If you hadn’t heard already, this week is mental health week and like every mental health week that’s held each year by the Mental Health Foundation this year holds a new theme: Nature.
For me nature is something I have always been surrounded by. A wooded area in my old town home used to be my frequent playground and animals have always been constant companions in my life. I don’t think I could survive without loosing myself to nature at least 2 to 3 times a week, it’s like a medicine that I need to take weekly that helps to rejuvenate me.
Nature is so central to our psychological and emotional health and benefits us in SO many ways and to avoid or ignore those benefits and the beauty of nature is simply like us avoiding medicine when we are sick, except this medicine doesn’t have a particular taste and doesn’t come in a bottle but it helps our mental state just as well.
With the rise in social media over the years a lot of people have forgotten how important the simplicity of walking down a dirt path/road or listening to the birds sing their songs are truly needed to help us and our racing minds slow down a little. It helps us to stop/slow down to apricate the small good things in life, which with all the negativity and fear that circles us constantly it feels so important that we can still acknowledge and appreciate the smaller things in life.
Suffering with sever anxiety and to one point so sever that I never left my house for a little over a year for absolutely anything, I never felt as though I was alive but simply just going through the motions of life. When I was able to push myself into going for little walks or taking friends/family’s dogs for a walk through small wood areas or parks/fields it felt like a soothing balm to my anxiety filled soul.
As some can imagine being secluded to only four walls has horrible affects to the mental health and although I still find myself tucking myself away from society a lot of the time I have made so much progress from my darker days/nights when couldn’t even walk out the back or front door to stand in my own garden without being overtaken by my anxiety.
Before I was unable to leave my house, before my anxiety took full control of my life I had already been diagnosed with depression and was in the process of being diagnose with an eating disorder. My only true escape was when I wandered off into the woods or took a walk where I knew no one really walked other than a few dog people walking their dogs.
When I was little girl to escape a lot of home problems and the feeling of overcrowding (I have a BIG family) I would hike up the welsh hills/mountains until I reached the very top, I’d spend hours just basking in the nature around me and laughing at the sheep running around, playing and eating grass. It was a true escape for me, it always was and still is and probably will always be my escape, my safe haven and my soothing balm.
Without the escape of nature I don’t know how I would have been able to cope mentally at those times, sometimes a walk in the park or woods is the thing that lets me stop and breath without feeling like huge weight is trying to crush me.
In nature I can feel the tension leave my body, a smile suddenly appears on my face and all those racing thoughts I couldn’t stop before suddenly become silent. It’s as though nature keeps my negative thoughts at bay, allowing the positive to flow through and try and heal some of the damage from the bleak and gloomy thoughts.
Recovery from mental health and from physical health can be daunting and at times discouraging as at time you can find yourself slipping back instead of forwards, and for me nature place such an immense role in helping me through my recovery.
I’m no where near to where I want to be but in my own time I am slowly getting there. So remember, recovery, it isn’t easy but it is possible and there is no time length to recovery. Recovery last as long as you need it too and it should all happen at YOUR own pace, so never compare your recovery journey to someone else’s recovery journey. We’re all on different yet similar journey’s and just like we respect other’s we should respect our own journey and struggles.
I am not where I want to be in life, but just being able to go out on a 10 minute walk makes me feel so much more free than when I was secluded to simply four walls. For me nature is the natural balm for the soul.
We experience stress every day. And although some stress is helpful to stimulate our body, left unchecked it can have a damaging effect on our mental health.
Journaling is a highly recommended stress management tool. The benefits of journaling on mental health are well researched and documented.
Using CBT techniques, mindfulness exercises and developed on an “Action-Focused Journaling” technique, this journal with self-analysing and prompts will help you to write yourself out of stress by better understanding your anxiety and its triggers, while shifting your thoughts from anxious and ruminative to empowered and action-oriented, and it will take only a few minutes of your day.
My Review –
Last year I was given this anxiety journal to review for free for an honest opinion.
I won’t lie. When I was approached by this author with this great opportunity I was both delighted and eager to read and record through this new journal. I’ve held off on reviewing it right away as I wanted to really try it out and get a real feel for it before posting my review. Not only that but Olga has to be one of my favorite authors that I got lucky enough to discover back in 2019 when I came across Heavenward and was lucky enough to become a member of the blog tour for Hallow the second installment in Ogla’s Celestial Creatures Series.
Heavenward just so happens to be my very first book review, EVER, on my blog! You can check it out HERE.
If you follow me then you already know that anxiety is a huge obstruction in my life and has been for far too many year and so I’ve started working on helping myself push through the anxiety and I’m ALWAYS looking for other management options for my anxiety.
Writing is a HUGE part of my life. Its how I was taught to best express myself and its how I do best express myself. So an anxiety journal that helps you Record, Analyse, Manage your anxiety? That just sounded like it would fit perfectly into my lifestyle. I have (I still do) use The Anxiety Journal by Corinne Sweet – which you can read my review on this HERE.
Olga Gibbs, anxiety journal gives you an easy clear cut guidance in helping you record, analyse and manage your anxiety.
Has it helped me?
In a few ways, yes. It has helped me.
When it first arrived, I was filled with a lot of optimism for many reason. Again, because my best form of expression is writing but for some reason it never occured to me to write down and record my anxiety. 2nd, because I have already come across and use an anxiety journal, it was exciting to see how these two would differ. Would it help me in the same way? Help me in a different way? I couldn’t be sure, all I could be sure of was that I could give this journal my best attempt in the hopes of being able to help myself further.
