Episode 004 - Why are so many young people having mental health issues?

Show Notes – Episode 004 – Why are so many young people having mental health issues?

Episode 004 is a powerful issue, and Dr Ro & Harms have not backed away from discussing this hot, but sensitive topic. Although the title suggests this podcast is for the younger generation. It is just as important to listen to this episode if you are a leader, parent, partner and someone who has faced, facing or know someone who is having a mental health challenge.

In this episode Dr Ro and Harms broke down this massive topic into 3 key areas:

  • How do you identify a mental health issue?
  • Where does a mental health issue come from?
  • How do you tackle a mental health issue?

This is a sensitive topic at present, and will remain a sensitive topic as the pressures of today’s society play a bigger role in every interaction we face from financial, political, national, relationships, health and more.

With Dr Ro having coached people on an individual and group level his insights on this topic will provide invaluable.
For a full read of the podcast, here is a full transcript of everything Dr Ro and Harms covered in this episode of the Seekardo Podcast.

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Hello Seekardo listeners. It is Harms here and I’m here again with Dr Ro and we are tackling a very hot topic at the moment. A very hot topic and that question is, why are so many young people associated with mental health issues, now more than ever. And Ro you have coached so many people including myself, and there’s a stigma attached to mental health and all the things associated with it. So, I’m going to break this, because it is a very large question. But I want to present you with three actionable questions that we can cover.

  • One is how do you identify it?
  • How do you identify if somebody has a mental health issue?
  • Number two, where does it come from?
  • And number three, how do we tackle this?

So, 3 questions, I imagine we are going to explore it through the podcast. With your experience you’ve coached so many people now, how do you identify this?

Yeah, and hi everybody, thanks for tuning in again today. And this is a very, very hot topic. We are seeing it front line as well. Seeing it on the media, newspapers and radio TV talking about it.

I just want to add a spin on this and say, that I used to be told that I was a bit overly upbeat, people used to say, you’ve got a mental health issue in that I was too positive. So, when you talk about a mental health issue, what does that actually mean?

We automatically attach a negative association with it, but without saying, hold on a minute they’re too positive, that’s a bit of a mental health issue. So, by the very fact that somebody feels a bit down, we label it with a mental health issue. And an issue can be a positive issue or negative issues, it’s just how I think it’s emphasised. But we are definitely talking today about the challenges that people are having on an emotional level, so I want to change the context of this and change the wording, so if you’re listening to this, you may or may not think you have quote on quote, got a mental health issue.

But let’s put, I think you’re right to ask the question and how do I identify it? Let’s try and put some context around it as well, and I’ve gone through this myself. Anyone facing emotional challenges, any sense of, they’re just not feeling right in themselves and it’s affecting the way they behave on a day-to-day basis, how they interact with other human beings, how they engage with the world, how their life just passes by and suddenly it’s a blur of a year, or six years or three months, whatever has gone by. And they just not felt fully engaged with life around them. I consider that to be an emotional challenge, an emotional issue or if you want to give it a more clinical name and mental health issue. Albeit that we’ve got mental health issues, everything from someone that is feeling down, right through to somebody who is being incredibly close to suicide, if not having attempted suicide. So, that’s the breadth of the spectrum.

You asked how could you identify it? Okay, so if anyone sitting here feeling any of these things, this is likely to mean that you’re experiencing some kind of emotional challenges. If you want to call it a mental health issue for another term, then you can call it that as well. But stress is a huge one in today’s society. Any level of stress that you’re feeling on a constant and consistent basis, not just the occasional stress because you’ve got a busy day, but this is where you’re feeling continually stressed.

Anxiety, every situation you face, any time you face a challenge, or somebody puts a little bit of pressure on you and you’re feeling anxious, how do I deal with that not, I’m not sure what I do. You start to lock down, you have a pattern, you start twitching, or you start scratching yourself, or you’re not even present with somebody because you’re constantly thinking anything about the problem.

Depression, feeling low on a consistent and regular basis, you don’t see a positive side to anything. You’re feeling your energy is flat, you don’t have the motivation to go exercise, to make love, to engage with people. To even be present with the people around you. Hopelessness, meaningless in what you are doing. So, a sense of everyday I’m doing the same thing and I just don’t see any purpose to this, so that’s a big one actually, lack of purpose.

Does the word apathy fall into these brackets as well?

Yeah, I think apathy in a deep way. There’s a difference between thinking, I just can’t be bothered to do this, and being apathetic there, versus being numb, i.e. constantly feeling apathetic. This is where the hopelessness and the meaningless comes in. And you just don’t have any desire whatsoever to do that, you almost feel resistance to going to work, or you’re in a relationship and it’s just not where you want it to be and you just cannot find a way to engage with that person, or be with that person. Or you also find you can’t find a way to get out of that relationship as well, which leads to hopelessness.

I can share and for the listeners at home, I can share later in the podcast if we have time, I’ll share my situation, which is not a situation from the past, it’s not relationship based, but it was actually my work. And if we have time, I’ll share my situation where I felt something very similar to that last part you just mentioned.

That will be good actually. Well maybe at the end we can make a list, so I’m just listing out in my brain some of the things that I know that we’ve come across. Another one is lockdown or closed down. Where I’ve seen people literally, I’ve seen it in my audiences, they’ve come into the audience being dragged by a partner and they’re not in a good place. They’re either having quote on quote, mental health issues with their emotion. And so they just lock down, they can’t communicate, they can’t associate with other people. There is a complete dissociation. So, lockdown, close down, disassociation, a lack of disassociation or non-association, if you don’t understand disassociation. You can’t associate, you can’t connect with other people around you, and in fact, all you want do is be on your own.

So, that comes down to not caring, it comes down to apathy, any of these things. And then add to that self-harm. So, there’s a sense of I want to harm myself, you are drinking a lot more than you should be. You’re possibly taking sedentary drugs or even possibly taking just social drugs to numb yourself. You might be smoking more. Any number of things that you’re doing to lock out reality and to try and disassociate, anything like that is classified now as having some kind of link to mental health issues. I don’t know if that helps give a broad picture and if you’re listening to this, you’ll probably think you have several of those occasionally. That is one thing, but if you’re consistently living in that place that’s a very different thing altogether.

Yeah for sure, I think that’s a fantastic way to very quickly identify immediately if you are suffering of some sort of emotional disconnect, or some sort of emotional stress, and exactly everything you described there. So, if you are feeling a certain way like that, or you know somebody around you in your close circle, which you love, have affection for, and they’re feeling like that. Or you can observe that from them, then this podcast should hopefully help massively.

Yeah, Harms let’s stay on that point. Go back to your story, something from the past, when was it, what point in history? What sort of age were you as well?

So, when I was about 26, and this is what fascinated me when I reflect back on it is, these mental health issues and however you want to label it. People are experiencing it younger and younger and younger. So, when I experienced this at 26, I couldn’t believe it. I thought this was something that only happens to people in the midlife crisis. Why on earth is a 25,26-year-old feeling the way I felt. And so, if you just imagine my situation. I was working in a career which I was not passionate about, and I started to feel this way at about year seven, and I had another 3 more years before I shifted from a career into the business world. And I just wasn’t passionate about it.

