It's ok not to be ok. Feeling our emotions can be healthy.
We all struggle sometimes. It's normal and understandable.
You are never alone. Reach out for help when you need it.
Understanding our emotions is one of the 10 Keys To Happier Living, because real happiness is about acknowledging the full spectrum of our human experience. The comfortable emotions and the uncomfortable ones. Everyone has good and bad days and will be unhappy some of the time. However, if we are feeling sad, anxious and depressed over a longer period that is a warning sign that something may be wrong. If we push our uncomfortable emotions down and pretend they aren't there we store up problems for the future.
If you're struggling with anxiety or depression or are finding it hard to cope, you're not alone. One in four of us will have problems with our mental health at some time in our lives.
Here are some actions you can take if you are struggling:
- Tell someone you trust how you feel. Talking about it with friends or family is the first step to feeling better. If you have no one nearby then you can call a helpline (see below) for a friendly chat.
- Focus on the basics. Make time for yourself, eat healthily, get plenty of sleep and exercise, connect with loved ones and try to notice the good things in your life.
- Seek professional help. Ask your local GP or health service about potential services which might help, such as counselling or talking therapy. Your GP can also prescribe medication to help with anxiety and depression. You can ask for an emergency appointment.
There are helplines you can call at any time for a friendly chat with a volunteer, like the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 and there are similar crisis lines wherever you are in the world, you can view a list here.
In the UK, NHS also provides information and support for your mental health here.
Suicide and Self-harm
If you feel like you want to harm yourself or end your life then it is important that you talk to someone you can trust as soon as possible, (perhaps like a friend, family member or teacher), or call a support line.
You can also call a support line if you are worried about someone else.
If you have seriously harmed yourself for example by taking an overdose or if you think you are about to harm yourself then call 999 and tell them what is happening or go to the nearest A&E and ask to see a member of the Mental Health Team/Service.
If you are having suicidal thoughts here are some tips for coping right now:
- Focus on getting through today rather than thinking about the future
- Stay away from drugs and alcohol
- Get yourself to a safe place, like a friend's house
- Be around other people
- Do something you usually enjoy, such as spending time with a pet
You can get further advice on coping from Rethink
If you are worried about someone in the Action for Happiness community harming themselves please see our Safeguarding page for further information.
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