I love how this journal doesn’t tell you how your anxiety feels or meant to feel, but rather it lets you explore how your anxiety affects you and ways on how you can manage how it affects you. This journal lets you explore and see from a different point of view what YOUR symptoms towards anxiety is as everyone reacts differently and deals with things differently – the same applies to those suffering from an anxiety disorder.
And with how easy it is to record your moments of anxiety, I’ve been able to look back on the first month I started writing it in my anxiety journal by Olga Gibbs and reflect on the triggers, the reactions and find a different solution or technique to change my reaction to my anxiety.
CBT is a HUGE factor when taking yourself on this journey with Olga’s anxiety journal, as a lot of what you write and a lot of the prompts that you read are there to help direct your thoughts into a different way of thinking.
This anxiety journal eases you into focusing on the good, on reminding yourself of the positive and to help drag your mind out of that icky inky darkness that swallows you when your anxiety starts to creep up or an attack comes on.
I’m aware this review isn’t very long, and perhaps it may even be a tad short on information but that’s because as I continue to use my anxiety journal I will also be updating this post along side that. My hopes for doing my review this way is that my viewers can better see how writing through this journal changes my way if thinking, my own view on anxiety and how I react to it. If anything, I hope by doing it this way I can give you a better in depth review on this anxiety journal.
With the recent pandemic and placing going back into yet another lockdown I believe this journal could benefit a LOT of people right now and I feel as though anyone who comes across this journal will be able to take something really amazing from it.
So Until Next time, I hope you all stay safe and I can’t wait to have you back for my next post!
2020 has been an insane year for all of us. It has thrown some real challenges and devastation upon us while testing us all to our limits. A lot of people’s mental health have been affected more so than ever, people have lost their jobs, their homes, their sense of security and safety.
The whole world went into a worldwide scare as we faced a worldwide pandemic due to an out break of coronavirus, and with some of leaders failing to guide us through such a stressful and unusual event it has made getting through this pandemic a lot harder and a lot more frightening as some countries have been left feeling as though they are fending for themselves due to the lack of guidance and control over the situation. Some of us have lost family members, friends and other loved ones from the hit of COVID-19
We have all been tested to our limits in our owns ways and have had to face many challenges that I’m sure a lot of us could have done without. Not only has this pandemic affected us all on a personal level but it has also affected us all on a business level. With countries going into lockdown in the hopes of containing and stopping the spread of the virus a lot of people had to leave their jobs, a lot of people got fired from their jobs as a lot of businesses failed to meet their money target for this year. Businesses were forced to close their doors temporarily in the hopes of containing the virus, thinking…well more like hoping, that they would only need to do that for a couple of weeks. However for some unfortunate and struggling businesses, they have been forced to close their doors forever putting them and their employees out of work.
The NHS and Key-Workers have been pushed more than ever also. With NHS workers/nurses/doctors risking their lives to help save our loved ones lives there have been a lot of show of support of them (but yet still not enough) as we thank them for working tirelessly to keep our loved ones alive and healthy.
People who never even considered dying their hair have gone as far as to self-bleach and dye their own with the trending hashtag (At the time) #Lockdownhair. I myself have been hit with a new hairstyle, a much shorter one I never thought I’d be brave enough to try out, despite my reservations and fears about short hair I have been finding a new hidden confidence in myself that never would have.
businesses, workers and just about everyone around the world started relying on the internet, on social media, group chats, and home deliveries to get them through this confusing COVID-19 pandemic.
As we had to learn to distance ourselves physically from those we love, we reached out to the internet and social media in the hopes of trying to replace that lost and lonely feeling. Divorces have gone up, relationships (friendships, platonic, Family relationships, romantic) have been tried and tested, and a lot of people unfortunately got to experience a little of what a lot of us who have suffered from mental health most of our lives are coping. Mental Health has become more talked about more now than ever, with thousands having their sense of safety and socialism taken from them and their world turned around.
To put it simply, 2020 has been one hell of a year, a year that has changed the world.
Like everyone else I and my family (close and distant) have not been without our own struggles, but as always they have shown a strength that I can only hope to/have when facing my own challenges.
2020 became such a unsuspected, challenging, frightening and unknown year. And despite that I am honestly looking forward to starting 2021 journey. The lows and the highs. After this year, if I have taken anything from it, it’s not to underestimate yourself and that there isn’t a thing you can’t get through as long as you have the right people trying to support and help you. It’s also not to take health for granted and I’m more determined than I was back when I started my yoga journey in 2019 while starting my recovery journey with my eating disorder to keep my focus on my health.
With that being said, This year brought me into a whole new journey of healing, one I feel will bring its own adventures as it follows me into the New Year of 2021.
I have no clue what this year holds for me or for you! But I have a feeling this year is going to be the year of self-discovery for everyone.
despite the load of shit-storms we’ve had thrown our way this year, that isn’t to say that 2020 didn’t come with its good moments.
Here in Liverpool, we never got a our snowy christmas day. However, we were graced in the wee little hours of the morning with a small blanket of snow. It wasn’t enough to get some “Winter Wonderland” though I did try (they didn’t turn out any good) I did end up accidently capturing a little blurry snowflake on my camera!
The sky has been incredible this year! And I’ve found myself looking to the sky more this year than my entire life. Just check out some of the incredible “shows” our beautiful sky has put on for us this year: –
Series of supermoons.
Moon passes in front of Mars.
Meteor shower drought comes to an end.
