Mental Health and connecting with others

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*Not medical advice. No medical advice is given. Information is provided for educational purposes only.

Connecting with others

Connecting with others is vitally important for our mental health. Studies have shown that people who have connections with others generally feel less depressed and have less anxiety too. In addition, studies have also shown that people who connect with others tend to live longer. For instance, one study showed that people who had strong community ties and connections on average tended to live longer. This study was conducted over a nine-year period. Other studies have found that serious mental illnesses like bipolar or schizophrenia can negatively impact life expectancy up to 20 years. Now this does not mean that everyone will have a diminished life expectancy. Instead, this result has been found in some people. Not everyone. The point of these studies is to show that mental health is a big deal and can have huge impacts of life.

Tips on how to efficiently connect with others

  • Express interest in others in what others are doing
  • Avoid gossip and talking about others
  • Don't complain about life situations
  • Be optimistic and positive. Enjoy life. Try not to be negative
  • Don't blame or criticize others. Its not always someone else’s fault
  • Have integrity and stand strong of your beliefs. Do not change your views to fit some else’s. They will respect you more
  • Acknowledge other people's accomplishments and be happy for them.
  • Don't give unsolicited advice. Sometimes people just want a friend not a therapist. Be a shoulder to cry on without giving advice.
  • Admit when you are wrong, accept accountability, and apologize. As humans, we are not perfect and we will be wrong. Accept, apologize, and move on.

How to connect with others

  • Take time to be with your family. Try arranging a fixed time to eat dinner together
  • Arrange a day out with others or friends you have not seen for a while
  • Try switching off the TV to talk or play a game with your children, friends or family. Being actively engaged.
    • This is a big one nowadays. Make time. Turn off the tv, turn off the iphone, unplug and spend time in the moment.
  • Have lunch with a co-worker
  • Visit a friend or family member who needs support. Be there when other people need help if you can
  • Volunteer for a cause you think is worthy. Volunteering to help others is very rewarding and satisfying. It will do wonders for you both physically and mentally.
  • Make the most of technology to stay in touch with friends and family to an extent. Video-chat apps like Skype and FaceTime are useful, especially if you live far apart
    • But try not to rely only on technology. Use with technology with caution. It is very easy to get consumed with all the smart devices available today.

Addressing Mental Health

Mental health is important to address at any age. Some people may need more help in this area of their life than others. The important thing is to recognize mental health is an issue that should not be neglected, no matter who you are. If you or a loved one struggles with daily activities due to mental health, please take the necessary steps to address the issue. Mental health can improve over a period of time if addressed properly.

Mental Health Quote

“Emotional pain is not something that should be hidden away and never spoken about. There is truth in your pain, there is growth in your pain, but only if it’s first brought out into the open.” — Steven Aitchison

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