Things around me started to feel meaningless. I would wake up in the last seconds, just so I made it on time to work. There were certain times in the year where I would just sit in the car park for about half an hour before I actually walked into the office, and to put it into context, I used to manage a team of 40 people. So, I would sit in the car for about half an hour before I even entered into the workspace, just sitting there, trying to distract myself from reality. So, it started when I was sitting in the car and I would just scroll through social media. I’d sit in the car for about 15,20 minutes scrolling through Instagram, looking at other people’s amazing lives. Which I thought they were just living amazing lives, scrolling, scrolling, scrolling.

Which is why even in our digital marketing company, I’m always very conscious about how much interaction people have with social media, but that’s a separate topic. But I would just sit there and scroll. I would scroll, just to do anything apart from get into that office space. And it got to a point where one day it was about 5.30PM, 6.30PM, I had already been at work for more than two hours than I was contracted to, because of all the work pressures and things like that. And I just found myself walking out the office and sitting in my car and I just broke down into tears, and it was just literally, I just sat there and I think I sat there for half an hour, and then rather than do the right thing and just go home, I went back into the office and just tried to finish my work. And that was the big turning point for me where I said, what am I doing? Every stress or something is rooted from something. So, for me it wasn’t the case that I  couldn’t handle the work or couldn’t handle the workload that was given to me, I was quite competent at what I was doing. I was doing it for 10 years.

The challenge was, it just wasn’t who I was. I was not an engineer; I was a creator by nature. I was a free spirit, by nature, I really struggled to live within these rules and this red tape. And it just started to become meaningless. And when you’re starting to do something, day after day, for about three years and you feel it’s meaningless, you just get to a point and you just crack. And you’re just like okay enough is enough, and that was it. So, the feeling is there, and I resonate massively with people, and I can quickly identify it now in people. And I get where they’re coming from. But I think the important thing is, where does it come from? Which is actually question number two. Where does that come from?

Yeah, it’s a good question. I haven’t actually heard you share that before. That’s the first time I think that you’ve shared that openly with anybody. So, I hadn’t appreciated quite that’s where you were. I know when I met you, you were hungry. I think you had gone through a transition, and this was almost like a chance to see an opportunity but prior to that, everything was leading you up to the first time we met. That’s what I believe now from what you’ve told me.

For sure, yeah. And I think it’s important to tackle these certain issues when certain questions arise. I know there’s going to be other people listening, knowing they may be in a similar situation, so they’re not alone.

Harms, the youngest I’ve dealt with is 12. You were on an event with me two years ago, where I was asked to help out with a young lady who was 13 years of age. She had stopped eating, I mean I haven’t talked about this, but she had stopped eating, so that’s the other big indicator, is eating behaviour. So, the minute people stop eating or eating crap, shit food, and they’re literally just not looking after themselves.

She had physically stopped eating at 13 for two weeks, two weeks. I mean literally starving herself. And so, she wasn’t communicating, she was being bullied at school, and that was leading to just a sense of no one’s listening to me, couldn’t communicate. So, of course the best way to get attention without people realising it is to then do something extreme, and with extreme behaviour comes an extreme response.

You suddenly get the attention, and there’s a whole psychology behind this in it’s own right.

I’ve dealt with people as young as 13, right through to people in their 60s who have got into a state of hopelessness.

They’ve worked all their lives, in fact you met just recently at an event with me a lovely young man, who I think for 30 years had locked down his communication. Amazing gentleman. If you see him, the way he is communicating now, but in that moment on that event we were able to do an intervention with him, which broke a habit from sometime in his youth. Something happened with his father, which resulted in 35 to 40 years of being locked down. And that was an emotional, mental health issue, which meant that he wasn’t able to really truly be himself. And we, as a group witnessed it. 100 people witnessed the shift that happened. So, it’s all the way along the age group. It’s not, I agree with you on the question why are young people struggling so much. But I think you’ve put your finger on it without realising it in your description, I’ll come to that in a minute actually, if that’s okay. There is definitely, younger people have access to a media which is so instant, that older people tend not to use and refer to.

So, the frame of reference to magnify the problem is so much more instant than it was back in the old days, so maybe that’s the way we should go if you’re asking the question, what is the cause? What were the three things you wanted to cover.

It was how to identify it. Where does it come from? And how do we tackle it? So, off the back of my story, where my situation came from was, my values as a person and what I wanted to be spending my time doing on the one life I have on this planet. It was not sitting in an office, just sort of sending emails and everything led to that point. And it was just like, that’s it, enough is enough.

There’s got to be more to life than this.

There’s got to be more to life than this, and that was my big turning point. Whereas it could have been, if I was somebody else, it could have been I can no longer handle the amount of pressure I’m getting at work. Or I don’t have the skills to manage maybe 20 things I have to do a day, or the responsibility is just too extreme for the workplace. Or I’ve no longer got a family work balance, and that could be the reason. So, where does it come from is the second question I think we should tackle.

Okay, so I’m going to give you my view. And remember anyone listening to this, there’s several layers to this and there might be more things you want to add. You might challenge me on it, you might agree with me. But I’m just going to say what I’ve observed over the last 30 plus years of being in this field of working with people. Three things Harms, number one, feel free to jump in at any stage.

Number one is, I’ll go through them very quickly and then expand on them. Number one is parents’ expectations of their children, of us as children. We are all children if we’ve got parents in our lives.

The second thing is a system that has been designed which I believe fundamentally flawed now, to put too much pressure on young people.

And the third thing, and it’s a more recent thing from my perspective, certainly in my lifetime, is social media.

For you it’s a part of what you’ve grown up with, for me it wasn’t part of what I grew up with. And that’s why I say that you’ve picked on something which I think is really topical, and one of the biggest causes. So, I’ll start to work through them and expand a little bit, and if you want to jump in then just feel free to jump in. So, parents’ expectations. I deal a lot with parents and a lot of people who are my age group, people who are sort of in their 30s just starting off as parents.

Generally, people are having kids later now. Right through to people who are 40, 45, 50, who have got kids that are older, typically 10,15, 20, 25 years of age. And my experience is that most parents, my generation, i.e. 40 to 50 to 60, we grew up with a period where we just didn’t have stuff. So, there’s certain things that we didn’t have, certainly I didn’t have as my parents and my father passed away and my mum was surviving literally. So, as a parent fundamentally when you’re in that age group what you want to do is, just make sure that your kids quote on quote, have all the things that I didn’t have. Have a better education, have more money, don’t have the stress of having to try and earn money to go through university to struggle those first few years. So, we almost find ourselves taking our beliefs as parents, it will be interesting to see anyone listening to this that actually thinks my God that’s so true.

