Move Your Mind

How to Build a Healthy Mindset for Life
 
 
Wiley (Verlag)
  • 1. Auflage
  • |
  • erschienen am 27. Juli 2021
  • |
  • 280 Seiten
 
E-Book | ePUB mit Adobe-DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-0-7303-9205-7 (ISBN)
 
Learn how to create new daily habits that build happiness and reduce stress

In Move Your Mind, acclaimed actor, entrepreneur, and mental health advocate Nick Bracks delivers the practical tools and lessons that will help you make small, but measurable, daily changes to foster positive, lasting improvements to your mental health. Told through the author's own experiences with mental illness, this book offers a holistic approach to improving your mental health, and shows readers how to make positive lifestyle changes in areas like exercise, nutrition, sleep, mindfulness, and meditation. The book offers:
* Valuable and insightful case studies of real and well-known people who took control of and improved their mental wellbeing
* Key research findings from industry leaders in mindfulness, meditation, memory, mental health, psychology, and performance
* Guidance on how to take small, gradual steps that lead to big changes in your motivation and inspiration

Perfect for anyone who has tried to take ownership of their own mental health but lacked the time, motivation, or information to effectively make a change, Move Your Mind is an indispensable guide to creating long-term behavior changes that promote increased happiness, decreased anxiety and stress, and better relationships.
1. Auflage
  • Englisch
  • Milton
  • |
  • Australien
John Wiley & Sons Australia Ltd
  • Reflowable
  • 3,91 MB
978-0-7303-9205-7 (9780730392057)

weitere Ausgaben werden ermittelt
Nick Bracks is an acclaimed mental health advocate, actor, entrepreneur, and speaker who has delivered over 1000 mental health seminars and several TED talks.
Preface ix

About the author xiii

Acknowledgements xv

Introduction xix

Part I: Mental health and wellbeing 1

1 My story 3

2 Understanding mental health 19

Part II: Healing and sharing 53

3 Own your story 55

4 Start the conversation 69

Part III: The four practical pathways to mental health and wellbeing 83

5 Pathway 1: Move your mind 87

6 Pathway 2: Feed your mind 111

7 Pathway 3: Connect your mind 137

8 Pathway 4: Still your mind 159

Part IV: The three stages of sustainable change 189

9 Set yourself up and live your best life 193

10 Stage 1: Make a plan 199

11 Stage 2: Do the work 211

12 Stage 3: Check in 229

Conclusion 241

Index 247

CHAPTER 1
MY STORY


As a young kid, I always wanted to be the centre of attention, trying to do the most extreme acts I could think of and always pushing the boundaries. I was incredibly active, which, even as a little kid, was a way to cope with putting my overactive mind at bay. It's incredibly unpleasant to have compulsive thoughts, and trying to ignore them or push them away doesn't always work.

One of the earliest stories I remember is my obsession with Gary Ablett Senior, an iconic player in the AFL. My dream as a kid was to play AFL and he was the pinnacle, arguably one of the greatest players of all time, who played for the team I had grown up supporting?-?the Geelong Football Club.

I remember once heading to one of our family holiday house trips at Wye River and stopping in Geelong to visit a sports store. In the corner of the store, I spotted him?-?Gary Ablett?-?and instantly froze. My dad offered to approach him and introduce him to me, but I was so overwhelmed by the situation that I ran and hid in the change rooms, refusing to come out, not reappearing until Dad assured me Gary had left.

For the next month all I would talk about was how devastated I was with myself about passing up an opportunity to meet my hero. It ate away at me. More comically, and not long after this incident, I was in religion class at school and we were asked to draw a picture of God. Very seriously, I drew a picture of Gary Ablett kicking a goal in football.

A few weeks later, my uncle took me to a Geelong game at the then Optus Oval, a football ground. We were sitting on the forward line and in the final stages of the last quarter I saw Gary Ablett kick up a chunk of grass. As soon as I saw it, I became fixated on acquiring this piece of grass. When the siren sounded, I was over the fence, weaving through security to grab the grass that Gary Ablett's boot had kicked up. Luckily, I was able to pick up the grass before I was escorted off the ground. I carefully took it home, planted it and would water it every day. I would get up before my parents each morning, sit on the windowsill, eat a piece of this grass and pray that it would make me as good at football as Gary Ablett. If only life were that simple!

This compulsive behaviour wasn't a one-off. It manifested in many ways during my adolescence and caused me incredible difficulty in my developmental years.

As I mentioned, I quickly became obsessed with the idea of playing AFL football, to the point of training six hours a day as an 11-year-old. I don't know exactly why I felt this urge, and I didn't really question it. I didn't have the self-awareness or life experience to understand it. But it was overwhelming and strong, and I didn't feel I had a choice. I simply had to do it?-?like a never-ending pit that I just couldn't pour enough fuel into.

