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Danielle Hogan

Episode 60 – Mental Health Awareness for Dads with Danielle Hogan

 

Episode Highlights

00:00:59 – Introductions
00:02:34 – Guest Background
00:03:49 – In Depth Conversation  of Awareness of Mental Health
00:14:09 – Understanding Yourself More
00:19:00 – Key to Understanding Mental Health
00:23:08 – Talk About It
00:28:22 – Embrace  Everything About Yourself  Including Your Vulnerabilities
00:31:37 – Stop And Look Inside Yourself
00:43:08 – Things To Look At To Improve
00:54:28 – The Most Important Thing.

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Transcript

Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym is your host Darren Kirby.

Darren:  Welcome back to the podcast, guys. This is the number one podcast for dads in their 40s who want to improve their health and fitness. This is Episode 60. And joining me on today’s show is Danielle Hogan from the Mental podcast. And we’re going to be discussing the topic of men’s mental health. 

Danielle is the founder of Desylo People, a personal coaching business, and her background is in business psychology, but kicked it to the curb to focus on what really matters. And that’s people. Danielle is a youth mental health first aid instructor and has two beautiful daughters and is also a huge fan of the NBA. Hi, Danielle, thanks very much for joining me on the podcast today. How are you?

Danielle : I’m good, thank you, dear. How are you?

Darren: Yeah, very good. Very good. Very glad that the scores are going back.

Danielle : Today is my first day. How ironic is this my first day out working with clients face to face was yesterday, the first time in six months. And yesterday was the day that my five and year two daughters went back to school. 

So like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, trying to get everything had six months. I’ve been trying to get everything sorted and then I’m out traveling to London to to to work face to face on the day they’re going back to school. 

So I managed to get to drop them off. I didn’t have my meetings work, so I made sure that in the afternoons I wanted to take them in. But today is my first day at home working with no children.

Darren:  And yeah, I’ll be honest, I have a newfound respect for teachers.

Danielle : Same.

Darren: because to try and do you know, you’ve got two girls. I’ve got two boys but to draw and just deal with those and make sure that they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing. And it’s really stressful. And, you know, it’s a testament to them to be able to deal with classes of 20 to 30 kids.

Danielle : I know.

Darren: I wouldn’t. And couldn’t do it. So, yeah, no, it’s interesting. But like I said, thanks very much for joining me on the show today. And obviously, you are the co-host of the mentor podcast. Yeah. And so for people that haven’t either come across them into podcast or come across you before, can you give us a bit of background on yourself and also the podcast?

Danielle : Yeah. So Mental is brilliant. Bobby Temp’s who the podcast belongs to you host and I co-host with him and I know he set it up to a couple of years ago now, maybe two and a half years.I’ve been with him maybe for about 15 months to stigmatize mental health.

And it really is specifically, you know, mental health, podcast, stroke, I guess, mental illness. So I guess come on and talk about their experiences with mental illness.

And, you know, sometimes we have people from professional, from professional medical background and say, now come on in to share maybe their experiences working within the field or have authors and different people that have come on, come on, will campaigner’s.

But most people that come on do come and share their stories and it’s quite deep and that we really get into it. So, yeah, it’s brilliant, actually.The podcast was campaigning for mental health, mandatory mental health, education in schools and it went through.

Darren: Oh, wow.

Danielle : This year is 1st September. It started in England and Wales to ensure that mental health is taught in school. So it’s absolutely brilliant.

Darren: Yeah, that is fantastic. And I think, you know, this this for me has been kind of almost like a word bubbling away for like two to three years where the it’s almost like it’s an acceptance has happened and people are now starting to accept that there is an actual issue. There is mental health issues.

And, you know, they shouldn’t be. The stigma around it is like any other illness and awareness is being raised. But I mean, I genuinely believe that there’s way, way more to be done. 

And, you know, whilst some of our regular listeners, listeners, this might be thinking, why are we talking to someone from, you know, the mental podcast while we’re talking about mental health?

And it’s kind of like you and I were talking about of er there is a direct correlation between nutrition and mental health, and we delve into a little bit that a little bit later on in the show.

But this is from my perspective, particularly around dads and males. This is almost like this ingrained culture whereby, you know, it is seen as weak.To be talking about mental health, it seemed to be weak to be talking about, are you struggling? You have having a down day, but it’s very real and it very, very much happens.

And so, you know, really the purposes of today is for us to delve into that and how, you know, dads can talk to mates, they can talk to coworkers, you know, how they can distinguish what mental health is, know what the symptoms are and stuff like that, really. So that’s kind of the purpose behind it.

Danielle : Yeah, well, absolutely. And if anything, staggering and devastating statistics, to be fair, this year. 2019 and 2020. Male suicide rate hits a two decade, two decade high in England and Wales.More and more men, unfortunately, are taking their own lives and men are stressed out.

And there’s a lot of pressure. And I guess when when you said, you know, there may be people listening to some of your listeners may question, OK, well, this is like a Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast. And what does this come in?

I mean, like we said, obviously under any health band umbrella, your physical, mental health so aligned know it’s impossible to to tear them apart, to be honest, and that they both have an impact.

One has an impact on the other all the time throughout our lives.And I guess that’s where I come in and my background, I’m really into being proactive around mental health. So my issue over the last couple of years, I guess issue may be the wrong word, but where I’m really striving to get to is that first let’s talk about mental health to automatically think about mental illness.

Yes, mental health and mental illness are two different things as our poor physical health and a healthy person and a healthy body, they have different things. If I just talk about, well, you know,

I’m really trying to be healthy and I want to be healthy and maintain my my health physically, that doesn’t necessarily mean that people are going to think, oh, why are you and healthy?

