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Mental Health and Mental Illness

We hear a great deal about mental health and mental illness - here is a short blog about the two, how taking care of yourself and recognising when you need to manage stress and anxiety, reaching out to professionals when necessary to avoid mental illness. Mental health is the ability to function in a society despite the stress and pressures that we all experience every day, living our lives. So a mentally healthy person is someone who can function and contribute positivly to society and feel happy about that. Mental health is an holistic view our pyschological, emotional and social well-being. Mental health is more of a focus on the absence of mental illness or disorders. Mental health illnesses arise when individuals fail to take care of their mental health. Taking care of your mental health is extremely important, it does not matter who you are, how old you are , where you live, if you fail to take care of your mental health – then this can lead to mental illness and even a breakdown, which affect your thinking , behaviour often leading to physical health issues that can be bought on by stress and anxiety or make pre-existing illnesses worse. An example is that if you are stressed and depressed this can lead to insomnia, a key component in your body healing and regenerating, sleep deprivation then leads to a suppressed immune, higher blood sugars in diabetes, inability to remember things, make decsions or perform tasks to name but a few. The way you feel isn’t something to be neglected, even though you may feel that you just need to get on with things, it is always better to sit with the emotion and resolve it, often it is nothing to do with your current circumstances – but something that is running in your subconscious, limiting you. For example, enjoying the here and now – finding joy in the small aspects of life helps keep your immune system strong, controls weight gain, lowers blood pressure, reduces chronic pain, mitigates the risk of frailty and stroke, and even revitalises your brain. But the path to a healthy state of mind isn’t a straightforward one. There are so many things that can impact on your state of mind. Here are a few areas to consider: Life Experiences – Upbringing, trauma, betrayal. Abuse. Note that trauma does not even have to be a major event – it is more about the individuals ability to deal with it – so it would be unexpected, dramatic, isolating and the individual had no ability to deal with the situation. Trauma is a very individual experience and the same situation affects people in different ways. Your Lifestyle – such as what you eat and drink, what physical activities you undertake, medications you are on, how stressful you find your lifestyle. Your Relationship with yourself – How do you feel about yourself , your body , are you compassionate to yourself. There are no easy answers – no quick fix that cure mental health issues – there are coping strategies and sticking plasters. However self-care has proven to be very effective, in overcoming mental health issues. Self-care is about taking time for you to clear blocks and limiting beliefs, valuing yourself and making the time to take care of you, looking at all aspects of your life so you can lead a more balanced and healthy life that is right for you. An holistic approach – try my life-balance pie chart to see if you are in balance! Here are some simple suggestions to help you make a start :- Set realistic goals: It is not healthy to expect too much of yourself, you can do your best – and accept that that is enough. Know that it is okay to fail sometimes, talk to yourself like you would to your best friend – showing kindness and compassion. Learn how to deal with your stress and listen to your body : When feeling stressed, try to do something that makes you feel less stressed – Deep breathing, have a quiet cup of tea or coffee – try to unwind – everyone is different – there are lots of suggestions in my Free to Join Group The Online Holistic Sanctuary – Your oasis of tranquillity. If you feel overwhelmed, and lost, do not hesitate to reach out to a professional. Have fun: Do something that lights you up and brings out the inner child in you ! Stay Hydrated - Drink water: Avoid getting dehydrated as it can worsen your stress. You need to drink 2 litres a day – even in the winter!

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