Often neglected to the detriment of physical health, mental health is still subject to many taboos. It is difficult to fully assume that one is depressed, to accept and openly say that one is not well or that one is tired. In a society focused on hyper-productivity and the constant need to do more, taking time for oneself and resting is not always well received.

Nevertheless, mental health is an essential component of overall health and is often closely linked to physical health. Talking about it is therefore important! At Mindology, our goal is to free up the conversation around mental health in order to democratize the subject and educate on the concrete solutions that exist.

Why are taboos hard to break? How to take care of your mental health? How to dare to talk about it? We explain everything and give you the keys to get better.

How to manage stress?

Mental health: definition?

The World Health Organization defines health as the combination of an individual's mental, physical and social well-being. The combination of these different elements determines whether or not a person is healthy. To be healthy is to be in a state of complete well-being.

Mental health is therefore an essential component of health in the same way as physical health. It is therefore impossible to claim to be in good health if you suffer from insomnia, anxiety or even depression.

What are the determinants of mental health? How do we define mental health?

According to the WHO, mental health is "a state of well-being that enables people to achieve their potential, cope with the normal difficulties of life, work successfully and productively, and be able to contribute to the community".
Mental health is therefore composed of 3 components: personal fulfillment, capacities for action and psychological resources.

    • Capabilities for action

Having power over one's personal, social and professional life and being able to act on it is essential to good mental health.

In this sense, the capability approach of the Indian economist Amartya Sen can be mobilized to understand mental health. A. Sen defines capabilities as "the freedom of an individual to lead a certain way of life" (Nussbaum and Sen, 1993). To be mentally healthy is therefore to have the possibility of carrying out certain actions concretely, to possess certain goods materially and to effectively attain our freedoms. The ability to act allows us to make our freedoms real freedoms to live our life as we want and as it is good for us.

Mental health is :

  • Well-being and personal development
  • Capabilities for action
  • Psychological resources

Mental wellness is a necessary component of overall health.

    • Well-being and personal development

Personal fulfillment is characterized by self-fulfillment and individual well-being. Knowing oneself well, living in accordance with one's values, needs and desires would allow one to achieve personal fulfillment.

    • Psychological resources

According to Rogers (1962), each individual has psychological resources that he or she can mobilize in interpersonal relationships or use to accomplish himself or herself and tasks. These resources are for example empathy, self-esteem, optimism, emotional intelligence, etc.

In this sense, no capacity for action without psychological resources. Psychological resources would be the basis for maximizing one's capacity for action, for effectively achieving the life one wants, and for taking one's life in hand.

To refuse to feel an emotion is to feel it 3 times more.

Keeping your spirits up: our 10 tips

    • 1. Take stock of your emotions

Recognizing, understanding and accepting our emotions is essential before taking any concrete steps.
The causes of our problems and the way they are expressed are different for each individual. Faced with the same problem, there are millions of possible reactions. You may feel anxious, angry, sad or confused. This theory that each person reacts differently to the same event was developed by Magda B. Arnold in 1960 who talks about "emotional evaluation" or "appraisal" in English. According to her, emotion is not an immediate and direct reaction to a certain situation. It is the result of the evaluation of the perceived situation. It would thus exist, between the perception of the situation and the emotion, an intermediate process of evaluation specific to each individual. Faced with a certain situation, the emotion felt is different according to the subjective perception of the person having lived this event.

Identifying one's emotions is essential when starting a process to take care of one's mental health and get better. Indeed, putting your finger on your emotions allows you to better understand them, to accept them but also to reduce them. In fact, being able to define precisely what we feel can significantly reduce the emotion in question. This is the result of a study conducted in 2007 by the University of California: putting a word on one's emotions helps reduce the emotional response (Lieberman et al, 2007).

But, how to identify your emotions?

First, by enriching one's emotional vocabulary. Paul Ekman (1971) lists 6 basic emotions: sadness, joy, anger, fear, disgust and surprise. Robert Plutchnik, in his Wheel of Emotions, adds 2 emotions to this list: confidence and anticipation. Later, in 1990, Paul Ekman identified new, more secondary emotions: amusement, satisfaction, embarrassment, excitement, guilt, pride, relief, sensory pleasure, shame and contempt.
In order to put a word on your emotions you can refer to the list above. You can, for example, make a table listing the main emotions and check off the one that seems to correspond to your current state. Then, give each emotion a value, positive or negative. Does the emotion in question give you a pleasant or unpleasant feeling? Then, identify its intensity: which emotions are the strongest? Several emotions must be mixed in you. But which one(s) are the most intense and difficult to manage? Finally, try to find the cause of this emotion. Why do you feel sadness, anger or guilt? What event triggered this emotion in you?

