Mental illness comes in many forms. We may be familiar with some of the words used to label its different manifestations - depression, anxiety, psychosis, and bi-polar - but for all the fear that such words immediately suggest how many of us ever take the time to take our own mental health seriously? Those unforgiving terms apply to other people, after all. How could they describe us?
We will all experience times of great sadness, stress and personal anxiety. Ordinarily the support of those around us and those who are close to us can be enough to steer us out of those difficult times. But what if such relationships are the root of such anxiety? What happens then?
With as many as 25% of young adults affected to some degree by mental health issues, these are questions someone you know is bound to be affected by.
There is, of course a wealth of great advice and information available online - for example, you can head to TheCircle for more advice on relationship issues - but as World Mental Health Day is meant to highlight, there are times when the cause of our problems is not so easy to identify and when good advice is simply not enough.
As our recognition of the destructive power of mental illness and the importance of World Mental Health Day in bringing these issues into mainstream attention, here are ten quick tips to boost your mental and emotional good health.
1 Forgive yourself for not being perfect - no-one is. Accept your flaws and recognise that how you deal with them is what makes you who you are. You don’t have to be good at anything to be a good person.
2 Express yourself. Hiding your feelings or keeping your worries to yourself can set up a destructive cycle of alienation and anxiety.
3 Eat well. Fruit and veg are proven to boost your emotional state. An apple a day really can help!
4 Keep fit. Exercise releases chemicals in the brain that are well known for their anti-depressive qualities.
5 Focus on the positive things that people say about you. Anyone can be mean, but when someone says something positive you can be sure they’re telling you something that’s true as well as comforting.
6 Go easy on the booze. Alcohol and other drugs have a fearsome reputation amongst mental health workers - and it is not a good one!
7 Do something for someone else - you’ll be amazed what putting yourself in someone else’s shoes can do for you.
8 Make time to rest and relax.
9 Keep in touch with people who make you feel good and who have known you for a long time. Those relationships matter.
10 Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s never too late to turn your feelings around.
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