Thankfully mental health is getting a lot more positive attention in the media nowadays which is really great but even so, for some people there can still be a lot of stigma attached to admitting when you are struggling.
This is such a shame because the person suffering through a low point, male or female, can often feel like they shouldn’t admit they are having difficulties and therefore suffer on in silence with little support which in turn can make the problem even worse.
As a life coach and through my volunteering work as a listener for the Samaritans it seems to me that we are slaves to our thoughts, it’s not always about what has actually happened but how we feel and think about what has happened which traps us. If we truly believe something to be a certain way it is very hard to be persuaded otherwise unless we have hard evidence to prove us wrong.
Our minds are very good at gathering evidence to support our beliefs and they filter out anything that doesn’t fit with our view of the world. This is a good and a bad thing, bad if you choose to dwell on negatives but excellent if you can push these thoughts aside and find something good and forward thinking to focus on.
The challenge therefore is to practice, practice, practice!
Make time to exercise your mental muscle so that through practice it can banish unhelpful thoughts from your head and leave space to nurture productive and positive thoughts, and then subsequently while you are looking out to the world with these positive thoughts your mind will gather the appropriate evidence to back them up and build on them and before you know it you are on an upward spiral.
Clearly as a Samaritan I would advocate calling the Samaritans (Free phone number 116 123) whenever you are feeling a bit down and don’t feel you can share with friends and family. Contrary to popular belief you do not have to be suicidal to call the Samaritans and please don’t feel your issues are too trivial as nipping them in the bud is far better than letting them spiral out of control to the point where you are in a right mess! You will never be judged, the Samaritan will simply listen and help you explore your thoughts and feelings, sometimes just saying things out loud can really help you make better sense of what you are experiencing.
So if you have tried sitting down with a cuppa, a hot bath, an early night or Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and that just ain’t cuttin’ it – TALK to someone! After all, a problem shared is a problem halved.
Learn more about the Samaritans - www.samaritans.org