Also, in order to identify your emotions, you must also accept to live them fully. Refusing to feel an emotion means feeling it 3 times more intensely. Accept to live the emotion and you will have already done a great deal of work.

    • 2. Sort out your emotions

The philosophy of the Stoic school can be a great resource. In The Manual, Epictetus said: "Among the things that exist, some depend on us, others do not depend on us". In order to be happy, he proposes to learn to distinguish the things that depend on us from the things that do not depend on us.

Taking care of our mental health means knowing how to make this distinction and detach ourselves from things over which we have no control. Death, illness, or other people's opinions of us are examples of things that are out of our control.

So learn to sort out your problems: focus on the ones you can control and put aside the rest.

    • 3. Externalize your emotions

Writing can help you unload your emotions. Writing down your feelings, your sensations and your feelings, whether positive or negative, helps to limit ruminations.

You can try journaling. It is a daily writing practice to clear your mind.

Take 5 to 10 minutes out of your day to write down everything that's on your mind: the highlights of your day, the little things that make you happy every day, what's bothering you right now, your goals for the week ahead, etc.

    • 4. Take a break

Sometimes you have to dare to say stop. Saying stop to a job that is too demanding, saying stop to the daily grueling tasks or saying stop to the will to do everything perfectly. At a certain point in life, interrupting your routine temporarily may be necessary to find yourself and take care of yourself.

You can, for example, take a vacation, a weekend in the country or a moment of relaxation in a beauty salon. Dare to do something out of your daily routine and habits that makes you happy.

    • 5. Take care of yourself on a daily basis and don't forget yourself

Taking care of yourself should not be an occasional thing. It is a daily task. Don't wait until you are in a critical situation to take time for yourself and do what makes you happy.

Cooking good food, playing sports, starting a new activity, practicing your passion or even taking care of your sleep are small gestures to be implemented every day and which contribute to your mental well-being.

    • 6. Focus on concrete solutions and do not brood

In order for your path to mental well-being to be successful you must distinguish between abstract ruminations and problems that can be solved in a concrete way. Transform your "what ifs" and "hows". Focus only on the concrete ruminations and try to find answers to them. Always keep in mind that your fears will never guide you on the right path. Abstract ruminations and all hypothetical thoughts are to be put aside.

    • 7. Talk about it and surround yourself with people

Verbalizing your emotions is essential. If you are not feeling well, get closer to the people who are close to you: family members, colleagues, friends. Externalizing your emotions allows you to unload them and to find help from the people you love.

In the last part of this article we give you some tips on how to dare to express your emotions and say when things are not going well.

    • 8. To be accompanied

The use of alternative medicine can also be a solution to regain mental well-being.

At Mindology we have created coaching programs in collaboration with experts in sophrology, hypnosis and psychology. The goal of these programs is to guide you on the path to wellness by reducing your anxiety or sleep disorders.

    • 9. Use natural treatments and remedies

Some natural solutions can also be used to take care of your mental health.

By acting on the endocannabinoid system, CBD helps regulate mood and reduce anxiety and sleep disorders.

At Mindology, we have created 3 oils to address 3 different issues:

  • Sleep disorders and insomnia: Our Good Night oil is composed of lemon balm, hazelnut oil and CBD Broad spectrum, plants chosen to improve the quality of sleep and facilitate sleep.
  • Anxiety and stress: With peppermint, flaxseed oil, grapefruit and CBD Broad spectrum, our Bon courage oil is perfect if you are feeling stress or anxiety, sometimes related to pain.
  • Morning demotivation and anxiety: made with ginger, plum oil, lemon and CBD Broad spectrum, our Good Day oil helps relieve tension and emotional distress.

With the change of season and the shortening of the day, don't forget to expose yourself to daylight. Prolonged exposure to light regulates the circadian rhythm and therefore improves sleep but also regulates mood through the release of serotonin(Norman Rosenthal, 1984).

