5 Ways to Better Mental Health

Mental health issues appear to be on the increase, and when we look around us at the lives we are leading it is no surprise.  The exponential increase in the amount of information we are almost constantly subjected to; subconscious pressures to be more, have more, do more, and succeed.  We are constantly connected and constantly wired.  The menial repetitive tasks that used to take up large parts of our day and give our brains a moment of stillness have largely been automated, we are regularly fighting the clock and the demands of daily life mean that time outside in nature is side-lined to the occasional foray at the weekend, if we have time and it isn’t raining.  Little wonder we are feeling stressed and under pressure.

Nearly all of us have some idea as to how to look after our physical wellbeing, even if we don’t actually do it.  We know that to be physically well we need to move on a regular basis, and we have some idea of what sorts of foods really benefit us.  However very few people recognise that their mental wellbeing is also largely within their control. By introducing very simple habits and routines into our lives we can massively improve our mental health. Without good mental health it can be challenging to maintain good physical health.  It is a bit chicken and egg, as one leads to the other and vice versa.  My recommendation with clients is to always start with the low hanging fruit so start with whatever feels simplest to you.  It is always best to start something and take baby steps as it puts us in to a positive upward spiral.

Anyone who has heard me speak knows that I am passionate about mental health, and by that I mean mental wellness.  A lot of my work is around supporting people to improve their mental wellbeing, so it was a shock this week when I realised that it had been 4 nights since I had had a decent night’s sleep. The excitement of work, and thoughts of my next project were rolling around in my head and whilst these weren’t unpleasant thoughts, I was beginning to feel a little tetchy and dare I say stressed. I suddenly realised I wasn’t practicing what I teach. So for the next five weeks for my benefit as well as yours I am going to share 5 ways to support your mental wellbeing.  For those of you who need little more than a reminder and a nudge in the right direction, here are the topics I will be covering.

  1. Breathe – stop and breath I shall be telling you what an amazing tool your breath is.
  2. The art of gratitude – finding things to be grateful for everyday is a game changer!
  3. Get outside – I shall explore how you can really make this count for mental wellness.
  4. Make connections – we need friends and community I shall explore ways to support this.
  5. Let go of the things you can’t control – ruminating can really cause us problems.

Please share this 1 in 4 of us in our life time will have some sort of mental health issue.  Not taking action to help ourselves is a bit like sitting around eating too much until we develop diabetes or suffer a heart attack.

written by

Ruth Steggles