On the theme of mental health I previously reviewed a book called Run for Your Life that introduces Dynamic Running Therapy (DRT) which is a method for confronting difficult feelings and circumstances in your life through movement, whether that’s running, walking etc.
Mental health doesn’t discriminate, however women are more likely than men to speak up if they feel depressed. The single biggest killer of men between 20 and 49 is suicide. During these moments being active or going out may not appear to be a viable option for everyone, and during these tough moments its easier for men to conceal their feelings and not to seek help.
Some people aren’t ready to talk to someone, and some people don’t want to explore their feelings in active way described in DRT, and there is nothing wrong with that.
So another way to pay attention to your feelings is to journal. Knowing where to start isn’t easy and the author Ollie Aplin created a book to help men to start to process their feelings privately and said:
“There are still plenty of other men out there who may not feel quite ready to talk and prefer to keep things private. This is where the power of keeping a journal can be so helpful. It’s the next step, without feeling too exposing, where men can communicate in private the highs, lows and all their emotions in between. Journals are a safe space to offload, without fear of being judged.”
Ollie suffered a breakdown two years after his mother took her life, he was 19 and he still wasn’t ready to talk, so his counsellor recommended keeping a diary. Based on his experience Ollie created Mind Journal, a notebook filled with questions and tasks that encourages men to record their innermost thoughts. It provides a guide to help you express yourself freely.
The passion and the attention to detail really comes across from Ollie in his book as he has walked the path he is talking about. In addition he has worked with therapists and psychologists to produce the book, so rest assured it’s not a self indulgent ramble, but a clear structured and helpful guide to help men express themselves through journaling.
OK so moving onto the book. Without giving away too much, one of the sections that stood out for me was on relationships.
From relationships to our family and friends, to those relations with the wider community and world around you. It’s important to pay attention to how these factors influence you, and to also consider the actions of those around you, about why they act and behave in certain way. This exercises can help you start to explore and reflect on both the positive and negative relationships in your life.
There a number of similar exercises which get you thinking more deeply. However in this book and in life not all challenges have a solution, but this book shines as it helps the user get used to recognising how they feel and explore their subconscious feelings.
Once you can recognise subconscious behaviours then you become more mindful of that particular trigger point and that helps you live more consciously.
The book also gives some great aftercare tips after you’ve journaled. One of these areas is talking about the importance of checking in with yourself daily. Although this seems like common sense, intentionally and unintentionally it’s very easy to be and stay busy, and not pay attention to the factors which influence your mood.
Working through the books exercises can help men who may be struggling take the first step to becoming a stronger version of themselves than they already are, and I’d highly recommend it.
To find out more click this link MindJournal
Although there has been great coverage regarding mental health. There is a big difference between mental health and mental illness. The latter falls into the range of mood, anxiety, personality, psychotic disorders, which require medical and personal help. There are cases where for some people having antidepressants is life or death situation. For those affected by clinical mental illness this book isn’t suitable.
This book is more suitable for those who feel stuck, suffer low mood, anxiety stress or depression.
In the balance between a sound mind and body, this book is a reminder of the importance to make time daily to prioritise both. Sometimes it’s not easy to know where to start but this book is a great help in getting unstuck and encouraging journaling, as such I would highly recommend this book.