Mental health has been in the limelight over the last few years, with campaigns such as ‘Time to Change’ aiming, and succeeding, at starting a long overdue conversation about mental health. Bit by bit, the stigma is being broken down.
But what even is mental health? And why is there a stigma attached to talking about it?
Simply, your mental health is the health of your mind. In the same way that physical health is the health of your body. Mental health is not something that only exists during times of mental illness, and it’s important to maintain mental wellbeing at all times. Think about it like this; we’re taught the importance of exercising and eating healthily in order to look after our bodies. Well, there are things that are important to do in order to look after our minds too (and actually, exercising and eating healthily both play a part in maintaining mental health as well, so they’re a win win!).
One of the things that can help with maintaining good mental health is meditation. For all of us at Girl Got Faith, a wonderful tool available for us is prayer. Taking that time out in the evenings, or in the mornings (if you’re not running late for school!), to just talk to God, or to sit quietly with God, can make such a difference in reducing stress and anxiety levels.
Unfortunately mental health and talking openly about our own and others, has had a stigma attached to it for a long time. Fortunately, this is definitely changing. Quite simply, people fear what they do not understand. One of the best things we can do for ourselves and others is to learn about mental health and keep an open mind when hearing about other peoples experiences. Everybody struggles from time to time, such as feeling stressed from exams or feeling anxious and overwhelmed.
Remember, it’s important to reach out and ask for help if you’re feeling anxious or down, or even if you have feelings that you can’t quite define, but you feel that they bother you. Some of the people you could turn to may be your parents, or a friend or your local GP doctor. Rather than being a sign of weakness, it’s actually a sign of strength to ask for help! It means you are taking control of the situation, rather than the situation having control over you.
We need to make sure that we are looking after ourselves, both body and mind, in order to live life to the best and live up to our God given potentials!