In order to preserve your mental health, What kind of people or situations do you try to avoid?

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The protection and preservation of mental health includes all measures and activities aimed to establish and maintain psychological well-being.So, What kind of people or situations do you try to avoid in order to preserve your mental health?

It can be easy to trick yourself into believing that mental health issues are purely the result of inner struggles. After all, it’s your body and mind that are being affected. That must be where the problems lie, right? While your own internal activity is definitely a crucial part of mental illness and stress, there are some environmental factors that can be harmful to your mental health.

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If you’re struggling with mental health issues, it can be difficult to manage healthy relationships with your partner, friends or family.

I speak from personal experience, having suffered from depression and anxiety for the past decade.
During this time, I’ve had to accept hard truths about some of my relationships, as well as recognise destructive patterns in my own behaviour.
Some of the people in my circle have never experienced any form of mental health problems, while others deal with these kinds of issues on a daily basis.

So, how do you tell someone who hasn’t lived with a mental health condition, that actually, no, you can’t just ‘snap out of it’?
And, how do you deal with those who do understand, but are too emotionally drained by their own problems to be able to help you?
It’s a tricky situation that many people can face.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, one in six people experience some form of mental health issue during any given week.
Dr Steve Iley, who is the medical director for Bupa, a healthcare service in the UK, explains the importance of maintaining a social circle.
‘Firstly, studies have shown that good social networks can help reduce the likelihood of experiencing feelings of sadness, loneliness or low self-esteem.
‘Our relationships with friends and family can play a huge role in our mental wellbeing, particularly when managing mental health issues like stress, depression or anxiety.
‘But, while people mean well, it’s quite possible for them to share inaccurate advice based on their own experiences, rather than any medical evidence.’


Colette Reilly, 42, a professional life coach based in Glasgow, talks about how loneliness acts in the brain, and why it’s important to have a mixed social network.
Having trained in neuroscience, neuro linguistic programming (NLP) and positive psychology, Colette says: ‘Brain studies have proven that when you’re isolated, loneliness shows up as actual physical pain, especially when it comes to depression and anxiety.
‘You should have a varied circle of friends who are different, and can lift you up. Think of this as people who have their lights on, and can lead the way out of the darkness.
‘Energy can be quite infectious. If you’re really down in the dumps and most of the conversations you have surround this topic, it can be hard to feel as if there are other things going on in the world.’
Although having friends with similar issues can help, they can also be a source of negative energy, which, in certain instances, could worsen your condition.

You might feel guilty for drawing attention to yourself or drained from maintaining these relationships.
‘I’ve had to leave numerous friendships that only increased my symptoms,’ shares Libby Jackson, 27, who has an eating disorder, and suffers from anxiety, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
‘These friendships triggered my anxiety, as did certain actions by these friends. Eventually, it became too much. It wasn’t easy to recognise why I kept having worse patches, but since cutting ties with these people, it has become much easier to manage my mental health.’
However, there are plenty of positives to keeping good company, too.
In an article on friendships, the Mayo Clinic, a medical non-profit practice and research organisation, claims that having good friends improves not just your mental state, but your physical one, as well.
In fact, studies, such as one by Proceedings Of The Natural Academy of Science of America, have shown a concrete link between physical wellbeing and social interactions
And, keeping good friends can help you avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking.
‘I don’t get to see my best friends on a regular basis, so, when I do meet up with them, I always aim to make the absolute best out of it’, says Bethany Powers, 23, a fashion journalism student.
‘That in itself is great therapy – just having an absolute laugh and positive time with your friends.
‘I am surrounded by loving and supportive people, but I find it really hard to be vulnerable in front of them. This is something I’m trying to work on, with the help of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).’
Laura Wilson, another woman who suffers from mental health issues, shares how her experience has been mostly positive, as her mother, best friend and boyfriend have all dealt with their own mental health issues and understand what she’s going through.
‘I’ve suffered with anxiety and panic attacks for ten years, and I didn’t always know what they were. When I was 18, I had a big panic attack.
‘I spoke to my mum who, having gone through this herself, was able to help me through it. She shared techniques that I could use.
‘Unless you’ve had anxiety or experienced a panic attack, you cannot fully understand what it’s like.’
Wilson makes a really good point. One of the most frustrating things that I’ve experienced is trying to describe my symptoms to other people.
It’s almost as if I have to justify my feelings, because some people can’t relate to them. The dilemma is understandable, but how do you tell someone to listen to you without offending them, or adding more anxiety onto your plate?
‘It’s all about owning the situation’, explains Colette. ‘Be open and honest as to how you’re feeling and explain that how you’re reacting isn’t personal, but that it’s your state of mind.
‘It can be difficult to feel the opportunities around you when your lights are off, and the way that you’re feeling right now is ok.
‘It takes courage to have these conversations, but the more people do, the easier it will become.
‘Around 51% of people will experience a mental health issue at some time during their life. So, chances are the friend you’ve got in front of you is struggling, too.’
Listen, be supportive and kind, and remember – it’s not anyone’s fault.


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