2 in 3 people have experienced a mental health problem, and only 10% of people feel that they have good levels of mental health. Have you checked your mental health score?
In May 2017, the Mental Health Foundation published an unsettling report. The numbers you’re about to see might surprise you:
- Only 1 in 10 say that they have high levels of mental health
- 4 in 10 people have experienced depression
- 1 in 4 have experienced panic attacks
- 2 in 3 have experienced a mental health problem (this number is higher in women, 18-34 year olds and people living alone)
As we strive for physical perfection, whether that be through exercise and diet or beauty and wellbeing, we need to consider the effects on the mind. A goal can develop into an obsession, and obsession can lead to crisis.
That’s why it’s important to work on a healthy mindset and to check in with yourself. Luckily, there’s a simple questionnaire that can help you do this. It asks some pretty basic questions, but if you stop and think ‘have I felt close to someone in the past two weeks?’, you might discover something about yourself.
I took the quiz and at the moment, I’m in a good place. I took the time to pause and think with each question, and even ran scenarios through my head. This is something that I found particularly helpful, and I’d recommend that you do it too.
Steps you can take to improve your mental health
It’s easy to feel that you’re alone, and the only person who is feeling the way that you do. But if 2 in 3 have also experienced this problem, then you’re not as alone as you may think. They do say that a problem shared is a problem halved, so finding somebody, whether they be family, friends or a professional, is the first step on the path to good health.
Take a break
As you scroll through Facebook and Instagram, do you find that you start comparing your life with what you see? You’re not the only one. It may feel like people share their entire lives online, but the reality is that we tend to share only the best, most flattering aspects of our lives.
If you’re finding that you’re feeling down or upset while going through your feed, it’s a sign that you need to step back, put down the phone and take a break.
Whether you’re in a town, city or the country, spending some time outside can help clear your head. You don’t have to go so far as running or hiking for miles in the woods either. You can just take a stroll, run an errand or window shop.
Take the time to breathe the fresh air and listen to the hubbub around you. If you prefer headphones, find a calming playlist or find an interesting podcast, you might even learn something new!
Physical and mental health go hand in hand, so it’s important to eat a balanced, varied diet. Binging on unhealthy snacks and meals may help you feel better for a little while, but it’s not doing you any good in the long run.
It’s now easier than ever to buy, plan and prepare healthy meals, and gaining a sense of order and wellbeing from your eating habits can help you feel great inside and out.