Today is World Mental Health Day and this year’s theme is suicide prevention.
Every year close to 800,000 people take their own life and there are many more people who attempt suicide. Every suicide is a tragedy that affects families and communities and has long-lasting effects on the people left behind. Suicide occurs throughout the lifespan and was the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally in 2016.
Who is at risk?
There is a strong link between suicide and mental health, but suicide can also happen impulsively in moments of crisis with a breakdown in the ability to deal with life stresses such as financial problems, relationship break-up or chronic pain and illness.
Suicide rates are also high amongst vulnerable groups who experience discrimination, such as refugees and migrants; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) persons and homeless people.
By far the strongest risk factor for suicide is a previous suicide attempt.
This year it seems Mental Health awareness has increased hugely even since 4-5 years ago and we should pat ourselves on the back for spreading the word and reducing the stigma, so that more and more people are talking about mental health.
This year’s theme is Body Image – ‘Body image’ is a term that can be used to describe how we think and feel about our bodies. Our thoughts and feelings about our bodies can impact us throughout our lives, affecting, more generally, the way we feel about ourselves and our mental health and well-being.’
For more information click HERE to go to the Mental Health Foundation Website.
Michelle Obama recently raised the issue about ‘Imposter Syndrome’, a term used to describe feeling a fraud, insecure and/or self-doubt. She has spoken about her life experiences of a lack of insecurity despite the success and status she has achieved. Calling it a syndrome is to down play how universal it is. Whilst a lot of emphasis has been placed on this being a ‘female’ issue, men also experience the same struggle in feeling a fraud, as people of all ages, gender, ethnicity and occupations can be affected. Imposterism is n’t about a lack of confidence, and it’s not necessarily linked to depression or anxiety, so where does it come from and why do people feel like this?
What do food cravings mean?
Our relationship with food is complicated at best, but it is one that is key to understanding both our emotions and mental states. It’s really quite enlightening to observe your eating habits and desires or to become more mindful and stop before you eat something.
Question why you want something, what it will give you and what need it will fulfil?
One study shows the significant role of emotions in food consumption. The results showed participants felt contented after eating a high fat, high energy food, whereas with a low carbohydrate meal, participants felt unfulfilled.
Intuitively, the body knows that certain foods will alter the brain chemicals or blood pressure.
If your emotional issues remain unaddressed, your food craving will remain constant. If your emotional issues change, so will your food cravings.
The impact of conflict can run deep and can change the state of our mental and physical health. Anger resides in the body, increasing heart rate and blood pressure as well as compromising the immune system’s ability to function effectively. Holding onto negative thoughts and feelings limit our ability to enjoy our day to day life. Thoughts of the original conflict ruminate and escalate and relationships are impacted causing more dis-satisfaction and inner pain.
Thankfully our ability to forgive works wonders for our well-being, reducing stress and anger, boosting the ability to feel more optimistic and satisfied with your life as a whole. Unfortunately, the tendency to dwell or let go of unpleasant conversation or personal criticism is difficult and the pain of the conflict dominates. Whether the hurt happened a moment or a decade ago, intentional or not, its normal to feel heavy-hearted and angry, yet the next step is crucial. If letting go feels a weakness, the mind thrashes between forgiving, forgetting, avoiding it completely or going over every detail, over and over again. If the culprit was you, shame and blame add another dimension creating more confusion and complexity.