At today’s group we looked at the different ways in which mental health can affect us. We looked at it from two different perspectives. Below are the group findings;
1.Someone who is struggling with poor mental health.
- I feel people don’t want to talk about problems especially ‘deep’ things
- I feel isolated
- There is a lack of understanding from others
- I have lost friends
- I socialise less
- Acceptance can be hard
- I feel irratable
- Being around like minded people helps me
- Once I felt better I gained a better understanding and now have more compassion for others and feel a better person because of my experience
2. People who are affected by someone else’s poor mental health e.g. loved on, carer
- My friend struggles to look after himself
- He can ‘snap’ at me
- I need support myself while caring for my friend
- Sometimes I feel helpless
- I feel so tired caring for my friend
- While I can give my friend some leeway due to his poor health I have to remember not to constantly accept bad behaviour.
In conclusion today was a ‘deep’ group but was very helpful for people to look at these issues.
Below are the group members thoughts on this:
We are hearing more and more about the connection between what we eat and how we feel, and a new emerging science on gut microbes being almost a second brain would explain that sometimes the food chemistry that we ingest does indeed influence brain chemistry far more than we had previously realised.
Our eating patterns may also be a vicious cycle as in reverse how we feel influences how we eat. People in the group did talk about comfort eating, or emotional eating. I imagine most of us will be familiar with this phenomena. Conversely we may forget to eat or not eat well when we are stressed, tired and anxious, and the lack of nourishment to our bodies will further exacerbate these things.
People did talk about the bombardment of information around healthy eating and how the advice can change from week to week which makes it very confusing. It may be that for now until we learn a bit more as a group, a standard rule of thumb is that the less processed our food is and the closer to nature it is, the better it is for us. It is also a fact that fat and sugar do not occur together in nature and so lessening our intake of this combination, and eating such treats in balance the better that is for us as it is harder for the body to process sugar when it first has to wade through fat. The group spoke about looking at things in a balanced way rather than jumping to extremes.
We watched the following TED talk about ‘how your belly controls your brain’
We also touched briefly on how what we have around us is what we will eat, for example at the group today we ate nuts, dark chocolate, rye bread and hummus because that’s what was there. I’m sure if crisps and donuts had been sitting in front us then that is what we would have eaten, and because it wasn’t there it wasn’t what we were thinking about. So, the following TED talk below is all about how making such changes to our environment can help us to achieve healthy eating goals.