You’re not failing us when you say you’ve got a problem. We talk about that health aspect all the time without that kind of limiting negative factor that seems to be a black cloud over it. 

But with mental health, there’s all soon as we bring up that term and we talk about mental health, people assume it’s mental illness and it’s not always.Darren: No, no. And that’s a fantastic point. And the reason I say that is because it kind of aligns itself a little bit with your general health. And that is what I mean by that is and that is maintenance.

So rather than waiting until you have an issue, what about employing a bit of a maintenance regime on? What I mean by that is that we, I guess, unconsciously have stresses and strains throughout our daily lives, weeks, months, years, whatever it is, whether that’s family, career relationships or whatever it is.

And you can employ, though, some very, very good tactics to be able to determine when you’re stress and be to be able to deal with it. And I, I, I struggle with this, but I’ve now kind of nailed it. I have a little bit of a morning routine now where I do a bit of meditation, I do a bit of breath work and things like that.

Danielle : Fantastic.

Darren: And all that kind of stuff really, really helps. If you’ve had a stressful day the day before or you wake up in a bit of a stress, like worrying about the day ahead. You know, those little tactics which take me anywhere between 15 to 20 minutes to employ in the morning, really set yourself up for the day.

So I think it’s a good point that you raised. And it’s not about, you know, mental illness, but mental health is about it. It’s almost like mental maintenance.

Danielle : Absolutely That’s a great term. And that’s where I come in. So I work, I actually joined mental because I obviously I care about mental health and also to to learn and to, you know, to work in a podcast situation.

I love podcasts and I am setting up my own podcast literally as we speak. But my background is in business psychology.So I’ve worked for 12 years and in the corporate world and with leadership teams and setting up and working and implementing cultural change strategies and really helping people understand how best to lead develop their skills and and within teams and within individuals and, you know, to really kind of perform.

Darren:  Yeah.

Danielle : And performance. What do we need to do? And I found that throughout that time and I worked, as I said, a corporate private sector organization and one specific organization for quite a long time. 

And I think first we came on imagine is global organization is huge as basically engineers, construction and construction.

The kind of barriers that we know to the work that we. People were always open to, oh, of course, I was leadership, oh, we’ve got to do this kind of course and I am one of my colleagues, you know, sometimes really felt conflicted because know from my background. 

Really understanding yourself and understanding what motivates you or what challenges you have and where you can really perform is really trying to get into that who you are and where your limitations are maybe, and what you want to work on, as well as just, you know, the skills that you might need to perform that job.

Technically, the human element, let’s say, of change and development, which just he’s just missed all the time. And I must say now in industry, there’s a lot more of this work and it’s fantastic to say.

But I kind of left that corporate world. I mean, I said I to have clients, but I mean, I when I was I became self employed a couple of years ago and set up my own business so that I could kind of get back to the stuff that I believe works, if you like, that in order to perform and whether that be my background is in sport. 

So I’ve played all my life. I’ve got pictures of me in a party the of Apple called my mom and my dad was a basketball player and still basketball, both of the best sports coaches. So I work with athletes and I work with corporate clients.

Darren: Yeah. And I think, you know, this is the other area, which is maybe the parallels are not doing enough from this. And that is, you know, the whole sport psychology is essentially dealing with your mental health. Right. Because and this goes the same in business and this goes the same when you’re just doing a workout in the gym.

If you know, there’s only so much physical effort, the on top for that be career, whether they sport or in the gym, then there comes a huge part of it, which is not the dots are not joined up for me. And that is how you cope with things mentally and how you react to things mentally and what not.

What I mean by that is that knowing yourself so, you know, kind of being introspective of yourself, understanding how you react and deal with things will mean that you can respond in a much better way to deal with the situation that you’re faced with.

And that might sound quite high level, but what I’m trying to do is get people to understand of joining the dots between the psychology or psychological element of it. I meant well for me. There were one of the same. Unless you agree or disagree.

Danielle : Absolutely. And I mean, I was even talking to a client of the day who wins an academy, a professional football club.And she was saying to me, you know, in the past, we kind of, you know, if there’s a problem, then you go to the psych.

Darren: Yeah.

Danielle : You know, if there’s a problem, people often often go there first, what’s the problem? And then go see the psych or go and see whatever it is that you might need to talk to is a problem. But being working, especially in a young with young athletes, understanding that element of the mind and just state of mind is key.

When there’s no problems and when we’re on the surface side, we’re young, we’re with 12 or 14. We’re starting to feel that we’re quite good at this.

And there may be some you know, we’re now maybe in a performance setting and we’re going down that path. What we really need to start there, that’s where we need to start our minds and understanding ourselves.

And in order to have that be part of your routine, as you call it, your day to day world do what you’re hoping to achieve, your goals. You know where you’re going that we go out and go to the gym. You know, you’ve got a session in the gym or you want to go to the ball or whatever.

But there’s another element of it, which is, is this human is personal, right? Is that introspection is reflection is trying to work out where I struggle at times. And a lot of things that go on in people’s lives, you know, their home lives that really do affect their performance at work.

Darren: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I think one of the key elements for me is being or having the tools to recognize that. Right. So, I mean, you probably know this better than anyone as a parent.

Sometimes the kids will do something and it will trigger you as a parent to react in a certain way unless you know yourself, you might not know or understand why you’re acting in that way. Right. And after the event, you know what it’s like? I mean, why did I do that?

But once you have the tools and the knowledge to understand, actually, hold on a minute. I reacted like that because it triggered this in me. Right. So I now know what that is. If that happens again, I know how I’m going to deal with it.

