Don’t worry: take good care of your mental health 

In today’s frenetic world, it is impossible to be free of any worries or concerns. But how do you know if your feelings are anything to worry about and what can you do to help control your anxiety? The questions below may help you decide if you are experiencing mental health concerns that go beyond everyday stress and worry:  

  1. It’s very normal to feel nervous before a test or major event, but do you experience out of the blue panic attacks and are you fearful of having another? 
  2. Fear is another regular emotion. Fear of a dangerous situation, object or place is part of the human desire for survival. But are you finding that you’re avoiding places, or situations that realistically posses no danger? 
  3. Many of us will feel self-conscious in an awkward social situation from time to time. Do you find yourself actually avoiding situations because you might be judged, humiliated or feel uncomfortable? 
  4. Traumatic events in our lives will leave their mark and it is normal to feel sad, struggle to sleep and feel anxious after a trauma in your life. But are you experiencing nightmares, flashbacks or emotional numbness?  
  5. It’s good to eat healthily and keep your life organised, but this can also be taken too far. Do you like things organised in a precise order? Do you find yourself taking repetitive actions that are not essential, but you literally cannot stop yourself from doing it? 
  6. Do you worry all the time and to the point that the stress interferes with your daily life?

If you find yourself answering ‘yes’ to the questions above, DO NOT panic. You are not alone and there are simple things that you can do on your own to help alleviate all-consuming emotions that you might feel are about to swallow you up:

  1. Focus on the thing that is causing your heart to race and your palms to sweat. Chasing down the fear itself by really thinking about the worst thing that can happen, can act as a diffuser. According to the NHS in the United Kingdom ‘the fear will run away, the more you chase it’.
  2. Breathe through it. Take deep breaths right into the bottom of your belly and hold it there for several seconds, exhaling slowly out. This process will bring you back into the here and now. Meditation app Headspace is excellent, taking you through daily guided relaxation sessions.
  3. Visualisation is also an incredibly powerful technique. The brain cannot differentiate between the two – something visualised or something real. Close your eyes and take yourself off to your happy place.
  4. Exercise is a fantastic release and mood enhancer. If you need some more motivation why not take part in the Dubai Fitness Challenge and do 30 minutes of activity every day for 30 days. 
  5. Do not be tempted to reach for the tub of ice cream. A healthy meal and a good nights sleep are going to be much more productive.

If you’re struggling please speak to your friends, family or your doctor. If you would like to find a support group in your area lists a variety of groups that meet regularly for support and to share their mental health experiences.

Whatever you do, do not ignore the importance of your mental wellbeing and the mental health of those around you.