Are you struggling with sadness or worry? Talking about it with a friend or family member might seem like the last thing you want to do. But opening up and sharing your feelings will help you feel better.
Why do some people struggle with mental health?
There are a huge number of reasons why people struggle with mental health issues. Contributing factors can include: how much exercise you’re getting, drug and alcohol use, the nature of your personal relationships, your self-esteem, how lonely or isolated you’re feeling, whether you’re employed, genetics and many more.
In general, people who feel ‘connected’ to others and who have more fulfilling relationships tend to be happier. Of course this doesn’t mean that people with active social lives or who are in happy relationships don’t feel distressed, but people who feel more connected to others often find that they are more able to manage life’s stresses. Communication is a crucial aspect of dealing with mental health issues. People who talk openly about their mental health with their friends, family or a counsellor are more likely to feel better about it.
5 ways that reaching out can help your mental health
1) Reaching out
Many people feel isolated when they are struggling with their mental health. It can even feel as though others don’t care or understand.
However, if you reach out to someone, you could find that they have had similar experiences. By opening up, you may value their support even more, knowing that they’ve been there themselves.
2) Ditching the secrets
For many people, having to pretend or hide their feelings can add to the distress.
However, friends, family and those closest to you could turn out to be your biggest supporters.
Many people feel better once they talk about it because it’s no longer a secret that they feel they have to carry on their own.
3) Forging stronger bonds
Reaching out to someone can help them to really understand what you’re going through. You may even find that the other person experienced something similar, which could bring your relationship closer.
4) Increased support
One of the benefits of opening up to those close to you is that it lets them know how you’re feeling. This also means that they will be better at supporting you going forward. For example, you might find they get better at spotting the signs, that they are better at listening, that they give you space, etc.
5) Removing stigma
There have been huge improvements over the years in general attitudes towards mental health. Even so, talking about mental health can still feel uncomfortable for many people.
There is nothing embarrassing or shameful when it comes to talking about mental health. By reaching out to those around you, you can help others realise what depression, anxiety, stress and other worries are like.
Opening up can help them see that there are many people who face difficulties. Not only will this help reduce the stigma around mental health; others who are struggling might have the confidence to open up — and feel a lot better for it.
If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out to one of our counselling services. Our professional counsellors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.