And this, again, might sound to a lot of guys, this is all a bit. All a bit unnecessary and all the rest of it, but if you want to have a nice, balanced and measured life. It’s very important, I think, to have these tools to be able to detect that, determine and change it.

Danielle : I absolutely and I would say to anybody that you can sit down, you can absolutely perform. There’s people out there and lots of money and deemed successful if that’s how they value success.

There are people out there scoring goals. There are people out there and day to day life as dads doing thinking, yes, you know, I’ve got the kids school. I manage to do what I’m doing. I’m doing all right.

So we you know, we are functioning. Of course, we are in some way really succeeding. And we’re feeling that we’re living our best lives.

When you really adopt, understanding yourself, your state of mind and being able to really achieve clarity, that the levels that you’re capable of go even further. Yeah, that’s where I that’s where I come in. 

So I really help people perform, I guess, and live their best lives. That’s that’s what I would say. And I do in a different way through different ways.

But fundamentally, having clarity of mind gives you the ability to be even more creative, even more innovative, perform even better because your mind is free. 

And so imagine if you’re doing these things and you’re achieving and you’re still your mind’s fuzzy like all of us do have all the time.

Millions of thoughts going on. Even as you and I are talking, we’ll be having different. You know, we’re trying to be focused in the moment with each other when we’re doing a good job.But we will have both had distractions or things of coming into our minds about either the next question or where the conversation is going or what we’re doing later on or whatever.

We all do that and the ability to be still, to be calm, to really reflect and have that we come into your mind and understand how to get there, because it’s there all the time, like we call it, kind of blue sky thinking the clouds or the blue sky is always there, but cloud sometimes just come in about it.

And so so, yeah, I agree. There’ll be people and there always has been. And I’ve worked with a lot of men and generally men throughout my whole career and even so now in sport. But I feel like the people can perform as I said, and I can function. But there’s so much more opportunity. So much.

Darren: Yeah, I completely agree.

And I know what I would say is I was one of those people when I was in the corporate world when people like you came into the business of like, you know, well, I’ve just not got time for this. I’m too busy.

Just need to suck it up and crack on, you know. But you are essentially by taking that kind of attitude and mindset, you are essentially limiting your capabilities. 

Yeah. Because it’s like you say, you know, once you can tap into that, you are limitless. And exactly the you know, the paradox that you use there, you know, you’ve got your dad, who’s probably very happy, got to point four kids got a career. 

Then you’ve got these other guys in the world who are creating a billion dollar companies that have crazy lives. We are all human. We’re all the same, and they don’t have any more skills than we do, you know. 

So it’s just for me, it’s just proof that once you’re able to really understand what goes on inside your head and be able to use tools to kind of utilize that, you know, we are, cliche again, but we are limitless.

And so for the people that listen to this kind of stripping it back, taking it back down a level, and when we’re talking about mental health and symptoms and stuff like that, you know, a lot of people, I would suggest, probably put that down to just a stressful life, just stressful.

I’m stressed. But what kind of things or symptoms have you seen which people could maybe, you know, you will be aware of that could tell them that they’re actually struggling with mental health and some of the things that they could then obviously use to kind of deal with that.

Danielle : I mean, it’s a million dollar question. Yeah. You know, we’re all so varied. Everybody’s experiences is really different, which again, is a key point.

And for people to understand, we often look at this and doing and how they’re getting on and how many ways they’ve lifted, how far they’re winning, you know, how many sales they’ve made in the boardroom, whatever we are, the people, what we do so often and compare ourselves.

And that’s a big no no for me.

So, yeah, but, you know, generally you notice in yourself, in your performance if you do, because even when you mention there are people. The winning billion dollar corporate organizations or professional athletes or whatever and that’s all good, and as you know, you get to forty five, fifty fifty five.

And if you have other things, you don’t think anything. Always what you feel you’ve achieved outwardly inside or at home or whatever you are going through, you may have a trauma that you’ve not come up in your life.

You know, it might happen. So there’s a lot of all that’s all good. But then what else?And so when you using the word. I do. When you notice and I don’t know whether or not many men do women but Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast and whether men, men do stop and notice, you know, do you actually take that time just to think about how you doing?

Are you happy what you do in a new job? Are you happy in your relationship with your life, other things that could change?

And so I think noticing your surroundings, your environment, your is escape, and then the more traditional things that I guess really do align with mental illness symptoms which are, you know, maybe so social withdrawal, you know, it changes.

You may overeat, you may under eat, you’ll see change in sleep is so important, which I guess you guys talk about quite a lot on this, because it’s just a real indicator, actually, to your health, physical and mental health. And so your sleep patterns may change. There are a lot of physical health things actually that are impacted by mental health. And I think in some of the traditional maybe more standard ways of in medicine don’t always look at that. 

And I think there are physical illnesses that can occur through poor mental health. And so if you’re not getting anywhere with the doctor, you’ve got a pain, you’re having chronic headaches, you’ve got pain, which, you know, and bloating and all those other things that are massively affected by what we are. 

I mean, again, I know that for all our nutritional input is huge and our diet is massive in terms of the impact on our physical health, but also our physical health can be an indicator of poor of poor mental health.

So yeah, yeah, the symptoms would be yeah. Traditional symptoms would be that. And we know for depression people tend to struggle, feel sad, you know, your mood can change. And I think it’s key also to recognize that would happen over a consistent period of time. I think with depression, they look at maybe four or five symptoms being in place for at least two weeks before you’d be diagnosed with that, because as we know, we’re walking down all the time. 

We change quite a lot. But it’s the consistency of those mood changes or those behavior changes when you need to maybe start thinking about seeking some help.