The issue was that I was incredibly shy and insecure, and this only added to my need to prove I was more capable in sport than anyone around me by pushing myself to the limit. It was a way of compensating for my combination of introversion, with a need to perform and express myself by physically doing extreme things. In doing so, I could express and give an outlet to what was going on in my mind, with sport being the manifestation.

Perhaps this was fuelled even further by having a well-known and successful father. By the time I turned 12 he had become the premier of Victoria?-?a position he maintained until my early 20s. I was and always have been proud of him, but I think it added fuel to an already burning fire to prove myself and achieve big things. I have no doubt I would have behaved in this way regardless, but it became a combination of nature and nurture driving my extreme behaviour.

I can vividly remember getting up at 2.30 am to exercise at the age of 12. My parents could see I was showing very unhealthy and obsessive behaviour patterns. And as with most addictions, I felt extreme shame and guilt about it and would do my best to hide things from them. Mum had to take my mini weights and equipment off me to put a stop to my obsessive training.

But that didn't stop me. I would go out into the backyard and sneak bricks into my room. I would hide them under my bed, or anywhere I could, and use them to secretly train. I would do a range of exercises for around three hours with the bricks; then, when I heard Mum get up at 6.30 am, I would pretend I had just woken up and head out for a one-and-a-half-hour run before school.

Sometimes, when parliament was sitting, Dad would get home late. I can remember being up and starting my training just as Dad was arriving home at 2 am. It was totally illogical, unhealthy and extreme, but I simply didn't know how to stop.

At this point, I was also training to become a middle-distance runner, and had become so fit through all my training for football that I would win every distance competition. After completing my 2.30 am morning training, I would go to school and go straight from there to that night's training, often tripling what my coach had set for me. For example, my night training would be a 30-45-minute warm-up jog, followed by 20 × 400-metre sprints at 80 per cent with a 400-metre jog in between for recovery. I remember getting home and being so tired that I wasn't able to even walk upstairs to take myself to bed. This behaviour went on for years.

Because of my fixation and obsession, I didn't develop socially and isolated myself from other people through my entire high school years (other than close friends I had known throughout my adolescence). I felt even more of an outcast as the level of training was clearly having an impact on my physical development.

By the age of 16, I was yet to hit puberty. I had punished my body to such a degree for so many years that I had stunted my physical development. Among many issues that this caused was a delay in my performance as an athlete. I still got the results, but on the running track and on the football field, I simply couldn't compete with 16-year-olds who had the bodies of men when I was still built like a 12-year-old.

It caused me to distance myself from others throughout my entire high school years, especially girls. I was embarrassed, ashamed and disgusted with myself for not fitting in and developing as I should have. I would pray every night, begging for my body to grow and develop as it should. It was extremely confusing and frustrating. It planted insecurities and stories in my head that I am still undoing to this day.

By the time I finished high school, my body had broken down. My extreme training had caused patella tendonitis, among other knee problems, and I had no other choice than to stop training. I tried everything, obsessively doing hours of rehab each day, but nothing could undo the damage I had done. I remember my sister telling me of the screaming and crying that would come out of my room. It was utter grief and helplessness. My vice had been taken away. The only thing I placed my self-worth on was gone. I wasn't coping and simply didn't see a future if I couldn't be a professional athlete.

By this point in time, to my relief, my body had finally started to grow. I went from being 150 centimetres at 16 and built like a 12-year-old, to nearly 180 centimetres by the time I turned 19. It seems that growth was to come late in all aspects of my life, not only my physical development, which continued into my 20s.

I had also just discovered alcohol around this time. Alcohol gave me the confidence to be myself, speak my mind, interact socially and forget my problems. But unfortunately, this only created bigger problems, as you'll read later.

Realising I had a problem


After high school, I deferred from university and took a gap year. I had no idea what I wanted to do but had been accepted into a double degree of Commerce and Health Promotion at Deakin University. The gap year was a good experience in leaving Australia and experiencing something different, but it was also problematic.

I was incredibly insecure and shy and found it very difficult to interact with others. I would spend a lot of time alone, hiding away trying not to be seen. I was able to travel around a lot of Europe with Huw (who was later in the car crash I talked about in the introduction to the book) and spent a lot of time drinking and using it to mask my discomfort with not knowing how to cope on my own. For the most part, I struggled. Towards the end of the year, my dad had his third election approaching, and due to my struggles, I decided to come home and be there for it.

I started my course at Deakin only to pull out after just six weeks. I was too depressed and couldn't bring myself to try to fit in and meet people. This only led to further alcohol abuse, where I would build my whole week around it. I wasn't working or doing anything else, just counting down the time until I could drink again.

I would be out every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, and often many other nights, drinking myself into the ground. For me, that same compulsion that I had when it came to competing in sport would kick in. I loved the feeling of escape; I loved the complete freedom my mind gave me to fully express myself, say what I thought and show my personality. I would push myself for no reason other than to outdrink whoever was around me, fuelled by a compulsion that felt illogical but, again, that I couldn't help.

The short-term high of this...

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