Minding your mental health
We all know the importance of keeping our bodies healthy, but did you know that looking after the mind is just as vital? Good mental health is essential at every stage of life as it impacts your thoughts, behaviours and emotions.
Child and Family Therapist Samantha Caves is passionate about mental health. She has worked for Carinity in the Scenic Rim area for the past seven years and enjoys supporting people to reach their full potential.
Samantha said there’s a common misconception that focusing on mental health is only for people with conditions like anxiety or depression.
“Good mental health is a state of wellbeing that allows you to take satisfaction and pleasure from life and to bounce back from adversity or upsets when things don’t go according to plan,” she said.
“Mentally resilient people are still affected by difficulties or setbacks in life, but they can better deal with stress and recover more readily.”
So, what can we do to look after our mental health? Samantha said that living with purpose, authenticity and passion are key.
“Mindfulness, deep breathing, physical exercise, yoga, nutrition, journaling, getting enough sleep, self-care and spirituality can all help to maintain optimal mental health.
“However, it’s not ‘one size fits all’; you need to find the activities that make your heart sing and most importantly, seek help if you aren’t coping.”
Samantha said each stage of your life can create different challenges to your mental health, including common events like a change in family dynamics or work stress.
“Unfortunately, some people also encounter severe traumatic experiences that can alter the brain and nervous system,” she said.
“Engaging in therapy with a qualified counsellor can provide strategies and tools to manage feelings and responses to trauma and enhance emotional resilience to life stressors and difficulties.
“I like the analogy that we regularly service our cars to keep them running in peak condition and we need to apply the same logic to our minds.”
Ultimately, focusing on your mental wellbeing, and seeking counselling when needed, has been proven to lead to a higher quality of life.
Spend time each day connecting with your mind and enjoy the benefits of healthier relationships, higher levels of productivity, improved learning, stronger ability to adapt to change, and positive self-image.
Tips for a healthy mind
The Queensland Government’s Mental Wellbeing website explores the six building blocks of mental wellbeing:
- Get healthy – Be active, eat well, get enough sleep
- Keep learning – Challenge your mind and seek out new things
- Show kindness – Give back, show gratitude and bring joy to other’s lives
- Connect more – Develop relationships, stay connected and care for each other
- Take notice – Be mindful, stay in the moment, experience the world around you
- Embrace nature – Step outside, connect with the natural world and take care of the planet