How to talk about mental health with your friends?
It can occasionally be very challenging to discuss your feelings with friends or family. It’s normal to worry about upsetting important people, what other people will think, or how it might affect your relationships.
You might find it simpler to approach a professional (like your doctor) first or you might feel more at ease talking to most people than professionals. There is no correct or incorrect method. But our closest friends and parents can frequently be a great source of support.
When you’re prepared, try using these hints to strike up a conversation about mental health problems:
Decide on a communication technique that feels comfortable for you.
You may prefer to speak over the phone, write your thoughts down in a letter, or have this conversation face-to-face with friends about your mental health.
Select a convenient time and location.
There might not be a ‘good’ time, but it can assist if you’re in a peaceful, comfortable setting where you won’t be bothered for long.
Prepare the words you intend to use. Making notes or processing things mentally are both options. Start with statements like ‘I haven’t been feeling like myself recently’ or ‘I’m having a hard time coping right now’, this is a suggested method of communicating so others feel that they can help you, instead of feeling attacked or to blame if you use alternative language such as 'you have been making me feel sad'.
Provide them with pertinent details and illustrations.
You might find it easier to describe what you’re going through if you’ve found a helpful explanation in a book or online or seen someone on television or in a movie says something that feels true to you.
Be open and honest
Sharing something so private might make you feel nervous, but describing personal experiences and how your sentiments impact your life may make it clearer to others how you're feeling.
Offer ideas about what they could do to assist. You might only need someone to listen and provide emotional support, or you might need immediate help.
Don’t place high expectations on a single conversation. Some young people may first be shocked or have a negative reaction and understanding their own mental health problems might take time. It’s crucial to give them time to consider what you’ve said. Plan to talk with them again if possible so you can understand mental health problems more easily.
How to Discuss Mental Health Concerns?
No matter what you’re talking about, it’s always helpful to keep your audience in mind.
In this situation, you will discuss a private matter with your family member. You could want to determine how much they already know about mental health issues and their attitudes on mental health and treatment before you decide to open out.
How do they react when they see mental illness discussed on television? Do they tend to be overly critical, or do they normally have a lot of compassion? Do they know anyone else who has dealt with mental illness in the past?
How people react badly to your revelation will depend on all these variables. It will make you feel more emotionally ready if you give this some thought beforehand.
Considering that, remember that they could not share your concept and the vocabulary of emotional and mental health difficulties. In this case, you should seek help from a mental health professional.
Speak with your own ‘I’;
There is no question that opening up to others requires risk-taking. However, doing so might enable you to get a lot more assistance from those around you. You will express the significance of the conversation if you take your time and speak from your direct, lived experience utilizing ‘I’ statements.
Your discussion partner might not fully understand how you have been coping with mental health concerns if you use ambiguous language, which could prevent them from being able to offer the right help going forward.
How can I improve my mental health?
You can do a variety of activities to enhance your mental health, including:
It's important to try to see the bright side of things. Some methods for doing this include developing harmony between one's good and bad emotions. Being positive doesn't mean you never feel bad emotions like despair or fury. You must be able to sense them navigating difficult situations. They can help you react to a circumstance. You don't want these emotions to control your life, though. For instance, feeling worried about your future or lingering on bad past experiences are both counterproductive.
Having a thankfulness practice entails being appreciative of your blessings. It’s crucial to give yourself some time to bask in the glory of your successful endeavour.
You may change the way you view your life by cultivating thankfulness. For example, you might not realize that you occasionally have pleasant feelings when you are under anxiety. You may spot them by being grateful.
It's helpful to do this every day, whether it's by counting your blessings in your head or writing them down in a journal. These could be major things, like receiving the love and support of family members, or simple things, like enjoying a delectable meal.
Being active physically and getting sufficient rest
An exercise class can lift your mood and help you feel less stressed and depressed. You should also ensure that you are getting sufficient rest.
Your mood is impacted by sleep. Lack of sleep can make you more prone to irritation and more tough time. Over time, getting poor sleep can increase your risk of developing depression. Therefore, it's essential to keep a regular sleeping routine and get enough sleep every night to refresh and feel comfortable.
Healthy eating with nutritious food.
You’ll feel better physically if you eat well, and you might also feel better mentally and have less tension and anxiety. Furthermore, some mental diseases may be caused by a deficiency in specific nutrients. For instance, an association between low vitamin B12 levels and depression may exist. You can receive the necessary nutrients by eating a well-balanced diet. An eating disorder can also create mental health issues.
We offer a B12 private at-home blood test. To order, click here.
Linking together with others
Since humans are social beings, it’s crucial to have solid, positive relationships with good friends. Possessing strong social ties may help shield you from the negative effects of stress. Additionally, it is advantageous to have a variety of relationships.
Along with keeping in touch with your family and close friend, you could find ways to interact with your community or neighbourhood. For instance, you could participate in a group centred on a pastime you like or volunteer for a neighbourhood organization.
You should also set a personal goal of acquiring a sense of significance and direction in life. This might be accomplished through your work, volunteer work, the acquisition of new skills, or spiritual exploration.
To learn more about mental health, read our information page here. We offer several private at-home tests that can be used to monitor hormones and chemicals in your body that may be affecting your mood, such as a Cortisol test.
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