By Shannon Holden
@shaywhophotography / @Shay_Who_Photos
Sub-edited by Mental Health Editor | Ella and Philippa Strachan
Firstly, look for something you enjoy.
Everyone has something that makes them happy inside and in times when you may feel like you want to hibernate from the world, like an animal, try reaching inside and remembering that feeling, that feeling from that ‘favourite thing’. Dopamine is a powerful hormone It can be anything that releases the chemical into your brain as the neurotransmitter is responsible for transmitting signals between nerve cells. This process is what makes you feel good as the dopamine hormone is released. Some people with depression have a particular person that brings them joy, but this could be a hobby or even an item of food.
That four letter word that no-one wants to be told about but research has shown that our diet has strong correlations to maintaining good mental health. Do not stop eating or starting whatever diet you see online though. Most diets are actually more damaging than they are helpful, as it can teach your brain to focus on the negatives of food creating a ‘negative’ relationship with food which can hard to un-do, reinforced through a habit and the operant conditioning of the brain. However, what you eat can have an impact on your mood and overall health. For example, if you often find yourself craving chocolate then it’s possible you may love chocolate, but it could also mean that you have a magnesium deficiency.
It can be hard talking to others about your feelings and especially when it comes to mental health but it is true that talking can help. Are you scared to talk to a person? Don’t think they will listen? Perhaps try talking to others online through websites that support people suffering from mental health.
If that is too much when trying talking to your pet. Animals can not talk back and that is a major plus so vent your heart out to them, whether it’s a dog cat or rabbit. For those of you who don’t have a pet, go to a local shelter and ask about helping out or go to a local animal cafe or a zoo. It is proven that animals are brilliant mood-boosters.
Read about others’ experiences.
Use social media to your advantage and look for inspiration from others. Perhaps go online and read about your favourite celebrities and how they overcame some of the troubles in their lives. You can then try the techniques and coping methods that others have found helpful, such as exercise routines to help clear the mind. Some good examples of celebrities to look at include Carrie Fisher, Professor Green and Russell Brand, who have all wrote autobiographies on their struggles with mental illness.
Stay clear of negative triggers.
I know this one should be clear already, but don’t make it harder for yourself. Stay away from shows that reveal the suffering of mental health and keep a joyful atmosphere by listening to joyful, positive music. Remove yourself from the situation to benefit yourself, it is ok to be selfish at times
If you are reading this and are suffering then please know that we are here for you. Let’s all help each other stay strong.
Love from the Breathe News team.