IT IS perplexing what we focus our attention on, yet understandable at the same time. We all need to ‘escape’ after a hard day’s work. We like to be aesthetically pleased. We like sexy. Sexy bodies, perfect food, perfect houses renovated by sexy people.
In a modern world where people won’t stop talking about themselves, there is another more ‘realistic’ world of topics out there which people are not talking about.
Like what is actually happening in their real life. Case in point: mental health.
No one is taking selfies of themselves getting through the shittiest day of their life and being proud of it. I have never encountered any posts where people are smiling because today they stopped their panic attack from escalating. Nor have I seen anyone talk about how they went to their psychologist and learned a new technique to tackle their repetitive thoughts, so that they could get through their work day.
Not sexy enough I guess.
Now and again, you get a real person in the spotlight who admits to not doing mentally well. We applaud and say thank you for sharing. We give it a bit of attention and a few likes and then we get back to the sexy stuff again.
But we are real people, and you know what, life’s not always perfect. Nor sexy.
In a recent survey by the Australian Psychological Society 72% of people reported current stress as having some impact on their physical health and 64% believed that stress was having an impact on their mental health. We don’t talk about this.
In the same survey, financial issues trumped as the biggest cause of stress. We don’t share this on Facebook.
In addition, people who reported higher levels of anxiety and depression symptoms and distress were more likely to gamble, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol and take recreational drugs.
Hmmmm, but I thought most people were having a perfect, sexy time?
Surely all this sexy palaver on social media actually makes average Jo and Joe feel even worse.
Life isn’t the sexy perfect one we see on Instagram and Facebook. In fact, one of the first things to go when people are feeling stressed, is libido. Yet we are all busy ‘liking’ and watching the sexy, good looking, perfect stuff while our little pink ‘unsexy’ elephant stands in the corner of the room, waiting for us to do something about it.
If you put the stress statistics together with the fact that people feel less sexy when they are stressed, you are going to get, well, not much sex. So what we are seeing on social media is not really representative of what’s going on in real life (or not going on for that matter).
Is looking after your mental health not sexy enough to get your attention?
I am always banging away about keeping mentally healthy. I am always urging people to be psychologically and physically as healthy as they possibly can. But you can bet your bottom dollar, that my mental health posts are never going to get as many hits as someone jumping around with a new bikini body, new lips or rounder bum cheeks.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for a bigger, perkier toosh and probably could do with one myself, but I don’t have the time right now because I am working with people who are struggling at the moment with their mental health.
For those of you not feeling it, you are not alone. There are many, many feeling the same. It’s not all perfection, sex, youth and beauty out there.
It’s sometimes falling asleep in front of the TV, it’s sometimes wearing your PJ’s all day, it’s sometimes having baked beans for dinner, it’s sometimes lying in bed with your partner with all your kids sleeping between you and it’s sometimes living in a half renovated house because you can’t afford to finish it.
It is sometimes not finding that one special person to give your rose to. It’s real life.
I am sure if you gave your mental health some attention, it would all get a bit more sexy for you. You can get your sexy back.
Look after your mental health first. Then take a selfie of it.