Healthy Mind

The Ultimate Guide To Mental Health

Mental health should always be open for discussion, and the fact that it’s often shelved with the rest of the subjects that we as a nation baulk at the thought of speaking openly about, is categorically wrong. With it being National Mental Health Awareness Week, there has never been a better time to discuss the importance of opening up about the issues which affect the mental wellbeing of millions of people around the world every single day. In fact language learning app Babbel researched into the way mental health is discussed from around the world and their findings make for a sad read. In many countries, mental illness is still highly stigmatised. For instance, they found that in Switzerland, a study was carried out by mental health organization Pro Mente Sana showing that only 38 percent of people surveyed would hire someone who was mentally ill, and only 14.2 percent would let them babysit their children. In Asian countries, the deep stigma around mental illness persists, and largely on account of their traditional values. A case study on China’s mental health situation underlined the notion that mental illness is seen as a form of punishment for the misdeeds of one’s ancestors, as well as a mark of shame on the entire family. Clearly, something needs to change.

“Yes it’s a sensitive topic, and often people, particularly professionals and men, feel like if they discuss their mental health then they are showing a weakness,” says life Geeta Sidhu-Robb ( “So they feel compelled to keep their problems to themselves, as if they were a burden on those around them by expressing their struggles – but this simply couldn’t be further from the truth.” Clearly feeling good mentally is not as simple as – ‘follow these five steps to overcome all of your mental health problems’. But there are certainly tips to follow which will allow you to get more balance and that will help you feel stronger so you can look for the support and guidance needed to feel better and here Geeta shares them with us.

    • 1. Let’s talk The fastest, easiest solution is always talking about your problem with people you trust. Whats the saying? A problem shared is a problem halved. Suffering in silence is extremely dangerous as it blows every problem out of proportion, and it’s important to know that you remember you have people around you who love you and care for your wellbeing. Which you will only find out when you start talking to them. Because people can’t help you, no matter how much they love you, until they know you need it.

    • 2. Keep those closest to you, close A common sign of mental imbalance is the tendency to push those closest to us, away. This is the worst thing you can do. It’s important to know that those close to you are there to help, and they are vital for your recovery. For those reading this who are close to somebody suffering with any mental problem – my advice would be to remain resilient and make sure you don’t let them become isolated, no matter hard they might try to keep you at arm’s length. This is when your loved ones need you.
      But what happens when you have no one to talk to? What happens when you live far from your family and friends? Onto step 3.

    • 3. It’s okay not to be okay For some, mental health issues can creep up from nowhere. It doesn’t discriminate against age, gender or social background – and you could have been struggle free for 50 years before something hits you. It’s important to know that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, and it doesn’t make you any less of a person. Nor does it make you weaker. We can have managed for decades and suddenly one day, it all feels too much. That too is okay. Just accept that fact.

    • 4. Step back, take a break and focus on the positives Mental health is a broad subject, and it covers a range of issues. This can go start with stress and go on to anxiety – which can sometimes be brought on by struggles in the work place. It’s important to speak with your boss and explain the way you feel as it can sometimes be the case that taking a week or so away from work, to clear your mind and look the positives from a calmer place.
      If your boss is insensitive to your plight, and shows a lack of empathy towards your struggles – it may be that the culture at your workplace is part of the problem. Start looking to move if possible. If it feels impossible focus initially on developing your life outside of work so it is rich and loving and giving. That in itself provides a much needed balance.

  • 5. The Science Like I said, there is no easy way to tackle mental illness, and it is not as simple as saying follow said tips to be completely cured. But there are things we can do to minimise the risks and improve our state of mind such as:
    Sleep – Studies have shown that we need at least seven hours of sleep every night in order to keep our mind in a good place.
    Diet – Incorporate mood foods in to your diet as best you can. This includes oily fish such as Salmon, tuna and sardines. Raw Fruits, raw vegetables and other whole foods are necessary at least x2 a day, as well as raw nuts. Find our list of foods that are proven to boost your mood here

    Cut the sugar - A study in rats found that diets high in sugar can reduce a protein called BDNF that influences the growth and development of nerve cells in the brain. This protein is thought to be involved in the development of depression and anxiety. High sugar diets can also increase inflammation- a protective reaction of the body, normally directed against microorganisms or foreign substances, which is said to be linked with mood disorders in some cases.

Exercise is also a great way to help you cope with mental health. A survey by Rugged Interactive found that over a third of the UK population specifically work out to improve their mental health, with two-thirds of people also claiming they exercise to de-stress and a further 32 percent saying they exercised to escape daily life. If you’re searching for some simple exercises try these five moves that will help to de-stress you. Or, if the gym isn’t your thing, then it’s time to get on your bike – literally, as here we explain the benefits cycling has on mental health.
Finally, here are some points worth remembering on mental health . Always go easy on yourself and you’re never alone.