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Your mind matters (as does the rest of you!): Mental Health Awareness month

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

This month has been mental health awareness month with last week, 10 October, marking Mental Health Awareness Day. Mental health is the state of mental wellbeing that enables us to cope with the stresses of life, realise our abilities and contribute to our community. It's an integral part of overall health and wellbeing. This definition by WHO implies that while the focus was previously on thoughts & thinking (mental), there's a growing recognition that it's about health of the whole system. [more about that in my first post].



That said, mental health is naturally an important component of this overall healthy state of wellness!

And there are specific interventions we can adopt to improve or maintain our mental health & wellness 🙌. Here are a few of them:



Positive self talk

Awareness always precedes change. This is so true for self talk - our inner voice that creates an internal monologue throughout our day. What is that voice saying? Have we stopped to take notice of it and challenge it when it gets untrue or helpful?

This is best & most effectively done by gradually stopping to notice what we say to ourselves. By reading this article, you'll probably already be primed to notice the way & words you speak to yourself 😊. Additionally, you can become more aware by taking a few minutes of intentional time in your day to sit in silence and notice the tone of your inner voice (critical, kind, negative, angry..?). And / or it may also be helpful write or make a note on your phone at times when you become aware of what you're saying to yourself throughout your day.

You are then able to can question & challenge these thoughts more objectively to see if they could be valid.

From there, you can work on fostering kinder, probably more accurate and more helpful thoughts & beliefs 🙌


Gratitude

Taking time to intentionally notice what you're grateful for has been game changer for mental health. Start with mentioning one thing to yourself or writing it down. There are also gratitude journal prompts available online if you're struggling to get started.

Being or becoming more mindful

Mindfulness has also become a big deal in recent years. It's when the mind is fully attentive to what we're doing, what’s happening, the sensations we're experiencing... as opposed to mindlessness - when we're unaware, going through actions & activities on autopilot, without being aware of our surroundings or inner states.

Some ways you can try to become more mindful today include

bringing attention to the present moment by using your 5 senses;

focusing on your breath; and

observing what is around you with curiosity.


In the coming weeks, we'll be sure to look at other areas of wellness and some ways to recharge & refine wellness in those areas too 🙌. [and perhaps use this emoji less 🙌😂 ]


Let me know if you've used other mental health strategies or your favourite from this list!

Wishing you a healthy & meaningful second half of mental health month! 🌱


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