We have all been affected by mental health issues at some point in our lives. If we have not experienced it yet ourselves, we know someone who has, and we know how hard it can be. The stigma around mental health is starting to fade, but there is still a lot of work to be done in ensuring transparency and openness around the mental health problems we face.
You see, life is full of unexpected twists and turns. These things take their toll on everyone. Everyone needs support through these challenges and so everyone will at some time, feel their mental health is under stress. You can read more on how to reduce stress on our blog; Learn Stress Reducing Techniques.
Facing mental health problems is a normal part of life, and there’s nothing wrong with needing to reach out for support at any point in time. Therapy is here for any problem, big or small. From dissatisfaction with life to illness and loss, bringing us onto the reason you are reading this blog; how to improve mental health.
What Is Mental Health
In order to realise the best things to do to improve mental health we need to first understand what it encompasses. Mental health encompasses everything from our emotional and social state to our psychological well being. Poor mental health affects how we feel and act, it can impact stress and how we socialise. There is no age requirement for experiencing mental health issues. We may come up against it as children, young adults, and well into our later years, and it’s completely normal.
There are many reasons one might experience mental health problems such as genes, life experiences, trauma, abuse, brain chemistry, the list is endless. The important thing to note is that there is no right way to feel it, no one size fits all diagnosis, and nothing about it that is shameful. Mental health and all of it’s trials and tribulations, is just part of being human.
Habits To Improve Mental Health
Just like a broken limb or stomach ache, we all experience it differently. When you go to the doctor they don’t prescribe you the same as the last patient without assessing you first. Bottom line, if a wound is to heal, that wound needs specific treatment, physical or emotional.
There are many habits to improve mental health that we can prescribe to. We can try and get our eight hours a night, drink the recommended amount of water, eat well (it really does help!), and ensure we get enough vitamin D. However, that is not always enough. Much like the broken limb analogy, sometimes, it needs to be cast and reset before it can heal fully. No magic wand or amount of sleep will mend a broken bone faster than it is able, and the same can be said for your mental health.
Psychotherapy is where your unique needs are assessed. Here, we look at the cause of your problem rather than just the symptom and work through your problems. Psychotherapy is a safe space, somewhere you can relax and lean into how you’ve been feeling. It can seem scary but so often, when suffering with mental health issues, we do our best to mask them. Psychotherapy is where we can drop the veil, let out that breath we’ve been holding in and allow ourselves to feel.
A question we often get asked is, how to improve mental health with exercise? For starters, choose something you enjoy. For example, Tai Chi, a meditative exercise that Alex thoroughly enjoys himself, is now a practice taught here at Alex Delogu. It aims to enable the practitioner to more readily access a calm state of mind. If done consistently, Tai Chi can be astounding in the quest to improve mental health.
Safe and Sound Protocol or SSP is another practice available at Alex Delogu. The aim of this exercise is to activate the parts of the nervous system involved in social connection that allow the body to feel safe. As people we often isolate ourselves when we suffer with our mental health, when in fact it is in social situations that we most need to adapt. SSP is a big part of allowing ourselves to be no matter where we are.
Why Seek Out In-Person Therapy Over Technology
Nowadays there are apps for everything including mental health consultations, exercises and much more. These are all great ways to explore your mental health, not to mention the benefit these apps have had on destigmatising much of the controversy mental health has faced, but they are not always enough.
When it comes down to assessing individual mental health needs there is no replacement for live interaction with another person. The live nature of psychotherapy means that it can at times be challenging and will bring into question ways of being that are perhaps not serving you well any more. We rarely go willingly into our difficult emotional states when we are on our own, or on our phones. Therapy aims to provide a safe space where this can happen.
At Alex Delogu, we work to help improve mental health by listening and guiding the individual through what is most likely an overwhelming and difficult stage in their life. If you would like to talk or book a session at any time, please feel free to get in touch.