4 Apps That Are Great For Meditation

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month I thought I would spend this week sharing different types of posts that are about mental health awareness. Meditation has been a huge help for me and I thought I would share some apps that might be helpful to others. For more posts on mental health click here.

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Headspace-  This app offers multiple short daily exercises which typically last 10, 15, or twenty minutes. There are some longer and shorter exercises. I’ve used this before and it was really great especially when you don’t have a lot of time and want to do a short meditation.

iPhone– 4.7 Stars

Android- 4.3 Stars

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Stop, Breathe & Think- So this is one that I’ve been using for a while now. It’s really great to calm you down or if you have sleep problems. It has multiple meditations depending on your mood and how you’re feeling. They are mostly short but for me I definitely think they do the trick.

iPhone- 4.8 Stars

Android- 4.4 Stars

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The Mindfulness App- This app offers guided or silent meditations ranging from 3-30 minutes. It also offers personalized meditation options and reminders throughout the day to remind you to stay mindful.

iPhone- 4.7 Stars

Android- 4.3 Stars

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Calm- This app has calming and breathing exercises to help you relax as well as a kids section for children between the ages of three and seventeen. It even offers voice exercises done voiced actors!

iPhone- 4.8 Stars

Android– 4.5 Stars

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What My Anxiety Has Taught Me

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month I thought I would spend this week sharing different types of posts that are about mental health awareness. For more posts on mental health click here.

Change is good- Even though change can be very anxiety inducing for people even those that don’t necessarily have an anxiety disorder it’s even more difficult for people that have an anxiety disorder. I personally used to hate change because it made my anxiety a lot worse but now I’ve realised that I shouldn’t let anxiety force me to maintain a routine I don’t want to maintain. Change has a lot of positives too and I need to embrace that.

Give it time- I was recently talking to a close friend of mine and we were talking about our experiences with anxiety and we both agreed that it definitely gets better over time. At first you have no idea what’s happening or how to make it better but eventually you learn what makes your anxiety worse and how to control your anxiety at least to the extent that it doesn’t disrupt your day-to-day life.

It’s not worth sacrificing having fun- For a while I let anxiety control me and my life. I stopped doing things I enjoyed just so that I wouldn’t have to face my anxiety. However, over time I have learnt to ignore the anxiety in my head and just go ahead and do what I want even if the few hours before it are anxiety filled.

Life goes on- Even though anxiety is not something that ever goes away permanently there are lots of ways that help ease and reduce it. Eventually you learn how to deal with it and life goes on for you.

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Technology And Mental Health

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month I thought I would spend this week sharing different types of posts that are about mental health awareness. For more posts on mental health click here.

I just want to start out by saying that I know technology has a lot of cons but the things I talk about in this post are just my thoughts on technology and how it effects my anxiety and mental health in general.

For the longest time I’ve been hearing people talk about technology, the internet, social media and how this is effecting the youth or people in general negatively and I agree. The internet and social media can be detremental to a lot of peoples mental health and lead to eating disorders and other mental health problems.

However, for me it feels like the internet and social media really help with my anxiety. If you have anxiety or know anything about anxiety and mental health issues you know that they are not under anyone’s control and you can’t just turn it off. Anxiety just shows up randomly like that annoying family member that never calls ahead (we’ve all got one).

Whenever I do get anxious however, I’ve realised that it really helps to browse through social media and distract myself for a while. It also really helps to look through WordPress and read all the amazing posts you guys put out. I know a lot of people are like you’re generation is always on the phone it’s so disrespectful (which it can be depending on the circumstances) but I just hope that you guys realise that sometimes we aren’t on our phone/laptop because we want to be or because we’re addicted or whatever but because it helps us get through stuff. I hope the next time you see someone on their phone you can try to be a bit more lenient and think about how this person might be panicking about something and is trying to calm themselves down.

