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Mental Health

Introduction to Mental Health 

Mental health problems are very common, about a quarter of the population experience some kind of mental health problem in any one year. 

Many people who live with a mental health problem, or are developing one, try to keep their feelings hidden because they are afraid of other people’s reactions. 

We all have times when we don’t feel ourselves, feel sad or stressed and struggle to cope with day-to-day life. This could be for a number of reasons such as:

  • Following the loss of someone close to us
  • Loneliness
  • Relationship problems
  • Worrying about money or work 

Most of the time these feelings pass quite quickly, but sometimes they can develop into longer periods of poor mental health.

The majority of people who experience mental health problems can recover or learn to live with them, especially if they get help early on.

Top 10 Tips for Better Mental Wellbeing

  1. Talk about the way you feel: if you are facing a difficult time, talking about the way you feel with someone you know and trust can often help
  2. Be active: find something you enjoy and make it part of your life. Regular exercise, particularly outdoors, can help you feel good, relieve stress and lift your mood. Search the directory for terms like walking, cycling or swimming to find local activities in your area.* 
  3. Eat well: there are strong links between what we eat and how we feel. Eating healthy foods at regular intervals with plenty of water will help you feel better and increase your energy levels. For the NHS 'eat well guide' click here
  4. Sleep well: by having a good sleep routine you may find you are less irritable and more able to cope
  5. Drink sensibly: limit your alcohol intake and avoid cigarettes and other drugs. We often drink alcohol to change our mood and some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary. For more information click here
  6. Keep in touch: strong family ties and supportive friends can help you deal with the stresses of life.
  7. Ask for help: none of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things go wrong. Click here to find your local GP
  8. Do something you're good at: what do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Search the directory for your interest.
  9. Take a break - relax: a change of scenery or a change of pace is good for your mental health. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you. Give yourself some ‘me time’. For information about getting out and about click here
  10. Do something for somebody else: helping a friend or relative with chores or volunteering can help you improve your self-confidence and meet new people. 

*Mind has launched a new motivational website to help women with mental health problems choose a sport which is suitable to them. The website asks people to select reasons stopping them from exercising, and provides practical tips and real life stories to inspire people take the first step, and reap the benefits of an active lifestyle. Those taking part receive one-to-one support from others with shared experiences, who understand the additional challenges a mental health problem presents to those who want to get active.

Last reviewed: 15/11/2016

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