Lunar eclipse on the Fourth of July.
Jupiter, Saturn to take the spotlight in the summer sky.
Perseid meteor shower.
Blue moon to glow in Halloween sky.
Moonless sky in store for peak of the Geminids
Total solar eclipse to darken sky over South America
Super conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
I was not only lucky enough to witness most of these, I was lucky enough to capture all the supermoons on my camera!
I, myself, have overcome personal challenges, faced some frightening situations and through it all I have found a deeper strength in myself. I have found that I can still somehow function through a LOT of stress and a LOT of worrying.
I’ve been able to keep my anxiety down, my eating and weight is still all over the place but I’m happy to say that I’ve at least managed not to lose anymore. I’ve still managed my solo or couple walks in the wooded areas away from other people and I’ve spends a lot of this year starting a few new online courses and taking pictures, making whatever memories I could.
I strayed away from my blog despite my efforts, I found myself with little interest in writing this year, so much so that I still have a few new empty notebooks laying around! Usually they are half way filled with words by the end of a year however I don’t feel any loss towards my lack of enthusiasm for writing this year. I’ve seen it as a pausing point, a point in my life where I needed to take a bigger step away from social media and away from my blog and focus on my present life and the world moving around me not around the internet.
2020 has brought with it an inner peace within myself that has changed so much the way I think and look at situations and for that, pushing aside the bad of the year, I am grateful for the challenges and I can’t say that I took nothing away from 2020 because I’ve taken more from that year than I have any other.
I’m more focused on myself, on my emotions, my passions, my body, my hunger, my abilities and health thanks to 2020, my eyes are open to more positive things and I’m able to recognise a bad situation and detach myself from it rather than invest my emotions into it, just as I am now able to recognise a positive moment and keep it at the forefront of my mind ready to get through another difficult situation.
I understand just how scary, devastating and unusual this year has been. I’m sure its made it difficult for a lot of people to push past all the bad, to focus on the little bits of good that has come from this year.
But I want you all to try, try to think of one or two good things that happened this year and hold on to them, let those good moments be your guide through the bad moments. And remember that our mental state and the well beings of ourselves and loved ones are what truly matters. Count your small blessings, enjoy and soak yourself in the little moments and don’t take for granted the things others do for us to keep us going, don’t take for granted those in your life and more than anything never let the dark moments become every moment. There is light in every dark situation, no matter how tiny it maybe.
I don’t know what struggles you face in your life but I believe in you! If we can make it through a year like 2020, we can make it through anything.
I hope you all had a magical christmas and a lovely new year.
And with that I’ll wish you all lovely 2021. Bye, bye 2020. I’m ready to start and get through 2021 adventures!
World Suicide Prevention day is an annual awareness day that takes place every 10th September. This annual awareness day is aimed to get everyone around the world to speak up and talk about suicide to show people that recovery IS possible.
Organisations, charities and communities all take World Suicide Prevention Day seriously and take advantage of the day to rally together to help spread awareness of how we can help create a world where fewer people die from suicide.
Every year World Suicide Prevention Day hold a different theme and point of focus in the hopes of drawing more people to their cause and to help bring light to a specific aspect of suicide. What ever the theme is that year, the goal is always still the same, to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicide.
World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is hosted by International Association For Suicide Prevention (or for short – IASP) who are dedicated to:
Preventing Suicidal Behaviour
Alleviating its effects
Providing a forum for academics, mental health professionals, crisis workers, volunteers and suicide survivors
Founded by the late Professor Erwin Ringel and Dr. Norman Farberow in 1960, IASP now includes professionals and volunteers from more than fifty different countries. IASP is a Non-Governmental Organisation covered with suicide prevention.
If you would like to learn more about International Association For Suicide Prevention or find out how you can help why not check out their website:IASP
So why is it so important to speak out about suicide?
In the Uk, men are 3x more likely to die by suicide than women are and that stems from a number of things but the biggest one is the lack of normalising our emotions, especially for our men. Little boys are taught to be tough from a really young age, they are taught that cry makes you weak, that speaking out about your emotions and what’s floating around inside your head as something only girls do.
Men have been made to feel as though they don’t get to experience emotions, they aren’t allowed to let them show. But that’s a load of poppycock. You aren’t made any less of man just because you have shown people that you too are human and experience emotions, worries and troubles just like everyone else.
There is still massive amounts of terrible stigma surrounded men, surrounding people with mental health and those who are suicidal, that World Suicide Prevention Day hopes to help over come.
It’s Okay Not To Be Okay
It’s okay to speak up and out
It’s okay to struggle
It’s okay to feel lost, helpless, alone, sad, angry
and it’s okay to tell someone about how you feel
As long as you fight back, as long as you speak up, as long as you don’t let those emotions and thoughts overwhelm you into a situation that can never been reverse, can never be undone.
According to Samaritans Suicide Stats Report from December 2019:
There were 6,859 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland. • 6,507 suicides were registered in the UK and 352 occurred in the Republic of Ireland. • The suicide rate in Northern Ireland is the highest in the UK – where men aged 25-29 have the highest suicide rate. • The highest suicide rate in the UK, and England, is among men aged 45-49. • The highest suicide rate in Wales is among men aged 40-44. • The highest suicide rate in the Republic of Ireland is among men aged 55-64. • The highest rate in Scotland is among men aged 35-44. • There has been a significant increase in suicide in the UK, the first time since 2013 – this appears to be driven by an increase in the male suicide rate. • In the UK, suicide rates among young people have been increasing in recent years. The suicide rate for young females is now at its highest rate on record. • In the UK men remain three times more likely to take their own lives than women, and in the Republic of Ireland four times more likely. • Suicide has continued to fall in both males and females in the Republic of Ireland.
