When we put things in a box it is not healing the pain. We need to deal with things which means being open about emotional pain. I am so thrilled that Prince Harry has been so frank recently. I feel like there has been a huge shift over the past couple of years. We are embracing this new era with open arms. Keep calm and carry on is going way out of fashion.
My favourite coping mechanisms for when life gives us lemons would be: one, to talk about them and two, to exercise. Harry found boxing. When life was hard for me I found running. Over the years I have grown to love all types of exercise because all of it releases tension. It gives me those all-natural happy hormones. It gives me essential head space.
So often we want to put on a calm exterior. I get it. We need to normalise feelings such as anger, fear and hurt. They are part of life and feelings that are impossible to box. It feels so good to cry sometimes. It feels so good to offload a problem on to a friend. Someone you connect with and can talk to easily. Someone where things just flow. Often when you open up, it allows others to do the same.
The times I do open up, I find I am not alone. I find that so many of us are wired the same way.
It can be easy to keep our problems behind closed doors. Getting out and chatting to like-minded people is so good for our mental wellbeing. You don’t have to feel lonely or alone. You don’t have to worry about being judged for being weak. Because finding the courage to open up is such a sign of strength. It helps that box to shrink a little bit. It takes some of the weight off your shoulders. It helps you to feel lighter.
Thoughts change all the time. Something may seem so huge right now, so all-consuming but it can get better. You are capable of experiencing fresh thoughts. You will laugh again. Go boxing but don’t box it.
JoJo Fraser is a mental health ambassador and author of popular blog mummyjojo.com