OH! Magazine - Australian Version June 2017 - Page 24

( Emotional Fitness ) HOW’S YOUR MENTAL HEALTH? HEIDI DI SANTO Mental health problems start earlier than you think. Emotional fitness expert Heidi Di Santo explains. umans are very resilient. We have an incredible ability to ignore what’s really going on inside and push through. But ‘soldiering on’ can mean we’re disregarding the early warning signs when it comes to our mental and emotional health. This is because mental health problems start a lot earlier than you may realise. So the aim of this article is to raise awareness about what to look out for. H Many people who come to see me do so because they’re at the end of their tether. They’ve pushed through until they can push no more. They walk into my office feeling deflated and dejected. Their inner pain has become too much to bear. They’re ready to learn a different way of being in this world. When this happens, I feel excited and sad at the same time. I’m excited because they’ve finally reached out for help; but I also feel sad because they’ve struggled unnecessarily for so long. I’m wondering if this could be you? You see, many people unknowingly take their mental and emotional health for granted. They run themselves into the ground, operating on their reserve fuel tank, and only reach out for help when things get really bad! I’m aware of this scenario because I was one of these people. I pushed and pushed until I could no longer push anymore! I ignored many early warning signs, instead choosing to mask my symptoms. At age 25 I ran out of energy and was forced to take notice of what my body was trying to tell me. I needed to change my life. I needed to take a holistic approach to my mental and emotional 24 OH! MAGAZINE ( JUNE 2017 ) health. And that crisis is the reason I do the work I do today, because I know so many people need to hear this message (just like I did)! It was only in recent times that people started to make the connection between physical health and early warning signs such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. This knowledge enabled many people to take a proactive approach towards their physical health and wellness. We should feel empowered because if we want to take control of our physical health, we can; we can choose to move more, and choose to consume more natural foods and beverages. In my opinion, it’s only a matter of time before people make a similar connection when it comes to mental and emotional health. You see, there are early warning signs that I hope you won’t disregard. These signs can often surface in unwanted behaviours, emotions and physical problems. Unwanted behaviours can be things like reliance on addictions and distractions (e.g. gambling, drinking, shopping, TV, sex). It can come in the form of increased forgetfulness, social withdrawal, critical thinking, a need to self-harm or an inability to turn off your mind and let go. Unwanted feelings can arise in the form of overwhelm, stress, anger (followed by regret), depression and anxiety. Physical problems can start with a change in your sleep patterns. You might wake up at night and not be able to get back to sleep, or you might suffer from insomnia and have trouble getting to sleep in the first place. It can also arise in the form of sexual problems, reduced immunity, constant tiredness, digestive problems and unexplained aches and pains (just to name a few). All of these things can be your body, mind and spirit’s way of telling you to take action, make change, and ultimately live differently. You can choose to listen to these things or ignore them. So are you taking your psychological health and wellness for granted? Are you a ticking time bomb running unnecessary risks when it comes to your mental and emotional health? If you believe you are, and you want to learn how to be proactive with your mental and emotional health, check out a free three-part video workshop series called Thrive, which starts on 16 June 2017. To find out more visit www.theemotionalfitnessgym.com NOTE: These videos will be available until 30 June 2017. YOU CAN CONTACT HEIDI VIA: Web: heidi.com.au Facebook: theemotionalfitnessgym Twitter: HeidiDiSanto1 Instagram: heididisanto