If you want to find out more about the suicide stats report then head over to the Samaritans Website: Samaritans.org or click her to head directly to their stats report simply CLICK HERE.
If you or anyone you know is struggling right now then please reach out to someone, a friend, an internet friend, a family member, even a stranger. If you feel comfortable enough you can feel free to reach out to me, all conversations with me are private and confidential. I can offer advice, a listening ear and friendship.
Every life we lose to suicide is a tragedy, one we all have hopes in preventing.
Or you can check out these incredible websites that dedicate their time and resources to helping those who need it:
Childline – for children and young people under 19 Call 0800 1111 – the number will not show up on your phone bill
Contact your local GP.
or you can call 111 out of hours – they will help you find the support and help you need
Just know you aren’t alone, you aren’t the only one who has had these feelings and there are people out there who would be devastated and broken should anything happen to you. Even when it doesn’t feel like anyone cares, life is complicated and we get caught up in the moments and that means sometimes we let things and people slide. We have to remind ourselves that that doesn’t me we aren’t cared for, that they only want our time and attention when it suits them but simply that life has directed them away and then back to you again.
Everyone has a time and place in your life, if you are finding yourself lonely then perhaps that’s life’s way of trying to direct you into looking after yourself, paying attention to yourself, start a new journey that only you can take or learning to accept and love yourself. There is a different perspective to every single situation the challenging part is trying to change our own perspectives to get a more positive out look.
It’s so insane to think that we can now close the book on one decade and say goodbye to yet another year so we can start anew for the following decade ahead of us and the years that follow. I never thought I’d make it this far and honestly I’m in shock and proud of myself that I’ve reached this far. I’m proud of my family and everything they have survived this decade and in awe of their ability to pick themselves back up and keep going.
2019 for me has been one of my most peaceful years (mentally…) that I’ve had in far too long a time. Don’t get me wrong it’s still be crazy and I’ve still had a lot of really bad moments but for the first time in my life I was able to focus on the good moments too, enough that the bad hasn’t overridden the good.
If I were to comment on this decade, I would tell you it’s been one of the most insane, crazy, happy, intense, heart-breaking, nerve-wrecking and life changing decade I hope to ever experience.
This year on February 4th 2019 I start this blog! After a year of second guessing and going back on myself I finally went through with what I wanted to do and set out to “write my dreams” instead of letting my mental illnesses win and overrule my life. And it all started with this blog.
Since blogging I’ve been opened to so many amazing opportunities that had been closed off to me before. I’ve gotten to speak to some incredible authors and have come across some amazing book series (one of which helped bring me out of my year long reading slump: Heavenward by Olga Gibbs) and my review you can read here on my blog!
I can’t wait to see what opportunities are brought to me in 2020!
2019 blogging has also helped me with my own mental state, it’s helped me to understand a some of my mental illnesses and open my eyes to things I never even thought about when thinking about my mental illness. It’s also helped me to learn and understand about other’s and all the other different types of mental illnesses there are out there.
It’s been a great way to track and log my progress and although I’ve not done as much of that as I had planned last year, this year, I’m hoping to change that and open up more through my blog.
I’ve learnt new things about myself this year that I don’t think I would have ever realised or noticed before without starting this blog, It’s helped in my confidence and its made me even more motivated to write my novel, to go out there and become a psychologist and to have my blog running steadily through that time. I’m more motivated now than ever to go after what I want no matter what’s standing in my way, I know my worth and value and nothing and nobody is going to stop me for achieving the future I want for myself.
I even went on a few adventures with my love and little Toby (one of which I think I’ve written about on my blog) and even had Bella and Brad join a few (Bella is one of Toby’s best friends!). On one of my adventures with Dan we came across a really beautiful butterfly that even kept still long enough for me to snap a few picture of it! It was such a relaxing and wonderful day of walking about in nature and away from people.
2019 wasn’t just a great year for the start of my blogging life, it also became a great year for my health. I became a year free of smoking, I had gotten into my yoga practice a lot more, started a few new workouts and I had even managed to start eating more and gained weight for the first time in a years. Overall this year I have felt the healthiest I have in far too long.
My mental health has also improved a little in 2019, I noticed I’ve had less break-down, less blow outs, I’ve managed to find a new coping method that helps me to manage my emotions a little better. They still get the better of me and I’ve not gotten complete control over them, but now I FINALLY have a way to gain at least a little control which is a big step for me.
2019 brought me inner peace.
2019 I learnt to let go of a lot of my negative emotions and thinking. I finally feel a peaceful in myself that I’ve been trying desperately to obtain for what seems like my whole life, I’m not feeling that constant war within myself that I’m usually battling with on a daily basis, I haven’t managed to rid myself of it completely but the feeling is there less now. Because of this a lot of my personal relationships have gotten better and I wouldn’t change that fact for the world.
unfortunately as usual with me I’ve ‘fallen off the wagon’ as the saying has goes and I’ve gotten myself stuck into a few old bad habits again, I’ve stopped eating and lost the weight I gained and due to my not eating I’ve decided to stop all exercising – not wanting to risk anymore weight loss than I’m already experiencing.
A lot happened in 2019:
Loki was born had his first Halloween and Christmas with us.
My sister and mum had big operations and are still recovering incredibly well from them.
