Enhancing your mental health well-being: Proactive vs reactive

This is approximately a two-minute read, and its purpose is to encourage you to make a change to sustain or improve your mental health and well-being.


How many of you invest the same time and resources into maintaining your mental health as you do with your physical?

Many of you may go to the gym or take other steps regarding your physical well-being, such as a routine check-up at the dentist. These are both proactive steps many of us take to avoid or reduce the chances of impaired physical health in the future. We even book our motor vehicles for a service after a certain number of miles to check that it’s running OK!

With regards to your mental health, how many of you take the same proactive steps to ensure that all is running OK 'under the hood'?

With physical wear and tear, the signs are often easier to identify. A set of scales and the BMI can help inform you if you are overweight or obese. A stiff back or a toothache are also clear signs identifying issues with your physical health.

The signs of impaired mental health are often less transparent. Low energy, problems sleeping, withdrawal from friends, excessive fears, or feeling sad are all signs of symptoms associated with poor mental health.

While efforts to raise awareness of our mental health are rising, how many of us take the same proactive steps we do with regards to our physical well-being for our mental health? From my own personal experience from within the workplace and practice as a psychotherapist, sadly many only seek professional help when their life has been negatively impacted by mental illness.

A more proactive rather than a reactive approach is required. In the same way that we would proactively book sessions with a personal trainer to maintain our physical well-being, why not take a holistic approach and do the same with regards to our mental fitness and book a session with a professional in this area? They should be able to identify any mental health issues and, if there are none, then advise you on steps to maintain your mental fitness and stay fit and well.

When mental illness bites it can feel a very dark and lonely place. This proactive approach to your mental health can help you climb the ladder of life to reach your potential in the light, rather than being lost in the dark.

Friends and family can be a great support. There are however times when friends or family are part of the problem, or totally entangled in it, and though they may wish to help, they won’t be able to offer the space, objectivity, confidentiality, or skills that a mental health professional can to get to the heart of an entrenched issue.

Also, modern talk therapies are not always about problems. Some of the most innovative and satisfying use of them results in enhancing life rather than fixing it.

Having originally come from the world of financial markets, I often got asked: "what’s a good investment?". Having now practised for many years as a psychotherapist and coach, the answer is within close reach.

Invest in yourself and enjoy the rewards as you evolve to a greater sense of overall well-being.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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