Our own beliefs and we want to impart and make it almost easier to provide our kids with the best opportunity they’ve got. And you’ll often hear that. But in doing that we start talking to our kids about, we don’t actually, I have to say that because I have children and I’ve made a conscious decision not to do it. Because of so many other people do it and I’m talking about my own family, putting kids through 11 plus, putting them at a young age into the exam system. Working extra hours to make sure you pass your test results and for what reason, and this comes to my next part in a moment which is the system.

But if you look at it from a parent’s perspective, as parents, whatever inadequacies we feel we have had in the past in our own growth, our own education, and our own youthful years. We want to correct those and instead of correcting them in ourselves, typically what we do is we correct them in our kids. In other words, we make sure our kids don’t make the same mistakes we did. And of course, we are implanting in our kids a set of beliefs that may not be appropriate for them. And then the children, and you know this because you’re a child as well. Is then we don’t want to displease our parents. So, then we start to behave in a way to please our parents, which might be a direct conflict to our own beliefs and values about what we want in the world, because the world we are seeing around us at 25,30, which is what you’re seeing, is different to the world that I saw when I grew up at 25, 30.

So it’s a massive conflict of vision, values and alignment of the world around us. And the parents unconsciously or in some cases consciously are doing this to their kids. And kids don’t like to say no, fundamentally they want to please their parents, and they don’t want to be unloved by their parents.

So, they’ll do what it necessary to be love, and of course that leads to in your example, being in a workplace where you probably fell into that part, you and I come from an Asian background. Get a good job as an engineer, work really hard, and all of a sudden there you are in a car park upset because it’s not who you are. But actually, for the first 10, 15 years, that’s what your parent’s kind of loved you into doing, not by force but almost by, well that’s what you do son. I don’t know if I’m right or wrong, but that’s what I see in…

Exactly, exactly, exactly Ro. And that is very true and if you want to see a way that it plays out, it’s what you just mentioned last there, which is, it plays out in the career choice that you sort of go down. I mean, this is a podcast that comes from an open place because we want to be able to help the people around us, and the listeners. So, for example, myself, I went down the route of an engineer. And that was not who I was as a person.

And Geena, mentioning my wife, she went down the route of being an accountant, and that was a driving force from her parents. And it’s only years later, when it’s like, mum and dad just to let you know we are not an engineer, we are not an account, and I hope you’re okay with that. We are people first. But now I’ve even tried to go beyond that because it does link to the second point that I have. I try to go beyond that which is, just to let you know I am not my job. Who I am as a person, I am not my job. So, I’m not even a property investor now, not even a business person, I am just me. I am me and you’re going to have to spend some time and work out what me, in terms of a character, who I am as a person, who am I in my mind, heart space. That’s quite challenging, which leads to my second point which is, I’m going to challenge parents listening to this, and the reason I’m openly going to challenge them is, parents just for some reason, at some point they just stop learning.

They stop learning, and they stop staying up to date. And it’s not everybody, but they just stop staying up-to-date with what is happening and, for example, the typical line I hear is, “oh, everything has changed. It wasn’t like that in my day. It wasn’t like that in my day. I can’t keep up, too busy, and I’ve got no time for this.” And those sentences play out.

And also Harms do remember as well that culturally, I mean your parents, how old are your parents now?

So, 55 and 60 years old.

So, a little bit older than me, and my mum’s in their generation, even older than them. So, 70 and 80, my stepfather is 88. That generation, I was just creeping into the personal development generation. I just happened to hang on to it at a young age, at 18, I hooked onto it, but most people in that generation didn’t have the psychology of growing.

The idea of a seminar personal development, that was American bullshit, you don’t want to listen to that. So, that’s the challenge that you face in your age group, is that in my age group we didn’t grow up with that. I was just hanging onto that from the start it and managed to stay in that growth. And I evolve very quickly, but if you weren’t in that space, man you were fucked basically, just you just got stuck into the old rut.

My mum was the same, my father was the same. I followed into an engineering footstep, which was my dad’s footsteps, work hard. The concept of personal growth just didn’t really exist. It was almost like a taboo thing to talk about.

To some extent it’s still taboo and we talked about this previously in the last episode. And it’s still taboo to a certain extent, so if there’s one thing I can encourage parents to do right away, is just learning. The moment you left school there might have been a long period where you stopped learning, and maybe in the action points I’ll give you some key places to spend some time. And yourself Ro if you can. Because one thing is yes, we can talk about the younger generation, and this is me protecting the younger generation. We can talk about the young generation, but we have to speak to the wiser generation and say, hang on a minute, what’s happening here? The reason you can’t actually talk to us and I understand us, is because you stopped learning. You’re reading the wrong stuff. You’re reading about politics in the newspaper, when we should be worrying about other things which are more important here.

And I agree. I actually had this conversation with my mother as well, and I love her dearly. And her background is watching the news and my stepfather was as well. So, that whole mindset is driven by a different take on information. You’ve almost got three information sources now, you’ve got the mass media, newspapers. You’ve got
social media, which is where I think the younger generation really communicate. And then you’ve got the personal development world which floats somewhere around the social media world at the moment, that’s where I see it. Or separately at seminars, books, tapes, I say tapes, but they don’t exist anymore. But you know that world and it’s a choice of where you go to get that information. Podcasts are filling that gap now and I think these types of things are really useful.

They are very useful, and a lot of wise people are on it. A lot of experts in podcasts, and if you’re just thinking about books and where to start, literally go onto any online bookstore. Amazon, or go to a bookstore and look at the business section. They’ve got personal development sections, they’ve got self-help. Just pick up a few books, just start and work your way through them, and then you’ll be so ahead of the game when communicating with a generation which has, and we appreciate that we are completely different from your generation. We massively appreciate that it.

Are you talking about my generation? But okay, on that note then, let’s just address this. If you are listening to this right now, and you are a sub- 40, say, 30, 30 years of age and below actually. Anyone 30 years, talk to your parents and get them to listen to this podcast. Because here’s what I’m going to say to the parents, because I’m in that category of 50,55, is it’s a mental health issue.

Sorry to be blunt, but it’s a mental health issue, not to freaking develop yourself. It’s a mental health issue, not to freaking go out and grow and expand, and to want to learn about becoming healthier. Why take the advice of a medical doctor who wants to pump you full of drugs, when actually there’s other ways to naturally do it.

Why go into a divorce when there’s actually a way to work on the relationship, to heal the relationship through personal growth, and become an amazing person. Why would you not want to redesign and redevelop your belief systems and your values, so you can grow and have another amazing 30 years. And your children can be inspired by you to follow in those footsteps, instead of a set of self- beliefs or self-destructive beliefs that make them want to be the opposite to you, but at the same time unconsciously, they want to be the same as you.

Honestly, parents have huge amounts to answer for without even realising it, and it’s not to blame the parents because they don’t know that. But the way you do become aware is, you develop yourself. So that’s my rant for the last 30 seconds or more.

I love that! So, if you’re listening to this podcast at home, take a deep breath, just take a deep breath, and we will move onto the second point which is, the system. So, we’ve dealt with parents, and we’ve backed my generation here. And we’ve kicked the parents, so let’s focus on the system.

