Brushing it under the carpet and ‘just getting over it’ are becoming a thing of the past when it comes to acknowledging genuine mental health issues. Thank goodness for that, right? Well, when an enormous 1 in 4 people in the UK experience some form of mental health problems each year, you’d hope that more understanding would be generated as time goes on. You’d hope.
Honestly, this is a pretty fluid subject. Some days are far better than others. On the good days, rejoice – this is the time for you to make the most of doing the things you love and give yourself the opportunity to generate many more good days. Even on these days it’s important not to lose sight of your ultimate goal of having positive mental health, so practicing mindfulness is the ideal thing to do in the case. To be honest, it’s the perfect time to start. On a good day you’ll have more motivation and optimism about the whole thing, so mindfulness won’t seem like such a scary or impossible task. If you start on a day when you feel positive, it sets up a great foundation for you to continue working on it on the days that aren’t so good. It’s all about being in touch with your mind and thoughts, making yourself feel grounded and causing you to have suitable reactions to certain situations. Although this is in no way a ‘cure’ for mental health issues, it can help along the way by giving you the tools you need to calm yourself down and feel as though you can go about your day in a positive manner regardless of what may come up.
Working towards more awareness surrounding mental health issues seems to have completely blown up in recent years. All of a sudden, as a society we went from ‘chin up, get over it’ to being far more supportive of one another which is an amazing step towards a brighter future. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to believe that a fairy godmother came down and waved a magic wand (‘bibbidy-bobbidy-be-more-supportive!’) but as great as that would be it’s just not realistic, is it? To tell the truth, it’s more likely to be thanks to people in the public eye raising far more awareness about mental health issues and making it less of a taboo subject. A fairy godmother would be cool, but celebrities campaigning for mental health awareness is cooler. One example stands out, and that’s none other than Stephen Fry. Becoming the president of mental health charity Mind in 2011 is just one of the ways in which he’s made a difference to mental health in society – he shared a great deal about his diagnosis of bipolar disorder, even making a documentary about it in 2006. A strong and influential figure in the public eye such as him has all eyes on them anyway, so turning this into something positive and using his platform to promote positive mental health is incredibly reassuring and admirable. Thanks to social media’s huge growth and rise in popularity, more and more people are reaching out and sharing their stories on a platform that’s accessible worldwide which is really special and something our generation should be thankful for when it comes to advocating for more conversations to be had about mental health.
Making positive mental health a priority in your life is the first step towards seeing the good in every day. If you can start to see silver linings and put a positive spin on things, then your general mental wellbeing will improve. Of course, this isn’t a claim that a ‘don’t worry, be happy’ mentality works in every situation. Quite the contrary, actually. Acknowledging when things need to be faced and looked into is very important and can make a huge difference – leaving worries to fester and get worse will just exacerbate things down the line and make your journey towards positive mental health more difficult. That being said, giving yourself the chance to look at a bad situation from a different angle and try to see the good in it can make all the difference – it’s just that you’ve got to be able to tell yourself when that’s not enough and something else needs to be done. A phrase that’s thrown around an awful lot these days is ‘self-care’. Have you heard it? Probably. No, it’s not some snowflake narcissistic way of making the world revolve around millennials even more (contrary to popular belief…). Self-care doesn’t equal self-absorption. Self-care means just that: looking after oneself. If you don’t treat yourself with the kindness that you treat your friends with, then how is that helping in any way? Look ahead at some amazing strategies that can help with self-care, and ultimately bring positive mental health back to your life. Some are easier than others, but they all work together to create a healthier, happier YOU.
- Keep your mental wellbeing at the forefront of your priorities -
- Be sociable, make plans with friends and family -
- Try seeking help if necessary -
- Take time to relax and practice mindfulness -
- Stay physically fit -
(Taken from www.mind.org.uk)
“Keep your face always towards the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”-Walt Whitman
Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but that’s what makes it so special. No two people have the same experiences – everyone’s encounters are entirely unique which is so beautiful and grounding when you think about it. Depending on how you consider that fact it can make you feel incredibly small or completely empowered and in control – this just goes to show that a change of perspective can make an enormous difference when faced with adversity. YOU are in charge. Take control and work towards having positive mental health every single day. Make your OWN sunshine and rainbows when you can. You know you can do it!
According to this graph, mental health issues are on the rise. This could be due to any number of reasons, but one thing that’s for certain is that it’s up to us as a society to try and combat the issues and promote positive mental health to all those around us. By creating a nurturing, positive environment for yourself and the people you know, you’re not only giving yourself the best chance of success and happiness, you’re doing the same for others at the same time. What’s not to love? Of course, it’s unreasonable to think that everything will magically change in an instant (fairy godmother, anyone?) but a small effort from every single person would contribute towards making the world a more understanding, positive place to live. Seeing as moving to Mars isn’t quite an option yet, we’ve got to make the best out of what we’ve got. It would appear that this is our best bet.
All jokes aside, on a more serious note, when these things aren’t quite working, and you feel as though you may need a little more help with reaching a level of positive mental health that makes you feel better, the best thing to do is tell a professional. There are countless charities and organisations who offer unbiased, confidential help with no judgement whatsoever. Certainly worth looking into, this has proven to be invaluable for many people - no matter how big or small the issue that you’re experiencing may be, seeking help when you need to is an important, brave step towards feeling like yourself again. You deserve happiness. You deserve to feel good. You deserve to have positive mental health.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.” -Maya Angelou