Is It Mental Talking About Mental Health?
“Mental Health” is a title that always concerns and bothers me and I really do believe that we should seriously consider using the term, “Emotional Health” rather than “Mental Health”. In this article from Kent Life Coach, based in Tunbridge Wells, I outline the 5 reasons and discuss them in detail as to why I think we should use the alternative term.
An Uncomfortable And Awkward Word
Does the actual title, Mental Health make you feel a little uncomfortable?
If you answered, “yes”, I’m not actually surprised because using the term “Mental” is not acceptable, but unfortunately it cannot be avoided when we talk about Mental Health. It’s really no wonder that so many people feel awkward talking about and even using the term, “Mental Health”. I know that I wouldn’t want to have the term “Mental” used about me, even if it is linked with the word “Health”. Therefore it really is no surprise to me that there is still stigma around people talking and responding appropriately to “Mental Health”.
- Mental Health has “Mental” within the title
Simple words are powerful and they can be extremely emotive, so let’s consider a small but effective change and simply decide to change the word “Mental” to “Emotional”. The term, “EMOTIONAL HEALTH” feels to me far more acceptable and probably a far more suitable explanation of what the majority of people experience most of the time.
- We have all at some point been limited by our emotions
Isn’t it true that all of us at some point in our lives have been overwhelmed by our emotions? You must have had an experience where you felt your emotions were limiting you?
This is because we all experience emotions as we are all emotional beings and for the most part most of us feel comfortable admitting this to ourselves and to others. It’s quite easy if someone asks whether on some occasions in our lives our emotions have got the better of us to say, ‘yes’?
- People fear things they don’t understand!
Fear is a barrier and when people are fearful, they often avoid the subject. They worry about saying the wrong thing and making things worse. Now, of course some people are super uncomfortable with their emotions too, but uncomfortable is different to fearful.
With this in mind, if a colleague or a family member reports that they are experiencing some “Emotional Health” problems, it would be a lot easier to listen and try to understand what they are experiencing? Seek First To Understand! (Stephen R Covey)
- Mental implies ‘Head’ brain but the ‘Gut’ also has a huge influence on our wellbeing
Through the study of mBraining (Multi Brain Integrations Techniques), I have learnt that we have 3 brains; our Head, our Heart and our Gut are independent and co-dependant intelligences. What really interested me was learning that serotonin, our happy hormone comes from the gut and gut health has a huge impact on how we feel. This implies that our emotional wellbeing is probably more influenced by the gut brain than the head brain.
- I feel the term, “Mental Health” is disempowering
With “Mental Health” issues, you may mistakenly believe that you no longer have the mental capacity to take positive actions that will help you to move through these feelings. Now consider, “Emotional Health”, this really does seem to open up the possibility of being able to still choose how you might approach your emotional health and allows you the freedom to choose to engage with activities or people who could help.
I am aware that when a person is extremely unwell, they may not have the mental capacity and will need professional support. However, for most people, most of the time, there is still the ability to think and to choose, even if that thinking process is far from easy, feeling as they do.
Is it possible that a word could change the way we react and respond to one another? Could relabeling ‘Mental Health’ and using ‘Emotional Health’ make it easier for us all to talk openly about what we feel and experience in our internal world? And if we do this, would we be better able to access and offer and share more suitable support. And if this happened maybe, just maybe, we would discover that less people experience emotional heath issues and if they do, maybe, just maybe because the support is there, the impact would be less extreme for individuals, families and businesses.
I know there are times when Mental/Emotional Health can be extremely tough to live through and this article is not to belittle that at all. The aim here is simply to offer an alternative approach that may make it easier for people to open up and have those helpful conversations that enable them and all of us all to understand each other a little better and support each other when times are tough.
What To Do Next
Caroline Hart is a Life Coach with almost 20 years of experience and she works with people who want to achieve more from their lives. If you are looking to change the beliefs that you hold about yourself, call Caroline on 07832 236647 for a without obligation talk. Caroline wants to ensure that the coaching you receive is the right option to suit your circumstances and so your first Life Coaching Discovery session is FREE.