Darren: Yeah, yeah, definitely . And I think, you know, a very basic level and again, I might be generalizing here or kind of stereotyping around men, but one of the first places I would suggest people do is actually talk to someone.

Danielle :  Hundred percent.

Darren: And talk about it, because, you know, we do take on this macho persona.

And it’s almost like, you know, for example, if you’re the head of the family, you’re there to support and protect your family. And I get that. I understand that. But that’s not to say that you can’t talk to somebody about your struggles. Is they very real and they are very relevant.

And so I think that’s an important point to kind of to make. And then the other thing is, you know, you mentioned there about when you get to forty, forty five, I put out on Facebook a few weeks ago and about, you know, almost like midlife crisis and happiness because it’s it’s studies and statistics have shown that when you get to 40, there’s a large majority.

I can’t remember the percentages now of of men who are in their 40s who are desperately unhappy because they’ve reached a point in their lives where they thought they would be in a certain place and then not. Yeah, and this kind of comes into the whole midlife crisis. Now, I’ve had are going to how many posts on this Facebook page, but men, classic men going on there and saying all of the midlife crisis, I don’t know what a midlife crisis is, you just got to get on with it.

But it is very real. And I think that is it’s it’s, again, stopping and reflecting and maybe even writing down, you know, because once you get stuff on paper that helps as well, writing down perhaps how you’re feeling, where you know where you’re at, where you would like to be, and then talking about it to somebody I think is very important.

You know, the physical health side of things is like you said is very, very important and, you know, our diet is huge and I won’t go off too much on a tangent on this, but essentially what you put in your gut affects what goes up in your brain. We’ve got the vagus nerve that goes from the gut to the brain.

And if you’re eating manufactured fast inflammatory foods, hot foods are in high amounts of sugar. You cause inflammation in your brain at a very basic level. And that just will affect, without question, your mental health.

Danielle : I mean, sugar, just to kill everything in everything. Every little thing that we everybody is consumed by so much sugar is so addictive. It’s like, you know. It’s one of the biggest jokes out there, if not worse, than your recreational jokes.

Darren: Yeah,

Danielle : We don’t recognize it. And people and the mood shift between when you’ve had this high and then you come down is a massive mental health work. That’s the direct line, like you said, mental health that’s coming down feeling. And now he’s all going on in your brain. So, yeah, that’s a really good point.

And I’d also like to say to those men who are on your Facebook say no, actually, to me and to a lot of women and I speak to really attractive in men, if they’re aware of their mental health history to talk about stuff that’s going on. I’m not saying we don’t all want to be down for it.

I’m like, oh, I see that I’m not going to get the day, the second date with that. I’m just saying that for women now, you know, I’m 40 to 40 this year. 

And, you know, in relationships, I’ve been in a long term relationship and a lot of my friends are single and they meet new guys and they want men who have this awareness. Yeah. They don’t want a man who goes to work and makes a load of money or who’s at the gym and who’s really fit and looks great. 

And they don’t got this ability to reflect and talk about who they are and to talk about what they’ve been through or what how what they’re hoping to achieve from a personal level, you know, attractive. And also it’s brave, daring and being able to connect. You only really connect with people through being vulnerable.

And when I say vulnerable I remember saying a few years ago to my partner, in fact, I’m giving him a few years like he’s come on a lot since then. He’s. And I said to him a year ago and he was like, vulnerability. You know, he was a bit masculine, dude. You know, he’s in the gym.

He’s quite aware of things. And I’m that way he said vulnerability. I’m not vulnerable because this image we have an ability wilting man in the corner crying. That’s not that’s not necessarily that’s not vulnerability that someone won’t be able to show their emotions.

That vulnerability to show who you are is even more to me than any of the macho or masculine physical act that you can do. You go to war for most men might come out quite easy. Sitting down and thinking about your emotions isn’t so, which is braver.

Darren: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s yeah, it’s I guess when you mention the word vulnerability, it’s almost like you’re weak. You know, that might be the initial response, but it’s not about that. It’s almost about sharing. This sounds a bit more than a bit, I guess, but you’re kind of sharing your kind of whole self, isn’t it? 

And it’s being aware of all of yourself as opposed to just one element to like you say, you know, going to the gym, smashing out a gym, a gym workout, you know, being open for the rest of it. 

But then there’s lots of other sides to just human like your human personality side. You know, you know, your values, your personality, your vulnerability. You know your you know, all those types of elements. I think as a man being aware that there are all of those elements and, you know, we should actually embrace them. They are part of us, whether we like it or not. So why not understand them and why not deal with them? 

And I think a lot of that would actually go to help where, you know, some of the mental challenges we have, where we kind of we’re conflicted, but we don’t know why we could be. And then we’re responding and reacting in some way.We don’t understand what. 

Danielle : Absolutely is a great point. And I think, you know, as you said, when you when you have children, it’s the first time I saw my partner really melt. You know , he got these daughters. 

I guess it’s the same when you have sons as well, having these two daughters that you just melted. I never seen and be like that. And it was great. he had to look inside and says, oh, my God, now I’ve got these feelings now I never had before. These this is this is new to me.

I’m going to deal with this amount of love, really, and the emotional protective thing that I’ve got. But they are growing up and they’re grown up into young girls, young women, let’s say, as men, boys will. And there will be conflicts and conflicts with your wife or with your girlfriend or your partner or whatever.

And I feel like, again, when you’re aware of yourself and can be vulnerable and can reflect helps in those situations tremendously, because you go back and be like, you know what, I actually acted that way and like you said at the top and really should I should I have acted that way? 

