What Messages Are Driving Your Mind?
True heath is the combined wellbeing of mind, body & emotions.; they are intrinsically linked and are at the centre of embedding self-care into your life.
We are wired from birth to take in the earliest messages for translation, be they supportive or destructive. If we don’t ever stop to check in on them and question them, what they mean to us, we run the risk of being influenced by the destructive messages as well as the supportive ones, distorting our view of self, others and the world around us.
What Are Destructive Messages?
The ones that are planted to keep us small, to doubt ourselves, to create worry about things that have not occurred and are unlikely to. They are the ones that constantly encourage us to compare ourselves to others in everything we do, to see the good in everyone else whilst seeing the worst in self. Some are planted purposefully, others are flippant phrases handed down through generations and others are bound in parts of the education system where looking for flaws and failures become more important than looking for diverse abilities and wins, no matter how small. Some come in the form of abuse and others are self-planted based on life outcomes and disappointments.
Destructive messages may drive some people to go on to do amazing things, so determined are they to prove their dismissive character wrong. However, for many more, they serve to eat away at self-confidence, self-belief, and self-value, leaving the individual focused on their limitations that end up forming their beliefs.
And what may have seemed like a little message to be heard but not absorbed, becomes an ever-growing monster in the mind leaving people frustrated, feeling ‘less than’, distressed and lacking in clarity, weighted down by negative emotions. This could be the beginning of mental health issues although there are many other factors and reasons such as trauma, brain overload causing coping mechanisms to fail (high levels of stress) and even lack of healthy lifestyle habits (nutrition and movement/being active can be instrumental to managing some mental health issues).
Mental Health Challenges May Be Closer Thank You Think
It’s been reported that 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and I in 6 report experiencing a common mental heath issue such as anxiety and depression. And whilst the statistics haven’t changed much in recent years the ability to cope with mental health has worsened, with far more extreme ways to escape the moods & emotions people are trying to deal with.
What Can We Do As A Collective?
As a collective we must be aware and compassionate about mental health at all times. It is brilliant that we have mental health awareness week’s and events throughout the year however, we need to ensure they are not forgotten the next day/week; they are the drivers of a much bigger collective set of actions.
- Pay attention to self – start to notice your own thoughts and emotions regularly. What might be seeping into your thoughts that are causing stress and anxiety? Where, who and what might trigger worry or discomfort in you? Emotional intelligence requires us to know ourselves and to understand our way of being and in doing so we can get the help we need if required and know where our strengths are in supporting others.
- Pay attention to those around us – look for signs of decline in someone’s mood and behaviours. Has a family member, friend or colleague stopped joining you when you go out? Has someone stopped taking your calls? Do you see someone struggling to engage with others or look withdrawn? Better to check in than ignore. An early intervention can make all the difference.
- Create a space for those in our life where they can bring their challenges – not to dump on others but to release and in the very act of releasing, potentially get some ideas and suggestions of what to do next. This is something that has become an invaluable tool in my work where we have an invitation only women’s group ‘Women Unmasked’. We share, encourage, drop the weight of our concerns into a safe space where judgement is off the table and nurturing is central to its success. And talking is good! When we converse openly about these things, it becomes easier for those suffering to be vocal.
- Ask for the help you need – getting past that sense of it being wrong or weak to ask for help is key. Asking for help can be one of the most difficult things to do yet one of the most rewarding. When you ask for help it is one step towards getting back into the driver’s seat of your life and your mind. With a bit of good signposting, you can find who is the right fit for your needs, be that an individual or an organisation and your journey can commence.
The overriding message is this; if you are feeling lonely, cut-off, unsupported, unheard or unsure how to manage your emotions, life stresses or a particular situation, reach out to someone you know and trust or one of the major organisations who can then help you get what you need. Do not suffer in silence… #mentalhealthawareness #selfcare #askforhelp