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Mind Over Matter: Prioritising Mental Health in Pursuit of Success

Posted on

May 21st, 2024

Mind Over Matter: Prioritising Mental Health in Pursuit of Success

Let’s talk about something super important that often gets overlooked: mental health, especially when we're chasing our dreams and goals. This famous X quote by Sarah Schonfeld goes “I had a therapist who once told me, “if you don’t schedule a break, your body will take one for you. And it probably won’t be at a convenient time.”

Imagine you're running a marathon. You wouldn’t just sprint the whole way without taking breaks, right? You’d probably burn out before reaching the finish line. The same goes for life. The journey to success is a marathon, not a sprint, and prioritising mental health is like taking those crucial water breaks along the way.


We all have that drive to succeed, whether it’s in our careers, studies, or personal projects. But here’s the catch—if we’re not careful, that relentless pursuit can sometimes come at the cost of our mental well-being.

First off, let’s acknowledge that mental health issues aren’t always visible. Unlike a broken leg, you can’t just see them and immediately know something’s wrong. Stress, anxiety, and depression can creep up on anyone, especially when the pressure to perform is high. Ignoring these issues is like ignoring the warning lights on your car’s dashboard—eventually, something is going to break down.

Why do we often neglect our mental health in our pursuit of success?


One reason is that we've been conditioned to believe that mental health is a personal failing, rather than a natural part of being human. We're told to "toughen up," "get over it," or "just be positive." But mental health is not something to be ashamed of – it's something to be prioritised and nurtured.

Another reason is that we're constantly bombarded with messages telling us that success is just around the corner, if only we work hard enough. We're led to believe that the more we sacrifice, the more we'll achieve. But what if that's not true? What if, instead of sacrificing our mental health for success, we could find success by prioritising our mental well-being? Listen to this free webinar where we discussed how our hustle culture has become more toxic to our wellbeing.


Why is mental health important in our pursuit for success?

The truth is, mental health matters just as much as physical health. Our minds are the driving force behind our actions, our creativity, and our innovation. By prioritizing our mental health, we can:

  1. Improve our focus and productivity.

  2. Build stronger, more meaningful relationships.

  3. Increase our resilience and adaptability.

  4. Find joy and fulfilment in our work and personal lives.

What many people underplay is that the pursuit of success can often come at a steep price. This story on Quora by Junie Gurner proves the fact. We push ourselves to achieve more, be more, and do more, without stopping to consider the toll it takes on our mental well-being. But what good is success if we're not mentally fit to enjoy it? For instance, a study by Silver Lining shows that of small business owners, 75% are worried about their mental health, and 56% have received a diagnosis from a physician or mental health professional for anxiety, depression, or stress-related issues.

The phrase "mind over matter" has long been used to encourage resilience and determination in the face of adversity. But what if we flipped that phrase on its head and prioritised mind over matter in a different way? What if, instead of forcing our minds to push through physical and emotional exhaustion, we prioritised our mental health and well-being above all else?

How to prioritise mental health without losing sight of your goals?

  1. Set Realistic Goals: It’s great to aim high, but setting unrealistic goals can lead to burnout. Break your big goals into smaller, manageable tasks.

  2. Take Breaks: Schedule regular breaks during your day. A short walk, a quick meditation session, or just stepping away from your work can do wonders.

  3. Talk About It: Don’t bottle up your feelings. Talk to friends, family, or a mental health professional. Sometimes, just sharing what’s on your mind can provide relief.

  4. Practice Mindfulness: Techniques like mindfulness and meditation can help reduce stress and improve your focus. Apps like Headspace or Calm can guide you through simple exercises.


  5. Stay Active: Physical activity is a great way to boost your mood and energy levels. Even a daily 30-minute walk can make a big difference.

Remember, success isn’t just about reaching the top; it’s also about enjoying the journey. When you prioritise your mental health, you’re not just doing it for yourself but also for the people around you. A healthier, happier you can inspire and uplift others. A question to ponder on “If health is wealth, why do so many people ignore their mental health?”

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