This week we’re talking all about mental health, and in particular, the effect that stress can have on our wellbeing. Our modern world can sometimes be so focused on looking good that we neglect how we feel which leads to all manors of problems.

Stress can come from anything; work, friends, relationships, etc. Yet, all of these things have one thing in common: perception. If we perceive something to be negative and stressful, then it’s going to have those impacts on us. However, by changing our outlook to something more positive, we can cope with situations in a much healthier, happier way.

Now, of course, I’m not saying that this is something you can just wake up and do, but it is something you can work on. Once you realise that the meaning of life is happiness and that we can be happy by simply changing our outlook, the world becomes a lot simpler.

Thankfully, there are a few ways to improve how stress affects us and get a handle on our outlook. The first is to try meditating. Meditation helps us to improve the connection between our mind, body, and the world around us. It helps to bring us into the current moment where stress can’t survive. You see, a lot of our stress comes from worrying about things in the future and the past. We clearly need to think about these things and can’t solely think about the current moment, but our modern lives mean that we end up spending more time living in the future and the past than we do in the right here, right now. By meditating frequently, we can become more in tune with the current moment and focus on what matters.

Secondly, starting a diary can help to get the thoughts that are trapped in your mind outside into the open world. Often we end up becoming trapped in our own heads, spinning the same thoughts over and over again without telling anyone. Understandably, a lot of our thoughts we don’t want to share, but we can’t leave them rattling about our brain. At the end of the day, try writing all of your thoughts down onto paper. This is not only a good way to organise what you need to do, but also an extremely therapeutic and cathartic task to free yourself from your mental cage.

Lastly, try to get out for a brisk walk each and every day. Much like meditation, walking has an endless variety of benefits which I can’t fully get into in the space of this article. Yet, one of the biggest benefits is that it’s extremely calming. All exercise releases endorphins which help us to feel good, but walking is also good for the joints and isn’t mentally stressful in the moment. Feel free to plug into an audibook or album whilst you’re walking if you find it easier to focus your mind. Also, try to walk in nature opposed to a busy city, but that will work fine if it’s the only option you have.

Millions of people struggle with mental health issues each year, and a large factor that they’re so prevalent is because people don’t talk about them or want to acknowledge them. Having trouble with your mental health isn’t a weakness or a sign that you’re worse than anyone else, it’s a common thing that many of us go through. So, please talk to someone, either a friend or a health care professional, if you feel like you need help. You’re not alone, and it will get better.

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