Health Chatter: Mental Health & Mindfulness

Updated: Feb 11

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Everybody has mental health, just like everybody has physical health, When our mental health is good we think and react in ways that allow us to successfully carry out daily tasks.

This is often put to the test through difficulties and challenges which we all face from time to time.


When someone’s mental health is good they can usually overcome life’s challenges with a confident and positive response.

However when someone is suffering with mental health problems, even everyday tasks can begin to feel overwhelming and difficult.

Mental health problems can occur and affect absolutely anybody but practicing mindfulness can be beneficial to everybody in preventing mental health problems from occurring as well as helping people who are currently experiencing mental health problems.

What is Mindfulness all about?

Mindfulness is about making a special effort to focus on the present moment. As you focus on the ‘now’ you also become more aware and understanding of your thoughts and feelings.

Benefits include:

  • Becoming aware of negative thoughts and taking earlier actions to overcome them.

  • Noticing a change in thinking - negative thoughts do not define you.

  • An ability to savour the pleasures in life as they occur.

  • Being less likely to get caught in worries about the past or future.


Top tips for being more mindful:

  • Little and often: Choose an aspect of your day to be mindful. This could be walking to work and becoming aware of the sounds of the birds in the trees, the feeling of your feet with each step you take, or the smell of freshly cut grass on the breeze. Taking a break from the usual and taking a moment to focus on the here and now can help ground us and open our minds to new perspectives.

  • Passing thoughts: Our thoughts can often increase when we take a moment to stop and be in the present. You don’t have to dismiss these thoughts but rather than letting them occupy your full attention, allow them to wander through your mind but then let them drift away again.

  • Try something new: Really simple and particularly fun! Eat your lunch in a different setting or take a different route home from work. All your senses will be stimulated by the new surroundings and taking a break from the norm can help give you a new outlook on life.


Concrete path surrounded by multi-coloured foliage
Taking a break from the usual and taking a moment to focus on the here and now can help ground us.

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem this year

Signs of a mental health problem:

  • Difficulty carrying out daily activities

  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness

  • Feeling anxious and worried

  • A change in sleeping and eating pattern

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Lack of motivation


Sources: nhs.uk Useful websites:

mentalhealth.org.uk

mind.org.uk

rethink.org/home

nhs.uk Samaritans - Call: 116 123 Email: jo@samaritans.org


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