So, the system has three elements to it. The system as it stands at the moment, and it still exists is, kids go to school and get your exams. Get your exams and get really good results. And by the way we are going to put pressure on you, from fours of age, we are going to start testing you. We are going to start testing you from this age of 4,5,6,7 all the way through till you get to 17, 18 years of age.

Get those levels of exams out the way, then we are going to send you to university, we are going to put more pressure on you as well. And by the time you get out there if you’ve got all the right results and you’ve got a certain category, you are only classed by this category, then you can get a certain type of job. And you really want to go for the good jobs. Because if you don’t get a good job, you’re going to get a shit pay, and if you have a shit pay, then you’re going to have a crap lifestyle. But you have to get a job, and by the way if you stay in that job, and you work really hard for the next 40 years and stay doing the same thing, climb the career ladder and at the end of that you can retire, on basically sod all money.

And that’s the system that puts pressure right from the start. It’s the system you talked about in the money series, that we had where you started choosing your career based on earnings at 19 years of age. The system is only designed to put people into conformity instead of creativity, we are getting people to conform.

And what if you can’t conform? You start to panic, and if you start panicking you get anxiety, you get depression. You get hopelessness because you don’t fit into the system. I think it’s one out of five teenage girls in the UK are self-harming at the moment. You and I were at seminar just recently where I was running a communications event, and a young girl of 16 told us that her friends, I think it was four or five of her friends had all attempted to self-harm themselves, because they were all being asked to take exams at ridiculous age.

They were put under pressure, they were coming back from school and being told to work until 8, 9 o’clock at night, then having a short break, study again. If they did get 75% or more, they were underperforming. Oh my god, what kind of pressure does that put on a young teenager?

So, the system is seriously damaging, what it is doing, I’m sorry Harms I’m on a rant here again. But it creates fear, it creates a sense of a lack of what if I don’t? And you think you call it, your generation call it FOMO. Is it fear of missing out?

Fear of missing out.

So, that’s the modern term I became aware of a few years ago. I always called it a fear of lack, but you’re calling in fomo. It is fucking huge right now for young people, huge. Rant over.

And I will link that back actually to my situation. And this is not only an issue which parents are going to have to deal with. It’s also employers, because if you take my situation, my story that I shared at the start. I had peaked at some sort of emotional state. I peaked at an emotional state and I said enough is enough. And then I just left that career place, I just left that that sort of career behind.

Hold on, before you say that. Everyone is going to go, “that’s great.” But you just missed the most important thing, how and why did you choose to leave? Because by making that statement it’s so easy to make it, because you’ve done it. But if I’m listening to this and I’m 27 thinking, yeah I feel all the stuff that Dr Ro has been talking about. And then you just told me you left. What did you do Harms? Give us two or three things that took you from a to b quickly. I know we are going to come back to how to tackle this in a minute, but what did you do to caveat that?

Okay so, just very quickly, so the first thing I plugged into was personal development. Personal development allowed me to grow as a person. And then what I decided for myself, was to attach myself to a different type of education which I did not receive in school, which is how do you build wealth through assets. So, how do you invest successfully. I then attached myself to people who had done it in the past, so people like yourself Dr Ro, so people who had done it in the past. And I made a conscious decision that in my spare time instead of flicking through social media, I just drew a line in the sand and said,

I’m going to build a business on the side until the income from the business exceeds the income from the job, and then I’m going to make a decision. So, that can take some time, and just to add some more context, a part of me having an emotional breakdown at work was, it was a case that, oh my god actually the business is doing well now I have an exit, what the hell am I still doing here?

What am I still doing here, so just to add a few layers context to my situation, and that’s when I was able to make a decision. So, what I’m not saying is, just go leave your job tomorrow because it’s about, you then take more anxiety and more stress to your life. And that’s not the point of this. The point is, there is a process you’ll have to go through in order to leave that. It’s not an instant fix.

And we can talk about that in the final part on how to tackle it. So, can I ask you a question then? Because I’ve never asked you this before, but when you went through that process, the concept of fomo, because there was definitely a sense of… I had this conversation with you at one point, as you leave the career and all things that it could give you. If you carry up the career ladder, did the fear of missing out slowly reduce by building something separate on the side?

Absolutely it did. Because when you think about fear of missing out, you’re only missing out on what you are aware of at that time. And I think this is really important note if you’re listening at home is, I was only fearful of missing out on the world of the people around me at work. So, the fear of missing out on the bonus at the end of the year. Fear of missing out on that percentage pay rise. I was in fear of missing out on a private pension, all those things I was thinking about.

Christmas dinners!

Christmas dinner, I cannot believe this, I was fearful of not working a Christmas and boxing, because they would pay triple pay. I was like, oh my god next year I’m not going to get triple pay on Christmas. When I think about some of things that went through my head, I think wow. But that is the fear of missing out in context of the environment I was in at the time, and then once I built this new amazing environment on the side. I was like, actually I’m not so worried about missing on those things, because I’m building this amazing thing over here, on the other side. But it is a slow, safe, gradual process, so when people talk about the grass is not always greener on the other side. Yes, that makes sense to me when you suddenly wake up one morning and say I’m leaving, without having harvested the grass on the other side.

You’ve got to grow it.

You’ve got to grow the grass first. I was growing the grass on the other side of the fence, and once it was now lush and ready to be grazed. I then hopped over the fence. So, there’s a process behind that.

Right sorry I had to jump in there because it sounded like a cut job, and I know it wasn’t. But the listeners might have.

I know and we may have one thousand listeners leave their careers tomorrow, so we don’t want that.

Is there anything you want to add to that? Because there’s one last component I want to jump in. But I stopped you in your flow there, did you get across what you wanted to say or did you want to ass to that?

Going back to the point you made about the system. And when you think about the system and I’m closer to you than the school system, in terms of our age groups and I still genuinely remember it very, very well. In terms of it when we talk about exams and things, we have for parents, I feel that they may not really feel what’s actually happening in school, because they’re not sitting through the school day. And just to put it into context we are talking about getting your children to and getting myself to memorise a textbook to then pass an exam.

And anybody, so basically what we’re saying is, the way we are differentiating between people and I notice this in the classroom environment was, the people who are very good at getting the answers for the exams they had a great self-esteem boost. For those people who were like myself, to be honest and were more creative or more free-spirited we had a challenge, because we struggled to memorise answers to pass exams, we had a challenge. We are not going to get a big gold star, or on a tick in the box at the end of the day, we were going to get told, because you can’t memorise things very well, you’re no good. You’re no good. So, you’re just going to have to get better at memorising things.

So, rather than teach us some real important skills. We got taught how to memorise, so just remember that for your children. When you’re putting that sort of pressure on them and the school system putting the pressure on them, it is coming from a place of, what are they actually learning?

So, one of the, just a few things that I did not learn from school was, how to communicate effectively, how to think critically, and also how to be a creative. And when you think about creatives, you typically think of art class, so if I put myself into art class, we spent very little time actually doing the art, we spent a lot of time studying artists and the history of artists.

