18 November 2019

Paying Attention to Your Mental Health- Why Is It Important?

In recent years, the stigma surrounding mental health really is being lifted. Thanks to more education, campaigns and people speaking out about their own experiences, mental health issues are becoming more understood and accepted. After all, they’re incredibly common with almost all of us experiencing a mental health problem at some time in our lives. Here’s why paying attention to your mental health and the way that you feel is so important. 

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It allows us to recognize and deal with our emotions

As humans, we’re emotional creatures. Our feelings and emotions are important, we all need to learn to pay attention to them. Due to society and the way we were raised, so many of us have trained ourselves to ignore the way we feel- to push on and lock away our emotions as if they’re something to be ashamed of. This should never be the case, if we listened to the way we felt and used this as a guide instead then we’d all be much happier in the long run. Journalling and chatting to a friend are ways we can bring our thoughts to the surface, meditation and just having some quiet time to relax without a screen where you can be present with your thoughts are also useful. Recognise when you feel sad, anxious, stressed or irritable. Try and figure out what the cause is, rather than shutting it all away. When we lock our emotions away, eventually they will find a way out- and often it’s much worse than if you just deal with it initially. 

We know when we need to take a break

Sometimes in life we need to be working hard, getting in the zone and focusing on what we’re doing. At other times, it’s important to retreat and take a step back. Maybe a heavy workload combined with pressure from our boss is causing us stress, signalling that it’s time to take some of our holiday days and have time away. Perhaps a person in our lives is causing us hassle leading to anxiety and low mood, acknowledging that they’re making you feel uneasy could be a cue to stop spending time with that person or take a break from them. 

It prevents mental illness from occurring or getting worse

We all experience negative emotions from time to time, life can’t always be perfect. However, when you have ongoing negative feelings that stretch on for a long time and you don’t do anything about it, it can lead to further issues. Coping mechanisms to distract yourself could include anything from drugs to binge eating to gambling- chances are there’s even a teen treatment center somewhere near where you live which shows these things can affect all ages. Recognising your emotions and being aware of times when you’re not ok mentally helps you to do something about it before making mistakes. It prevents depression and anxiety occurring (or getting worse) too. 

Until Next Time...

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