When a person, of any age, is currently struggling with health problems they may prefer to keep it private, anticipating that it could be considered a sign of weakness, possibly threatening their choices, friendships and quality of life. They may adopt a stiff upper lip, not wanting to disclose how vulnerable or fragile they feeling. This approach improves up bottling and anything things can sometimes cause problems to escalate.
Until we’re affected or lose someone close we have any notion of the staggering statistics around mental health, stress and suicide. Every 40 seconds a person in the world dies by suicide and it’s still the largest killer of men under 45!
There are ways we help both others and ourselves to live a more’ in touch’ life. Let us begin by considering young people, who have much going on in their lives. As friends post on media pictures of their lives that are amazing, fear of missing out is a factor. Little matter that those pictures are posed, edited and displayed for public consumption. A young person may simply see their friends as being more happy, more popular and successful than them.
They could be in a circle where they’re being bullied, feel ostracised, different. They are struggling with their sexuality, identity, worried about what their future choices and options could be. It can be tough if they are feeling a failure and don’t want to be a disappointment if they’re unfavourably comparing themselves.
Some bad behaviour may be part of the job description for being a teen, but nonetheless, it’s important to stay in contact with their lives.
Is the young person behaving differently, is there a change in their attitude? Are they angry silent, are they going out spending time in their room? Sometimes young people don’t need to worry, upset or neglect their loved ones. But that can increase their stress levels as they fight to deal and stay strong.
It provides the opportunity to see if something is’off’, if their desire has changed, if they have become unhappy or withdrawn.
- Treat each as a single and do things individually rather than always with’the kids’. That way you encourage them in becoming and developing their own person.
- Teach them to practise gratitude. Cultivate the habit of being grateful for a least 3 things every day. Someone giving them a compliment that there is running water, they’ve food on the table can be a beginning.
Chatting whilst you’re driving or cooking can times for,’you look somewhat more quiet recently’, type discussions. A casual talk can be more valuable than a full-on interview and enable them to discuss what’s on their minds.
- Provide space for them to talk with freedom. It may be tempting to finish their sentences or second-guess what they’re thinking, but even companionable silence can sometimes be fine as it allows time for reflection and processing what’s happening internally.
- Praise them for what they do well and include a few of those activities in family time so they receive routine confidence boosts. It’s good to allow them to share their excitement.
It is important to check their limits and move out of their comfort zone. But doing so means risking failure, that not everything will be a win or work out as hoped, even after much effort and commitment. Failure can be a part of color and the light in life; learning to deal with rejection and setbacks instructs resilience. Getting up is an important lesson for adult life.
- Encourage them to return. Volunteering and focusing on something else, like an animal sanctuary or visiting an elderly neighbour can be ways to extend their world, learn compassion and see the bigger picture.
- Have a conversation with their instructor to talk about how things are going at school or college. Has any cause for concern changed, is there? If your child immerses themselves so avoiding socialising and becoming detached from their previous friendship bands sometimes a flag can be.
And don’t regard seeing your family doctor or therapist for a failure. Doing so be the first step on their road to recovery and can provide invaluable guidance.
Susan Leigh hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, media author & contributor offers help with relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients, couples and provides workshops and service.
She is author of 3 books,’Dealing with Stress, controlling its Effect’,’101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday’ and’Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain’, all on Amazon & with easy to read sections, hints and ideas that will help you feel more positive about your life.