Not everything to do with the internet and social media is a bad thing. For me it gives a shy, awkward kid who sucks at real life conversations an outlet to express themselves. It also gives me a break from anxiety and helps me calm down.

Sorry if this sounded like kind of a rant but I had been meaning to write this post for quite a while and I hope it sheds some light into the pros of technology for people with anxiety and other mental health problems.

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How To Help People In Your Life With Mental Health Problems

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month I thought I would spend this week sharing different types of posts that are about mental health awareness. For more posts on mental health click here.

Just be there- Sometimes you just need someone to be there for you. Even though you may not understand what they are going through and even though you may not be able to do much to do to help it makes a huge difference just to be there for the person. Try to check up on them once in a while, invite them to things even if they decline and help them feel like they are a part of something.

Don’t try to solve their problems- Even though you are concerned about the person don’t try to tell them what to do, that their problems aren’t real or how to solve their problems. You are not in their shoes and a lot of times people telling you what to do can make the person feel even more attacked or cornered which is not something you want them to feel. Rather try to make suggestions or just be there for them to lean on.

Don’t give up on them- Even though it seems like you aren’t able to help and want to give up on them please don’t. It’s important to have someone who is there for you and there when you need them.

Don’t force them into things- A lot of times going out and doing things are not on the top of people who suffer from mental illnesses to-do list so don’t force them into situations they would be uncomfortable in. It’s okay to invite them but don’t be too insistent on things and let them decide what they want to do. This also goes for seeking help- don’t force them into it

Help them seek help- Don’t force them to get help and make them feel pressured but if you feel like this person is in a bad situation and needs help try to encourage them lovingly to seek help. There are multiple option including but not limited to therapists.

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Quotes About Mental Health

Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month I thought I would spend this week sharing different types of posts that are about mental health awareness. For more posts on mental health click here.

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Emotional Ups And Downs: 7 Tips On What To Do To Manage Them (Guest Post)

From Give it a Spin

“Knowing how to manage emotional ups and downs is one of the key skills we must work on, regardless of whether we regularly visit the psychologist’s office or not.”

On the other hand, to assume that we can not modulate our emotions is to limit ourselves in an unnecessary way, especially when these tend to change quickly and we become very sensitive to what happens to us.

In this article we will see a series of tips to know what to do in the face of emotional ups and downs, adopt strategies against instability of this type, and adapt ourselves in the best possible way to the environment and to life in general.

What are the emotional ups and downs?

The existence of emotions makes sense, among other things, because they do not arise through our conscious control. Thanks to them, we do not have to go through a long period of reflection to know how to position ourselves before an idea or event; simply, we adopt an attitude automatically, and sometimes in a matter of fractions of a second.

However, in some cases the dynamic nature of the emotions can become emotional ups and downs, which appear when minimal changes make the mood change completely.

This emotional instability cannot only generate discomfort in the person who experiences it first-hand; It can also negatively affect their way of socializing, since it facilitates the appearance of misunderstandings and communication failures. Therefore, it is normal to look for solutions, either by looking for a psychologist (for cases in which the quality of life is worn out) or by changing certain routines from day to day.

How to manage emotional instability

Below we will see several ideas to apply in case you are not attending psychological treatment, although reading them and trying to follow them by oneself can not replace the work of a mental health professional.

1. Look at what situations feed emotional ups and downs

Does this emotional instability appear in any situation, or does it remain linked to a specific context or scope? The answer to this question can give you clues about the extent to which ups and downs are facilitated by elements of your environment.

2. Learn about Bipolar Disorder

As with any type of psychological disorder, Bipolar Disorder can only be diagnosed by mental health professionals through personalized evaluations. However, the simple fact of reading about it can help us understand what happens to us, comparing its symptoms associated with what happens in that case.

Specifically, Bipolar Disorder is characterized by stages of mania, in which the euphoria and extreme optimism and motivation prevail, with another depressive type. These stages are usually long (several days in a row, or weeks), and the symptoms are very extreme and relatively independent of what happens to us.