We don’t. Where could I? Where could I? I’ve been a little yeah, even just in your own mind and bring down that kind of macho. No, I said that and that’s right. And that’s the way that we’re going to do it, because this is way you do it. Hold on a minute. We don’t know do that. Your kids are individuals. Your dad is these amazing human beings who are little people, and they’re going to grow and develop in ways that may differ from you. 

And unless you can bring your whole self relationship, then that relationship won’t. When you a lot of it’s not I mean, at 30 in your 30s and 40s that look at your parents, I think really you said this to me or you get this or I’m not at all, I believe, values my value anymore.

You know, we started the process in the earlier. You can get to that real connection, which is that freedom of allowing people to grow and be who they want to be and for them to see that’s OK with you. Well, then your relationship will blossom forever then.

Darren:  Yeah, definitely. I completely agree with that. And I think the other key point for me around children is that if I as a father, I’m able to display all these other areas that we talked about and I am able to kind of communicate to them that might be there, that, you know, the self talk they have.

The things that they feel they have is all normal and show them that there’s ways of means of dealing with it. Just a might just imagine what kind of people that they’re going to go. So it’s not just about you. Yeah, it’s about showing the kids as well, and I completely agree with what you said, you know, around the parents side of things, you know, we get to a stage in our lives where we have perhaps you or kind of lived by the values and conditions that our parents have put upon us.

And then we get to a certain stage that if we’re able to to kind of reflect on ourselves and what we actually want and what our values actually are, we can actually question that and we can actually go on maybe a different path in a different direction and not follow the same pattern, because as humans, we’re habitual. 

We just follow patterns. And when you understand this, you can kind of see, you know, I can kind of see my sister and stuff how she’s following the same pattern as my parents and things like that. And she’s just this I don’t mean it in a negative way, but yeah.

So is is that ability and the toaster, if you like, to be able to question and to look inside yourself, know and this all comes back to being able to deal with things in life in a much more measured and balanced way, because one of know, one of the things that I struggled with is I had the perception that everything in life should be good. 

And whenever I had challenges and this this was really for me up until about I would say about four years ago, I still had this this perception that everything should be great. And if I’ve got challenges or conflict in my life, this is just not good. It’s crap. 

I need to get out my life. Well, actually, that’s not right. And that’s not life. It’s not reality. Is that. Yes, yeah, exactly. You know, you can’t have one without the other, you know, happiness without sadness and all the rest of it, you know, so it’s learning to embrace that you are going to get challenges in life. 

Things are going to go wrong. You are going to get stresses and it’s then how you deal with it so you don’t spiral. And so, you know, obviously the symptoms are extremely varied, but less if we take it back to what I said before. 

And all my mental maintenance, you know, is kind of a protocol that you would or could recommend based on people that you’ve worked with in the past. If we consider the kind of age we’re talking about, you know, kind of thirty five to to kind of 50, 60, that kind of age group, that’s quite broad. But generally just, you know, perhaps men that haven’t even considered before listening today, they haven’t even considered that that perhaps they should consider their mental health.

Danielle : I mean, stop, just stop in the moment. It’s a really difficult. I reckon it’s actually sparking off a lot of different thoughts. Sleep with work, but it’s a hard age group, actually is a change in age group like day to day men, 40 to 60, let’s say dads, you know, which, you know, I come across obviously them all the time. Most of the men I work with their dads.

But yeah, that’s the kind of I guess you never really tapped into thinking about their mental health, but they all maybe start spiraling. I mean, you mentioned earlier and again, the power of communication is under represented like so important to be able to speak to, you know, you may and preferably, you know, if it’s in the public arena, that’s fine.

And if you’re trying to really talk someone just struggling at the moment with what’s going on, I’m just not feeling great. And I mean, obviously, come to me with the first name. If you want to talk, we can talk. But no, I, I definitely would think that taking that time to to to reflect and, you know, gets a little bit tricky. 

You know, as soon as we start, we’re kind of closed off again. As I mentioned before, it’s hard, which is why I always say it’s brave because it’s not easy to do. Easy to show off, isn’t it? So, yeah, being brave is blocking and shutting off. 

Blocking out what’s going on and carried on with your day to day work is the easy route. And although people might think that that’s the masculine bravery, that’s the thing to do that shows the coping and the stuff that’s harder to do is the brave is brave. 

So to me, really being out to speak to somebody, just a friend or anybody, and often I find even through my time in sport and playing myself, it’s the people that may be on your team or that, you know, at the of world. That’s not maybe if I say your wife or your dad or your mom or whatever, those are the people that you kind of connect with a little bit. And you have friendships with the actually sometimes the easier, easier people that you may feel that you don’t really know your history that you can offer the esteem to and just maybe think about what’s going on.

But this I mean, this they definitely works for me. And I say work. I’m not as well a real believer in techniques that meditation is one thing, though.

If I was going to go down a road of a technique, I’d, I probably would, because ultimately it’s just noticing. It’s just being in the moment, you know, breathing, really being in the moment of your environment.

You know, quite often we go for a walk, we’re on our phones. How many phones are at home? We go for what? We’ve got the kids. We don’t need to speak to anybody. breathe, breathe in the world, in the gym, go outside and breathe and just be in that moment.

Because a lot of the time, the things that we think stresses are from our thought. We don’t have any feeling at all in this world without a thought. That is the only thing that provides us with an experience, whether that be the experience. 

We’ve lost a game which paid off or we’re happy because we’ve just bought a new house or whatever it might be. All those experiences just come through our mind telling us that that feeling would look like and then we feel something.

So when we I don’t want to get too technical or too deep with and for the listeners, but when we start to understand the things are just our thoughts and that we have millions of them every minute we move on. 

