When you’re a little kid and you trip over, you scrape your knee and you cry. You can see the blood, you can feel the pain radiating through the skin and you find yourself a grown-up who can magic kiss it better and give it a wipe before fixing a colourful plaster on top. If there’s one thing that the story books as a child do not explain, is that the plaster cannot cover your brain.
Like anything else in our bodies, our brains get hurt. I’m not talking about when you’re in a car accident, or when you fall off your bike and bang your head. The brain is a computer that controls every physical impulse in our nerves. It controls the pain receptors, the pleasure centre and it’s where we love and laugh and have memories. We eat right, exercise and get sleep to recharge our bodies and keep them healthy, but what about our brains? There’s no Mickey Mouse plaster to take away the ouch when mentally we are not coping.
There are ways you can deal with stress and how it affects your health and you can learn more about that here, but how can we keep our mental health flourishing when everything feels a little bit like it’s falling apart? Health is not always about our physical body, but what goes on up in the thinking box inside your head. There are pressures we have in our everyday life that can literally make us shrink away into the darkness of depression and it takes counseling, talk therapies, essential oils and sometimes, strong medications to be able to get rid of the black dog.
In recent years, there has been significant rise in the help available for those with acute stress, depression and anxiety. Previously, people would be sent to convalesce in a facility for those with mental health issues, or simply told to put up and shut up with their lot. The impacts of our surroundings that cause significant mental and emotional damage were hidden away, such as abusive marriages and bullying. Thankfully, we now live in a time where depression and anxiety of all levels are recognised and helped, and without the use of electroconvulsive therapy to help it along. Essential oils such as lavender, ylang ylang, and chamomile are known to help our brains calm down. Lavender to help us sleep better and relax, chamomile in essential oil form or in the form of a hot cup of tea is also another that helps us to relax and destress. Cognitive behaviour therapy and breathing techniques are others that can untangle the web of panic and adrenaline coursing through the body.
Mental health matters just as much as your five fruit and vegetables a day, and if you are taking care of your mental health before all else, you get the chance to live in a somewhat balanced, calm state. Getting the right help from the right people the moment you feel there is a problem is so important, so don’t delay if you feel you are not coping. There is always help for those who ask for it.