Category : Mental Health

Why We Need To Be More Open About Our Mental Health

Up until recently, mental health was something that people kept extremely quiet about; individuals hid their problems and many people didn’t seek help out of embarrassment.

However, in recent years there has been a huge step forward in the way society views mental health and this is largely due to the way in which we approach the subject.

By opening up about our personal mental health plights and the problems we face, the awareness of mental health has been improved.

However, this needs to continue.

In order to fully embrace and understand mental health, we need to be more open.

The benefits of talking about mental health

It encourages honest conversations

Opening up about our mental health encourages honest conversations, amongst those with a mental health problem and those without.

These honest conversations can lead to a greater understanding of what an individual is going through and a gained confidence in talking about it.

It can be difficult to talk about mental health but with honest conversations more people are likely to open up.

It raises awareness

As mental health is difficult to understand and define, it suffers with a lack of awareness.

Many people assume that a mental health problem fits into a specific box and others are only aware of the very few well known mental health conditions.

However, opening up can raise awareness for many different conditions; this leads to a greater understanding.

It helps people to understand

Suffering with mental health is not always obvious and some may struggle to comprehend what’s going on, but opening up can help people to understand.

As well as understanding the problem itself, opening up about mental health can help others to recognise signs and triggers.

It reduces social stigmas

Oftentimes, mental health is perceived as being a negative problem or something to hide, but this isn’t the case.

The more mental health is spoken about the more normal it becomes, and this reduces social stigmas.

After all, a large percentage of people suffer with mental health in one form or another and it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

When it comes to mental health, it’s important that we are more open about the problems we face and the help that’s available.

Not only does this show that mental health affects a lot of people, but it also highlights that mental health can come in many different shapes and forms.

The Link Between Diet And Mental Health

Though you may initially assume that there’s no link between diet and mental health, that isn’t the case.

What you put into your body has a huge impact on your mental health, both positively and negatively.

For example, if you choose to eat a good diet the impact on your mental health is likely to be a good one.

However, if you choose to eat a bad diet, you’ll find yourself seeing the opposite.

A number of studies have shown that what you eat can affect your mood and there’s a similar link between what you eat and mental health.

In fact, a number of experts suggest that diet is just as important to mental health as it is to physical health.

Though we all watch what we eat and consider the effect our food choices have on the way we look and our weight, many people overlook the link between diet and mental health.

Can what you eat affect your mental health?

A healthy diet often results in an improved mood, a boost in happiness and an increased sense of wellbeing.

However, an unhealthy diet can result in feeling down, distracted, depression and a lack of motivation.

This is why it’s important to eat a good diet.

By eating a good diet, the mind has what it needs to function as well as it can.

Instead of battling mood swings and feelings of negativity, the mind has everything it needs to tackle the day head on.

Conversely, a poor diet can have the opposite effect.

A diet that’s high in processed food, junk food and sugary snacks is full of ingredients that the body doesn’t necessarily need; not only is this detrimental to physical health, but it also negatively impacts mental health.

Those who eat a poor diet tend to suffer with mood swings, fatigue and erratic behaviour.

With so many foods to choose from, it can be difficult to know what will really help with mental health and the problems it causes.

As well as ensuring there’s a lot of fruit and vegetables on offer, the following items have all been associated with a good diet and helping with mental health:

● Fish
● Foods rich in omega 3
● Whole grains such as oats, wild rice and beans
● Lean proteins including eggs, turkey and chicken
● Leafy greens

As you can see, the link between diet and mental health is a strong one.

By eating a diet that’s packed with fresh foods and proteins, the problems caused by an unhealthy diet will be kept at bay.

Though a specific diet cannot cure mental health, it can help to manage it.

Why We Need To Talk About Mental Health In The Workplace

The discourse surrounding mental health is becoming more open and diverse with each passing year.

People are now stepping forward to discuss how mental health can affect them in a number of different places including school, university and at home.

Despite these great strides in the right direction, there is still little being done to support people who are struggling with their mental health in the workplace.

So, why is it that people are so afraid to talk about mental health at work?

Is it because they are fearful of being ridiculed or as being seen as weak by their colleagues?

Do they think that an admission of a mental health concern may stand in their way of getting that promotion?

Whatever it is, it’s time us to make a change and have a real discussion about mental health in the workplace, and here’s why.

It will boost people’s confidence and productivity

There is no worse feeling than bottling something up and feeling as though you can’t talk to anyone about what it is that’s bothering you.

By discussing mental health, we are aiding people in living more happy and fulfilled lives because they have finally been given a platform to discuss what it is that’s worrying them.

Furthermore, keeping negative feelings inside leads to a lot of inner-turmoil, and this can impact negatively on people’s performance in the workplace.

If we don’t allow for open discussions, we are standing in the way of people’s career progression and future aspirations.

It helps to break the stigma

Every time mental health in the workplace is ignored, it contributes to the negative stigma that has been built up over the years.

By allowing for free and honest conversations, the situation is normalised and we create a culture of acceptance where people know that they can be honest about their thoughts and feelings.

By doing so we improve people’s mental health

When we refuse to discuss mental health and its impact on people’s lives, we create a wall between us and them, and this can leave people feeling isolated.

Feelings of isolation can lead to depression and social anxiety, so by talking to people about their mental health in an open and friendly way, we are promoting inclusion and in turn alleviating some of the struggles that people have.

The Mental Health Crisis: A Silent Epidemic

Open any magazine or newspaper and you’ll be led to believe that as a nation, our physical health is floundering.

More and more people are overweight and contracting life-threatening illnesses while we continue to obsess over improving our well-being and fitness in order to combat these things.

But what about the other aspect of our health that people aren’t so confident with talking about?

We are open about almost all aspects of our physical health.

If we have a headache or a tummy ache, we have no issue sharing that information with our friends and family, so why are we so apprehensive to discuss what’s going on in our heads?

In short, why has mental health problems become a silent epidemic?

The statistics

So, you’re probably reading this and thinking, epidemic?

Seems like a bit of an exaggeration.

Are we really facing an epidemic when it comes to mental health?

The statistics seem to think so.

Sure, we still need to be concerned about heart and liver diseases, but mental health is still one of the main disease burdens worldwide.

Mental health now affects 1 in 4 people and it is the second leading cause of disability worldwide.

It is also one of the main factors contributing to increasing suicide rates.

Why are people reluctant to talk about it?

Poor mental health is unavoidable, but sadly a lot of people don’t see it that way.

While you’d never tell someone with a heart condition or cancer to get over it, this kind of attitude seems fine when directed at someone who is struggling with their mental health.

This kind of treatment towards the issue is resulting in people feeling afraid to speak out about what it is that’s bothering them.

There is also an attitude that struggling with your mental health denotes weakness, which can be a problem, especially for men.

Statistics have revealed that almost 40% of men don’t want to discuss their mental health with anyone, which goes some way to explaining why it has become a silent epidemic.

What can be done?

The most important thing that needs to be done is to destroy the negative stigma that is attached to mental health.

Open discussions go some way to doing this, as it makes people who are struggling feel as though those around them care.

It’s also necessary to recognise that a lot of the problems people struggle with are experienced by everyone, for example stress and anxiety.

Normalising these issues will make people feel much more confident when it comes to talking about their problems.