October 10, 2018 3 min read

Today is Mental Health Day

It’s thought that in the UK, around 16 million people suffer with a form of mental health illness. That’s 1 in 4 people. Despite this unbelievably high figure, very few people feel comfortable discussing their mental wellbeing. It has been a huge underlying problem which for many years has been a taboo subject and left undiscussed.

However recently, the awareness of mental health has been improved dramatically with the help of various charities such as Mind, Mental Health Foundation and YoungMinds. These great charities are not only raising awareness about the various forms of mental illness, but they’re providing support and help to those who are suffering.

Developing a mental health illness can be a result of a number of factors, and even something which you may think is small and insignificant, could be having a huge effect on someone else. Social media is playing a huge role in causing mental health issues, especially amongst young people. We’re addicted to Instagram and Facebook, and to following the lives of our favourite influencers and celebrities. We are no longer happy with ourselves, and often we’re jealous of what we see on Instagram. We aspire to run like our favourite Olympian, or look like our favourite bodybuilder. It’s easy to forget that people only post on social media what they want us to see, meaning we only see the perfect, happy side to someone’s life.

While there are ways to help improve the symptoms of mental illness, it’s nowhere near as simple as taking paracetamol for a headache. It takes time and lots of support to help improve a person’s mental health state. Exercise has been proven to have a significant effect on mental health because of the endorphins we produce during physical activity. Endorphins are chemicals which are released in the body as a result of physical stimuli and interact with the cell receptors in the brain which control emotion and reduce pain. These endorphins have such a positive effect on the human body that even if you hate exercise, it’s important you give it a try. It doesn’t have to be a 3-hour intense gym session, or a 10 mile run, even something as simple as going for a walk has the potential to improve your mental wellbeing.

A Few Simple Exercises You Can Try:

  1. Go for a walk- this can be as short or long as you want. A small walk around the block or to explore a new area of the community. Walking is a great way to clear your thoughts and the fresh air may help.

 

  1. Yoga - Yoga is a great way to tend to your body, mind and soul. A calming way to partake in gentle exercise and the quiet your mind. 

 

  1. Exercise Classes - The great thing about attending classes is that you can get a friend to join you helping you to get out and socialise. 

 

  1. Cycle to Work - Just making the effort to cycle rather than drive is an effective way to get a daily workout in and again, a nice way to clear your head and get the heart pumping.

You're Not Alone 

Remember, if you’re stood with a group of 8 friends, at least one other friend is  likely to also be suffering with a mental illness. You’re not alone and there is always someone to talk to, family, friends, or even a charity worker.

If You Need Help

Talk to someone. Let's break the stigma of mental health:

https://www.mind.org.uk/

https://youngminds.org.uk/

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/

 


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