Dealing with Mental Health Challenges
Based on research from various fields, here are some strategies to deal with mental health challenges
Repair & Release
Many abstract, prolonged threats of modern life do not warrant a physical response. Consequently, we have no release or relief from a state of high alert. Over time, people plunge into a state of exhaustion or “burn-out”. In these cases, there is a need for the body to repair itself (resistance stage) and return to its “baseline state” by triggering calm and a sense of safety.
Crises can challenge individuals and society, causing damage and trauma. Research into stress, trauma and post-disaster psycho-social care show that promoting a sense of safety, calm and connectedness with oneself and community, thereby leading to resilience and a feeling of hope is key to coping.
Slowing Down & Switching off
In an increasingly digital world, sensory activities that help embodiment, especially those that carry meaningful sensory experiences to counterbalance digital stimuli are important tools in sensory integration. Additionally, due to the permanent experience of time scarcity and pressure to make time related decisions, the feeling of missing out on something or not achieving goals manifest increasingly often, therefore, slowing down the time percept using sensory activities through mindfulness, grounding and creating a state of flow will be a key approach of this project.
How to get there
Exercise reduces stress sensitivity and increases insulin sensitivity, thereby helping in both the prevention and treatment of metabolic and mental health. Exercise also stimulates the production of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters and endorphins, which relieve pain and make people feel good. Research shows that one of the most effective methods to enhance well-being is through physical activity since:
It is more cost-effective than either psychotherapy or medication
It is associated with minimal side effects
It can be maintained throughout an individual’s life
Healthy Aging: studies show that there is approximately a 20% to 30% lower risk of depression and dementia for adults participating in daily physical activity. Physical activity also seems to reduce the likelihood of experiencing cognitive decline in people who do not have dementia.
Women’s Health: Research shows that women experienced an increase in the positive effects of physical activity and a reduction in the negative effects associated with menopause.