If You Want To Champion Your Mental Health, Then You Will Puke.
The year of 2020 was one big puke fest. Or if you prefer a colloquialism from the movie “Stand By Me”, a barf-o-rama.
It even continued into 2021, and the effects were evident. Mental illness in adults has increased and in fact every age-group has worsened. Youth issues have skyrocketed.
Anecdotally speaking, people are more fearful, tense, angry, and short-tempered.
So, what can be done to reverse this negative mental health trend?
First, we must puke!
I’ve known several professional and collegiate athletes who would heave before playing, and it was actually a good thing for them.
During the first inning versus the Texas Rangers, Adrian Houser was pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers. He unfortunately booted a ball hit directly back to him. Shortly after the error, he doubled over and hurled directly onto the infield. His violent puke caused the athletic trainers to come running and the infielders to surround him. But, once that affair was finished, he rallied!
He pitched six innings, allowed only one run, and struck out 10 batters en route to the win.
Most self-help books tout five ways to success or three simple steps to fulfillment. It’s frankly all crap.
Success is not guaranteed and you are not owed anything.
If you want to champion your own mental health, then you will puke.
Vomiting is a rite of passage. Vomiting is not fun, but it’s necessary.
It’s our body’s natural response to get rid of nasty toxins. Some of these toxins reside in our own mental make-up.
Pandemics, business failures, financial hardships, loss of confidence, depression, social anxiety, medical problems, disease, housing issues, failing, litigation, addiction, writer’s block, losses, getting passed over, fired, fear, changing careers, other’s criticism of us, moving cities, embarrassment, stress, death of a loved one, injuries, family troubles, and bad performances are just a small sample of how we all puke.
Fear of these events occurring and experiencing hardships, difficulties, frustrations, break-ups, and breakdowns are sadly what prevent some people from attempting the difficult paths of life. It keeps us devoid of a purpose.
The purpose of life is to have a purpose.
Because of the difficulty of the journey and the challenges and struggle that await us, many people try to avoid puking. They simply do not sign up for the race or contest, let that business idea fade away, nor enter life. They stand on the sidelines. They play it safe.
There appears to be no risk, no failure, and no puking involved when on the sidelines.
But nothing can prevent puking. We have all puked. There is no reward for playing it safe in life.
The sideline life simply causes a different kind of suffering, and it’s a slow decay. It becomes just a different kind of struggle and one where mental health issues arise. There are major downsides with no reward, little meaning, excitement, or impact. People become isolated, lack connection in relationships, and become absent of an overall purpose. Negativity, complacency, and depression are some of the evils that infect these people. And let’s admit, it happens to us all from time to time. The key is do we have a purpose?
The purpose of life is to have a purpose.
Life is not a spectator sport! It requires courage.
If you’ve played this video game called life, there will be many levels and reset buttons along the way. No gamer conquers all the levels at once. They take many hours with many setbacks, figuring out what works and what doesn’t in order to advance.
Courage can’t be found underneath your couch. It is not something that is achieved watching TV or on your phone. It has to be encountered in the world.
Courage is an experience. But it is not a one-time event. Courage only results from a series of setbacks and failures.
We will make repeated mistakes, over and over again. We will fail. Only when we continue to move forward, refusing to give up, do we begin to exercise courage and rally.
While we all will puke in some area of life, we will not all rally.
Rallying becomes a choice; it takes mental toughness.
We all have puked, the key is will you rally?
Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes. Some clients have included three different winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens.