"Just snap out of it and get a grip!"

This and other such expressions are the last things you need to hear if you are feeling depressed or overwhelmed.

So what can you do to help yourself feel better if things are getting too much, if you are feeling depressed and can’t seem to find a way forward?

It can be helpful to know how these things happen, so here’s a very simple fact for you.

Anything you concentrate on you will amplify and make worse. This is why when we find ourselves going over and over an argument or a disagreement we have had with a person earlier in the day we seem to go round in circles. We might re-run the argument 50 times in our minds.

The same thing happens when we have something planned that we find stressful, maybe a family occasion or a meeting with our boss; or perhaps a difficult situation we cannot see a way out of.

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When we go round in circles like this it makes things worse. It makes us produce stress hormones which are part of our natural defence mechanism.

If we go back to the days when we all lived in caves and were constantly on red alert for danger from other people or animals, back then this was useful. It got us ready to either run away or fight.

The best thing you can do is to lower these stress levels naturally and gain a clear mind so that you can put things in perspective and make better choices.

Taking just a 20-minute walk, preferably in nature such as a walk along a riverbank or through the park will do wonders for your personal well-being and get the serotonin (a feel-good neurotransmitter) flowing nicely.

Going along at a nice steady pace and getting yourself in the moment, absorbing the sights and sounds around you will benefit you both physically and mentally.

There has been a lot of research in recent years about just how good for us getting out in nature can be. If you come across a pleasant, unexpected sighting such as a mother bird with her young, not only does it make you instantly feel good, but you get a boost to your dopamine levels – nature’s very own 'wow’ hormone.

Next week I’ll be telling you about danger signs to watch out for in others who may be suffering with their mental health.

If you feel you are in a mental health crisis or emergency and feel you may be in danger of causing harm to yourself or others then please contact your GP, Samaritans on 116 123 or attend A&E.