When somebody mentions the word ‘health’ in a conversation, what kinds of images or phrases pop into your mind? For many of us, the subject of health is automatically linked to getting fit, eating well and being a healthy weight, but there’s so much more to health than your BMI. Mental health is as important as physical health, but most of us aren’t as inclined to talk about that aspect of our wellbeing. Although times are changing, and more and more people are opening up, there’s still a long way to go. If you’re guilty of neglecting your mental health, or you’d like to try and be more open in the future, here are just some of the reasons why it’s good to talk.
Talking as a coping mechanism
If you’ve ever had something weighing heavy on your mind, you may have experienced that sense of relief and release when you tell somebody about it. Talking can be cathartic, it can help you process and deal with your emotions, and it can prompt you to seek advice from people or organisations that may be able to help you. Opening up can give you a sense of perspective and help you compartmentalise your feelings. If you’ve had a bad day, or you’ve got thoughts running through your mind, and you can’t seem to switch off, try talking to a friend, a relative, a partner or a therapist about how you feel. You might find that it’s a far more effective strategy than bottling things up.
Protecting your body by focusing on your mind
Looking after your mental health isn’t just a positive step in terms of your happiness and wellbeing. It can also have an impact on your physical health. Mental disorders and addictions can have incredibly negative implications for your body, as well as your mind, and talking can help you to work through problems and difficulties that affect every aspect of your health. Facilities like Ana Treatment Centres use a combination of therapies, including treatments that are designed to protect and treat the body, as well as group sessions and one-to-one counselling, to combat alcohol addiction, for example. Using both physiological and psychological techniques enables you to become mentally and physically stronger. Talking can also help you make others aware of what you’re going through if you do have symptoms of a mental illness or you’re worried about an eating disorder or an addiction. If people don’t know that you’re struggling, there’s a limit to what they can do. If you talk to them, you may be surprised at how eager they are to help and support you.
Encouraging others and influencing societal shifts
In the last few years, mental health has become a subject of interest, and society is more open to discussion than ever before. There’s a long way still to go, but you can play a part in putting mental health on the agenda. By talking about your feelings and emotions, you may encourage others to do the same, and the more people who can open up, the more comfortable wider society will feel when the topic of mental health crops up.
Picture credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/ufv/23498676905
If you tend to bottle up your emotions, or tell everyone you’re fine when you don’t really feel that brilliant, it may be time to talk.