So, from a creative point of view, I don’t really remember expressing myself creatively in school. But when Ro is having an event at the system we have in context to, what is actually happening at school and what are our kids actually doing. So, that’s my memory of school and unfortunately Ro, I have to agree with you on that’s the system, that’s currently being operated at the moment. I did not get the same pressure as some of the kids are getting now though. And that’s from a 10 to 15-year span. It is just very much increasing.

Yeah I mean, I think I mentioned here to parents if you’re listening to this and this is challenging your beliefs and makes you feel uncomfortable. Or if you’re a child and I mean we are children. But if you’re listening to this, if you’re a teenager, late teens, early teens whatever.

Ask your parents to have a listen to this, but the big question I’d say to parents listening to this is, genuinely hand on heart, are your children happy at school? And that’s a question that we have with own daughter.

She is in a slightly different nonconventional type of school that actually nurtures creativity, but that doesn’t stop us asking the question, and if I had to differentiate between a bad day versus overall unhappiness, and I think that’s what we have to do as parents.

It’s the same way you had to make that distinction at 26 years of age in a car park in tears, then going back into carry on working, versus a child that doesn’t know how to make that distinction. As the adults we have to step in and ask an honest question, are our kids actually happy?

We are so busy being busy, working and earning our salaries to look after the family, have we stopped to actually ask the question, are our children happy and if we carry on putting them in that environment, what’s the long term impact on them? And I get to see the adults who were unhappy children and that’s why I feel so passionate about this is because most people I meet actually, they look back, it wasn’t the right environment for them.

So, I think it’s a chance to reflect and start to consider other opportunities, or other ways to help your children grow and learn as human beings. It is a very sensitive subject, but I think it’s one that I’m glad we have tackled it.

I agree Ro. And I’m just going to add a practical element onto that. So, something I was never asked. And it’s no discredit to my parents or anything like that, or even my teachers to be honest. I was never asked by my teachers these powerful questions.

Rather than ask your children at the end of the day, or ask your colleagues, your work colleagues, if you’re a manager asking your work colleague, or somebody is working as your employee at work.

Rather than say, how was your day today? Try to get more specific with the question. So, the way to rephrase that question was, what was the best part of your day today? What work is most exciting you this week? So, ask some real specific questions, because if you’re asked the general question, how was your day? You’re just going to get, yeah it was alright, yeah it was alright. And you’re not going to actually find out what’s genuinely happening behind the scenes. So, a powerful question, I think Ro you mentioned it. You ask a powerfully question, you’re going to get a powerful answer.

And then for the parents that want to find out about their children, asking them are you happy isn’t necessarily the right way. You can try it, but another way to do it might simply be to say, tell me what you’re excited about at school and which areas do you feel you’re less excited about? What are you not enjoying? And you’ll get a contrast and I’ll ask then behind that, well what makes you happy about that? And what makes you feel so unhappy or less happy, or you feel less enjoyable? And then in the description you’ve got to watch their body language.

Listen to the language that they’re using, and the clues will start to reveal themselves. And then just notice when they’ve got a resistance to doing things. Sometimes it will be because they are going through that period of their lives, but other times there’s a consistency of unhappiness and that’s where the signs start to show up.

Of course we don’t spot these things, parents if we are not asking the right questions, as you’ve just said there, and that’s when the mental health, quote on quote issues kick in. Because now the kids are prescribed drugs, or they’re told they’ve got a mental health issue, when actually maybe it’s a communication health issue, it’s not a mental health issue at all.

I mean we’ve tackled the system now, so I think…

A deep subject. There’s still a bit to cover here, so I’m going to keep this brief. It might be a conversation for another day on a different podcast, I think it’s topical in its own right. But social media and I guess all I’m going to do is, throw this probably back at you without us going too long into this.

And to say the other big thing, and this is the distinction you picked up earlier on in your description, and I spotted it in the way you described it. You were sat there going through Facebook, you described that. Now I think for most young people that’s a natural place they go to. When they’re sat in a queue waiting for food, at the cinema. I’ve sat at airports standing with my daughter talking to her and literally everyone else is sat down on the phone, and that’s either WhatsApp, social media, Instagram.

They’re looking at a world of instant gratification. All they’re seeing is the positive stuff that’s happening out there. And so, here you are not happy in your workplace, and in contrast you’re seeing all of this positivity, start this business, do that. I’ve just tried this, this works, I’m here on this holiday. Instant gratification, start this business and be a millionaire within six months. Make £3000 a month by doing this online course.

And so people see that, and they get instant gratification over there, it makes their current life feel shit. It is like watching a soap opera, back in my day it was the soap operas that made people feel shit. Because they would sit at home and what happened is, soap operas started to be really negative.

So now people are coming home, and the reason that they became addictive is because now I’m watching something on TV, which is worse than my life. So, at least it makes my life feel a little bit better. Positive stuff didn’t get much attention, so I think the social media environment for younger generations, it’s such a natural place to go.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of stuff in there that is also creating anxiety, pressure, social pressure, and that’s leading to a magnification of that in the workplace. Like you said you went back into the office, having looked at Facebook thinking, shit that’s what I want to be doing. And now I’ve got to go back into the office, and then that just magnifies the pain. But just from your perspective, talk to me about what you see, what you felt and what younger people are feeling right now? Because I think you’re the voice of this.

You’ve covered a lot of ground there, and I think I’m going to add to those points.

So, first of all, I think for the listeners at home, it’s not a case that social media is the worst thing. It’s not the enemy of our generation, social media is a fantastic way to connect people globally. If you use it the right way. It’s actually extraordinary.

However, it does, if misused like most things, if misused, it can have a significant detrimental effect. Which in this case, links to the topic we are talking about, which is mental health, stress, emotional issues. And that really comes from, linked to fomo. It comes from comparing yourself instantly all day long. Comparing yourself to somebody else’s life.

Comparing your life to somebody else’s life. And we have to appreciate how the mind works. The mind is not going to be able to process things in a deeper level, every time you load up Instagram. Instagram is an example, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, they all contribute to what we’re talking about in this podcast. Which is when you open up Instagram, I’m using that as an arbitrary example, and you look at somebody on holiday.

You are looking at that person in that second, in that moment of time, what we haven’t seen is the process behind that photograph. We don’t know if they’re actually having a bad day. We don’t know if they’ve just had an argument with their partner, but they want to get their fix and their likes, by posting something online. And I’ll give you a great example Ro. So, me and Geena were on the Amalfi coast last year. We went down to breakfast and we saw two young ladies, they were friends. They looked like they were there on holiday.

Amazing place to have a holiday and they were seated at their breakfast, but before they ate their breakfast they must’ve spent, and I’m not adverse to this take a picture of your food. Great whatever, but they spent about 5 to 7 minutes, taking pictures of each other with their food. Okay, so just imagine they’re sitting across from us, me and Geena are just observing this. Just fascinated, just observing this. We don’t have our phones out on holiday, very rarely.

