Today is World Mental Health Day 2017
So what does that mean? It is bringing awareness to the issues of mental health within society and letting people know there is no longer a stigma with it. Our bodies are reacting to the toxins around us, physically we get sick and think nothing of it, but we are getting sick in other ways too. Mental health has become the greatest cause of time off work, it is affected 1 in 4 of us right now!
Everyone at some point in their life is going to have some form of mental health issue and yet it is still given a label that to many is offensive or a cause of ridicule.
Mental Health is just as important as physical health, we know how we are being taught to eat healthier, to take exercise, to stretch and take notice of changes within our bodies, but who can say that they are looking out for their mental health, or of those around them. How many times do we see people we know change from easy going and happy to snappy and short tempered? What is the usual response to that? Is that person ok? Do they need some help? Or is it more likely to be something said against them? or people pointing and stating they can’t cope?
I’m sure everyone reading this has at some time done or said something that could be considered an over reaction, so that would mean you were put under excessive pressure and let it out, which is exactly what some areas of mental health are, when we become overloaded with emotions, pressures, anxieties, negative feelings and thoughts, it traps the person and because of the stigma involved, people try to manage it themselves and can blow outwardly or regress within themselves. This is just the most basic example of mental health awareness, in my eyes as the writer, it is more likely to be understood by everyone reading this that way. We all get put under pressure at times, but what if it is constant? What if there is no-one there to vent to or to help calm a person? What if the workload is getting too much ?
Awareness is simply accepting that people can’t always be as strong as they may appear, it is about looking and seeing the changes in people close by, it is about offering support to those who find it hard to ask for it. Knowing that someone is there to offer help is a great relief for someone who is struggling.
Remember that when you are struggling, it is human nature to be focussed on your own issues and to be less aware of others, so if someone seems to be inconsiderate to another person’s needs, just maybe it is because mentally, they can’t take on any more stress. Just maybe they are the ones who are struggling to cope. Why would their problems or yours be more important, because our problems are always going to take priority over other peoples, our minds focus us that way.
When we think about what is wrong, what our needs are, we use the worst part of the brain, the conscious mind. It is the slowest and most distracted part of our mind; when we can use specific techniques to calm our minds, we can allow the fastest part of the brain to work out the issues and get back on track. The subconscious mind is designed to work that way, it works non stop day and night. It is the comparison to walking somewhere miles away and being inside a sports car on a straight empty road, the conscious mind can only focus on between 5 and 9 things at any time, where as the subconscious mind is processing 2 million bits of information every second! Which part of your mind do you want working on your thoughts?
Look into local relaxation groups, take classes in mindfulness, yoga, meditation and give yourself time to relax your mind. Find what works for you! I personally use the 3 breath technique and I have attached a link below so you can download a copy of how to do it.
Why is it so important? Here is the science bit: When we are stressed or anxious, our bodies go into Fight or Flight, the brain prepares you to get out of the situation, but our bodies are tuned into how we lived thousands of years ago when it was a fight for survival, not work deadlines or paying bills. So our bodies react, it speeds up the heart, increases the blood flow and blood pressure, narrows the blood vessels and pumps out adrenaline to get you ready physically, it heightens your senses, makes you more alert and releases cortisol to give you fixed focus on your challenge. The limbs are raring to go, you think and see superfast, you get a rush…. and then it is supposed to stop and calm down when you are no longer in trouble, but we don’t do that in society now, we stay stressed and anxious. Now those amazing things that were happening are having a bad affect on the body, blood pressure stays up, heart attacks and strokes are more common, adrenaline only goes so far before the body burns up its energy and we physically crash, cortisol is poisoning the system and is now linked to the Tau protein and CTE in older age.
Stress now is killing us later, we need to learn to control these issues and soon before we overload ourselves completely.
Try breathing, these 3 breaths can make a difference, they [scientists] believe that if we just take 2 minutes, twice a day for 2 weeks, we can reduce the levels of cortisol within our blood stream back to within normal limits. Isn’t that worth a try?
Start a Challenge!!
For 2 minutes, twice a day, for 2 weeks! That’s all! Give yourself a few minutes and breath, let yourself practice relaxing and see the difference it makes in your life.
Get your free download 3 Breath Technique and let me know how you get on after 2 weeks.
You can also try just closing your eyes and feel any sensation within your body, your hands, your feet, anything, and allow yourself to notice breathing naturally while you listen for 1 minute to 3 simple chimes. Those of you who can’t manage to do it now, are the ones that really need to practice. Any skill needs practice and relaxation is a skill. We don’t have to sit in silence on top of a mountain to seek clarity, we just need to give ourselves a break.