    • 10. Medication: the last resort

Sometimes, medication is essential for good mental health. Psychotropic drugs, i.e. those that have an effect on the nervous system, are classified into 5 categories:

  • Anxiolytics
  • Hypnotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Mood stabilizers
  • Neuroleptics

Depending on your disorder, some medications may be more appropriate than others. If you suffer from a mental illness or think you have a mental illness, always refer to a doctor.

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Why is it important to talk about mental health?

Mental health is at the heart of Maslow's pyramid of needs. This pyramid is a graphic representation that shows that behind each of our motivations or desires is actually a fundamental need to be satisfied. Maslow lists 5 fundamental needs: physiological needs, security needs, belonging needs, esteem needs and self-fulfillment needs. Satisfying 4 of these 5 needs would allow us to be in good mental health. Self-fulfillment, confidence, respect and recognition from others, affection from those around you and living in a stable environment are essential to mental well-being. Taking care of one's mental health is therefore a fundamental need for humans.

The WHO European Ministerial Conference on Mental Health in Helsinki in 2005 recognized mental health as "one of the greatest challenges for all Member States in the WHO European Region". Good mental health is essential for a good quality of life, for the productivity of an economy, for the peace and social cohesion of a country and for the development of good social relations.
Talking about mental health and emphasizing its importance can improve all of these parameters while enhancing the mental well-being of a population.

In order to free the word around mental well-being, to raise awareness and to educate on this subject, a World Mental Health Day was decided in 1992. This world mental health day is held every year on October 10th. The objective is to teach everyone what to do and how to behave when faced with mental illness or malaise, and also to familiarize people with these problems while providing information on symptoms, treatments and treatment options. Today, the challenge is to ensure early diagnosis for patients, comprehensive care, personalized follow-up and sufficient and appropriate resources for health personnel.

Nevertheless, mental health is still a largely taboo subject in our societies. But, why is it important to free the word around this subject?

First of all, because it helps to educate on the subject. For many people, depression, for example, is not a "real" disease in the same way as cancer. We still hear too often phrases like: "it's a question of willpower", "you have everything to be happy", "stop feeling sorry for yourself", etc. However, depression is not a simple episode of depression but a real psychological illness that requires medical support.

Also, by educating and sensitizing a population to mental wellness, mental illnesses are diagnosed much earlier. Diagnosing a mental illness before it really takes hold can greatly limit the symptoms and greatly increase the chances of a quick recovery.

That's why we at Mindology believe that it is essential to end the taboos and to free the word around mental health. Ending anxiety is, for us, a battle that can only be fought together. During the first lockdown in early 2020, we saw many of our loved ones disarmed by their anxiety. So we created support groups to get together, share tips and talk about mental health together. As former insomniacs and high-stress sufferers, we are convinced that the first step to getting better is to talk about it.

Mental wellness is a necessary component of overall health.

If you are interested in this subject, you can listen to the France Inter podcast entitled "Mental health disorders or this false taboo that everyone knows about".

Why is mental health still a taboo subject? Why are women more prone to mental illness? How can we make mental health a public issue? You can find the answers to these questions by clicking here.

Taking care of your mental health is a basic need.

Why is mental health taboo?

It is often difficult to dare to say that we are not well. Fear of upsetting others, self-censorship, or the toxic positivity that surrounds us: there are many reasons why we might keep quiet. So how do you talk about your mental health?

  • 1. A company name

In the most socially and economically advantaged families, it is easier to talk openly about one's mental state. On the other hand, in some more working-class environments, mental health is an absolutely taboo subject that is sometimes impossible to discuss.

There are many reasons for the persistence of taboos around mental health in some circles: considered a sign of weakness, invisible and often misrepresented in popular culture, mental health is associated with insanity, a

Putting a word on your emotions is already half the job

  • 2. Self-censorship

If we have never learned to express our emotions, or if our emotions were denied and minimized as children by the people to whom we give authority, then chances are that as adults it is difficult to talk about our mental state.

  • 3. A fear of disturbing others

Often, one of the reasons we don't dare to say when something is wrong is because we don't want to upset others or hurt the people we love.

  • 4. Toxic positivity

The injunctions to positivity, happiness and joy are very present in our societies. However, instead of defeating negativity, this cult of positivity only adds guilt to our malaise.

Because it is essential to talk about it and because mental health should not be a taboo subject, we share with you all our advice on how to dare to say when things are not going well and how to find the right words when faced with the unhappiness of a loved one.

How do you tell someone you're not well?

