Most of us will go through times of low mood at some point in our lives. Perhaps sparked by stressful life events – redundancy, grief, lack of sleep, pregnancy, loss, illness, or perhaps for no obvious reason, we just find ourselves stuck in a rut. It’s when this period of low mood goes on for a few weeks or more that it might be worth taking a PHQ9 depression test and speaking to your GP. But often there are certain factors we can influence and by implementing tiny changes, we can help break the cycle of negativity and pull ourselves out of the pit of doom. If you find yourself caught in a trap, with a continually low mood try this CBT approach and carry out the five key areas assessment, to see what factors are in your control. The five areas are: PEOPLE AND EVENTS AROUND YOU THINKING PATTERNS ALTERED FEELINGS PHYSICAL FEELINGS AND SENSATIONS ALTERED BEHAVIOUR AND ACTIVITY LEVELS Assessing your life in this way can help you see the impact of low …
Ecophilia is the suggestion that humans possess an innate tendency, in fact an innate desire to connect with nature. Perhaps the result of millions of years of evolution in a natural environment, long before the industrial revolution and urbanisation took hold. Apparently spending time in nature, surrounding ourselves with all things green and mother earth (think hugging trees and running barefoot in fields of Barley) makes us feel complete, happy and satisfied. In fact, just ten minutes in nature can reduce stress, boost our mental health and improve our overall sense of wellbeing. And occasionally make us snotty and irritable during hayfever season! So if you’re feeling inspired and want to take full advantage of this glorious weather, grab those antihistamines and read our top 10 ways to spend more time outdoors and boost your mental health and wellbeing; Visit your local city farm Buy a new plant and keep a photo diary each week as you care for it and watch it grow Grow plants on your windowsill – a pleasure for you and …
Are you scared to be alone? Do you only spend time by yourself when you’re forced to? Why is solitude always met with negative connotations? In this scientific based TED Talk, Thuy-vy Nguyen explores what happens to us when we’re alone and how simply shifting to choosing to be alone, can help us to cultivate positive emotions and feelings of peace and relaxation.
Do you know the main signs of depression? Could you spot them in others? Feelings of inescapable sadness, emptiness or hopelessness Loss of interest in life and the simple things Unexplained weight loss or gain Difficulty sleeping and staying asleep Restless and irritable Feelings of guilt or worthlessness and low self-esteem Fatigue and low energy levels Problems concentrating, remembering and making decisions Thoughts of suicide and thoughts of death If you’ve had five or more of these symptoms for two weeks or more, you might be depressed. Make an appointment with your local GP or talk to someone you can trust. You could also call one of the organisations listed here who offer help and support directly.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme is Surviving or Thriving? A surprising 1 in 6 people interviewed in the 2016 Mental Health Foundation report, showed symptoms associated with ill mental health – sleep troubles, worry, irritability and fatigue – yet they didn’t believe they had a mental health problem. So this year, instead of looking at why 1 in 4 adults in the UK now suffers from ill mental health, the focus is on why so few people with seemingly good mental health are merely surviving not thriving. Perhaps the spectrum of good and bad mental health is much narrower than we initially thought. If so, where do you sit on the scale? Find out more about the state of the UK’s mental health here and get involved in Mental Health Awareness Week here.
Not only has the weather been glorious of late, but it’s officially National Gardening Week so what better excuse to don your wellies and head outside to get those fingers green?! Gardening has endless benefits for your health and wellbeing. For instance, a recent study published in the Journal of Public Health found that just 30 minutes of allotment gardening each week significantly reduces stress and fatigue and boosts self-esteem. And another study conducted by Bakker Scalding found that 88% of people find that mental wellbeing is a key benefit for spending time in the garden. So it’s not just good for your body, but your mind and soul too. Here are our top 5 gardening health benefits – Gardening burns fat and tones you up Digging, squatting, trimming and mowing are all great forms of exercise that will help to get the heart rate going and tone up those muscles. So you can get fit and lean without being cooped up in a soulless gym! Spend half an hour doing any of the following activities and you can expect to …
Today is Time to Talk Day. A day to break the silence around mental health and get people talking about their struggles. Starting a small conversation with someone today, even opening up about your own battles with mental health, could help to change a life. The more we share and show our vulnerabilities, the quicker we can erase the stigma and help those in need. In words of Gandhi ‘be the change you wish to see in the world‘.
Self-Observation Without Judgement Release the harsh and pointed inner voice. It’s just a throwback to the past, and holds no truth about this moment. Let go of self-judgment, the old, learned ways of beating yourself up for each imagined inadequacy. Allow the dialogue within the mind to grow friendlier, and quiet. Shift out of inner criticism and life suddenly looks very different. I can say this is only because I make the choice a hundred times a day to release the voice that refuses to acknowledge the real me. What’s needed here isn’t more prodding toward perfection, but intimacy – seeing clearly, and embracing what I see. Love, not judgement, sows the seeds of tranquility and change. by Danna Faulds
To celebrate World Mental Health Day earlier this month, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) collaborated with Action for Happiness to produce a “10 Keys to Happier Living” poster. Listing everyday actions to boost wellbeing and improve your mental health. It’s a wonderful tool to print out and refer to when you’re feeling a bit low or out of kilter. You could even check it every day and take positive action to protect your mental health. Download a printable pdf here – 10-keys-to-happier-living
Can you find 10 minutes this weekend to begin your meditation journey? Scientists have proved that meditation enhances mental performance by improving focus and concentration. It also boosts our creativity and self-acceptance, encourages empathy and boosts our immunity. Counterbalancing the detrimental effects of stress and anxiety. (For more benefits see here). If you’re keen to kick-start your learning and want to see how meditation could impact your life, we’ve created a 10 minute audio guide to help you navigate one of the trickiest first steps – learning to focus the breath. Those with highly active, inquisitive minds will know just how difficult it can be to silence the endless chatter, but with a little help and a lot of patience, it can be done! And if you feel like you’re ready to try a 5 minute mindfulness meditation, why not give this one a try.