Three Common Mental Health Mistakes

This Monday was World Mental Health Day. It seems like nowadays it’s very easy to find somebody to give you advice on how to improve your mental health. Whether it’s on social media, in magazines, on TV – everywhere, anywhere – you can find “experts” telling you to meditate more, to get in touch with nature, and to sleep until you’re completely rested. Everyone, it seems, knows what’s best. In this blog, we’re not going to pretend to be experts or to know what’s best for everyone, but we are going to point out that we all make mistakes sometimes. And here are three common mental health mistakes that we’ll admit to, and we think might be helpful to avoid.

Three Common Mental Health Mistakes

Feeling Strongly About Something Means That It’s True

This might seem obvious, but it’s more common than you think. Emotions are one thing that we use to understand the world around us, but just because we feel very strongly about something doesn’t mean that it’s true. Strong feelings are NOT objective facts. Having strong and robust mental health, means understanding that our emotions are not the most important thing in the world.

Avoiding Mental Health Issues

If my house is a mess, avoiding it won’t make it better. I might forget about my untidy wardrobe, my dirty carpets, or my dusty desk for a little while if I go out for some fun, but when I get back home it’s still going to be a mess. Likewise with mental health. If you avoid your pain, anxiety or loss, you might feel better for a short time, but your issues will still be there waiting for you. Face the music and get help.

Three Common Mental Health Mistakes pic 2

Thinking About the Short-Term, Not Long-Term Future

As humans, we often prefer something that makes us happy now and ignore the long-term consequences of that action. For instance, chips are delicious. They might give you a heart attack, but that heart attack will happen in 30 or 40 years. The chips are here in front of you now, and they look, smell, and taste delicious. It’s the same thing with mental health. Drinking, for example, might make you feel better in the short-term, but it’s not a long term solution to mental health problems.

These are just three common mental health mistakes. This list is not exhaustive, but if you’re interested in reading further in depth, check out this article from a professional. It’s never too late to break bad habits and form good, new ones in their place.

Vocabulary Activity

Match the bold words in the article to the definitions below.

  1. (adj.) not influenced by a person’s feelings or opinions.
  2. (adv.) at the present time.
  3. (v.) to give the impression of being something, or having a particular quality.
  4. (adv.) one location, but not one specific or particularly location.
  5. (adj.) including or consisting of all parts or aspects of something.
  6. (adj.) strong, healthy, well-constructed.
  7. (adv.) in the same way; also.
  8. (idiom) accept and confront the negative results of an action.
  9. (adv.) all places or directions
  10. (v.) confess to be true, or to be the case
  1. Objective
  2. Nowadays
  3. Seems
  4. Anywhere
  5. Exhaustive
  6. Robust
  7. Likewise
  8. Face the music
  9. Everywhere
  10. Admit

Discussion Questions

  1. Do you agree with the article that people always take their emotions to be the truth? Or do you think it’s more common that people ignore their emotions?
  2. Can you think of any other examples in which people think about short-term happiness and ignore long-term consequences?
  3. Can you think of any other mistakes that people make in relation to mental health?
  4. What positive things do you do to improve your mental health?

This is Ingla School of English‘s weekly blog, intended as reading practise for our students in Turnpike Lane, in London, and around the globe. We hope you’ve enjoyed it and take a look at the rest of our writing, much of which has activities for teachers to use in the classroom.