Four of us met at the library, all regular chapter members. We had a good discussion about mental health and how it impacts our fluency.
It is common to talk about physical injuries that affect our ability to perform tasks such as back pain, twisted ankle, even headaches. It is easy for people to see the injuries and to understand their impact on how we feel and on what we can do.
But have you ever felt that you were mentally exhausted? Attending a long class or seminar and feeling that you cannot absorb any new information. Being so focused on a task at work or on the computer that you feel that you need to sit down and just do nothing. Sometimes even the thought of having to do something feels like you are about to get a headache. Have you ever taken a mental health day off from work? How do you explain it? You can’t say “I don’t feel like coming to work”, or “I can’t cope with work today” but that is really how you feel and yet we make other excuses because we feel embarrassed or we don’t feel comfortable saying it.
Mental health is as important or more as physical health, and yet there seems to be a stigma attached to it. There has been a lot of progress on getting the medical community and society in general to recognize the impact of mental health in our actions, but there still a long ways to go.
As with physical health, mental health is greatly improved by rest, exercise and stress reduction. Our fluency is impacted as much when we don’t feel well mentally or physically. We all shared examples of situations where it has been a great factor on our stuttering.