by: Eric Kussin

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21 January 2018

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A Mental Health Myth About Age

One of the most rewarding aspects of stepping into this whole MH advocacy world has been the invites to try different stress & trauma release practices. Watching these practitioners at work, the common thread I’ve noticed is that they all appear 10-15yrs younger than their numeric age…and full of life. But why?

 

Most of us have witnessed the blissful face of a child doing something as simple as approaching a swing set at a park, or hearing the chimes of an ice cream truck. As adults we see this and make facetious comments like: “ohhh to go back in time and have not a worry in the world!” We generally accept that life’s stresses pile up, preventing us from feeling the same joy we once did.

 

When I started to heal from own intense PTSD battle, I’d share frustrations w friends/fam that, while I was in fact improving, I still couldn’t reach the same level of joy from all the things in my life that used to bring it to me. They’d justify this by theorizing that as we get older, we’re not experiencing many “new” things, and the repetitive nature of events in our lives, along w responsibilities/stresses that mount and the losses we’ve had, cause the luster of our experiences to eventually wear off. I didn’t want to accept that as a reality – nor believe that feeling those high highs, was no longer possible.

 

Why’s it when we go to most any gym to work out, we can find someone in their 60s, 70s, looking like they’re ready to run a marathon, or out-lift us? Genetics def play a role, but the larger answer is, that they work their tails off to achieve a level of physical fitness, enabling them to do most anything those 1/2 their age can do.

 

Back to the question I pondered about the practitioners – these are men & women who’ve been doing daily practices to improve their MH & create that headspace & room to feel heightened emotions, for yrs. They’re the MH equivalents of those at the gym we’re so impressed by. The difference is it’s harder to physically see unless we look closely, or are around them often. Why are the rest of us so willing to accept that life’s inevitable traumas & repetitive experiences dampen our emotions/joy, resulting in a new norm? If we want to continue to experience sizable joy & laughter, it’s very much in our reach….it’s just that much like the physical shape of our bodies, it’s something we have to work for.

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