HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Feeling cut off from others and yourself

Have you ever had the feeling that no one understands you? That you’re alone and no one will really get how you feel? Pretty lonely huh. But I think we’ve all been there.

When you’re going through a tough period, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that no one understands nor feels the way you do. Ironically, usually this is a sign that you’re out of your emotional depth, and talking to someone and being supported is exactly what you need.

Our delicate mental world

We are robust creatures, us humans, we just get on with things most of the time even when we’re suffering. Unfortunately though this can make things worse for our internal world. Suppressing emotions that need to processed just exacerbates them. Our mental world is a precarious, delicate and sometimes tumultuous realm. It’s one we need to take care of.

Being dismissed by loved ones

I was having a conversation with an extremely charming and funny man in the east end of London who owns a vintage furniture store. As I told him I wanted to buy an altar for my meditation practice, he suddenly became all animated, asking me about how meditation works, whether it helps. Despite his happy-go-lucky appearance, he revealed how he’s suffered from debilitating anxiety throughout his life. The thing he found the hardest? Most of his friends and family didn’t take it seriously and dismissed it. This made me really sad to hear.

Not being understood, or at least ‘received’ by those closest to you, your support network, can be really difficult and destabilising. Unfortunately, this situation often occurs because those same people aren’t willing or able to face up to the potential for anxiety or depression in themselves. They’re terrified. It has nothing to do with you nor their feelings for you, but an essential disconnection within themselves.

Looking after your mental health

But the fact remains. We are all human. Your mind is a delicate thing, and can easily be tipped off balance with ongoing stress, trauma or intense emotions. Your emotional world needs looking after. My good friend calls it ‘looking after my mental health’, and makes a deliberate effort to do so – just as she does with her physical health – whether it’s having quiet ‘me time’, or connecting with her partner. This is something we all need to, not just those suffering from ‘mental health issues’.

We all have mental health issues!

Really, when you think about it, we all have mental health issues of varying degrees. We’re all neurotic to some extent! Thank goodness that being depressed, suffering from anxiety, having panic attacks or the like, are gradually losing their stigma and becoming accepted as part of our daily lives.

So what to do when you feel cut off?

As always, the best place to start is with yourself. Often when you feel disconnected from others, you’re actually originally disconnected from yourself. Be gentle with yourself, and in a safe and comfortable environment, take some time to get in touch with how you are feeling. Write out your stream of consciousness, draw, move – whatever connects you with what’s going on inside.

Once you experientially know what you’re feeling, you’ll then be able to sense what you need. Maybe that will involve talking to someone, sharing how you’re feeling. Maybe something else is required. Whatever it is, this connecting within is an ongoing practice, something to commit to over time.

Connect with yourself & others can connect with you

I find when I’m feeling alone and cut off from others, it’s not until I connect within myself, that I realise how unreachable I’ve been. It’s like I’ve been behind a brick wall and yet expected someone, anyone, to see through it to how I was feeling and reach in to give me what I needed. Oh, if only everyone had x-ray vision and could see what was really going on inside! Instead they just feel the wall and back off, and I feel cut off and even more alone. It’s a catch-22 until you turn inside.

Our job is to stay connected with our depths on a daily basis.
Only then can our loved ones see us, reach us and help give us what we need.

Over to you…

It would be great to hear your experiences in this area. And if you want to receive more heartfelt guidance on various self-development topics plus some great free resources on relationships, sign up here to my e-list.

 

 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *