Keeping your mental health healthy
Written By Alison Ralph Date: 12.10.2022
Monday 10th October marked World Mental Health Day. A day for raising awareness and talking about mental health. So, what can you do to keep your mental health healthy? In this blog I will be sharing my tried and tested top tips from working as a hypnotherapist and counsellor. I hope that you find them to be helpful.
BE ACTIVE – Yes it’s the one that people go on about all the time. Joe Wicks has pretty much made his living out of it and that because it works! When we exercise the brain releases endorphins. Those are the chemicals that made you feel good. They are designed to send a message to the subconscious mind and tell it that you are doing okay! Not only that, don’t forget the buzz that you get when you have achieved something or when you are in a class with others you can also have a little chin wag. It doesn’t have to be high impact exercise, just something achievable for you. You might start with a slow walk, or some leg raises in your chair at home. If there is one thing you do this week to keep your mental health healthy, let it be getting active!
STAY IN THE PRESENT – Now I am not saying this is easy, it can be quite difficult but does make a difference. If you are looking towards the future all the time and anticipating what ‘could’ happen then you may experience feelings of anxiety. If you are looking at the past on a regular basis and focussing on the negatives or what you could have done in certain situations then this can cause depression and low mood. If you find yourself thinking into the past or future a lot then catch yourself and bring yourself back to what you are doing in the present moment. Immerse yourself in that moment and its details. If you do need to think about the past or future, give yourself a time and place to do that. Give this a go and notice how eventually you will be more focussed on your present moment.
TALK – Yes it’s that old chestnut, but again it works. My first session with any client is getting to know their issue and what has been going on for them and what they would like to achieve from sessions. We may not do any work around overcoming the feelings or the issue but people always go away feeling so much better and as though a weight has lifted off their shoulders. This is because the issue is not swimming around in their imagination anymore but it has been shared and can be looked at in a different way. This can happen if you talk to a friend or family member too but if you don’t feel that you can express it to them then reach out to a charity such as, The Samaritans or get in touch with a counsellor.
If you would like to talk to a counsellor or would be interested in hypnotherapy sessions to help you keep your mental health healthy then find out how we can work together here Contact – Alison Ralph (alisonralph-therapy.co.uk)
MAKE YOU A PRIORITY – You may have a job, a house, a family, a parent to care for and other responsibilities that make up the person you are. However, it is very important to give time for you. I often see people who have anxiety and they find it difficult to say NO. This causes them to take on roles that they either don’t want or don’t have time for, but the more and more they take on, the more anxious they become. Our bodies were not designed to be on the go all of the time, we really do push them to the limit. So, if you can take some time out just for you, learn to be more assertive and have moments of pause during the day, you will find that your mental health improves.
If you are unsure about ways to prioritise you or practise self care take a look at my wonderful product – 100 Days of Self-care. There are 100 ideas for you to pull out of the jar and practise AND they guarantee to put you first and release those feel good hormones!
DON’T BECOME CONSUMED WITH IT – This might sound like an unusual one and one that may cause you to feel p***ed off, however if you give so much thought to the anxiety or feelings of depression then the likelihood is that you will make it worse. Now I am not saying to ignore it completely and make yourself busy all the time because that is not useful either (as explained in point number 4). What I am saying is, notice that it is there, accept it is there and tell yourself that it will go away. When you constantly think about it in a negative way, it causes the brain to think there is a threat and this then activities that fight or flight within you and the feelings become heightened.
It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself to have mental health issues or not, you can still practise some of these things to keep your mental health healthy. It is important to recognise that each of these tips will not work for every person and therefore it is important to try each one and find what works well for you, giving them a week or more before you decide to stop using them. These tips will give you some ideas but don’t forget to read my other blogs to find out other ways to keep your mental health healthy.
If you have tried self-care to keep your mental health healthy and they are not working then it might be time for you to contact your GP. Don’t be afraid to contact your GP and talk to them about how you are feeling. Remember, you will get your mental health on track eventually!