Mental Health awareness – the importance of talking

Danielle_SeniorIt’s Mental Health Awareness week (16-22 May) and it’s a great opportunity to raise the profile of an illness that’s all too often swept under the carpet. This week, Danielle Senior discusses why it’s so important to talk.

With one in four people suffering, mental health issues are more common than you might think, and we may all experience stress, anxiety or depression at some point in our lives. It’s a topic not often talked about in the work place but I strongly believe it should be.

There are many triggers and causes of stress and anxiety some of which are:

  • Work life – you could be working long hours, feel like you’re under pressure or be feeling insecure about your job
  • Personal life – you might have financial concerns, be dealing with an illness or a family issue
  • Internal – you might be dealing with low self-esteem or have unrealistic expectations of yourself

It’s important to identify the signs of you’re suffering so you can take action to help yourself. Some of us get so used to feeling a certain way because that’s how we’ve always been, but the following signs could indicate that you’re stressed:

  • Headache
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Upset stomach
  • Skin problems
  • Heartburn/IBS

So, if you feel like you’ve experienced any of these without knowing why, maybe it’s a good idea to think about the cause, talk it through with someone and start getting back to how you were before!

You’re probably thinking ‘how do I do that?’ Well, I’ve got some techniques on how you can start dealing with it. Stress is something you can manage and it’s down to you to be consistent if you want to stay in a better place.

  • The first thing, above all, is to recognise you’re stressed and to not be in denial
  • Maintain a balanced diet – give your body and mind the vitamins and minerals they need to be healthy
  • Do regular exercises like yoga and stretching
  • Practise breathing techniques
  • Accept there are things you can’t change because they are out of your control
  • Avoid situations which may make you angry or upset – do not feed your negative energy
  • Know your limits and don’t take on too much
  • Practice positive thinking – notice the good things around you!

What you need to remember is that without consistency there will be no results. But you are far from alone and sharing your problems by talking to other people really can help. During this Mental Health Awareness Week, let’s talk, share and be understanding. We want to get rid of the stigma and raise awareness that building relationships, where talking about your worries is possible, really can be a life saver.

Danielle Senior is a support team member for Mitie Client Services based in London

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