Happy Mental Health Awareness Week

Happy Mental Health Awareness Week everyone! The theme for this year's week is relationships.

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Happy Mental Health Awareness Week everyone! The theme for this year's week is relationships. Our mental health cannot be separated from the relationships we have with others, which inform our sense of self, our experience of wellbeing and our notion of ourselves and our ability to thrive in the world. Again and again, studies looking at what keeps human beings healthy, physically and emotionally, find that the most important element is the bonds we have with others. Money, fame, credentials, achievements, material possessions....all fall far down the list and consistently show up as significantly less predictive of positive mental health outcomes than relationships themselves.

People in stable and loving relationships live longer, are ill less often, experience less stress, are less likely to be diagnosed with mental health and physical health conditions, have stronger hearts, and more commonly achieve a deep sense of fulfillment. "No man is an island" as John Donne once poetically put it; we are social beings and both crave and need love and connection with others.

Perhaps then the kindest and most beneficial thing we can do for ourselves this week is to nurture, explore and nourish the connections we have with those we love. Make that phone call, reach out that hand, extend those arms for a hug. We are likely to live a longer and healthier life if we do.

Heather Mason

Founder of the Minded Institute, The Minded Institute

Heather Mason is a leader in the field of mind-body therapy and the founder of Yoga Therapy for the Mind. She develops innovative methods for mental health treatment drawing on her robust educational background including an MA in Psychotherapy, an MA in Buddhist Studies, studies in Neuroscience and a current MSc in Medical Physiology.. She is also a 500 RYT, a yoga therapist and an MBCT facilitator. Heather offers various professional trainings for yoga teachers, healthcare professionals and therapists, lectures around the world, and delivers training to medical students. She also develops protocols for different client populations by translating cutting edge research from the psycho-biology and neuro-biology of stress into yoga practices, breathwork, mindfulness interventions and therapeutic holding. Further she is involved in research on the efficacy of these practices, holds the annual UK yoga therapy conference and is blazing the trail for the integration of yoga therapy into the NHS