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Mental Health

Why we need to keep a sense of perspective

By April 20, 2013March 27th, 2024No Comments

I had been having a bit of a discussion with a group of friends about those big events in our lives and how the accompanying anxiety that can sometimes effectively wreck our enjoyment of what should be a joyful or exciting episode.
My friend Claire from Savagely Creative who is a bit of a brain, said “Jenny you must watch this video clip if you want to know how to help keep things in perspective.”

Our Claire has a wicked sense of humour and the clip is hilarious.
You will never have to worry again about the difference between being “small” and “far away.”
You may always see cows in a different light as well…

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vh5kZ4uIUC0?feature=oembed&wmode=opaque&enablejsapi=1]

But isn’t it true that sometimes when we have something important on our minds, it can sometimes start to weigh a bit heavy and if we are not careful it can completely overwhelm us.

The incidence of depression in our society is escalating at an alarming rate. Depression is now already the leading cause of disability in the workplace globally.
But what is perhaps more disturbing is that depression is not the most common form of mental disorder that we suffer.

That accolade goes to anxiety.

It appears that more and more of us have to counter our demons of anxiety on a daily basis. Tasha Broomhall from Blooming Minds reminds us that our mental wellbeing is every bit as important as our physical wellbeing and yet how many of us ever go along to our G.P. for a mental check up?

In the light of the evidence that one in five Australians will suffer an episode of mental illness in any given year, perhaps we need to start addressing this problem.

Why are we all experiencing so much anxiety at a time when we are living longer, enjoying better nutrition, health and living conditions and at a time when our wonderful technology has provided us all with so much we can take advantage of?

Is it that we have merely lost our sense of perspective?

Our brain is constantly adapting to our environment. It is set up to detect anything new, that is different, because it could potentially be something that is dangerous to us. That ability to detect danger is what has allowed us to survive.

Our modern society provides us with a constant supply of novelty, to excess. Our poor brains never get a chance to draw breath for long enough to evaluate the first new item to determine whether it is safe or not, when there is something else new vying for our attention. Consequently our brain remains in a state of being hyper-aroused and doesn’t get a chance to quieten down.
Our access to technology adds to this burden of continuous accessibility and connectivity and we experience an ever-growing amount of stress that can manifest itself as fear or anxiety.

So what can you do to keep things in better perspective?

1. Use humour. If you watched the video clip, it may have already have helped to reduce your stress hormones, your blood pressure and maybe even made you smile. If we practice having a good laugh every day about something, it really does make a difference.

2. Share your concerns with a friend or someone you trust. As the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. Another person will see with situation with a fresh pair of eyes, which may help you to regain a sense of perspective about the whole situation.

3. Have a quiet time for just you, everyday. Do you have a special place, somewhere where you can be alone and just enjoy a short time of peace and solitude? Even if it is only for ten minutes, your brain will enjoy the break.

4. Get enough sleep. Worries of course can impair our sleep pattern, but sleep deprivation will make our worries seem bigger. Sleep is often a good time for your brain to find a solution to what has been on your mind.

5. Know that you are not alone. That whatever concerns you; other people will have other worries that concern them too. Hearing about what other people have had to deal with, stories of courage and overcoming adversity can all help to remind us that sometimes we do sweat the small stuff, and we really don’t have to.

6. Stop and breathe. Practising deep breathing exercises, doing regular exercise, practising forms of meditation including Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and mindfulness are all powerful ways to enhance resilience to stress.

7. Get help. If your anxiety has grown to the size to be impinging too much on your life and not in a good way – it’s time to consider getting professional help. A life without anxiety is so much more enjoyable than enduring a life with it.

How do you keep a sense of perspective in your world?
Do you watch comedy programs or perhaps volunteer for charity work?
Do you take time out on a regular basis to reconnect with nature, go walking or travel to other lands and other cultures?
Do you spend time with those who mean the most to you, enjoying their company, sharing love and laughs?

Are those cows still “far away?”

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Dr Jenny Brockis

Dr Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner and internationally board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, workplace health and wellbeing consultant, podcaster, keynote speaker and best-selling author. Her new book 'Thriving Mind: How to Cultivate a Good Life' (Wiley) is available online and at all good bookstores.

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