Mental health Awareness Week is back for 2019 with the annual program running between the 13th-19th May this year. This scheme is created by the Mental Health Foundation and has been running since 2001, raising awareness for a range of issues in the process such as alcohol, stress and loneliness. The program is presented to schools, businesses and communities in the hope of them coming together to start conversations around mental health that can change and even save lives. The targeted theme that has been approached this year is body image.
Body image is an issue which is undermined and under researched but with this awareness week the aim is to completely reverse the problem. After research in 2018 it was discovered that 30% of adults alone have stress over appearance and body image making them either overwhelmed or unable to cope. This shocking figure equates to 1 out of 3 people and with the problem little researched this figure could grow. Preventing issues such as anorexia is a integral part of the plan.
So what is the answer to solving the problem?
Unfortunately, there is no single answer as each individual is different but there are a variety of things you can do to reduce symptoms of stress and improve mental health, exercise being one of the most recommended . Keeping within the daily recommendations for physical activity is a key way to improve your well being and squash any worries as balancing this with a healthy lifestyle will only mean good things.
Studies have shown that exercising in green space is the perfect solution as five minutes alone boosts your mental health significantly. Being exposed to natural sunlight and combining that with exercise is believed to increase serotonin levels in our bodies, which can improve feelings of well-being and happiness. Not only does exercising outside boost your mental health it is also well known to improve your self-esteem which is helpful for people with body image worries. Dr William Bird MBE is a perfect example of supporting these theories as he has created projects directly for exercise and nature together looking at the health benefits from it and has since help transform millions of peoples lives.