On World Mental Health Day, award-winning psychologist and self-help expert Dr Pam Spurr shares her top 5 tips for strengthening 'mental fitness' with Jay James and Amy Casey on the Big Show!

40% of people experience an emotional/mental health issue at some point, so It’s time to wise up to how mental health is just as important as physical health.

That's a lot of heartache and stress but there's much we can do to keep our well-being in shape. 

After all, we maintain a car, our home, even our hair! But we’re not very good at maintaining our mental health.

Here are 5 ways to strengthen your mental fitness! 


1. No Negativity - Turnaround that negative voice, the little devil on your shoulder – that says things like: “you’re not good enough.” Challenge it and switch it to a positive voice that says: “you’re doing fine, don’t be hard on yourself!”. Always remember It's ok not to be ok!

This is especially true if you’re always self-critical – even over little things. Start seeing your ‘quirks’ as assets that make you unique, instead of seeing them as faults. Love your quirks, don’t criticise them! 


2. Health in body, healthy in mind - As many military PTI will preach never underestimate how daily ‘self-care’ improves your mental fitness. This means eating and taking up a regular exercise routine, even a brisk walk will do!

It’s crucial to get enough sleep so you’re ready for anything. Switch off technology an hour before bedtime and avoid caffeine after 4 PM. A little alcohol is fine but too much and you get the rebound effect disturbing your sleep.


3. Don't stress the small stuff - Become a 'no' person! Stop saying 'yes' when people make requests that'll tip your energy and stress levels over the edge. 

It's a great thing to learn to recognise when you simply need to say: “I’d like to help but I can’t right now.”  No need to explain, no need to apologise. It can be hard to say ‘no’ – especially if you’re a bit of a ‘people pleaser’ – but it’s important to set your boundaries.


4. You are awesome - We’re always complimenting loved ones, friends and workmates – but what about you? It’s crucial to focus on your best qualities. Things like your good sense of humour, or that you’re caring, or your mates can rely on you, or you’ve got great banter, etc. Give yourself a moment each day to remind yourself of these qualities. This will help you know ‘your worth’.


5. Take one day at a time - Take a daily-by-day approach to life. You’ve probably heard of the 12-step programme but this is an approach we should all take. Each day think about what you can manage, set small goals, do things that make you happy. Don’t look at issues as something that “you’re always going to face”. That makes them seem daunting. Taking each day as it comes, doing your best, don’t let your thoughts run away with yourself that every day is going to be tough.


Bonus tip - Be in the now!  It means you are ‘in those’ small moments of happiness and positivity – a chat with a friend, catching up with family, sitting back and enjoying a view, taking a walk and ‘taking in life’. Be ‘in the moment’ when you have a laugh. And make a point of watching comedy on TV. Laughter boosts those feel-good endorphins. Let the music sweep you away – good music boosts you up. 


Always talk to people you care about, family, close friends about the way you are feeling! Mental fitness comes from sometimes pushing your boundaries and making the never, 'the norm'. It's so important to flex and communicate your feelings and emotions on a regular basis 'It's ok to say'.

For more information on mental health you can visit Dr Pam on her official website www.drpamspurr.co.uk

If you are experiencing any troubling issues see your doctor immediately. 

Anyone who needs help, advice or support with mental health issues can call the Military Mental Health Helpline on 0800 323 4444.

Tune into The Big Show with Jay James & Amy Casey every Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday from 4pm UKT via DAB+ in the UK, Sky 0211, Online or on the free app.

Get the BFBS App

You can listen to all of Forces Radio BFBS' stations and streams anywhere, anytime using our app for Apple or Android mobile devices.
Get it on Google Play