I attempted Camp NaNoWriMo2019
My Kitt-Katt became a little senor cat this year
My little sister turn 16!
My little brother turned 13!
I did yoga with my little sister
I took my sisters to a Pusheen event in early celebration of my little sister’s 16th birthday
I was finally able to dye my last little sister’s hair for the first time. (It’s like a right of passage in my house)
I found out that the vets didn’t neuter one of my cats properly and caught him spraying out in the garden (luckily he’s too much of a good boy to do it in the house)
I also found out that my little Bear – who is two now – is Oreo’s son
I still haven’t gotten over how much Gizmo looks like her dad (my kitt-katt)
I met Cloud (My friends new kitten)
Spirit went to a new home and became best friends with his new brother Cloud
Spirit passed away a few months before Christmas
I’ve connected with myself
I’ve dyed my hair purple
Was blonde for a day
Then dyed my hair orange
Worked on myself and actually made progress!
I’ve baked a little in 2019
Spent many late nights working on blog post
Spent many more late nights working on my novel
My mums cat went missing for a week so I spent that week climbing over her garden wall into the wilderness behind calling her, leaving food, tuna, treats, and her cat carry (she’s obsessed with it for some reason) until she finally made her way back home to my mum.
I’ve learnt a lot about myself in 2019
Experienced some extremely frosty mornings but no snow…
And entered the 7th new year with my Dan
Now that we are in 2020 it’s time to give up those bad habits again and focus on my health. I plan on getting back into my yoga practice as well as my work outs and hopefully eating a bit more food on a regular basis.
I also have plans to get out a bit more and to complete another online course for my psychology. My mum got me a new camera for Christmas so I’ll probably be taking a LOT of pictures while testing it out and getting a feel for it (I can’t wait! I’ve already used it a few times for some cat pictures and moon pictures – I a little moon mad :P).
I plan on taking this year a little slower in the hopes that it will help me work through my messy mind and bring to life all the ideas that are cramped inside. I have a lot of hope for this decade, I lot things I’m hoping to see come to pass.
I also have a few book reviews that I was meant to get through in 2019 but either unfortunately forgot about them (it’s what happens if I’m sent them online rather than in physical form – unfortunately its out of sight out of mind with me as my memory is awful – or simply just haven’t been able to get round to them yet but I’m not taking on any more book review until I’ve gotten through and posted the ones that I was hoping to have out before the start of 2020.
Before I leave this post and wish you all a great year and a great start to a new decade I just want to thank everyone who has helped me, supported me and stuck by me through these months. I’ve almost made it to a full year of blogging! And it wouldn’t have happened with out your support and encouragement and there are just a few blogs I want to leave everyone with the option of checking out.
These bloggers are some phenomenal, creative and inspiring people that has helped me through my own journey of blogging, mental wellness and recovery and I know that a lot of my viewers would either love or benefit hugely from checking these bloggers blogs out. –
Through my search of self-help techniques that I hope can help me through life and help me in overcoming a few of my mental problems I came across ‘The Anxiety Journal’ that very briefly introduced me to CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and was instantly intrigued by it. (You can read my review of‘The Anxiety journal’HERE)
Despite my insistence on doing things on my own from now own, even I am aware I can’t do everything alone and there are times where I do/will need the help of others.
So firstly let’s explain briefly what CBT is
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy also known as CBT for short is a talking therapy that can help many people to manage and cope with their mental/physical problems through thought and behaviour. It is commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but has been known to be useful for other mental and physical health problems.
Due to this being a highly sought out remedy to those who suffer from anxiety and depression, I felt like this was something I needed to introduce to my life and give ago. Everything else I have attempted so far has only led to failure or has led to part failure but I’m not ready to give up, so why not try out CBT? It could be the very thing I’ve needed in my life all along.
Now that we know what CBT is, how does CBT work? Or more accurately, how is CBT meant to help you?
So, CBT is based on the concept that YOUR thoughts, YOUR feelings, YOUR physical sensations as well as actions are interconnected, and through that, negative thoughts and feelings can find a way to trap you in a vicious cycle.
CBT is aimed to help people to cope and deal with their overwhelming problems in a more light and positive way by breaking them down into much smaller parts. CBT helps open your eyes to show you how to change these negative patterns/cycles to help improve the way you feel.
Unlike other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current situation/problems, rather than focusing on all the issues of the past and looks for practical ways that can help improve your state of mind on a day to day basis. (I understand the need for opening up and letting the past out but I also understand that being able to move on from the past you have to stop giving into, stop talking about, thinking about and letting it into the present. For some people only opening that door again will they ever be able to close and lock it forever, but for others like me, I’ve already found the lock long ago and know unlocking and reopening doors will cause more damage than good to my mental state and wellbeing).
CBT isn’t just for those who suffer and want to overcome their anxiety and depression. CBT has been shown to be an effective way of treating a whole range of different mental health conditions as well as in addition to depression or anxiety disorders, CBT has and can help people with the following:
Borderline personality disorder
Eating disorders – such as bulimia and anorexia
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive disorder)
PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
Sleep problems – such as insomnia
Problems related to alcohol misuse
CBT has also been used to treat people with long-term health conditions, such as:
IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)
CFS (Chronic fatigue syndrome)
CBT cannot cure the physical symptoms of these conditions, CBT can help people cope better with their symptoms. Which sometimes it’s all you can hope for, is a little help in coping if you can’t rid yourself of whatever condition you have.
