When it comes to mental health, one of the biggest problems people face is admitting that something is wrong, most of the time this is to do with pride and feeling shame.
Unlike other health problems, admitting something is wrong mentally carries a social stigma; despite the greater levels of public awareness.
There is so much to gain from spotting the warning signals of mental frailties. If you manage to nip things in the bud early, you can prevent far worse conditions setting in.
First, let me make one thing clear: Mental health problems are normal, almost as normal as catching a cold. Mental health is about how we think, feel and behave.
One in four people have a mental health problem at some point in their lives, which affects their daily life, relationships or physical health.
There is no single cause of mental health problems, the reasons they develop are as complex as the individual. Mental health problems are more common in certain groups, for example, people with poor living conditions, those from ethnic minority groups, disabled people, homeless people and offenders. Sometimes people with mental health problems are discriminated against.
This can lead to social problems such as homelessness, and may make the mental health problem worse.
Of course, not all mental health problems happen to people who are down and out and not all people suffer from severe depression.
Mental health problems can be incremental, in other words we can experience them in different degrees. On the one hand some people can deal with their problem on their own, while on the other professional help is required. If you are in any doubt about your own feelings, go and see your GP.
It is said that prevention is better than the cure and this is certainly true when it comes to maintaining good mental health.
Fortunately, there are ways to stave off a negative mind by keeping active, staying self aware, and engaging with a program of personal development.
We shall think about each one of these good health givers in turn. Before we do, let me remind you again that serious mental health problems require professional help. If you are finding everything unbearable, please do seek intervention from the medical professions.
Exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Not only does regular exercise help to maintain overall fitness and manage weight loss, it can lower the risk of many life-threatening conditions.
Regular exercise also improves mental and emotional health. The chemicals and hormones that are released in the brain through exercise can help deal with stress and promote happiness.
Exercise stimulates a chemical in your brain called serotonin which makes you feel happier and less stressed. Regular exercise can even help with the treatment of depression and anxiety.
Exercise does not have to consist of running on treadmills either; it can be any sport or activity that you love. If you enjoy yourself while you exercise, even more good mood chemicals get released into the bloodstream, enhancing your mood and giving you that extra boost of energy that you need. Incorporating exercise into your lifestyle will also help you too sleep better and enjoy a better sex life.
Self-awareness is the art of introspection and self-reflection.
Think of self-awareness as a lens that grants you access to the very core of your being. With heightened self-awareness, not only are you able to spot the warning signals at an earlier stage; but you are a also better equipped to identify the root causes of your negativity. Self-awareness can be developed from learning the arts of meditation, visualisation, alongside a good dose of honest self appraisal.
You should consider looking at NLP, yoga, cognitive behavioural therapy and other personal development techniques.
Finally, personal development is a great way to increase levels of self esteem, improve self confidence and enhance skills and abilities.
You can do this by setting yourself different goals to work towards such as learning a new language, getting a promotion at work or losing weight.
Setting goals is positive because it gives you a target to work towards. However, make sure that your goals are realistic.
If they are unrealistic, you are likely to fail them, which can affect your motivation and even put you off altogether.