In my line of work in the army I would rarely hear the term meditation, yoga or wellness. So when I did hear things like that I would laugh and think it’s all hippy stuff that doesn’t work at all.
Those types of comments and thoughts are still in my opinion exactly what in general society thinks today and that those processes have no bearing, effect or truth whatsoever when it comes to your wellbeing.
Well I can definitely tell you something from my own experience and that is that I meditate daily and constantly work out ways that I can help keep my mental fitness as best it can. My mental health suffered dramatically over the years and it wasn’t until I started looking after my mental fitness over the last two years that I saw that these techniques actually do make a difference and work.
Over the last year I have been trying to break down the barriers that still exist through having poor mental health. I’m not the only one who has been doing this either, my good friends Michael, Des and Nathan at the Declassified podcast have been making huge strides towards normalising this conversation. Recently they have embarked upon a relationship with Lululemon the popular yoga and wellness brand and have started taking steps to branch the gap between what could be described as two different worlds.
There are exceptions but in general the life and experiences of frontline soldiers are somewhat different to that of your wellness practitioner. So what if you can start to change the perceptions on both sides and bring these groupings together to create a positive change?
I believe this is happening right now, it’s not just me but there are a number of ex forces personnel that are talking about their poor mental health and what they have learned to do to help manage it for the better and become mentally fitter.
I have learned so much through my journey and it was great to be asked by Declassified to speak at Lululemon about it. We discussed my story and what routines and methods I have put in to improve my mental health. We discussed what I have in my tool kit that I use daily or what I can use to help manage my anxiety attacks if they were to arise. To be able to share this with a group of people of varying backgrounds was special and exactly what we need to be doing to move forward with normalising the conversation around poor mental health.
Together we can change the conversation around poor mental health. This is just the beginning, so far we have made great strides within the military community but let’s for a minute think about the emergency services that see trauma on a daily basis throughout their careers. These are the people that we must also reach to help. There is so much work to do but without a doubt we will get there.
Thank you Declassified and Lululemon for allowing me to share part of my story.