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Let's talk about mental health

Let’s Talk About Mental Health

So why should we talk about mental health? All of us should look after our mental health and well-being the same way we look after our physical health. According to Mind, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England.

Discussing mental health openly helps alleviate the stigma regarding mental illness. It also assures us that support is available so we’re not alone with our struggles. Bringing mental health to the forefront is beneficial for enticing those with suicidal thoughts or significant mental illness to seek help.

What is mental health?

As stated by WHO, mental health is a state of well-being inch which an individual realises his or her own abilities. Additionally, it examines their ability to cope with the demands of everyday life, work effectively, and contribute to their community.

It’s all about how individuals think, feel, and act when it comes to mental health. It can have an impact on one’s everyday life, relationships, and physical health. This connection, nevertheless, also works in the opposite direction. Mental health issues can be caused by a variety of reasons, including personal circumstances, interpersonal relationships, and physical factors.

Why is mental health important?

Research from the Mental Health Foundation suggests that mental health and behavioural problems (e.g. depression, anxiety and drug use) are reported to be the primary drivers of disability worldwide. Unfortunatley, it causes over 40 million years of disability in 20 to 29-year-olds. It can hinder us from showing up for work day after day, limit our talents, and delay our progress.

When mental health is ignored, unfortunately, suicide rates climb. Mental health is crucial since it has an impact on all aspects of life. It has an impact on our capacity to deal with stress, adapt, and find solutions. It also has an impact on our ability to be content, efficient, and well-adjusted.

Mental illness is defined as a disorder of the brain that causes disturbances in cognition and behaviour as well as in energy and emotion. The intricate origins of these disorders, which might include genetics, brain chemistry, brain anatomy, trauma, and/or having an underlying medical condition (such as heart disease) are being studied. Furthermore, if it is left untreated, it can lead to fewer job prospects and poor academic and professional performance.

What may cause mental illness?

There is no single cause for mental illness. One or several circumstances may have an influence on many people, while others may be more deeply affected by a single event. However, research is showing that a mix of biological, psychological, and environmental variables are accountable for many of these illnesses.

Here are just a handful of examples…

Biological factors:

  • Genetics (heredity)
  • Infections
  • Brain defects or injury
  • Prenatal damage
  • Substance abuse

Psychological factors:

  • Severe psychological trauma suffered as a child
  • A significant loss as a child, such as the death of a parent
  • Neglect
  • Poor ability to relate to others

Environmental factors:

  • Death or divorce
  • A dysfunctional family life
  • Feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, anxiety, anger, or loneliness
  • Changing jobs or schools
  • Social or cultural expectations

Why don’t people talk about mental health?

The fact is that there are a variety of reasons why people find it challenging to talk about their mental health issues. The reasons for this are as broad as they come. It might be anything from childhood trauma to personal or professional difficulties. Perhaps societal conditioning encourages some people to ignore mental health, and minimise its significance. Some people tend to forget how it affects our lives and those around us.

Although there is a growing awareness of mental health issues, we still live in a society where people with mental health issues suffer prejudice and may have difficulty receiving the help they require. Many people who are distressed try to hide their feelings because they are scared of how others may react.

Fear of prejudice and humiliation are two of the most common reasons people don’t inform their co-workers about their mental health issues. It is easier for people to speak openly about mental health problems and to seek help when they need it when senior managers build workplace environments that allow people to be themselves.

5 tips on how to look after your mental health

meditating for positive mental health

Practice mindfulness 

Mindfulness is a strategy for paying attention to the present moment that includes breathing, meditation, and yoga. It helps us become more conscious of our thoughts and feelings so that we can better control them rather than being overwhelmed by them. Mindfulness has also been found to assist with a variety of illnesses, including stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also help with addictive behaviours like alcohol or substance abuse and gambling, as well as medical issues like hypertension, heart disease, and chronic pain.

If you’re a company, team or organisation that prides itself in promoting good mental health for your employees, click here for more information about our Monday morning motivation webinar.

talking about mental health feelings

Talk about your feelings and ask for help 

It isn’t a sign of weakness to express your emotions. It’s all part of taking control of your health and doing everything you can to maintain it. Talking about a situation to a friend or family member that you’ve been thinking about for a while might be a good approach to deal with it. Simply being heard might make you feel less alone and more supported. It’s also reciprocal because it’s possible that if you open yourself, others will follow suit.

However, if things are becoming too much for you and you don’t think you can handle it any longer, you should ask for help. Your GP may refer you to a therapist because it might be easier to talk to a stranger than it is to talk to family or friends. A qualified counsellor or therapist listens to you and helps you develop your own solutions to issues without condemning you during talking therapy.

massage for relaxation

Take a break

Sometimes taking a break is very much needed when certain aspects of your life become difficult. Have some ‘me’ time and try to engage in things that give you a sense of joy and comfort. Taking a break may mean being very active or it may mean not doing very much at all. According to The Wellbeing Thesis, studies have found that breaks can reduce or prevent stress. It can also help to maintain performance throughout the day and reduce the need for a long recovery at the end of the day.

You could also book yourself a remedial massage, which should help you relax and relieve stress in your body. Anxiety and depression are two of the most prevalent disorders that can be alleviated by having this massage.

drinking only one glass of alcohol

Drink sensibly

Some people frequently drink alcoholic beverages to alter their mood and cope with their fears or loneliness, but this is only a temporary solution. Due to the way how alcohol withdrawal symptoms influence your brain and the rest of your body, you feel worse when the drink wears off. Drinking is not a healthy method to deal with negative emotions. You would need more and more alcohol each time to feel the same short-term boost, in addition to the harm that too much alcohol may cause to your body. For the most part, modest drinking on an occasion can be healthy and enjoyable.

Get enough sleep

We can all benefit from bettering our sleep quality. It may just be a matter of adopting minor lifestyle or attitude changes to help us sleep better for many of us. If you want more advice on how to improve your sleep quality, please click here.