Let’s talk about mental health

“I am fine”

This is probably one of the most common lies. I put my hands up and say I am guilty as.

Living hurts, but living is real. There is nothing wrong with feeling melancholy or isolated. Some people may say it is a matter of choice: you can either choose to live your life to the fullest and enjoy every minute, or be sulky and full of sadness. Well I don’t agree – isn’t it impossible for a person to be content and cheerful all the time? I don’t think emotions should be something you feel ashamed of. Feelings are something come with being human.

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1. Be optimistic 

You are standing in the middle of a long, dark tunnel. It is pitch black and you are scared. You desperately want to reach either end of the tunnel but you cannot see where you are going. Would you wait for a source of light to appear out of nowhere? Or would you take tentative steps to see if you could find a way out?

During the darkest of days, “happiness” feels out of bounds. You don’t even want to be happy. You just want to be rid of the negative emotions that are clouding your mind. Then everyone tells you to “cheer up” and “be positive”. However when you are knee deep in the pain, drowned in a ditch of hopelessness, instead of thinking positively, sometimes it is better if you could get yourself back into the neutral zone. Then you can start thinking about being happy and positive.

I don’t see optimism and positivity as equal. Being optimistic means you do not lose hope. It means you refuse to give up trying. It means you are willing to give tomorrow a good go.

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2. Look after yourself

It is a cold, gloomy winter day. You are standing in the rain, without an umbrella. You can feel every drop of rain that hits your face. It feels like someone is chucking a bucket full of needles right at you. Sharp, pointy needles. It is cruel, yet you feel you deserve the pain. Part of you are too numb to move; but part of you are dying to go inside, sit by the fire and have a cup of hot chocolate.

The truth is, you deserve to be taken care of, no matter how you are feeling.

You don’t need to work your socks off to deserve a nice meal. You don’t need to be perfect to be beautiful. People around you recognise how amazing you are, even when you fail to see so yourself. Rather than keep ridiculing and apologising for yourself, try being gentle – treat yourself kindly, in the same way you treat your loved ones.

Now look into a mirror, and tell yourself you are worth it.

3. Just breathe

You are standing in front of a locked door. You need to get out but you don’t have the key. You are panicking. Your breathing gets quicker and shallower by the minute. All your thoughts are muddling up and you cannot think straight. Breathe, you tell yourself. You turn around to see an open window which you can climb through.

When you are feeling overwhelmed, BREATHE – take a step back and allow yourself to see the picture clearer. When you are feeling anxious, BREATHE- forget what could go wrong and focus on what could go right. When you are feeling adrift, BREATHE – you don’t need to worry about anything else, just concentrate on the very next step. One step at a time, slowly but surely.

You don’t need to see all the steps you need to take. You don’t need to know the end before you start. Set your mind on the step right in front of you, and let it guide you further down the path.

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I hope I have not come across as too preachy. This is purely something I like to read when I am having a bad day, something to look back on and be glad I have not given up.

Yes, things may not be excellent at the moment, but there is always tomorrow, am I right? No matter how many times you fall over, you can always stand back up and take another step.

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