05.10.20 MindspaceThe stigma of mental health and how to face it head on!

The stigma of mental health and how to face it head on!

While us humans are fairly comfortable talking about the headache we strangely woke up, pain in our neck or knot in our back, we are less likely to openly chat about our mental health struggles. You don’t need to shout about your challenges on Instagram or Facebook or…even do a Tik Tok about it but, that doesn’t mean they should be ignored.

Staying tight-lipped about mental health:
Why are mental health issues seen as something that brings about shame? Something that is kept under the rug and often dealt with in silence? According to the Huffington Post, there are several reasons for this including…

  1. Shame, stigma and the fear of appearing weak: It’s so much easier to talk about physical problems: We often talk about physical issues but for many, challenges with state of mind is like admitting we are almost defective as a person.
  2. It’s just so easy, and tempting, to say nothing: Mental health issues can’t be ‘seen’ so it is easier to keep quiet about them. 
  3. Fear of making things worse: If we acknowledge that they are there, they might get worse!
  4. Fear of not being understood: If you have the courage to voice it and you are not understood, it only makes it worse. 
  5. Wanting to hold something back – to be used only as a last resort: A headache heals, but what if this mental health challenge doesn’t? Many don’t want to open up about it out of fear that it won’t ever go away.

If you choose to deal with your own mental health challenges solo that’s a-ok but know that there are some very simple techniques that you can use to get out of that funk. Yep, you heard the word ‘simple’ but…they still require commitment.

Committing to you
Below are some simple tactics you can start to implement today that will help you wrestle with that mental health monster. 

  • Practice daily gratitude – take 5 minutes in the morning to just sit and write down what you are grateful for. This is all about training your mind on where to focus. 
  • Schedule time for you – Make this as important as that weekly zoom call with your boss. Put it in your diary and respect it. This could be taking a walk, sitting and enjoying a coffee or reading something. 
  • Stay off the feed – Try to stay away from social media feeds. They can suck you in like a Dyson vacuum cleaner and spit you out feeling half of the person you were when you started! It may feel good as you swipe but…when you come out of this never ending black hole, too often you will feel drained.
  • Meditate or just sit and do noth-ing – if you are not ready to jump on the meditation train yet just, give your brain a time out by doing sweet nothing. Even if just for 5 minutes. 

Sometimes we think that taking time for ourselves to address (and sometimes tackle) our mental health is selfish. We feel guilty for feeling ‘off’ but try being kind to yourself and instead of resisting the situation, come back to health through compassion, understanding and prioritising time for you. 

Photo by Luke Moss on Unsplash

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