World Mental Health Day: 5 Useful Resources for Everyone

Mental health issues are something we all come across to varying degrees at some point in our lives.

I’m no expert on the topic, but mild bouts of anxiety and low level depression are quite familiar territory for me.

Here are some of the most useful resources I’ve used to help me come to terms with (and to some extent make friends with) the above. I hope they might do the same for you.

1. Self-Help for Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weekes

A book that apparently was originally written for soldiers, to help them deal with the range of possible mental health issues you might expect after returning from war.

It’s short, easy to read, and teaches you how to ‘float’ past anxiety and nervousness. Helps you change your perspective from being the victim, to being the watcher.

One of the best books I’ve read on the topic.

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2. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

One of the most important books I’ve read.

Eckhart reminds you that depression is often the result of a fixation on the past, anxiety a fixation on the future, and that life only exists in the present moment.

Right now.

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3. Meditation

You’ve heard it all before — the benefits of meditation, how it’ll transform your life, help you fly, etc.

It’s not a magic pill that makes everything go away, but I can say that meditation has been one of the most important tools that I’ve added to my toolbox, particularly for helping with anxiety.

It’s doesn’t sound like much, but in my experience meditating regularly (even for just 10 mins a day) gives you just a little bit extra time to pause before you get caught up with an anxious thought and run with it (which can be for hours on end).

It gives you the choice to instead watch that thought, ideally without judgement, and then let it go.

A nice metaphor I picked up from the guys at Headspace:

You have the option to observe the storm from the inside, as opposed to being out in it, helplessly trying to stop the rain.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you always take that option — there are definitely times that I still get swept away without really realising it. No one’s perfect.

Check out: The best free guided meditation sites

4. Movement

For me, training my body is a form of moving meditation.

Whether it’s a simple stretching routine in the morning, or a session on the gymnastic rings. It’s a chance to completely switch off from the outside world, and get present with what I’m doing.

As well as the physical benefits, it’s probably the most important thing I do for my mental health.

However bad the day has gone, I know deep down that if I pick myself up and move, things will be at least a little better.

5. Community

We’re social animals at heart.

Even us introverts who need to take some quiet time now and again still thrive off some form of interaction and social support.

If you’re lucky, that’ll take the form of loved ones. People who truly understand the real you.

It might also be people in your community - people you help out by volunteering. And in doing so, in a roundabout way you help yourself by taking the focus off you for a second.

In our strange digital age, community can also come online. Support groups, blogs, videos and podcasts are all great ways to hear about the stories, and struggles of others who have gone through similar (or perhaps even worse) situations to you, and come out the other side stronger versions of themselves.

Check out: 32 of the Best Nutrition, Fitness, Mindfulness, and Health Podcasts