And then the feelings that you’ve had within yourself, like your anxiety or some depression or those feelings that creep in sadness or stress, let’s say the big one, you understand actually in a minute we move into another thought. You always think that thing. Yeah. So stress is there in that moment. And knowing the in a minute, I’m going to think about something else.

I’m going to be distracted by something else. I’ve got to go somewhere else. Those feelings aren’t quite that is in the forefront in that which is kind of evidence to it all. Just being around our thoughts with the stressed out because we’re thinking the situation is more stressful.

Yeah, the all the other evidence for that is that if you if you and I both approach a situation at the same time and I don’t get stressed by it and you do not, then the situation that’s stressful.

No, I’m it’s my thinking of that situation that’s making me feel stressed about it.

And I can maybe sound high level, but, you know, on a really basic level, let’s say one of my clients that came back to me, I got really help because I was on a plane and I used to be really frightened of turbulence. 

And I used to think, oh, turbulence is horrible. And we generalize. We hate terrible, it’s horrible. It makes you feel scared, and she said that there’s this woman sitting next to me who wasn’t even bothered by it.

Yeah, I suddenly had this moment of like, oh, my God, it’s not it’s not the turbulence itself. Nothing can make us feel. No, we miss out that , which is for that massive thing in between.

So no situation can really make us feel unless we unless we think about it.

And it can go quite deep and maybe hard for people to get around because people start thinking about, oh, well, you know, this awful things that happen to us. You know, we lose. There’s happiness is all those things. Yeah. But again, look at all these millions of migrants that are coming in, all these millions of babies abroad and children are thrown into situations that we wouldn’t dream of putting our children into some kind of group. 

What would they do? What would we do? The whole thing would be we could never do it with just about, you know, little kids go and sleep over at someone’s house. So know Facebook is all there in a different place this year. Yeah. All those kind of things. And I just really like the kids are resilient.

We’re born with it and we lose some of that throughout our lives. So it’s so really understanding the situation itself isn’t necessarily what’s driving you stress.

Darren: No, exactly. And I think the other thing as well is perspective, isn’t it? So, you know, you’re a situation which is causing you to be stressed. You make that up in your mind and you know, you turn that into whatever stressful situation you think about. 

But then actually when you talk to a different person about that same situation, you will most likely find that actually what you’re making it to be in your mind is nowhere near the reality of the actual situation.

And so, you know, that’s I think that’s a really important thing. And I think we are I don’t know whether he’s a British thing or what, but, you know, particularly, I notice in the UK we’re less inclined to want to to kind of not Barasso, but to kind of share things that are perhaps going wrong or perhaps kind of show us in a particular light and, you know, situations or things that we’re thinking about. 

Whereas, you know, if you just take that time that you share that with somebody, you can have a completely different spin on it. And like you say, you know, the comparison you used there about the person on the plane can completely change things. So, yeah, I mean, we do kind of think things are not actually, you know, as bad as what they might seem.

Danielle : Absolutely. And also, how do we even know what someone else is thinking?

Darren: Yeah.

Danielle : Like literally we live our life through. If I do this, they might think that or this going to look like this. Who the hell knows what else is going to come up to you and say you’re an idiot for doing now, for sharing that. Oh, my God. That way you must be weak.

Yeah, you know what I mean. I know we one we never going to know. So there’s not even any point in even on every little scale, that’s life. It’s hard to get around because society we’re all for social media and everything that’s going on. But, you know, being having that bravery and not showing that vulnerability meant to put your hands up and connecting with other people will really put you on a different path.

Darren: Yeah, one hundred percent. So obviously, we’ve talked a lot about conditions and mental health conditions to suffer. If we then kind of move it up a gear to actually enhancing and improving. Obviously, you know, that’s your kind of back is performance and performance coaching. 

So if we’re thinking about, you know, along the lines of either, you know, a dad who wants to perform better in certain situations at home or wants to perform better situations in their career or indeed even at the gym and workouts, you know, I know from my own personal experience, you know, in in sport and the kind of endurance sport that I do, it’s a massive mental game. 

You know, people a lot of people say to me, oh, you must be so fit. You must be so. And fitness works to a point. But what you actually realizes the body is pretty much capable of anything. And it’s your mind that’s the limiting factor. 

And that goes in all areas of life, doesn’t it? So, you know, if we’re thinking about that, Danielle, what kind of things do you use with some of the clients you work with? For those of kind of said, I’m at this level here, you know, I really want to kind of work on my mindset. I really want to kind of work on my mental performance to kind of take me up to the next level. What kind of things, you know, would you start to work on or look at?

Danielle : We’ve said the self and and understanding your limitations, what you believe your limitations are, and really working through the mind and understanding that you have that capability to do anything and really reinforcing that resilience and the human capabilities within you. Within all of us.

Darren: Yeah.

Danielle : And we would work through within our sessions really talking through that. And always things come up, you know, I don’t necessarily I wouldn’t necessarily have a plan. I mean, I would be in a corporate setting. 

Maybe there’ll be some structure, because sometimes I go back to some of the traditional ways, especially when we’re looking at change. Maybe in the corporate world, you may look at where are we now, where do we want to be and how are we going to get there? And that’s more traditional. Where is I really from?

From my and in my practice, in my expertise would really start to really understand, get our clients to really understand the thought in mind and where that plays the biggest part in everything that you do that we don’t live without the no experience, no consciousness, even without it. 

And so I would definitely go down that road because again, all the all the I’m an NBA.

Fine. I love basketball. And I was watching this the play offs at the moment because it’s been locked down. These guys are all in like Disneyland, on lockdown in a bubble. And all the teams in the playoffs have had to go to Disneyland in Florida and be away from their families, away from everybody that they know in the whole of the NBA. 

