Positive mental health-Let it out.

8 May

Wailing walle Jerusalem_i-G-21-2166-HLICD00ZOf all the contributors to positive mental health talking/communicating seems the most obvious. Talking through problems expressing how you feel especially when you are down sounds like the best and most obvious option. The funny thing is that it is something that we do not do enough of when we are feeling low.

Every class I do on mental health I ask the participants when was the last time that you talked about your feelings to someone else. Considering there is usually a 50/50 split between male and female participants I find the answers starkly different. The male participants in the group especially at a young age will say they can’t remember the last time that they talked about their feelings to anyone. It is not something that is  a part of their world. On the other hand the Female participants freely admit they talk openly between themselves. They talk about how they feel regularly. They talk about how they feel about the relationship they are in and whats going on. Guys never talk about this. Girls are also great support when the relationship falls apart and her friends are there to support her when she is going through this.

Men are quite different they end up holding all there feelings in . Rarely will men have a similar conversation to women around a breakup. Hi Guys Sarah has just split with me . Dave we are on the way over I’ve got the Ben and Jerry’s, Chris is bringing “Marley and me” we are there for you Bro.

But I began to seem some glimmers of light when I discovered that certain male students began to admit that they openly talk about their feelings with their friends or their parents. Building coping mechanisms like this builds a stronger you. Some began to mention the importance of crying when they feel down. Something their Fathers  and Grandfathers generation may have never admitted to.What a great breakthrough.

Sometimes we struggle with communicating with other humans we choose to talk communicate in other forms. Many participants said that they regularly talked to their Pets or animals. One guy had great conversations with his horse. The horse may not be able to provide the advice you want but it allows you to express what is going on for you. Horses are good listeners too.

It reminded me of a facility that the local church near me used to provide. Situated at the left hand side of the altar was a large noticeboard. Underneath it was a table with post-its,pens and drawing pins. People would come to the church and write their troubles or worries on the post it. Like ” Please say a prayer for my Dad he is really ill at the moment and I am worried about him” or “My husband has lost his job and is really down at present could look after him God” or “I am really struggling at school because I am being bullied please help Lord”. People could add comments to the post its(it was all anonymous) giving support to those in trouble. ” My Thoughts are with you”  or “you are not alone”.

I thought it was wonderfully cathartic. The noticeboard was packed full every time I visited. It was like the wailing wall in Jerusalem. Sadly it was taken down a few years ago and never replaced.

Some people let it out by writing down their worries on a piece of paper and either binning them or setting them alight and letting them go. Either way both techniques are very effective.

Whatever we do. It is important to understand that keeping our thoughts and emotions wrapped up inside of us is not healthy. Expressing what we are experiencing through writing, talking or through music and art are far better options than allowing it to fester inside and create negative thoughts, feelings and ultimately behaviour.

As Robert Heinlein quoted ” worrying is like trying to teach a pig to sing….it wastes your time and annoys the pig”. Share what you feel and see the changes in you.

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