We all know what we need to do to keep our bodies fit and healthy, but what about our minds? Over 11 million people in the UK have a recognised mental health problem in any one week and it is estimated that 75% of them don’t get the treatment they need. The world is a at a crisis point when it comes to mental health, which is why on World Mental Health Day, 10 October, we should all spend time learning how we can look after our mental health.
Leading Essex-based psychotherapist, Mark Newey, is passionate about mental wellness education and has just launched an online mental wellness education site www.headucate.me, to teach people how to look after their mental health.
Mark believes that the key to mental health education is ‘just five-a-day’! He explains: “At school we’re never taught how to look after our mental health, most of us know nothing about how our mind works; we don’t even understand our emotions and how and why they function. Without an understanding of the unconscious mind we do not have the tools to cope. A common diagnosis of many mental health issues is stress, anxiety and depression, but these are not mental illnesses; they are simply signals from our system telling us that there’s something wrong in our life and we need to change something in order to deal with it.
“So, where should we start? The lesson is simple! We must all learn how to become self-aware, grow our levels of self-esteem, be authentic, have a vision in life and become self-empowered. Here’s my top tips to get you started:
- Self Awareness: Take five minutes at the start of the day, sit in a chair and breathe deeply and slowly, then ask yourself “Who am I today? Who’s the real me today?” and reflect on what comes up
- Self Esteem: Any spare moment during the day, say to yourself “I’m (your name). I love who I am, warts and all!”
- Authenticity: At the beginning of the day, choose a conversation you know is coming up and then consciously “take off the mask” of pretending to be someone else. Be consciously authentic in the conversation. When you are feeling brave, make the conversation about something you are rally struggling with.
- Life Vision: At the end of the day, ask yourself what activity or conversation helped you move towards your long-term goals. Think about what’s coming up tomorrow, this will help you move towards those goals.
- Self-Empowerment: While you’re walking or exercising during the day, perhaps on your walk to the office or daily run, go inside, feel the energy and power moving round your body and repeat to yourself in your mind “I’m powerful. I’m making my life happen. I’m powerful. I’m making my life happen. I’m powerful. I’m making my life happen…””