So, we are just observing this, how is it going to unfold, they are taking pictures of each other with their food. What happened before they ate the food is, they swapped their dishes and one friend actually ate her meal, and the friend who was taking pictures with the meal that was actually hers, had taken pictures purely for Instagram. But was actually going to eat something completely different. I just couldn’t believe it. So, what they’re saying to the world out there, what they’re saying to me.

Imagine me sitting in the car park, before I got to my office. I’m looking through Instagram and I’m like, oh my God, look at this attractive lady with her food on the Amalfi Coast. And I’m like, I want to be a part of that life. You know, why am I not on the Amalfi coast today eating this delicious food? Now I was actually in that scenario, in the same restaurant as her. That was not her food, that was not her food she was eating.

But yet she was happy enough to share that with the world. And then when I observed their interaction afterwards, the phones went away, and they didn’t even speak to each other for the whole meal. They were just eating and staring into space. So, the reason I use this example, which I saw first-hand is when we load Instagram, Facebook, we have to appreciate that is a moment in time for that person. We don’t know the year before.

We don’t know how much money they had saved to go on that holiday, we don’t know the sacrifice they had to make. We don’t know the arguments that they had to have with their partner on, do we go to the Amalfi coast, or do we go to Bali as an example. And these are just first world problems. It’s so massively important to realise that they are living their own life.

And their life and their path is different to the life you’re living. When you compare yourself to their life, that’s their moment in time versus your moment in time. So, if you’re feeling shit, you’re having a shit day, and you’re looking at somebody else having a great day, that is just going to make you feel shitter. And I think it’s just important to realise that, and the problem with social media is compared to this, to the sitcom compared to the soap opera somebody would watch, that’s half an hour show in the evening. So, the difference now is that this is constant.

Ongoing. That was the point I was going to add actually.

Yeah, it is instant. It’s time spent, and what that means is, and this is where I think I do appreciate parents just won’t understand this. Their kids, or our generation are getting bombarded with inputs.

Constantly bombarded with inputs and this causes a whole other set of issues outside mental health, but they’re so bombarded with inputs. Constantly, constantly, constantly. And I can speak for my generation that it is a problem, to have that much input, sensory input constantly, from the moment you pick up the phone is incredibly tough to deal with.

So, to add to that and I didn’t tell you this. But last week I met a lady who treats a lot of people on a physical level. And about 10,15 years ago I also sat and talked to an organisation that deal with measuring the by rhythmic behaviour of the head and the heart in synchronicity. Something called heart math.

And the conversation that happened last week and also the same conversation 10,15 years ago on the same subject was, fight or flight. Meaning that back in the day when we were primitive in the sense that you know we were going out, trying to catch an animal, and then a tiger tried to grab us.

We basically had the fear there, so we either fought at that moment, or we ran away. That’s where the fight or flight concept comes from. That creates a natural adrenal stress in the body. Now what they have found is the natural behaviour of human being to text, and email, traffic, you know stuck in traffic. Any sort of media coming at us from left, right and centre are body’s reaction to that, in different proportions is almost identical to the fight or flight scenario. Meaning that, when you get a stressful text you react in the same way to if something caused you stress from external, if it was a tiger coming at you, it’s just on a slightly smaller level. But if you get enough of that on a consistent regular basis, the tiger would run away that night, we eat the deer or whatever it is we are eating in the cave.

And that dear by the way stretches us over into the next two weeks because we are not natural, just necessarily meat eaters, we have berries and everything else. We are here now, we are getting stressed, we are eating shit food, eating a lot of the type of food that is not good for us. Add to that text after text of the WhatsApp after this has happened, social media, the news. And so, she was talking to me about the fact that our stress levels are now consistently high, so that leads to mental health issues as well. Just by the fact that there is no time for the body to destress because of exactly what you’ve just said, we have been bombarded constantly by the same levels of stress. And that’s taken to bed with us and now you’re going to bed with your phone, and instead of going to bed at 10 you going to bed at 12 because you’ve spent two hours looking at Facebook, Now you get up at six and it’s still in your body because the electronics, and I mean we could just go on and on, but you get the message. It is endemic and that’s the problem. It’s everywhere.

100% Ro. And I think the thing to also realise is that we don’t have control of this, so when you are on Instagram as much as you want to process and protect yourself from this issue that we are talking about, it’s automatic. It’s built into us. It’s built into us, this vital flight and even on a spectrum it’s all day.

It’s on the lower end of the spectrum but it’s happening all day, all day, all day. So, I don’t mind sharing with the audience, but I am aware of this in my own world, with my business and having to use my phone and my iPad and computer all the time. I’m very much aware of this, so I have to protect myself to avoid myself getting into a state of mental health issue or stress or anxiety, or a place where it’s going to be very hard for me to come back from. I this year as an experience, I booked myself onto a 10-day silent retreat. No phones, no laptops, no speaking. Very much so just to take some of the input away, because you can’t avoid it. It’s almost unavoidable now. So, I booked myself to a 10-day experience, and I’ll be happy to share that with a podcast in the future.

So, for me the equivalent of that would have been when I was younger particularly is doing a lot of my mountain trips. So, I used to go climb all over the world. The Alps, going down to south of France into the Pyrenees and dolomite, all those sorts of places. And with those experiences you’re in the mountains and in those days we didn’t have the digital media that you have today, where you could probably do a facetime, or you could actually do a selfie from the top of a mountain. We would carry up an old camera. You would get the camera out and make sure the film didn’t overexposed, you’re your photograph, stick it back in your rucksack and then you would have another five days, just with whoever you were with. That was it, that was the only conversation you had. Whereas you’re choosing to do that. I love the fact you’re making this decision to go and give that experience for your body.

And I think that links Ro lovely with some of the situations now. So, why things like gym, sports, cycling, running, why those things are so powerful is, because as a person, you can focus on one thing. I’m now just focusing on one thing and I’m dedicating everything to it. I’m going to feel it, I’m going to just smell anything around me, and feel the excitement, adrenaline, all those things.

So, a word of warning is, if you are going to experience those things just be there, just like Ro with rock climbing. Just like I’m going to a 10-day silent retreat. Just don’t open your phone. There’s no need, there’s no need. There’s no need to prove to anybody in the world that you are on this rock face at this specific time. Be conscious about how you want to do that, whether it’s taking a picture. Thank goodness that some of these places you spoke about, there’s no signal in those places. So, you can use your phone to take a picture, but you can’t broadcast it. So, it’s like, hah, you’ve got no choice you have to spend time with yourself.

And the memory is an internal memory at a cellular level, it’s a different experience altogether. And I think we have forgotten to do that. Just one caveat, you talked about having dinner and taking photographs.

So, I think just to add to anyone that’s thinking, well does that mean you’re saying don’t do that? I was in the Maldives recently and I made a conscious effort to catalogue some of that, to make it into a vlog to send a message out. And it was particularly a specific restaurant, it was a vegetarian restaurant. So, whilst we were there, I said to my family. What we are going to do today is, whilst we are at the meal, I’m going to photograph some of the meals because I’m going to put this into the vlog. I’m going to interview the chef and that was done very purposefully Harms, because if I hadn’t done it that way, I think I would have found myself constantly getting the phone out and photographing every single meal we had.

