Mental health awareness has come a long way in recent years, and it is great to see the large TV channels playing their part too. My particular favourite was seeing the Royals and celebrities opening up, showing that mental health issues can affect anyone from any background.
By Micha Jade Reynolds
Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s vital we learn how to ‘put in the reps’ to maintain our ‘mind muscle’. Nobody would go to the gym once and expect to stay fit for life, and it’s no different for our minds. Our mental health has a huge impact on physical health, success in life, work and relationships, and we shouldn’t wait until we experience mental distress to act. Working on our mental wellbeing is a daily practice just like a physical fitness journey.
Often we hide our more vulnerable side from public, even from close family and friends, but changing this tendency towards secrecy (which can easily lead to isolation), helps build a society of people who are mentally fit.
It is great to see the campaigns telling us that ‘it’s okay not to be okay’, but there’s a more empowering message we need to get out there. People don’t need to live with their distress for life – there are so many treatments available, so depression, anxiety and other mental health issues can be overcome.
Through the THRIVE® Programme I teach people in six to eight weeks how to overcome the issues they have been struggling with. Just realising that people are not their diagnosis can make a difference.
The majority of my clients are males, which is encouraging, as suicide is the biggest killer of men aged 20 to 49, and a big factor is isolation and feeling like there is no way out. Generally speaking, men can find it more challenging to open up about their distress, because men don’t tend to share as much about their feelings and fear the reaction of others.
We can all help by learning to be more open, starting a conversation about our own vulnerabilities and ask others how they are feeling.
I was delighted to be giving a talk at The Courtyard, aimed at maintaining our physical and mental health. Another recent event took me to a logistics company in Gloucester, where I facilitated a series of sharing workshops aiming to start the conversation about mental health. The sessions were a success, creating an environment of openness, and even though the company operates in a somewhat male dominated industry, the participants felt able to share some of their distress for the first time. It is vital that organisations continue making steps to promote good mental fitness.
Here are some helpful strategies to take care of your mental and physical health.
TRAIN YOUR MIND in the same way you train your muscles. Learn more about mental fitness through books, podcasts, blogs etc. Build your self-awareness through reflection and paying attention to what’s going on inside. You can keep track of your mood using apps or a journal.
TALK – Start conversations to share your own feelings and get others to share theirs.
REACH OUT – Reaching out can seem impossible but it is a crucial part of getting you to a good place. If you don’t feel you can reach out to somebody close to you, there are other options: your GP, the Samaritans, CALM, or somebody like myself.
There are times when it can be hard to see any of the positives in life, but gratitude is hard-wired into our brain for happiness. Take some time to really notice and appreciate your morning coffee, the sound of the birds, the fresh air on your lunch break.
THE THRIVE PROGRAMME® teaches the skills and insights needed to thrive. This means feeling positive, confident and in control of life, having good emotional control, letting go of the past, having the resilience to overcome and cope well with life’s challenges, having an empowering belief system, and a high and stable self-esteem, which will enable you to reach your full potential.
Suitable for anyone who would like to feel better and become more equipped for life’s challenges, the programme is particularly helpful to those who would like to overcome depression, anxiety, panic attacks, eating disorders and phobias, or to stop smoking.
It takes six to eight weeks of 60-90 minute sessions, but, people usually start to feel better within two or three weeks.
THRIVE WITH MICHA
One-to-One consultations via Skype or Group Seminars at your school, business or group are available. Please get in touch for more details and to book your FREE consultation. You can subscribe to Micha’s blog for helpful tips.
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Micha Jade Reynolds is an Accredited THRIVE Consultant. Like a personal trainer for the mind, Micha helps clients overcome anxiety, depression and eating disorders, and thrive in all areas of life.
Founder and editor of FitNet.
Previously gymnastics coach, massage therapist and personal trainer with 20 years of experience. Former gymnast and dancer.