The playoff teams have made it are in the 32 teams I think are in this bubble. All staying at resorts, the biggest place that they could all be probably the highest as well, because there were all six for eight, four. And some of the issues that they’ve been dealing with, again, not coming back and seeing family.

I mean, these guys are conditioned. They’re playing for five games away. They are like specimen’s and they are and they are really, really conditioning in. There’s been some some interviews and some things I’ve seen around really then starting to struggle with that intensity. 

Now, they’ve always had that physical intensity of match after match after match after match, not like football, where there’s generally a break. Well, quite a lot play every Saturday. 

Most team basketball is a lot more intense game and on a weekly basis. And really, like you said, a couple of the key players have really spoken about, like LeBron James is the biggest star in the world in basketball and in sport really is mental fitness app.

And a lot of the players talking about going back and meditating and free in their mind from actually all these things now that I’m missing and I’m worrying about or actually hindering me, I’ve got a job here to do. 

I’m going to get through it. And when it could be dad, like you said, packing up for lunchboxes. I’ve got six one going swimming, one going down in one in Karachi, emails coming in at half, DiMassimo, whatever, all those things that we’ve got to do.

And it’s all right. And when you breathe, like you said, the meditation, when you just breathe through it and know that you’ll do it like I know my delivery yesterday I was was a lot of people and I was there talking to quite a lot of people. 

I did a big presentation and I was starting to get on the western Cape Cod. I could feel some anxiety coming. Is adrenaline really? I guess, yeah. Because I knew that in a minute I’m going to walk through the door and see this woman and all that is going to go. 

She’s going to say Hi, Danielle, welcome back. And all that stuff just going to go. But if I didn’t have that awareness and this is what I work with my clients, it manifests it’s not that it never comes in. 

And it’s not that the anxieties, the stresses, the things never come in. But we do an understanding that I’d say to your listeners that in a minute, if I can stay in the most simple terms, it’s going to be something else, then it doesn’t manifest itself for days and weeks and hours. And you’re not stressed about it?

Darren: Yeah. Yeah, no, I think yeah, I think I think that’s so key is that again, it goes back to that introspection. It’s understanding what’s going on and how you’re going to deal with it to use your situation.

If you’ve been on the train and anxiety building up, you can use it as anxiety or you can use it as an adrenaline. And the fact that that’s a natural reaction to for you to go into a situation which is unknown and it’s fine, it’s a normal thing. 

You know, it’s a human a reaction to an unknown situation. And that reminds you, when you said that of a situation that happened with Carla, my son, who’s he’s now thirteen. But at the time we were going, he was eleven. We were going to his first triathlon and we were in the car.

We were pulling up to the venue. And obviously there’s a big circus, lots of stuff going on and lots of people turning up and in the car, he was like that. I don’t want to do this anymore. And I said, you know what that is? 

That is, you’re anxious, you don’t know it’s a fear of unknown, and it’s also, you know, there is a little bit of adrenaline kicking in and it’s fine and that’s a normal thing. And to be able to kind of get them to understand what that is, it just helps you deal with the situation in a much more competent manner as opposed to doing what you know, I guess. 

And one of about what animal brain would tell us to do is just run away, you know, because we’re under threat or we feel like we’re on the fence, I’m running away. So, yeah, I think that’s yeah. I think that’s really key. And like you say, you know, the athletes and things like that and mental performance, we don’t need to over-complicate it now.

Danielle : And yet that my work is.

Yeah, I guess there’s such a simplicity to it that I don’t pile on techniques to people because there’s nothing to do. Yeah. There’s actually nothing to do. But just to have that understanding of where those thoughts are coming from and knowing that they’re not real.

And you said we make them, we make stories up, we live our lives through making these stories up about things, Darren. And you know what I mean? And it’s going to hit that final shot. 

Oh, you’ve got a penalty shootout or you can’t do that. Whatever it is you do at home with the children like that, there’s stories that we build up. It just hinders. They just pile on when we can release that, like, you know, I’m so passionate about it. Only community. It’s just amazing.

And again, don’t get me wrong, I said yesterday I had the same thing.

It for all of us, the best professionals in the world, the best coaches in the world, you know, the athletes, the people that seem to be performing at their optimal performance or whatever they we all have, which is what we said as well. We talk to the people.

You realize that they’re going to stuff as well. They were nervous, too, and we will hold that back. But when you just release that, it just starts to become easier to deal with those things that are inevitable and way. My daughter, who’s going into five, started a new club and moved up with the big girls. And she’s so tall and amazing. I think she’s right with the bigger kids.

And she stepped out of the car and it was outdoor because you can’t go inside yet to train. And she was out. It was outdoor. And she saw these kids and they were all in the care and getting ready to go. 

And like she looked at me, she generally quite confident. She looks good. She looked at me and she froze a bit. She’s like, oh, I’m not sure. And in the moment, we needed to get out because we’re going to be late. And in the moment I thought, you’ll be fine. Come on, let’s go. 

Like, we’re not going to really respond to that in that moment, because I know that I thought and as soon as she was on the call, got the ball to sobs of when there was a mommy, I can’t wait for next week then. 

I can’t wait. Can’t wait. Where is I did then speak to about that feeling afterwards. But in that moment we’re going to get fresh start. In a minute we’re going to have a new feeling. So let’s not hold on to this one. Let’s move through it and let’s move on to the next door, you know?

Darren: Yeah definitely,

Danielle : I did think that any one day I was going to work.

My partner and we had a big argument in the morning before we left out and I felt really bad and I was really scared. And I put the radio on and the music came on. I love I love music and dancing and singing and that I was singing away. And he told me and I was it was amazing. I got to the office and I had a bit of a reflection and an instant I just thought, oh my God. Like, I would have driven without I had a new thought. 

