I’ve always felt uncomfortable seeing birds in cages. Living a life of limitation unable to do the very act that they were born to do, fly. And if you asked that bird to sing whilst in the cage would it share the best of its voice?  I’m sure free, outside amongst its natural habitat its song would be far more beautiful.

For the majority of us we’ll never be physically imprisoned in a cage but at times we certainly allow our minds to be caught in one. Some do more than others. For a lot of us it’s something we find hard to control and manage. For some they don’t know why it happens.

The propaganda of negative thoughts, worry, fear, anger, comparison, mental defeat. It can cage us from freedom of thought, everyday tasks. These thoughts may slow down the pursuit of dreams, putting a curtain over gratitude and the love we carry inside.

Mental health is an important topic and conversation these days and it’s being talked about a lot. A positive in itself.

Thirty years ago, mental health carried a stigma of white jackets, concrete walls but worst of all silence but now it is talked about openly.

Results from the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), indicate that one in five people aged 16 to 85 years experience one of the common forms of mental illness (anxiety, effective or mood disorders, and substance use disorders) in any one year. 

There are many levels to mental health and it can be complicated. But talking, expressing feelings, sharing questions, finding answers, singing your song is a great place to start. It starts with wanting to reflect, talking with yourself and also talking with family and friends.

As family or a friend, even a stranger, reaching out to that someone and asking how they are is a responsibility we all carry. A simple call or a txt “How are you feeling buddy? Let me know when we can chat” can be the empowering difference.

If you or you know someone struggling with stress, anxiety, depression the daily routine of life and negative thought can harbour in action. Finding clarity or answers surrounded by the daily grind can be like asking a bird to sing while it’s stuck in a cage.

That clarity and those answers can be found well beyond that cage.

So if you or that loved one who needs to chat, find that environment that embraces personality, passions, identity. It may be surfing, hiking, running, yoga, Latin dancing, bird watching what ever it is that brings the soul bliss. A place where the mind can switch off then switch on. Here is where the reflection, questions and answers will happen. Away from the grind, routine and the cage of negative thought. Where the best song can be sung.