So, I made a decision whilst out on two occasions, that we were going to photograph some of the meals that we had so I could use those images for a specific vlog, which we were using to help get the message out about vegetarian food in different parts of the world. That was a different experience for me, it wasn’t me feeling I needed to capture it, it was because I had a purpose behind me doing it.

For sure Ro, and I think that’s a very important distinction. I’m not saying don’t do it. What I’m saying is, be conscious about how you’re doing it. Because I know you Ro, you would have taken the pictures and it would have been a great experience whilst you were taking the pictures, then the phone would go away and now you’re enjoying a family meal. If you do it like that consciously, it’s different and there’s no harm in documenting. And that links right back to the start where social media is a great way to connect with your friends, your family, new people out in the world. It’s a great business tool. If you treat it as a way to document your journey, without the intention of trying to make anybody else as well feel crap.

So, there’s a two-way approach“;

The person looking at that Instagram post, Facebook post, or Snapchat and saying, “man I want that life.” But also from the other side, the person who’s posting it.

What is your intention for posting that?
Is it, are you coming from place to show off?
Are you trying to make somebody else feel shit about their life? What is your intention with the post?
Or are you genuinely trying to share your experience with the world from a positive place, and saying, “this is amazing food in the Maldives, this is how great the food is.” And then you’re actually going to eat that food.

Or are you going to say this is me with my food and then actually not eat that food. It’s real, what’s actually happening in the real world versus a fake creation you’re creating. This links directly with mental health. And again, you were blunt Ro earlier, but that is mental health in terms of the person putting it out there as well. That’s them feeling like they have to live a certain way to please the person watching them halfway around the world, that’s also a mental health issue. This expands in so many different places here.

And I think that’s a conversation for another podcast, talking about your beliefs, your values, who you are, your identity, sense of purpose, and how you shop in the world. That’s a completely different conversation for another podcast.

Okay, so far we’ve covered parents’ expectations on kids, pressure, the system. I spoke about social media so that that covers our two main question so far. Which is how do we identify it? And where does it come from? I think we’ve covered everything about where does it come from. Now I think we should cover the final point, which is how to tackle it?

Yeah, I think we’ve already addressed some of this, in the way we’ve explained in the last section. I’ll go through five things, I don’t want to spend too long, I think it’s about provoking people to go away and think about what they’re doing at the moment, and how they can change that. So, I’ll go through five things then if you want to jump in at any stage, or pick them up at the end, I’ll go through them fairly quickly.

Yeah thank you for reminding everybody of that. So, number one for me is, and you said it actually in the way you described previously. Stop comparing yourself and stop trying to compete with other people.

Let me caveat the start of these five points. Imagine yourself at my age, imagine you’re 50,55 years of age, and you’re that person just fast forward from a minute. Imagine the years have gone on, you’ve gone through life. You expanded, you’ve grown, you’ve developed yourself as a person, and now you’re at a stage where you’ve had a different experience with life. You’re older, you’re wiser. You’ve got children, and you’ve developed some businesses, and you’re feeling more secure. And if you are at that age then you’re at that point already, there might be a different experience for you. You might need to fast forward 10 to 15 years into the future.

But the point of the exercise is, imagine you’re that person who is 15, 20, 30 years older. Looking back at this very moment in time, the phone is in your hand, you’ve seen somebody there on Facebook or Instagram or whatever it is, the conversation you’re having. It might be a WhatsApp message and you suddenly find an emotional connection with that situation you’re feeling stressed or competitive, or shit look at what they’re doing.

Ask yourself the question, if I was sat here now, with another 20 to 30 years on top of me. Does this really make any difference whatsoever? Do I need to react like this? Do I need to compare myself at this moment, or compete with this person? And nine times out of 10, the answer is, no. So, that’s the first one is, stop competing.

You need to. Just be yourself and that’s the second point, which I know you’re very passionate about as well Harminder, is be authentic, be real as Harms just said there.

If you’re in this space of learning, or growing, or social media, or being with your parents, communicating with your parents. Don’t try to be your parents, don’t try to be your mate on Instagram, don’t try to be a celebrity who is on Instagram. Be authentic. Be real. Make the message yours. Make it raw. Make it honest and I think you’ll create a new experience of people around you. People will come to you who are different because they like your authenticity, that’s the second one. Shall I keep going Harms or do you want to add to this?

No, keep going Ro, keep going.

Okay, so the third thing is, and you raised this as well. You have to change the way you communicate. You’ve got to start to talk from a space of being honest from the heart. Talk to your parents. If there’s stress coming as your parents are bringing something upon you, that you don’t feel is your values, your beliefs, tell them, I love you, I respect you. I think what you’ve done is great, it’s not who I am. I know you want me to do this and achieve this, but the pressure it’s putting on me, the anxiety it’s creating. I can already start to feel that I’m having a meltdown, or I’m just not feeling right about this. This is how I want to be; this is what I want to do, and at least open that dialogue. It might be that you need to take on a coach or bounce back into the environment with us on Seekardo and get some support there. I don’t know, but at least at this stage you might want to come back with some questions on that. At least open that communication up, it’s really important.

The fourth and there’s five of these. The fourth way is to develop a whole new set of beliefs. It’s really important to rewire yourself, I think we’ve talked about the book I wrote many years ago called, ‘Turning point.’ If you get a chance, get a copy of that. There is a whole section in there on rewiring your beliefs. It might be that you are currently living with a set of beliefs that are your parents, or people around you, and you’ve just got to rewire those. If you rewire them in a sincere way and you redefine who you believe you are, and how you want to believe, you’ll communicate differently. You won’t compete with other people and then you can be more authentic. And only by doing that process can you actually be more authentic and communicate more effectively.

And then the final thing and Harminder picked it up beautifully, and I asked the him the question without him knowing I was going to ask the question is, associate with different types of people. Associate with people who are older, who you consider to be wiser. Who are what I classify as emotionally developed, with people who are on the path that you want to be on, and asked them for help, reach out. And start to mix with those people and by that very association it’s my experience that you will start to adopt or adapt to or embody their beliefs and their values. You’ll communicate differently and you’ll find yourself not having to compete, because you can just be yourself. And when you’re yourself, you’re competing with anybody, you’re just being yourself. They would be my five things Harminder.

Those are amazing Ro. And just on the last one which is surrounding yourself with the right people rather than us go into that point, if you listen to episode two of the Seekardo podcast. We talk about coaches and mentors, and peer groups within that podcast. That literally covers that entire topic. So, do plug in to that, if that point resonated with you, and you will feel like one of the parts for you to take, regain control, or tackle the fact that you don’t want to have any mental health issues in a years’ time, two years’ time. The peer group, the coaches, the mentors, they really do change the world around you, and help support you when you are rewriting your beliefs. Because the people around you won’t understand those beliefs that you’re rewriting because there will be sometimes, they may be different to the beliefs that, for example, in your household, your beliefs may be different to those people now because you’re rewriting them. So, you’re going to need a few people around you to help guide you and support you through that. So, listen to episode two, and we go into that in a hell of a lot of detail.

