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Why you (actually) improve mental health

Update: This is a new, shortened version of the newsletter you'll be getting on Mondays and Wednesday
Why you (actually) improve mental health
Update: This is a new, shortened version of the newsletter you’ll be getting on Mondays and Wednesdays. Mental Health Update members will be getting detailed breakdowns of the previous days’ content on Tuesdays and Thursdays–and a special newsletter with exclusive content on Friday as well. Enough of that–on to today’s issue!

What’s the point of improving yourself?
Why try to develop yourself at all?
Is it just for the fun of it?
Or is there something deeper, more significant going on?
The reason you improve yourself is not what you think–it’s not about you.
Because that’s what you see on the surface.
Deep down, there is something else going on, something that will really surprise you.

Improving Your Mental Health
When I first started working on my mental health, I thought it was all about me, me me.
And it was…at first.
I was becoming happier. I needed to do this for myself. I wanted to sleep better. I wanted to feel stronger. I wanted to be less anxious.
I, like every waking moment of my life, was at the center of it all.
But the more I committed to working on my mental health, the more I realized that it wasn’t about me–that there was another very important benefit I was getting from the improvement process.
What (Actually) Happens When You Improve
Before I get into this, let me ask you something:
Why does anyone choose to set goals?
If you’re like me, your first guess is something like, Well, to accomplish them, of course!
It’s a good guess, but it’s not totally accurate.
Of course, you want to accomplish goals when you set them.
But what is the one why that gets to the heart of all why’s?
That particular why is this:
You set goals so that you become the kind of person to yourself–and to others–who can accomplish those goals.
Before you think I’m just blabbering on and talking in circles like a bad therapist, hear me out…
When you push yourself to accomplish more and more challenging goals, what you’re really doing is changing yourself as a person. It’s not about the goals. The feeling you get once you accomplish a goal is temporary. The more goals you accomplish, the more you realize it’s not about that feeling at all. It’s about becoming more enduring. It’s about building the capacity you have to withstand greater challenges, to be there for both yourself and the people around you.
This is exactly how it is with mental health.
When you choose to work on yourself, when you commit to improving your mental health, it’s not just about improving your mental health.
It’s about becoming a person who can improve your mental health. It’s about being that person for others. It’s about becoming stronger not just for yourself–but so that you can pass on what you have learned to other people. In the process, you lift yourself up, and you lift up the people around you.
Really, truly, think about that.
You don’t improve your mental health just to improve. You do it so that you become the kind of person who can improve your mental health.
It seems like a subtle difference, but it’s a much bigger deal than you think.
I hope you enjoyed this shorter issue. I’ll be experimenting with different kinds of shorter content. Please reply and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you.
Have a nice Monday, my friend,

Jordan
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Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter Writer, Poet, Social Worker, and Advocate

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