I had new things that came in and I was distracted by something else and this big, massive feeling that I had a roll, you know, the relationship and whatever, whatever. Like we all got. Oh yeah. I it just when and then by lunchtime I could text him and say oh that was stupid or whatever it was without, you know, and it really, really hit me.

So I’ll always remember that. Remember actually when I was driving when, when and where it got to and it kicked in because I just thought, oh my God, this clarity that I’ve had now because I just didn’t think I’m not going to spend my time thinking about that.

Darren: Absolutely. And I think, you know, that that is a whole other kind of avenue. We could disappear off down the. No, no, no. It’s fine with that and relationships. But I think it’s very important. 

I think it is very important because we do again, we just tend to magnify things or make things out to actually what they’re what they know. And we can’t let things go. And we you know, yeah, it’s important to be able to have that reflection or to have that kind of stuff, which I actually this is not as bad as I’m making it out to be and kind of, you know, not sensitize it, but just kind of get it into a little bit more perspective.

Danielle : Yes. Darren, sorry to interrupt you, because I know we’ve got to move on, but I will say most people that you ask whatever every job they do, if they’ve got children and their dads out there and it’s the most people that you ask, what’s the most important job in your life? 

What’s the most important thing to you? And they will naturally probably just say they’re kids. Yeah.And if that’s true, then that relationship then when you say your kids, that means you’re talking about your relationship. Yeah. Your connection. You’re looking at them, feeling love, them feeling protected.Then if that says it all to me in terms of the work that you might need to do to manage that, maintain that as much as you do on the call or in the boardroom.

Yeah. And you can do that by bringing yourself a note. And you can only do that by knowing yourself, you know, so that kind of validates that point that sorry again.

Darren: No, no, no, that’s fine. I just I just before we wrap up, I just wanted to say, you know, you said about earlier and saying that your work is simple as humans. We are very, very good at over complicating things. 

And I held my hand up high. I am the world’s worst overthinking in situations. And like you say, it doesn’t need to be. And if people listen to this and, you know, reflecting on the statement you said about your work, simple, when they really understand it and break it down is very simple. And it’s only as complicated as you make it.

Danielle : Absolutely. You may need to kick start. You may need some help from somebody that can help you kick start. But once you kind of get it, you fly yourself.

Darren:  Absolutely. So before we wrap up then, Danielle, what didn’t I ask you that you feel like I should have asked you which would benefit the listeners?

Danielle : How I feel about dads and men today, which would be an absolutely amazing level of respect, I think the world has changed so much in the last how many years and men used to be able to go to work, come home.

Women were at home doing all the duties, and then women started going to work and earning and still at home. You know, the duties that men now are expected.I know that I expect my partner in my relationship to do as I do. Why? Why is there any difference?

So I’m hoping and don’t get me wrong, I still feel that as women we kind of have to thought about it. I’m the one with the emails about swimming starts next week and I’m the orchestrator maybe still in the royal home life as well as my business.

And he’s in his business and he manages his business and does what he does. But I’ve just got this level of respect and I don’t think that men get as much credit as they deserve. And a lot of the people that I come into contact with and through the mental podcast and through my work, we talk about empowering women.

Women have been empowered, really feeling that empowerment. We support each other. It’s OK to say I’m a woman, I’m empowered, I’m going to be the best I can be.

And I don’t necessarily think over the last few years, which is why this podcast that you’re doing is amazing. And it’s more podcasts out there for men to be read, to feel that empowerment because it’s power shifted and things have changed. 

And I think men are as valuable as women and they are doing , trying to come home and do the dinner, will take kids to school or do whatever it might be with them, as well as doing their work and as well as being a husband and all the other things. 

I’m trying to figure out that mental health and an emotional connection and I’m going to but it really isn’t and maybe not just yeah, it’s not a question. It’s a statement. I just want to say, like, you know, I’ve got a lot of respect for men out there. 

And I think, you know, you guys that are living and doing, trying your best to provide is maybe a bit of an old school word. I don’t necessarily know. But try your best to support and look after your family in the best way you can, then. Loads respect to that.

Darren: Yeah. Fantastic. Yeah, I think that’s a great statement to end on. I really appreciate you said that. So thank you very much. Thanks very much for your time on the show today. So how can people connect with you? What’s the name of your podcast going to be, all that kind of good stuff.

Danielle : So mentalpodcast.co.uk is for mental and you can find me on that. But on my website is DanielleSHogan.

You may put it in a link or I can read it. Yeah, Danielle with the S Hogan dot com and you can find me there and you can you can put my name on it, show you the what I do and Fate and Freedom is my podcast. look out for that.

Darren:  Awesome. OK, I am. When’s it going to be launched.

Danielle : Oh that’s another sixty four has been called in. I’m in the process. I feel like I’m going to do, I’m going to do a block episode of recording and then send it all out there. So we’ve recorded one and I’m looking to record another one next week toward October and hopefully there’ll be a suite of six to eight episodes for people to check in on.

And actually, funnily enough, that’s going to be starting with conversations with my dad.

Darren: Oh, fantastic. Oh, I would put the links to your website in the show notes. And when you do launch, if you send me the link up, show notes and I’ll put that in there as well.

Danielle : Brilliant. Thank you for having me.

Darren: So great to talk to you, Daniel. I really appreciate your time and I look forward to catching up with you again soon.

Danielle : You are welcome. You take care. Thanks, Darren.

Darren: Thanks for listening to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please subscribe. And I would really appreciate if you could leave a review on iTunes or the things mentioned in the episode will be in the show notes and a full transcription is over at Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast.

 

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