I hope this short explanation of CBT has helped explain what it is and maybe it’s even got you thinking, wondering if this is something that can help you…
As I stated at the top of this post, I have been trying to find as many self-help techniques that I possibly can but even I am aware that help is going to be needed somewhere down the line. you can’t do everything on your own, sometimes a little help is needed if you have any hope or chance of helping yourself.
Accepting help doesn’t make you weak. You’re stronger than most if you are able to seek or accept the help offered to you, most go through life trying to do it on their own in the hopes that no one sees their struggles and to me…that’s weak. It’s easy to hide and pretend, you need some steel hard balls come out of hiding, to accept what’s going on but to not accept that that’s how you are going to live out the rest of your life.
Not hiding your problems and instead choosing to fight them with everything you’ve got…now that’s brave.
I’ll be continuing this conversation on in a different post when I do an update on CBT and how it’s affected/helped me. I’ll be going into more detail about what ABT is, what it does and how exactly it’s meant to help as well as what to expect when attending CBT sessions with your therapist.
I have lived and suffered from anxiety for what feels to me, to be my whole life, though realistically I’d say I’ve suffered for a good portion of my life from anxiety
I only really noticed my problem when I was around 13-14 years old and found it incredibly difficult to bring myself to school most days. I would be hit with such a strong and intense sense of dread that I would often skip school just to avoid feel that, though with ditching school came a whole new way of different emotions and anxiety. I found it easier to walk the streets alone on my own than I did to attend school.
Back then I didn’t even know what anxiety was, I hadn’t even heard of it to be perfectly honest with you, it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with Anxiety that I even found out what it was. Before that I just felt as though I wasn’t normal, that there was something incredibly wrong with me to be feeling the way I felt. As well as anxiety I was tackling other things at the time too, but I’ll get into them in a later post.
Due to my lack of knowledge and ways to help myself for a long while I suffered in silence, not opening up to a single soul the real thoughts and feeling bursting inside of me. But more than that I have allowed it to over-rule and take over my life to the point where my anxiety dictated every move I made, every decision presented to me, every (platonic) relationship I have ever tried to up hold. The only person my problems haven’t managed to to lose is my boyfriend and really, really close family. Everyone else I tend to lose contact with or fall out of touch with.
In my bid to change my life for the better and healthier, this year I have become almost obsessed with searching/finding self-help techniques, tips and tricks that I can apply to my day to day life. After discovering what anxiety was I had started to do a little research on the topic where I can across a few techniques that can help but not many as that wasn’t my goal for research back then.
Now that I have been actively searching new and different ways to help me cope and hopefully one day overcome my overwhelming anxiety. In my search for these self-help ‘remedies’ I came across Corinne Sweet’s book called ‘The Anxiety Journal’ that I instantly purchased from Amazon for as little as £6.62 in July 2019.
The Anxiety Journal – My review
I have happily given Corinne Sweet’s Anxiety Journal a 4/5 star review.
I couldn’t really fault this journal, even if I had wanted to (Which I don’t).
I love the cover design and calming blue colour that it’s decorated in. More than the front cover of this journal I also fell in love with all of the simple yet beautiful, effective illustrations that are accompanied by a few insightful and motivational quotes (and if there’s one thing I love, it’s quotes!) so I was pleasantly surprised and happy when coming across some of these quotes.
‘You’re anxiety and fears are not you and… They do not have to rule your life.’
Other than the beautiful illustrations and insightful quotes this journal also holds very helpful, hands on exercises/information.
The Anxiety Journal opens up to an introduction page that very easily and quickly explains what to expect from reading this journal and the ways this journal can help you understand more about anxiety and how it affects the human mind AND body.
The Anxiety Journal also holds a lot of information regarding Anxiety, things that could possibly trigger anxiety and goes further into more details as you progress through the book, even going as far as to explaining how anxiety is linked to panic and panic attacks and possible activities you can do when in moments of an anxiety or panic attack. There are even lined pages where you can jot down your own thoughts and answer some of the questions that the journal asks.
As well as providing useful information and helpful activity exercises, The Anxiety Journal also offers a list of possible symptoms you may experience when experiencing a moment of anxiety and points out the possible triggers that may have kick started your anxiety off.
Corinne explains to use why it is important to accepting what is and the importance of learning to accept what’s to be.
‘It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.’
Corrine also ventures into the topic of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which I’ll discuss more on in a future post but I found what she had to say and the information provided to be extremely interesting and set me on a research frenzy.
This was the first book I have picked up, written by Corinne Sweet and I intend on buying and reading her book ‘The mindfulness Journal’ that I’ve heard so many good things about since coming across this author.
The Anxiety Journal has helped me gain a better sense of myself, of the emotions that courses through my body when my anxiety attacks and has helped me find little tips and tricks to help me be more in the present moment and not stuck in the past or hell bent on worry about the future.
This book is incredibly educational, helpful and just full of so many different resources that you can apply to your own daily lives that I find myself going back and forth in the book even to this day. It’s not just a one time read but something that you can open and read through time and time again and see things from a different prospective. I find it incredibly useful to be able to look back and see the little differences in myself since purchasing The Anxiety Journal and applying some of these useful techniques to my day to day life.
Over all, If you suffer from anxiety of any level, no matter how high or low it is then I would 100% recommend this book to you. If you suffer from panic attacks or have PTSD then I believe that -although this won’t solve all your problems – it can help you through a few difficult moments in your life as anxiety, panic and PTSD are all liked together in some way.
