When a individual,of any age, is struggling with health issues they may prefer to keep it personal, trusting that it could be considered a sign of weakness, potentially threatening their future choices, friendships and quality of life. This approach improves up bottling and anything things can cause problems to escalate.
Until we are affected or shed someone close we have any notion of the staggering statistics around mental health, stress and suicide. Every 40 seconds a person in the world dies by suicide and it’s still the biggest killer of men under 45! We have recently had Grief Awareness Day; some diary reminders, World Suicide Prevention Day, the anniversary of the Twin Towers, World Mental Health Day, all days that remind us of the fragility of life and the importance of supporting each other.
There are ways we help a more’ to live in touch’ life. Let’s start by considering young people, who often have much going on in their lives. As friends post on media images of the lives that are amazing, fear of missing out is a factor. Little matter that those images edited are introduced and displayed for public consumption. A person may see their friends as being more happy, more popular and successful than them.
They may be in a circle where they are being bullied, feel poor, ostracised, distinct. They are struggling with their sexuality, identity, about what their future choices and choices could be, worried. It can be tough if they’re feeling a failure and do not want to be a disappointment, if they comparing themselves.
Some bad behaviour could be a part of the job description for being a teen, but nonetheless, it’s important to stay in contact with their lives.
Have they become angry, moody, silent, are they going out less often, spending more time in their room? Young people don’t want to stress, upset or neglect their loved ones. But that can increase their stress levels as they fight to deal and stay strong.
- Attempt to regularly sit and eat together so that the family bond is reinforced. Also it provides the opportunity to see if something is’off’, if their desire has changed, if they’ve become unhappy or withdrawn.
- Treat each as an individual and do things separately rather than always with’the kids’. That way you support them in becoming and developing their own person.
- Teach them to practise gratitude. Cultivate the habit of being thankful for a least 3 things each day. Someone giving them a compliment that there’s running water, they’ve food on the table can be a start.
- Make sure there are opportunities for’mild’ discussions , rather than sit down, more formal ones. Chatting whilst you’re cooking or driving can times for,’you look somewhat quieter recently’, type conversations. A conversation enable them to discuss what’s on their minds and can be more valuable than a full-on interview.
- Provide space for them to talk with freedom. It can be tempting to finish their sentences or second-guess what they are thinking, but even companionable silence can sometimes be fine as it allows time for reflection and processing what’s happening internally.
- Praise them for the things they do well and include some of those activities in family time in order that they receive routine confidence boosts. It’s good to allow them to share their excitement with the rest of the family.
It is important to check their limits and move from their comfort zone. But doing so means risking failure, that not everything will be a triumph or work out as expected, even. Failure can be part of shade and the light in life; resilience is taught by learning to deal with rejection and setbacks. Getting up is an important lesson for life.
- Encourage them to give back. Volunteering and focusing on something else, like an animal sanctuary or seeing an elderly neighbour can be ways to extend their world, learn empathy and see the larger picture.
- Have a chat with their teacher to discuss how things are going at school or college. Has their behavior changed, is there any cause for concern? Sometimes a flag can be if your child suddenly immerses themselves so preventing socialising and becoming detached from their friendship groups.
And don’t regard seeing your family doctor or therapist for a failure. Doing this can provide guidance and be the first step on their road to recovery.
Susan Leigh hypnotherapist media, author & contributor provides help with relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients, couples and gives support and workshops.
She’s author of 3 books,’Dealing with Stress, Managing its Effect’,’101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday’ and’Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain’, all on Amazon & with easy to read sections, tips and ideas that will help you feel more positive in your life.