Last Tuesday (10th October 2017) marked World Mental Health day. This created an opportunity to spread awareness of the diverse mental health difficulties that 1 in 4 individuals suffer with throughout their lives.But what’s next after World Mental Health Day?
Last Tuesday (10th October 2017) marked World Mental Health day. This created an opportunity to spread awareness of the diverse mental health difficulties that 1 in 4 individuals suffer with throughout their lives. Indeed, mental health awareness has come a long way, and such, on this occasion, social media was flooded with vignettes of thousands of individuals who have themselves, or know of someone, who has suffered with a mental health difficulty in their lifetime. Such social media campaigns have helped to reduce stigma and, importantly, to get people talking about mental health. But what’s next after the World Mental Health Day?
What is also important with such a campaign is for people to also reflect on their own mental health. The term does not need to have such negative connotations. Just like we look after our bodies on a day to day basis, by exercising or eating healthily for example, it is important to be just as aware of our mental health.
Part of this involves a campaign beyond social media. It is not about refraining yourself from using your social media account, but rather to take some time to reflect and be present. It is not uncommon for our morning commute to see the tube full of individuals with their heads down, scrolling on their phone. Spare time is often spent talking with friends on Facebook, or watching videos on YouTube. Instead, taking some time, beyond social media to be present in life and being aware of the moment is one way to take care of your mental health.
This surprisingly simple, yet neglected, ability is encompassed in a practice called mindfulness. Mindfulness has grown in popularity in the Western world in recent years and is now recommended by the National Institute of Health Care Excellence (NICE) for a way to prevent depression in those who have suffered previous bouts. Mindfulness allows us to become more aware of the stream of thoughts and feelings that we experience in day to day life. Furthermore, such awareness helps us to recognise signs of anxiety, or when we are stressed, meaning that we can deal with such thoughts better, having recognised them.
We’d love to keep up the momentum of the World Mental Health Day. Here at Moving Minds, we are offering a free mindfulness course to help you take the steps to take care of your mental health. We are using this campaign to increase understanding of our mental as well as our physical health. PM us on Twitter/ Facebook to begin your mindfulness journey now.