I hope you have enjoyed my long over-due review of Corinne Sweet book ‘The Anxiety Journal’ and if you would like to purchase your very own, then simply CLICK HERE.
Today is ‘World Mental health Day’, a day where everyone from across the world has the opportunity to help raise awareness of mental health issues and advocate against all the social injustice and stigma that surrounds those who battle with mental health issues.
This day provides us all with the opportunity to join in and add to the wider conversation that is occurring on social media, television, Podcasts and elsewhere.
This is a great time to highlight the incredible work you or others have been doing in the hopes of helping to address the stigmas that surround mental health sufferers.
“Not all wounds are visible.”
This year for 2019 World Mental Health Day, a lot of people will be focusing on Suicide Prevention in the hopes of raising awareness for those suffering with suicidal thoughts, those who have already attempted suicide and those who have been affected by those who have committed suicide.
“But I do know that I spent a long time existing, and now, I intend to live.”
By Robyn Schneider
Suicide isn’t a widely talked about topic, it can be a very taboo subject to bring up as no one wants to talk about or be reminded of death. Which is understandable, however, ignoring it and not talking about it isn’t going to help those who need help, it won’t help you should you ever find yourself in such a situation and it won’t help anyone in the future. It won’t stop people from believing that is their only way out, that is the only way to fix what they believe can’t be fixed.
I wrote a post called ‘Depression and Suicidal thoughts’ where I open up a little about my long battle with depression and talk a little about suicidal thoughts. On 10th September was ‘World Suicide Prevention Day’, a post I wrote on suicide and where I opened up a little more about suicide and try to help join others in the fight to raise awareness.
“I’m not lazy. I’m just exhausted from fighting my way through every single day.”
BY: Mimi Love
Every year close to around 800,000 people globally take their own life and there are many, many more people out there who attempt suicide or have suicidal thoughts. Every suicide is a tragedy that affects everyone from families and friends, to the communities that they came from/have joined and has a terrible long-lasting affects on those people left behind.
It is the leading cause of death among young people aged 20-34 years in the UK and it is also the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-old’s globally.
Today I would like everyone to take a little time out of their busy lives to check in on an old friend/family member/colleague.
Take a little time to research a little about suicide and ways you, yourself can help prevent it or help someone who is thinking about it.
“It’s so common, it could be anyone. The trouble is, nobody wants to talk about it. And that makes everything worse.”
By: Ruby Wax
A total of 6,507 suicides were registered by coroners in the UK – 11.2 per 100,000 people – in 2018, up 11.8% on the previous year, according to the Office for National Statistics. Concerns were raised after an increase in the rates of young people aged from 10 – 24 years old, killing themselves, with the overall rate for that age group reaching a 19 year high and the rate for young females reaching an all-time high.
It is more now than ever crucial for us all to step up and help raise awareness for Suicide Prevention while we can still make an impact and help. We all need a better understanding and more steps need to be put into place to help prevent another person from feeling as though their life means that little that they can snuff it out and rid themselves of this world without another thought, without consequence and without leaving a few people lost and broken.
I have had a lot of people around me commit suicide, some have failed…other’s succeeded in their plans. And being surrounded by so much darkness has only made me more determined to help shed a little light wherever I can.
As powerless as suicide likes to make us feel we ALL have the power to help someone, we all have the power to change someone’s bad day and make it a little better and more than anything we have the power to learn, to change and to help.
4th October 2019 is World Smile Day and this October I want to challenge everyone to continue World Smile Day for a WHOLE week!
What is World Smile Day, you ask?
World Smile Day all began with one man, Harvey Ball. Harvey Ball is known well throughout the world as a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts who then went on to birth the smiley symbol in 1963.
That image went on to become one of the most recognisable symbol of good cheer and faith on the planet. Eventually Harvey become concerned about the over-commercialisation of his symbol, and how it’s original meaning/intent had become lost throughout constant repetition of the marketplace.
With those concerns in mind, he came up with the idea of World Smile Day. His intents were clear… He thought everyone should devote ONE day each year to smiles and acts of kindness throughout the world.
The smiley face holds no hate, no negativity, no animosity, no fear… and Harvey’s idea was that for one day each year, neither should we. He declared that the first Friday in October each year would hence forth be World Smile Day.
What can you do?
Good question. You can wear that amazing smile you keep hiding!
Smiling is simple way to spread happiness and cheer throughout the day. Smiles are contagious and by smiling at others around you, we all can share a positive impact on the world. So what are you waiting for? Start smiling!
Send a positive note or card to a friend/family member.
Sometimes the best way we can make someone smile is to send them a thoughtful card/ motivational note. Let the reason for someone’s smile be because of your kind words and thoughtful gestures.
Do a good deed.
Part of celebrating World Smile Day is doing something that elicits smiles through our actions. One of the most powerful ways of communication and a great way to spread those smiles is through our actions and doing something nice for others. Consider volunteering your time somewhere or maybe help a friend out with a favour no matter how big or small, or finally schedule some much needed family time! Our actions have always spoken louder than our words.
How will you make someone smile this World Smile Day?
I hope you all enjoyed reading through my post. It’s out on my blog a little later because someone forgot to schedule her finished posts… yup, that someone’s me. So I still have to find a little time to go through them and throw them on a schedule.
A day where everyone across the world comes together in the hopes of preventing any more suicides from occurring/ helping those who are currently tormented by suicidal thoughts/behaviour.