Just to add there, I think one way to wrap this last part, because there’s a lot to process here is. I just want to talk to and have a voice for an older person. Maybe you can come in and talk from a young person’s perspective about the concept of authenticity, because I think that’s sort of oozing out of this last part of how to tackle this. Being authentic, being real, don’t bullshit, be yourself. So, for the older generation that can be tough for a different reason to the younger generation. If you’re 40, 50, 60 years of age and you’ve moulded yourself in a certain way and now that needs to change, or you feel that needs to change because you are feeling some anxiety, some stress, or mental health, whatever label you want to give it.

To change who you are, can be difficult because people already perceive you in a certain way. And I would say to the older generation quite frankly and it might be the same message for the younger ones, I’ll be interested to hear what you say is, who gives a, who gives a shit, whatever language you want to put against that. I said this to my daughter recently I said, it doesn’t matter do you care about who you are? Yes. Do you love yourself? Yes. Then who cares what other people think. So, I think if you’re 50,55,60,65, and you’re like, oh my gosh you’re asking me to rewire myself, redefine myself. No, I’m not asking you to do that, I’m saying actually, if you want to have a different experience of life.

That means you are going to have to look inside, and it may mean that you’ve got to rewire who you are as a person, so that you can experience the world differently as a person. So, you can see the world differently as a person. And that might mean letting go of certain friendships. It might mean realising that it doesn’t matter what other people think about you because ultimately you are amazing. And why not live the world in that space, and the right people will hang around you, and the wrong people will disassociate themselves from you anyway. Don’t worry about their judgement. Just be yourself. So, for the older ones it’s about dusting yourself down and reinventing yourself, and that will mean new associations, new friends and new beliefs. So, it’s okay to have that experience as an older person. Over to you for the young ones. What do they challenge? What would they face Harminder if they’re young and they’re suddenly having to be real, with who they are.

It’s very similar to the older generation, but with a slight twist. Which is the challenge we face massively as my generation is, the inputs that we receive from social media. And those inputs mean, we are constantly comparing ourselves to other people. So, I am going to leave my generation with an actionable point which is, if you are going to use social media, use it in a conscious way. Which means block some time in your day to use it. How do you know if you’re doing this at the moment versus not doing this now?

So, if every time you pick up your phone, you find yourself clicking on one of the social media app buttons then you have an issue. Which is over time it’s going to lead to some form of mental health issue on the spectrum at some point in time. We just don’t know when and we don’t want that to be the case. So the way I do it personally is, I will block some time out, so I know it’s a useful tool and I love connecting with people out in the world, and I do love to see what people are up to. Not from a place of competition or comparison, but from a place of, wow it’s really cool to see what other people up to, nothing more complicated than that.

So, the way to do this is say, right I’m going to give myself a 15-minute block in the morning, I’m going to give myself half an hour at lunchtime and I may have a social scroll for about 20 minutes in the evening. So, if you have that conscious effort on the blocks in your social media activity. Believe me, over time, things will shift. Now how to make this a reality, owning a digital marketing company no benefit to me by you doing this, so this is coming to you from a place of, I just want you not to fall into this challenge.

Very true.

I would simply delete the apps. I would delete every app off your phone, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and go for seven days without the app. Okay, seven days without the app, see if you can manage that. And Ro doesn’t know this, but I’ve done this myself personally. So, me and my wife we challenged each other, we said, every time we pick up the phone, we are using social media. And that’s when we knew we had an issue. Because that’s the type of an addiction. We just said right let’s delete the apps and when we reinstall the apps, we found ourselves not having to click the button. We just broke the pattern, broke the habit.

So, try it, if seven days is making you feel anxious and you’re not ready, maybe just try a weekend. Just try a weekend and say, this weekend I’m deleting the apps, but the trick is you have to physically delete the apps because the temptation will be there to click it, they’re designed that way. So, without me going into that much detail that’s my action point.

That’s a great action point.

Yeah just delete the apps.

I think, just adding to that, my action point would be, going on a personal level is starting to be aware of any of the things I described earlier on. So, if you’re having a sense of stress, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, lockdown, not wanting to talk to people. Disassociation with people, sense of apathy, which came up earlier as well, around something consistently.

Just for the next couple of weeks whilst you’re out and about doing the certain things you do, start to notice when those feelings come on. Or if they’re on already, exactly which areas of your life are they happening? Because I can promise you if that’s where they’re happening, then by definition it is a form of mental health, albeit could be on a very, very small scale. I don’t like the term, but that’s how it’s being labelled now in the media.

So, you’ve got to become aware of it, and only becoming aware of it, can you start to say well how can I address that? And that’s where it’s worth going back through this and having a listen to it. And it might be, if you said to me what will be the next thing Dr Ro, on the back of that once I identify it? I would say go and have a quote on quote, a conversation with the appropriate person.

So, for example if it’s a parental thing and it’s pressure from your parents, have that conversation. And parents if you’re sensing it in your kids and you’re listening to this, and if you’re kids and you want your parents to listen to this, get them to listen to this. Is have a chat with your children and say that, I’ve noticed this about you at the moment, I’ve noticed that your closing down and you’re not so engaged at the moment. Are you okay? I listened to this amazing podcast the other day, and I became aware of something I wasn’t aware of before. So, that’s something you’re going to have to be aware of. It might be that you have to talk to a teacher, you can’t go talk to social media, but you could do what Harminder has suggested there, and just cut the social media out completely. And notice how you feel differently, and it does need more than just a few days. It needs at least a week because you need to go through that withdrawal process. Any addiction takes a period of time to go through that withdrawal process. But I think at this stage, without overloading you, awareness, followed by a conversation. That’s all I would leave them with Harminder.

Okay, again that’s the left brain and right brain action points to go take away. S

This is epic! This has been a long one again.

I know! And our intention if you’re listening at home. Me and Ro when we started this podcast, we said right, we are going to make this a 20 minute podcast, and we’ve said that every pod cast so far.

There’s too much inside us and part of our concern is, are we you overloading you? The feedback that we are getting from the podcast is people are loving the engagement, so hence the length they are I guess.

For sure, and you can pause it play it, pause it, rewind it. We’ve got the show notes as well and growth tribes.com/podcast so, you don’t have to necessarily remember everything. But all we want is one shift, one positive outcome.

Yeah that’s true.

So, on that note Ro, are we good to sign out?

We are. Thank you to everyone for listening for what has been a very sensitive subject. And if you’ve got anyone that remotely you think would benefit from it, I’m just going to say this genuinely have them listen to it. If you’re a parent maybe have your children listen to it, kids have your parents to listen to it. It’s a subject that they can observe and listen rather than they’re engaged with you, and sometimes observational listening triggers a response that gets a positive result as well.

On the back of that, that is myself, and Dr Ro signing out. Thank you for listening to today’s episode of the Seekardo podcast will see you on the next one.

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