for women with Mental Ill-Health - The 'Problem' is...!

In an earlier work on Mental health for women, we considered traits of a 'Happy Disposition' and having an 'Optimistic Outlook', as being two key enhancing and contributory factors for women's mental health.

Just as having a positive and optimistic outlook on life can enhance mental health health, there are also those more subtle factors such as attitude to 'problems', to desires, to life goals, that can adversely impact on mind health and your overall feeling of wellness.

For the benefit of this work, mental health is being defined as:

'a concept that refers to your emotional and psychological well-being, in which you are able to use your cognitive and emotional capabilities to function in society and meet the ordinary demands of everyday life.'

(Unlike the term 'mental illness', which is the result of a diagnosable illness), the above definition suggest that mental health for women, means the ability to adapt, manage and find solutions to challenges in every day life.

Since the link has already been established that your body and mind are interrelated, making the most of what you've got, includes taking care of yourself at every level. This interconnection of mind and body means there is always a 'cause and effect' scenario constantly at play. For example, if you feel 'fear' - your body language will express fear. Likewise, if you feel you have a 'problem', you will express this belief in the actions you take to resolve that 'problem'. For women, understanding this connection, will help assess how you deal with 'problems' and whether your approach is promoting your emotional and mental health or disempowering it.

Many women are far too busy to afford time to their emotional health needs, which in a way, does not equip them sufficiently to deal with the 'big' 'problems' when they do arise.

However, for women to achieve better emotional health and stability , just as they make space in their busy schedule to take care of their physical health, they need also to make space to attend to their mental, intellectual and emotional wellness.

Mental health and emotional well-being means having a healthy mind that will enable you to deal adequately with all the challenges life throws at you. Such challenges for women however, might be perceived as 'problems', rather than opportunities for personal growth. Managing priorities is as much to do with what you do with your mind, as it is to do with what you do with your time.

Mental health care challenges and barriers women may experience

As with anyone else, for women, there's an element of comfort in that which is predictable - of knowing what comes next. When the unexpected happens however, it can throw you off balance and make you feel completely out of control. This perceived lack of control can then easily escalate as you begin to question yourself, your previous beliefs, your judgment and your decision-making abilities.

It is important for a woman to understand that her experience of a 'problem' is as subjective as is her experience of mental health. That is to say that whilst for one woman a 'problem' might seem like the end of the world, for another woman the same event might seem like an opportunity, a challenge or simply a stumbling block.

In some instances, the nature of 'problems' can even be a cause for women to experience longer term emotional pain. In other instances, problems can for women, present an inclination to hide from their very painful emotions. Either of these reactions will undoubtedly stem from a perception that such barriers are insurmountable challenges.

This clearly establish that how you define a 'problem' - i.e. how you think, feel and act toward it, will determine how you set about resolving it. When things don't work out as expected, it's easy for a woman, in anything less than a healthy mental state, to label the event as a 'problem' and ask herself the 'why me?' question.

Yet, when you view your experience in this way, you are in fact passing judgement - that the event is a 'problem' to you. The result is a 'problem' oriented mindset which keeps you blocked and take your focus away from finding solutions, - i.e, by narrowing your range of the many possibilities of feelings and actions which might otherwise be open to you.

This 'problem' oriented mindset unfortunately for women, hijacks their focus and their energies become spent on 'what isn't working for them'. For some women, the tendency is there to start believing and/or opportioning the cause of the 'problem' to someone or something else being to blame for their situation.

But how do you go about altering this kind of 'problem' mindset?'

The starting point for women changing their perception and subsequently their approach to 'problems', have to start with the word itself. Notice how throughout this piece of work, I have consistently put quote marks around the word 'problem'! This has been for no other reasons than (a) to make a connection with you by using a word with which you have becomed accustomed and can relate to; and (b) to illustrate the significance and impact of the word 'problem', on womens mental health and the subsequent level of functioning for women. So what's an alternative? If you haven't yet arrived at the answer, you will need to re-read this item from the beginning.

