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Finding Balance

To live fulfilled lives we need to have healthy minds. As we try to prevent physical diseases through diet and exercise we also need to manage our mental health.

With mental health prevention is almost always better than treatment. So let's be proactive. 

Mental health is one of the main causes of overall disease burden worldwide (1) and the primary driver of disability for 20-29 year olds (2). In the United Kingdom, in the past week, 1 in 6 individuals will have been affected by a mental health issue (3). We need to take it seriously. 

Almost all of us have some stress in our lives. Stress isn't always negative, but as stresses build we can often feel overwhelmed, and thats when they starting having a negative impact. There's two things we can do; decrease the stress, and increase our abilities to cope with stress. Here's some top tips on how we can do this courtesy of Healthier Scotland

You'll notice some of the top tips including exercise, eating well and drinking less. Our mental health and physical health and intricately interwoven. 

The Mystery of Sleep

We spent a third of our life doing it. But we often don't give it enough thought. 

Recent research has shown a lack of sleep is associated with diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and obesity (4). Sleeping for less than 6 hours a night is link with higher risk of death. 

Matthew Walker's book, Why We Sleep, is the bible for knowledge on sleep. He has 12 recommendations for better sleep. Here's a pdf with the 12 tips!

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Relaxation

We all live very stressful lives. 

There are two things that we can do:

Decrease the stress, which may or my not be possible; and increase our abilities to tay calm, problem-solve and cope with stress, which is within our control. 

Why not undertake this Emotional Needs Assessment which may guide you in how you need to take action

It may also be worth trying some methods of calming, including:

1. A Breathing Technique, e.g. 7/11. See the PDF below:

2. Mindfulness: learn with Cat McCaw in the Highland Perthshire Mindfulness Practice Group (free)

If you are suffering from anxiety or depression you can discuss this with a GP, or contact:

Angus Cameron: 07342269227 (atcameron1314@icloud.com): for free counselling

Sarah Kelly: 07754497889: for stress coaching from Mind Body Balance

Cat McCaw: 07769584163 (cataitk@gmail.com): for mindfulness and self compassion training. 

Gratitude

It can be really hard to change our mindset. It's the lense through which we see our life. What we know is that people who have a positive outlook on live longer, and have less health problems. Here's a simple idea to get started:

Start a journal: at the end of everyday write down what you are thankful for in that day. Remember this is training, consistency will lead to better outcomes!

David Steindl-Rast is a pioneer of grateful living, watch his video...

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NHS Tayside Resources

All the above will help you maintain your mental wellbeing. 

But sometimes we may need a bit more help.

As well as the GP surgery, NHS tayside have some useful resources. You'll find what's available in the pdf below:

References
  1. Vos, T., et al. (2013) Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries, 1990–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. The Lancet. 386 (9995). pp. 743-800.

  2. Lozano, R. et al. (2012) Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010. a systematic analysis for the global burden of disease study 2010. The Lancet. 380(9859), pp. 2095–2128.

  3. McManus S, Bebbington P, Jenkins R, Brugha T. (eds.) (2016) Mental health and wellbeing in England: Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014. Leeds: NHS Digital. Available at: http://content.digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB21748/apms-2014-full-rpt.pdf [Accesed 5 October 2016]

  4. Itani, Osamu, et al. "Short sleep duration and health outcomes: a systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression." Sleep medicine 32 (2017): 246-256.