complete it. For no reason other than you wanted to.

4: Support.

Your peer group, your family ( #wgfamily ) are your mutual support network. Anyone who pulls you down needs to be kept at arms length, there’s no need for that. Don’t just bin them like many guru’s recommend, after all they’re people and they may need you to pull them up. It is a mutual support network, and helping people up helps you up.

If the saying that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with, if you are constantly looking to help people improve and let them help you, that average is going to go up.

And that aint bad.

5: Food.

It’s fuel. Lovely tasty fuel. But it’s fuel. Don’t use it as an emotional crutch, use it to give you the raw materials you need. Yes, treat yourself to a Stick Toffee pudding with custard washed down with a Guinness from time to time (my mouth just started watering…..), have that chocolate the coffee shop gave you with your Espresso Macchiato. It’s not going to kill you.

Just the rest of the time, you know what you should eat, it’s not rocket science……

6: Be You.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, I certainly have. There’s been a massive shift in modern culture towards being what people think you should be.

I know it’s a primal instinct to fit in, to be part of the pack, it goes with being part of a social species of animal. But that doesn’t mean you have to lose your identity or create some false identity.

Be you, some people may get offended, but that’s their problem. If they are so brittle, maybe forward them on this post. But the people who really appreciate who you are will start to appear, and your support network will get stronger and stronger.

People pleasing and not being yourself is probably the most toxic thing you can do for your mental health. So stop it.

7: Lift heavy shit, run far, cycle fast, move your body.

Motion is Lotion, you can’t beat it. Build Strength, Mobility and Endurance, learn movement skills, challenge your physical limits. The body can go further than you think, if the mind is strong enough to allow it. So develop mental strength by pursuing well rounded physical strength.

So there you have it, 7 very simple things you can start doing right now to keep you mind and body healthy. If you have other suggestions, please let me know in the comments here or on the facebook or on the email or when you see me in person.

And now, in order to donate to our Mental Health fundraising pot, please follow this link:



Dave Hedges

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