The vast majority of my Ghost Stories are based on improving business. Little tips and trick to make the attendees, or readers of the blog more effective in their business lives. The interviewees or I didn’t set out to be too personal. I wanted good sound advice that people could take away.
With Scott Stevenson, it was quite the opposite. Scott is one of the most honest people I have ever met. Scott is PSTD Survivor, has a whole range of challenges he deals with on a daily basis.
Scott confidently describes himself as “Happiest, Silliest, Depressed person you have ever met”.
Scott is very candid about his challenges, and tells me that being able to discuss them publically helps him greatly. When I first approached Scott about appearing on Ghost Stories, he was incredibly positive and jumped at the chance.
I opened by asking Scott a simple question:
What is Stress?
Scott answered simply “Stress is the mental and physical reaction to an external stimulus”.
We discussed our reaction to stress as our Flight, Fight, Freeze, response. Sometimes we cannot control our response, and this could cause stress, or anxiety.
One of the important points we discussed is that we should ask ourselves the following:
“Am I in competition with my self-image of myself?”
Stigmatism is the most dangerous part of mental health. Scott has shown throughout that he has accepted his conditions, and that they do not define him as a person.
Scott explained that the brain is the most complicated super-computer on the planet, and we don’t maintain it. We will however maintain our house, and our car. No problem.
Scott used the analogy of our emotions as being a bucket being filled with water (emotions). Too much water and the bucket overfills, which can be described as an anxiety attack, breakdown, episode etc.
On this bucket is 3 taps to release the pressure of overflowing:
- Bad Behaviour (Excessive drinking, moods, drug abuse, etc.)
- Distraction (Mindfulness, Meditation, Yoga, Exercise etc.)
- Processing Techniques (Counselling, Group sessions, Journaling etc.)
Scott’s 3 important aspects of a healthy mind are as follows (verbatim)
- Good diet (Eat a heathy balanced diet)
- Hippy Shit (Meditation, Mindfulness, Exercise)
- Honesty with yourself and others. (Self-awareness)
One of the major points Scott highlighted that modern society have an obsession with fame. Likes on the various social media platforms, seeking approval, the pretence that the life you portray is your life.
Scott is careful to point out that there is a huge difference between the mind and the brain, and this should not be forgotten.
Depression he describes as a chemical imbalance in your brain. “If you had a pain in your foot, you would take painkillers, No Problem” Scott adds “but if you are on medication for an imbalance in your brain, huge stigma!!!”
One of the participants (Doreen Ritchie, Life Coach) pointed out that when you cause yourself stress constantly your adrenal gland will eventually stop working.
It was agreed around the table that we (as humans) put a huge amount of pressure on ourselves. This should stop, and we should give ourselves a break.
Mental Health in the Workplace.
We started discussing positive mental health in the workplace, and how business is changing.
This being said however the point was made that there is an obsession with big companies having a mental health programme for their employees. This makes the employees more resilient so that they in turn can work harder for longer hours.
On discussing policies and procedures on mental health in the workplace:
“Policy & Procedure will never help anyone in need……ever!” Scott points out.
Policy & Procedure is a black & white issue, however we all line in the grey.
For the top tips section I asked Scott for two sets of tips. Tips to take care of your own mental health, and tips how we can look after the mental health of others. He advised the following:
Personal Mental Health:
- Be Honest with yourself
- Go easy on yourself. (The voice in your hear that says bad things about you does not like you)
- Enjoy life
- We think we know everything. WE DO NOT!!! We should move from modern rubbish and go back to the classics.
- Hippy Shit is vital
- Get reconnected with yourself.
Taking care of others mental health:
- Be honest with others.
- Don’t ask someone how they are, unless you really want to hear. (Asking “How are you?” is a responsibility).
- Everybody is crying out for someone to listen to them. Have empathy.
- Get back to the ancient art of discourse. Be open to real conversation.
- Your struggles define you, accept that others have theirs.
- Be careful with the people around you. If we are all looking after each other, we are all in turn being looked after.
An incredibly honest, open, and worthwhile session with Scott.
I appreciate your time and input on this mate.