I was looking to get help for a client recently. He is in a bad place mentally and financially. One blog I came across was by a local professional. She has some great postings. One such is 'How to protect your mental health'.
Dr Joanne Cooper offers five simple steps that anybody can take to boost and protect their mental health and well-being.
1> Think positive! Our thoughts and emotions are connected, so trying to think in a positive, open-minded and constructive way has a hugely positive effect on how we think and behave. Think good, feel good.
2> Write down all the reasons you have in life to feel thankful: those close to you, positive or learning experiences you have gained, things you own or have achieved, personal qualities you have worked on. Gratitude increases wellbeing.
3> Write a letter to yourself during the good times to help boost yourself through the bad times. Remind yourself of what it’s like to feel good, that good times do happen and bad times don’t last forever. Advise yourself on how you have handled tough times or difficult people in the past. Remind yourself of what works, and what you are doing that is probably contributing to how well you are feeling.
4> Meditate. Mindfulness Meditation is not hard to learn but brings enormous physical and psychological benefits if practised regularly. Mindfulness is about living in the present and accepting yourself as you are. It teaches you to permit thoughts to come and go without getting too caught up with them or allowing them to fester. It’s a great technique for anxiety or worry.
5> Is a hectic work or family life adequately balanced with rest, relaxation and creativity? Hobbies and interests provide a valuable outlet and counterbalance to stress, while laughter has been shown to release endorphins, helping us feel good. For more tips, visit www.yourmentalhealth.ie.
Dr Joanne Cooper is a psychologist specialising in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with young people and adults. Further information available at www.rewindcounselling.ie