Alison's Blog

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My musings, things I've found interesting and thoughts on how knowing more about the way the mind and body work might help us to make the positive changes we want.

16th - 22nd May: Mental Health Awareness Week

By arison, May 16 2016 09:10PM

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. The Mental Health Foundation’s theme this year is relationships and they are inviting you to make resolutions to improve your relationships. To kick off with they have given two suggestions:

• To meet up with or call family more often

• To not keep checking your phone when out with friends

In these busy, digital times there is no doubt that the way we relate to one another is changing, and this is likely affecting our health and wellbeing.

We may all be more connected digitally yet loneliness, depression and anxiety are on the rise.

So here are just a few reasons to make a relationship resolution today:

• The brain’s feel-good chemicals (endorphins, oxytocin) are released from sharing a joke, an understanding, a hug – good for your mood and your health;

• Spending time together makes us feel listened to, valued and cared for – all essential human needs;

• Taking a break from work/technology/etc reduces stress and allows the unconscious brain to find solutions to problems;

• Having a conversation opens up new ideas and can help us to see things from a new perspective.

Of course the nature of the time spent together is important too. So having these benefits in mind can help steer you towards more positive interactions.

And finally here are some more ideas for possible relationship resolutions:

Live with someone? Have dinner together with no TV; focus on good conversation, relate the good things that happened during your day, discuss a topic, or a enjoy a verbal game;

• Phone at least one friend each week for a catch-up conversation;

• Rather than eating at your desk, go for lunch with a work colleague or arrange to meet a friend;

In a relationship? Have a weekly date night;

Single? Arrange a weekly activity or night out with friends – a walk, a pub quiz, play frisby in the park, watch a film then chat about it afterwards;

Shared house? Find a comedy you all enjoy and make it a ritual of watching – and laughing – together (with all phones away for the half hour/hour).

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