What’s spaghetti got to do with my mental health?

We talk to a lot of people about their mental health and quite often it’s difficult for them to describe how they are feeling.

How do you see your mental health problems?

For me, I visualise my brain as a pan of spaghetti when I’m struggling.  When you take spaghetti out of the packet it’s all nice and straight and separate.  Then you put it into boiling water and it starts to tangle up.

The harder you boil the water (or the more you turn up the stress) the more tangled the spaghetti gets.

If your brain gets tangled, it’s really hard to see what is going on.  The things you could normally cope with get lost in the tangle.  Little things, like the kids not putting their shoes or your computer not starting can really feel like the last straw.

What can I do to change things?

If you feel like that, what you really need is to be able to untangle the spaghetti and pile it up into the different topics.  Then you can get a clear picture of what is going on.  It also helps you to understand what things you have control over and what you don’t.

Removing the ones you can’t control or influence can help you to focus on the ones you can change.  This will help you to untangle the spaghetti a bit.

Some people are great at doing this for themselves and probably can stop the tangle early.  Some people just can’t do it – or they have had too many stressful events in a short space of time.  The more tangled the spaghetti, the more difficult it will be for you to untangle it yourself.

Next steps

So if you are feeling like there is a scramble in your brain, it’s a good time to stop and take stock.  If you can do it yourself then take some time to get the spaghetti out of your brain and start to sort through it.  If you don’t feel able to do it yourself then maybe a friend can help.  You need someone objective, who won’t try to fix things and will let you talk through things yourself until you come to a decision about what to do yourself.

If you think you don’t have friends who could do this, then maybe speaking to a counsellor would help.  They are experienced at helping you to untangle the spaghetti in your brain.  They will be able to give you some techniques that you can use to allow you to put the things you can’t control to one side.

This is a great way to improve your mental health – and you don’t even need to eat the spaghetti!

Get in touch if you want to know more about seeing a counsellor with NECS.

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