There are many things as a group or even as individuals that you can do in support of ‘Suicide Prevention Day,’ Such as;
You can open up about your own story of surviving suicide
You can talk openly about your suicidal thoughts
You can open up about your attempts of suicide
You can share a family member’s story (with permission of course)
Or you can share a story of someone close to you who lost their life to this terrible thing
You can host a little get together where you open up, talk and learn more about suicide and ways to stop it in others/prevent it.
This year I have decided to take part in, ‘World Suicide Prevention Day’ (WAPD) by joining others across the world in lighting a candle next to my window at 8pm TONIGHT. In honour of those fighting, suffering and in memory of those we have already lost to suicide.
The IASP is preparing “World Suicide Prevention Day Light a Candle Near a Window at 8 PM” e-cards or postcards in various languages so supporters can send these reminders to friends, colleagues and loved ones. Also, these e-cards or postcards can be used by bloggers, writers and others so that they can share information about suicide, suicide prevention and World Suicide Prevention Day. Click here to download e-cards to send to loved ones
I would ask that all my viewers to join me in lighting a candle at 8pm tonight in support of suicide survivors, in support and acknowledgement of those with suicidal thoughts and in memory of those who have already lost their life to suicide.
And when you light your candle I would love for you to share a picture of it with me on social media! (I’ll be sharing some of them).
There are many things we can do to help others around us whether that is simply messaging a friend/family/colleague and checking in on them or posting helplines so people know where they can go to for help they don’t feel comfortable talking to someone they know.
Suicide is something close to me. Having my biological father commit suicide was hard but not nearly as hard as having my little brother age 7- 8 (at the time) try to commit suicide due to bullies. Nor was it as hard as having to hear/know that my siblings and mother have either attempted or strongly thought about attempting suicide.
It’s a thought that can get stuck in your head and there have been a few moments in my life where I even thought about ending my own life, moments where I thought I could make the world around me go quiet….
What’s helped me get to my 22nd birthday (an age I honestly never dreamed of even reaching) is my need for helping people, especially my family. My family suffers greatly from mental illnesses and there are a lot of strong negative emotions that circle my family. It seems there is a never ending cycle of bad things occurring.
What has stop me from following through with my own dark thoughts is knowing that my family have the same thoughts if not stronger thoughts than I do, and if I’m not here to help them, to be that person they can talk to, vent to or turn their emotions out on, then who will?
Who will help them when they need it, who will listen to their thoughts when everything becomes too much?
Suicide is no laughing matter, and it certainly isn’t something that should be hidden under a rock. I believe more helps needs to be put into place for people who struggle just Living in such a confusing and critical world.
I believe schools should be forced to do more when it comes to education the young mind of mental health and mental health illnesses.
Schools really aren’t doing enough, or all they can to help protect our children and it really angers me that they are so….dismissive almost of mental health/illnesses.
Some records show that a person dies every 40 seconds by suicide and up to 25 times as many again make a suicide attempt. It is responsible for over 800,000 deaths, which equates to one suicide every 40 seconds. Every year, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages.
In 2018, there were 6,507 suicides registered in the UK, an age-standardised rate of 11.2 deaths per 100,000 population; the latest rate is significantly higher than that in 2017 and represents the first increase since 2013.
Three-quarters of registered deaths in 2018 were among men (4,903 deaths), which has been the case since the mid-1990s.
The UK male suicide rate of 17.2 deaths per 100,000 represents a significant increase from the rate in 2017; for females, the UK rate was 5.4 deaths per 100,000, consistent with the rates over the past 10 years.
Suicides in the UK
In 2018, a total of 6,507 suicides were registered in the UK, 686 more deaths than in 2017 when there were 5,821 deaths (11.8% increase). This equates to a statistically significant increase in the suicide rate, with 11.2 deaths per 100,000 population in 2018, compared with 10.1 deaths per 100,000 population in 2017.
Following several years of decline, the latest UK suicide rate has increased to the level seen when it previously peaked in 2013 (11.1 deaths per 100,000). Suicide rates tend to fluctuate on a year-to-year basis. It is therefore too early to say whether the latest increase represents a change in the recent trend.
I understand that suicide can be such a sensitive subject to talk about as it’s almost too terrible to even comprehend that a person could feel so bad that they would even think to take away their life.
But without people speaking up and breaking silence on this very shocking and sensitive subject then we only leave the world to stick to the terrible stigmas that has surrounded suicide and suicidal people.
As disturbing as the thought is there are people out there who use self-harm and suicide attempts to keep people with them or to stop people from leaving them. But this isn’t everyone! It’s a very small group that are like that, most of the time people are just looking for help because they’re just stuck. Stuck in the same cycles, feeling the same emotions over and over (and that’s if you haven’t gone numb by that point).
As previously state, I have had people incredibly close to me attempt suicide and talk openly about wanting to end their own lives. It’s such a horrible sinking feeling knowing that the people keeping you grounded are experiencing these feelings and I feel as though there isn’t anything I can do.
My boyfriend had once been roped into a “friendship” as the person would consistently use self-harm and attempts at suicide to bring him and other people in when the person felt as though people were leaving them out. I myself have been placed in similar situations. It’s not nice.
I now know that just letting them talk and being an open ear is more than enough sometimes. Sometimes we just need to feel as though we are being heard and validated.
I now know that walking away from people who use such a heartbreaking thing against you is the best thing to do and that I am no held responsible for their actions, only mine.
I want to thank you all for taking the time to read this post and I ask that you please share this one around. And if you EVER need an open ear, no judgement, just an listen ear, then please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Or you can contact one of these suicide prevention hotlines –