Website URL : http://www.chichester.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=15870

Emotional wellbeing

Introduction

It is important to maintain good emotional health as well as our physical health. Almost all of us have problems at some stage in our lives.


Sometimes we need to confront and resolve our emotional problems as we would our physical problems, or at least learn how to deal with them. It is often during these times that we may need help to do this. Accepting or seeking help is the first step to either resolving or dealing with a problem.

Woman with severe Migraine

Often we feel isolated and alone when facing issues such as insomnia, depression & anxiety but we do not have to deal with it alone.

'Stress' has become a word we use everyday when maybe we are very busy, or late etc, and because of this it is not always taken as seriously as perhaps it should. Stress is the way we feel when pressure is put on us and a little pressure or stress can be productive by motivating us and making us more productive. We all act differently to stress and some of us can deal with it better then others. But too much stress can lead to anxiety, depression or insomnia.

Anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety - in fact, being unable to do so can be the sign of quite a serious problem. In our hazardous world, anxiety is a strategy the body uses to help the mind recognise danger and keep well out of its way. Anxiety becomes a problem if it becomes severe and interferes with daily life.

If you have a particularly stressful situation in one area of your life this can spread into other areas of your life. Also, if you cannot identify the reason for your anxiety you become anxious about your anxiety and it can start to feed itself.


Self Help for Anxiety

  • Relaxation: an easy word - not so easy to put into practice, but with practice it can be very beneficial can relieve tension and give you a feel good factor Eat a balanced diet and avoid stimulants such as caffeine & alcohol
  • Exercise: can relieve tension and give you a feel good factor
  • Diet: Eat a balanced diet and avoid stimulants such as caffeine & alcohol

It can also help to get some fresh air every day and not to put things off - deal with issues as they arise.

If you are suffering from any of the above issues and have tried all of the useful advice given then you contact your GP, if you have not already done so. Or drop in and see us and we may be able to point you in the direction of further help and advice.

Depression

There are still some people who think that depression is 'not a real illness'. Depression is a real illness and should be treated as such - but should not be mistaken with feeling fed up or miserable for short periods. Depression interferes with daily life and can last for weeks or months at a time.

There are many causes of depression, some of the most common being: stress, anxiety, insomnia, bereavement, physical pain and illness & having a baby (post natal).

Depression can affect any age group. If you think you are severely depressed we strongly recommend that you contact your GP.

Self Help for Depression

  • Understand what depression is
  • Stick to regular sleep patterns
  • Eat three meals a day
  • Get some fresh air each day
  • Try to keep your mind occupied
  • Don't put things off - deal with them as they arise
  • Take regular exercise
  • Try to get some relaxation each day

If you visit your GP he or she may suggest one or a combination of the following:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT)
  • Counselling
  • Medication

Different therapies help different people and sometimes it may be necessary to try a combination of two, or even a different type of medication before you find one that suits you. If the first therapy doesn't help don't give up on all therapies.

Insomnia

Insomnia is simply not getting an adequate amount of sleep.

This could be because you are waking in the middle of the night or early in the morning; not being able to switch off, or even over-stimulation.

Modern life is a great contributor to insomnia. If you can deal with your anxiety or stress quite often your insomnia will lesson considerably.  Leading a full and satisfying life can dramatically reduce insomnia.

First things to try:

  • Try to establish a good routine each night this may include certain rituals, and stick to them
  • Go to bed at the same time every night
  • It is not a good idea to watch TV or listen to the radio as this provokes thoughtfulness
  • Don't do vigorous exercise before bed as this will stimulate the brain even if your body is tired

It can also help to:

  • do early morning exercise
  • eat a nutritious breakfast
  • go outside and have some fresh air

In some cases it can help to have a pen and some paper by your bed. When you wake and have thoughts that are keeping you awake by writing them down you know you can deal with them in the morning as that way you will not forget your thoughts.

If you think changing your eating or physical activity routines could help with any of the above issues please do contact us as we are happy to talk through your options with you.

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