When you change your mindset as to how you view the 'P' word, you will find yourself defining events that do not go according to plan, as challenges, barriers, blocks, obstaces. You might even find yourself thinking or saying 'I'm puzzled' or 'this is outside anything I've ever encountered before!' etc.,

Do you see the difference when you take a different perspective on things? This positive way of focusing on events

that challenge you does not mean that you're not acknowledging how you are truly feeling. It does however mean that for women to do so from a more solution-focused perspective, will make all the difference to actually finding a solution. It is also a far more constructive approach for women to cultivate this aspect of their personal development, health and happiness.

Challenges, Barriers, Blocks And Mental Health Care

Challenges for women, are a useful and very necessary part of womens lives. You cannot hope to pursue your life goals without encountering some resistence of some sort. When you encounter them, know that they are an important part of a process to achieving your life goals.

Confronting and overcoming them means you make a hefty deposit in your self esteem bank balance, which over time all adds up to a healthy mind.

Besides enabling you to see from different perspectives, encountering challenges is an essential and inevitable requirement for women's personal development and womens health. And since this process allows you to stretch and exercise your brain functioning, this can only mean one thing - a healthier and growing mind.

Self help technique for women's mental health care

'Framing' is an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programing) concept that refers to how you think about and position or place your experiences to give them meaning. This is a very useful technique for women to add to their collection of self help tools and mental health care.

Here is how it works. Let's say For example that you have a picture and you decide to change its frame; as well as changing the look and feel of the picture, the new frame highlights certain qualities as it sets the boundaries of the image. From an NLP perspective, the way you think can similarly frame your experiences and highlight particular aspects of it. So, just as changing the frame adds contrast and a very different kind of definition to the picture, depending on how you frame a challenge for example, can cause you to experience the same event very differently too.

Challenges for women (as with anyone else), can and do cause different degrees of emotional pain. And, while there is no magical or quick fix formula for immediate eradication, by making constructive use of this awareness, you can confront your challenges head on, with realism and greater effectiveness.

By turning your focus away from the nature of the challenge to a solution-focused approach, you get greater clarity on how to deal with it. And remember, if it's a source of concern to you - irrespective of how other people might perceive it, it must command your attention.

By giving yourself the time and space you need to think about the challenge you face and the emotions linked to it, you'll gain tremendous insight into how to go about resolving it. Journaling is an effective tool for achieving this level of clarity. Typical questions you might want to ask your self in such situations, include:

  • What levels of concern and anxiety is this causing me?
  • What specifically is the concern or anxiety?
  • How is it affecting me?
  • Where or from whom can I get help? (If needed)
  • How could I best deal with this challenge?
  • When do I want this resolved by
  • What outcome do I want?

    Once you have your answers, set yourself some health goals, using this free goal setting guidance and goal setting forms to change your life for the better. You'll find all the personal goal setting resources you need at the above link.

    'Framing is the way we label experiences so that we know what they mean. It colors events or thoughts. If we change the frame, we change the meaning of the experience. When you change the meaning you often change your feelings about what is being framed'.(McDermott & Jago)

    You Might Be Interested In The Following Womens Health Related Articles And Resources

    How Does Stress Affect Health
    How does stress affect health. Identify how stress affect your overall health and the common stress symptoms. Here is your opportunity to read and comment on breaking stress health google news

    Stress As A Health Issue In Women
    Health issue in women can only mean stress. How does stress affect health? Learn how stress can affect physicial, womens health, psychological and emotional health plus strategies women can use...

    How Stress Affects Your Overall Health
    Stress affect your overall health in a number of significant ways. How does stress affect health is a faq. Learn some common causes and how to promote stress health or emotional health

    Stress Affects Health
    Stress affects health on physical, psychological and emotional health levels. But how does stress affect health? Learn why womens 'tend' and 'befriend' capacity protect our overall health, womens health from common stress symptoms

    Emotional Health
    Emotional health and emotional intelligence is the foundation on which we manage daily life. How we think, feel, cope, will determine how stress affects health and other health issue in women

    Emotional Health
    The ultimate coping strategies and stress management tools, techniques and articles for enhancing your overall health, womens health and wellbeing

    The information on this site is purely of educational value and is not intended to replace your seeking medical advice. You must consult your doctor over all your health concerns.

    Subscribe to receive your Free 5 Part Mini Course on setting your personal goals, via email. Don't worry, there's no strings attached and I won't bombard you with unsolicited mailings - that's a promise.

    Contact Me

    Return from for women to Health Womens Healthy Living Goals Home Page