What is Mental Health?

Mental Health can be classed as a person’s condition with regard to their physiological and emotional well-being.

Stigma surrounding Mental Health

9 out of 10 people with mental health issues have said that stigma and discrimination surrounding the topic have had a negative impact on their lives. Why is it so hard to talk about it? Many people still have a negative attitude and opinion on mental wellbeing and can treat people differently because of it. One of the main reasons why those with mental health issues do not speak up about it, is the fear that they will be treated differently or that they will be discriminated against. The truth is, to many, mental health is valued just as much if not more than physical health and they both influence each other.

What can you do to improve your mental health?

One of the biggest ways to combat mental health issues is, you guessed it, exercise! Those who take part in regular exercise are around 30% less likely to have depression. This is because physical activity is proven to reduce stress, anger and improve your overall mood. When you exercise your body releases natural hormones called ‘endorphins’ which help to make you feel good. You may also find that this can improve your concentration, sleep and motivation. Taking part in sports or joining a gym for example, is one of many great ways to interact with people and share your interests whilst improving your physical health too. Social exercise will also give you the opportunity to connect and open up to others about how you are feeling mentally, which is important!

Although you must be mindful of the amount of exercise you are doing. Ask yourself is this benefiting you or making you feel overwhelmed. For example, attending the gym 7-8 times a week may seem like a great idea, however, make sure you have enough down time and the chance to do other things, like spend time with friends or loved ones.

Does social media have a part to play?

Unfortunately, like everything, social media has its cons. It allows us to share photos with others and completely manipulate the way our lives look to make ours look ‘better’. Certain angles and lights in photos may make people look skinner or maybe their skin clearer or their eyes brighter. You can even photoshop and remove the pimple that’s been on your face for a week. No one would know. The sad reality is, some children/teens do this to compete with each other, who can get the most likes? When you are constantly seeking approval through social media, it takes its toll on you, its exhausting. It can be very easy to forget what makes you truly happy, instead of trying to make others satisfied with whatever you post. We must realise that not everything is as perfect as it can be portrayed on social media, we are all human beings trying our best every day.

Talk to someone

There is constant growing support from NHS and charity organisations in regard to mental health, more than ever before. Talking to someone close to you, a teacher or councillor about your mental wellbeing can help significantly and will allow you to get the support you need. Your health is not just physical.

If you need any support please follow these links:

BetterHelp – Help us match the right therapist for you

How to seek help for a mental health problem – Mind

References:

Mental health and physical health – Mental Health UK (mentalhealth-uk.org)

Stigma and discrimination | Mental Health Foundation

5 steps to mental wellbeing – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Mental Health and Exercise — Wellbeing In Focus (yourwellbeinginfocus.com)