Mental health: The unseen

Mental health has become a really big topic in society, the new buzzword, and we are all seeing a lot of media around the subject. Companies are seeing how they can support their staff to improve their mental health and schools are ensuring that they have the support systems in place to encourage children to share any difficulties that they may have. But what actually is ‘mental health’, and how can you help your overall mental health?

Sure, you can take time for yourself and have some more ‘me’ time, or take time out to go to the gym and yoga, etc. All of these things, will of course help and make you feel better, after all, work-life balance is crucial in order to ensure a healthy lifestyle and de-stress. However, what does mental health actually mean in practice as it is so much more than that. Mental health is unseen.


What is mental health? 

Mental health is about that private alone time in your head, that inner voice or critic. when you question how you feel and think about yourself, what is that internal dialogue, narrative or story you tell yourself, what do you say to yourself, about yourself, what thoughts come into your head?

Is it kind; understanding; non-judgmental; and complete acceptance for who you are? Or is it something else less forgiving? Do you question or wonder, what you think other people may be saying or thinking about you, and maybe spend hours, even days worrying about it?
 
What I can tell you is that everyone has a history and some sort of baggage; be that from an experience that they would prefer to either forget and bury, or wish they had never had. Trust me: you are not alone.
 
Now don’t get me wrong, everybody has negative thoughts about something, or distorted ideas of what they think people are saying or thinking about them, but it's all about balance, and balance is relative to the individual. Only you can decide if the way you are thinking and feeling is making you feel good or bad about yourself, and whether it feels good in your body, as after all the mind and body is connected.


How can I improve my mental health?

So where would you start? Look at observing your own thought’s, are they helpful? Just because you have a thought, doesn’t actually make it real, it's just a story you tell yourself. Evaluate your internal mental state and decide where you would like to improve or what changes and tweaks you would like to see within your own mindset or the stories you tell yourself.
 
Ignore other people, and the lives they show or demonstrate to the world, as they are probably not real. Through the medium of social media, it is so easy now to project a perfect life. We all know someone that seems to have an amazing family or perfect life. Endless pictures of idyllic situations, lifestyle, and looking picture perfect with friends or family. But have you ever wondered, if they are having such a blessed and wonderful life, why are they wasting their time posting pictures of it?

Surely they would be having such a wonderful time they would be far to busy enjoying themselves to worry about sharing it with the rest of the world. Sure, sometimes it is nice to show off a great holiday scene or a family celebration, but to post, tweet, snap or chat every minute or movement of your life doesn’t say that to me, does that really sound like someone who is loving life, or just projecting what life they wish they had?

I have watched on many occasion’s people on holiday constantly posting pictures of their food, who they are with, what they are doing, laughing and smiling, instead of just enjoying the experience and just living in the moment. I sometimes wonder if it is staged, forced delusional fun, created for the benefit of others. 

But the question is why, why would you stop a magical moment, a time of complete joy and laughter to take a picture and then share it with the world, is this real or something else? Maybe this is a much deeper question for mental health and society today.

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Staines-upon-Thames, Berkshire, TW19 6HG

Written by Charlotte Howard

Staines-upon-Thames, Berkshire, TW19 6HG

As a clinical hypnotherapist, I am not a writer, doctor, or scientist. I do not have any magic powers; I am a normal wife, self-confessed serial-learner, and mum of 2, who is just trying to live her best life. This has driven me to explore everything about why people think, react or believe what they do, and why we all experience it so differently.

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