Talking Can Save Your Life

Around one hundred men kill themselves in the UK each week. Men are four times more likely to kill themselves than women. More middle aged men kill themselves than any other group.

 

Why do so many men commit suicide? Or, to put it another way: why comparatively so few women?

 

The answer, according to Panorama (BBC 1, 13/4/15) is that men are conditioned not to talk about their feelings. Changing this – talking, crying, letting it all out – can indeed save lives. Women, it seems, have always been better able to do this. Counsellors and psychotherapists have their roles here but so too do family and friends. Talking is not “weak” or “unmanly”. And not talking can be deadly.

 

Watch Panorama: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/search?q=panorama. A brief but well-constructed examination of this topic.

Exercise Your Mental Health

running-alone

 

Incorporating regular exercise into your weekly routine is a great way to reduce stress, stave off depression and generally look and feel more healthy. It is also a way in which you can be alone, if this is important to you.

Running is perfect for me, because it is so simple and requires so little equipment (a pair of trainers, a t-shirt and some shorts). It also legitimizes me being alone, for an hour or so. Something essential for my mental health.

You may not need regular and frequent time alone but if you are mildly depressed or anxious, or suffering from any form of stress, I recommend that you get running, swimming or cycling. Yoga is also a fantastic form of exercise – for body, mind and spirit.

The more scientifically minded should check out the NHS website: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/exercise-for-depression.aspx. Here, a GP recommends exercise for better mental health.