If we’re going to be really honest here, let’s face it, we don’t always tell the truth.
Sometimes it can be a blatant lie – the risk being here it has the nasty habit of coming back to bite us on the bum.
Sometimes it’s a half-truth, that little white lie where we’re trying to protect either ourselves, or others from the harsh reality and pain of the implication of the complete truth.
Sometimes it’s a mistake on our part because we’re wrong in our retained memory for events or we’ve misinterpreted the information.
Whatever the reason, hiding from the truth as a temporary stopgap is only OK when you’ve got some kind of plan to sort things out.
It’s not OK when our inconvenient truth becomes so deeply buried, we stop seeing it and believe others won’t see it either.
What is this inconvenience?
It’s the fear of being found out.
For being less than perfect.
For being afraid of failure.
For feeling inadequate, worried or super stressed.
It’s inconvenient because – well hey, we’ve got a lot on. Who’s got time for all the lesser versions of ourselves as we strive earnestly towards our vison of success?
In her book “My Stoke Of Insight” Jill Bolte Taylor describes that moment she realises she’s having a stroke, and her thought process is
“But I’m a very busy woman, I don’t have time for a stroke!”
Yes, sickness, stuff and people can get in our way and it’s inconvenient.
But when this inconvenience is about you, your mental wellbeing and your ability to function at your usual level, it’s essential to recognise it, acknowledge it, and do something about it.
Because the truth is, life is busy, complex, complicated and sometimes it sucks.
If your life isn’t Instagram picture perfect like your happy Facebook friends who share their multiple moments of joy, success and happiness, it’s time to take a deep breath and remember what’s real.
That swirling black cloud of depression affects over 1 million Australians, and that’s just those with a clinical diagnosis. There are many others in the same boat who may not wish to admit that they are depressed or are highly skilled at hiding the fact from those around them.
And it’s not just depression. Double or quits, anxiety levels continue to rise at alarming levels with over 2 million Aussies battling the psychological and physiological side effects of feeling unable to cope, worrying excessively, not sleeping, not functioning and wishing things could be different.
Sure, it’s never going to be convenient to have to deal with this. The timing is inevitably lousy, it’s embarrassing and it’s not nice feeling out of control.
The best time to tackle this is now, head on, to get to grips with the root cause and put in place the scaffolding needed to hold things together while you sort yourself out.
That’s why developing a brain safe environment where you can reveal your truth without fear of judgment or ridicule is the ideal place to build trust, relatedness and support.
This is about surrounding yourself with those who care about you. It’s about planning to take the time to defrag from the daily tyranny of too much stress and expectation using exercise, following a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and taking time out to connect with others, undertaking those activities that give us joy.
Some folk talk about the need for mental toughness – I see it differently. This is about adaptability and developing the skill sets to build and maintain your confidence in your own coping skills and enhance your ability to better tackle the rough along with the smooth.
Planning a daily activity to look forward to stimulates our pleasure center. Our dopamine levels surge with the anticipation, shifting our psychology to a happier place where it’s easier to keep things in perspective, we’re less weighed down by the minutiae and less fazed when things don’t go according to plan.
It’s your choice whether to schedule in the time for quiet reflection, to relax using a breathing exercise or undertake a meditation practice depending on what you have found useful in the past. Sometimes it’s a combination of techniques.
Beyond ourselves this is about noticing and caring what’s happening with others. We can get so caught up in our own stress we fail to see others are experiencing the same, or worse. While not seeking to dismiss our own trials and tribulations, this can remind us we are all prone the negative effects of too much stress.
We are human; wonderful, deeply flawed and imperfect human beings. When we retain our humanity there is no need to hide. We can stop burying those inconveniences and start to live our lives to the fullest. Caring, showing compassion and being empathetic keeps us real and enables us to thrive.
Dr. Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner specialising in lifestyle, brain health and mental performance. She is the author of the best-selling Future Brainand has just released her new white paper Fit For The Future. www.drjennybrockis.com