  • 1. Accept and understand your emotions

This first step refers to our two tips: "take stock" and "sort out". Before starting any discussion about your mental state, identify your emotions, put a word to them and try to determine their causes.

Identifying and defining your emotions precisely will allow you to understand yourself better and will also allow the person in front of you to understand you better. This will facilitate and clarify the dialogue. You will be able to determine the points you wish to discuss and the subjects on which you need help.

  • 2. Find the right person to talk to

To talk about your mental state, it is important to find someone who is able and willing to help you. Ironically, the people closest to you, whether family or friends, may not be the best people to listen.

If you don't feel comfortable talking about your problems and expressing your emotions to those around you, don't feel guilty. There are professionals who can help you. At Mindology, we offer a coaching program co-created with alternative medicine professionals. By clicking here you will have access to free video sessions in hypnosis and sophrology, to our tips for taking care of your mental well-being and to support groups.

We also want to remind you that the first professional you meet is sometimes not the right one. It may take several meetings to find the person who is right for you, with whom you feel confident and who will help you best.

Hotlines can also be a tool to exploit.

  • Croix-Rouge Écoute at 0 800 858 858 (from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm on weekdays and from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Saturdays): for anyone who needs to confide in someone, whatever their age or situation
  • Solitud'Écoute at 0800 47 47 88 (from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m.): reserved for people over 50 suffering from loneliness or malaise
  • National Suicide Prevention Number 3114 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week): for anyone in a situation of psychological distress who feels the need to talk to psychiatric and mental health professionals in general
  • Suicide Écoute at 01 45 39 40 00 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week): for anyone who feels suicidal
  • SOS Suicide Phénix at 01 40 44 46 45 (from 1:00 pm to 11:00 pm): for anyone in need of psychological support by phone
  • 3. Choose a favourable context

It is also important to choose a good time and place where you feel comfortable and confident. Often, this is a place that is familiar to you and does not give you any negative emotions.

If you have chosen to speak to a professional, you have the option of consulting in an office or remotely. For people who are more introverted, a teleconsultation may be a good solution. On the other hand, if physical proximity is important to you, you may prefer to make an in-office appointment.

  • 4. Start slowly

The first discussion is often the most complicated: it is the one that will require the most effort and generate the most negative emotions. So take it step by step. Don't hesitate to establish shorter but relatively frequent discussion moments.

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How do you support someone who is not doing well?

In return, it is very often difficult to find the words to respond to someone who is not well.

  • 1. Showing support

The first thing to do when someone tells you that they are unhappy is to show your support. Make it clear that you are there for them and that they can talk to you in confidence. It is also best to be physically present with the person.

  • 2. Practice active listening

Listening is not only being attentive and rephrasing what the person in front of us says. Practicing active listening means being able to put into words what has not been verbalized and said explicitly.

When faced with a person who is not well, using this method will help to clearly define what is wrong and to understand their emotions.

  • 3. Be sincere

Don't try to be perfect. Just respond and do your best. Dare to say if you don't feel you can help or if you can't find the words.

  • 4. To provide professional support

Don't hesitate to remind people that consulting a professional is not an admission of weakness or psychological madness. It is as important to seek professional help when you are not well as it is to seek help from your doctor when you are ill.

  • 5. Break your routine

For some people, socializing, seeing people, doing new activities, etc. can be a big step towards mental wellness.

Dare to offer the person in front of you an outing that would take him/her out of his/her daily life for a moment. Try to remind them that life has thousands of things to offer and that their current situation is not immutable and eternal.


Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty

World Health Organization

Public Health France

Antonia Csillik, Psychological Resources, 2017

H Doucet, The contribution of Amartya Sen's capability approach to professional practice in mental health: an ethical analysis, 2020

N Journet, Human Sciences, Monthly N° 241, October 2012

M Lierberman, N Eisenberger, M Crockett, S Tom, J Pfeifer and B Way, Putting feelings into words: affect labeling disrupts amygdala activity in response to affective stimuli, 2007

N E Rosenthal, D A Sack, Seasonal affective disorder. A description of the syndrome and preliminary findings with light therapy, 1984

P Santi, Covid-19: the consumption of anxiolytics and hypnotics has increased in France since March 2020, Le Monde, 2021

Amartya Sen, A New Economic Model. Development, Justice, Freedom, 1999

C Thibaud, "Why is it hard to say that things are not going well?", Doctissimo, 2021

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