Saturday 7 January 2017

11 Ways To Look After Your Mental Health In 2017

Mental Health

We all get physically ill sometimes and we know that if we look after ourselves we're less likely to get sick and more likely to bounce back.

The same is true of our psychological health – after all the brain is just another part of our body.

However, there is still some stigma around mental health and many feel ashamed to admit they suffer from psychological issues.

But mental health issues are much more common than you might realise. In fact, one on four Brits suffer with mental health issues such as stress, depression and anxiety, every year.

There are strong links between physical and mental health problems. Research has found that 30% of people with a long-term physical health problem also have a mental health problem, according to

A mixture of anxiety and depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain, with 7.8% of people suffering with both.

But despite the shocking statistics it's easy for us to ignore our psychological health as it is not something we can generally see.

If left untreated, serious mental health issues can lead to suicide, which is an increasingly big problem in the UK.

There were 6,581 suicides in the UK and ROI in 2014 and – although it affects both genders – male suicide rates are particularly high.

In fact, charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) claims that suicide is now the biggest killer of young men in Britain.

The highest rate was in the male age bracket 30-44. Suicide in this group accounted for more deaths than road accidents, murder and HIV/Aids combined.

Here are the 11 ways you can look after you mental health in 2017:

Mental Health
1. Green environments

There is lots of research about the positive impact on our psychological health of spending time in natural green environments.

It may be that you live in a town or city but there are always green spaces you can find even if it’s a ten minute walk at lunch time

2. Self-awareness

Building an understand of yourself, your thoughts, feelings and behaviours and how the past has impacted how you are now all help us to manage your day to day live.

Self awareness helps with self esteem, managing relationships and empowers us to make conscious choices about how we live our lives.

3. Relaxation

We tend to be over stimulated and our minds and bodies need time out to really relax and recharge. Massage, listening to gentle music, or doing some relaxing creative activity are all great for you.

4. Meditation

Research shows many benefits of meditation. Practiced regularly, meditation lowers our blood pressure, relaxes us, aids pain relief, helps quality of sleep and can impacts our brain structure in a positive way.

5. Being grateful

Human beings create narratives for themselves that they then believe are reality.

If you tell yourself you have had a terrible day and that nothing good ever happens to you then that is the reality you create. By practicing noticing the things that are good in your life it helps you to shift your frame of reference to one that will serve you better.

Mental Health
6. Helping others

Doing things for others raises self esteem and is good for us. Think about how you can contribute even if its in a small way or tell someone what you like about them. This is a small thing but can make a big difference.

7. Pleasurable things

This may seem obvious but doing things that you enjoy helps to activate the side of your brain that is associated with contentment. We can tend to bog ourselves down with the drudgery of everyday life and put off doing the things we really enjoy.

8. Counselling and Psychotherapy

Having someone to talk to in a safe, contained and professional environment can help us to empower us to overcome past incidents which may still affect us now. Counselling can help us gain perspective and build strategies for our future lives

9. Support

Humans are social creatures and we need other people. Having good emotionally intimate relationships is an important part of taking care of our psychological health. We need people in our lives that we can allow ourselves to be open with and know that they will support us.

10. Be in the now

Many of us spend our time being busy, planning for tomorrow, feeling stressed or tired. It is important for us to really allow ourselves to experience the moment and to be in touch with our senses and our experience in the now.

11. Physical exercise

Exercise is good for every part of our body and that includes our brains, again there is lots of research showing the positive impact of exercise on psychological health.



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