So, if the emotional ups and downs are not extreme and do not last more than a day, there is no reason to think that this may be the phenomenon that affects us, while in the opposite case it is advisable to attend a psychological evaluation, even if note that it does not have to be Bipolar Disorder. Also, keep in mind that there is a tendency to identify with the symptoms of mental disorders, even though this relationship really does not exist or is exaggerated.

3. Sleep well and eat properly

In many cases, emotional instability is due to frustration fueled by poor physical condition. People who can not afford the energy cost their daily life demands tend to have higher levels of anxiety, which causes them to react in a more extreme way to negative stimuli.

For that reason, to sleep the necessary thing and to take care of the feeding will favor that it does not happen that deficit of energy, which is reflected in the emotional state.

4. Learn to surround yourself with the right people

There are times when emotional ups and downs arise from flawed relational dynamics, perhaps because of conflicts with another person, memories associated with someone and that we would prefer to forget or simply because the predominant attitudes in a group do us no good.

That is why it is important to be clear that if a relationship does not make us feel good, it is totally legitimate to cut it off, even temporarily until we recover.

5. Do not force the appearance of other emotions

If you try to “force yourself” to feel differently, that will only cause you frustration, since it will not work. Instead, it is much more useful to indirectly influence how you feel by exposing yourself to environments that convey the way you want to feel.

Anyway, in the case of emotional highs and lows this can not be the definitive solution either, since it can only be effective when the sudden change has already appeared that you want to avoid that is repeated constantly.

6. Take some time to disconnect

Entering a phase in which the ideas that obsess us and the environments that bombard us with reasons to worry are no longer important, is very positive, since it allows us to recover our strength and take up those daily challenges with renewed energy.
In order to be, change places, so that your physical environment does not remind you of what makes you experience stress.

7. Go to the psychologist

If you can not adequately manage emotional instability, do not blame yourself; The field of emotions works through processes that do not depend on our voluntary control, and we can only influence it indirectly, modifying our way of relating to the context. In the latter, psychological therapy works very well.

So, it is important to look for a psychologist or team of psychologists and let yourself be advised and helped. Working from the consultation sessions and through the routines indicated by the professional we will be doing what is necessary to improve significantly in a matter of weeks.

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6 Ways To Look After Your Mental Health When You’re Physically Sick

Recently I was really sick and I realised it affected my mental health more than it should have. When I thought about it I noticed that my physical health plays a big role in my mental health and when I’m feeling sick physically my mental health also seems to deteriorate. It’s like your brain knows your defences are down and it attacks. Anyway, these are some of the things that help me out with that and I hope they help you too!

  1. Talk to someone- talk to your family members, friends or even a professional if you feel as though your physical illness is seriously effecting your mental health. Talk to someone and tell them how you feel. I can not emphasize enough how important it is to make sure as you recover physically you are feeling good with your mental health too.
  2. Meditation and yoga- if you can’t do a lot of stretchy yoga positions there are still some really easy ones that pretty much consist of lying down or sitting. If you still feel as though you can’t do these try doing some meditation. You don’t even have to move to meditate and it’ll make you feel tons better to just clear your head for a bit and relax.
  3. Check for side effects- A lot of medicines have horrible side effects including things like depression, anxiety and insomnia. If you already suffer from any of these they might make them a lot worse so make sure you know what you’re taking and that it doesn’t have these side effects. Or if you can’t change your meds try taking something along with them to counter the side effects.
  4. Talk to your doctor ahead of time- Talk to your doctor and let him know if you have any mental disorders that you fear may have gotten worse or will get worse because of your physical illness. Be open about it because that’s the only way they’ll know what’s going on with you. And even though it can be terrifying to open up about your mental illness/es it’s important to remember they’re professionals and it’s their job to treat you not judge you.
  5. Take extra care of yourself- Remember that you should be the most important person in your life. Take care of yourself- eat healthy, drink lots of fluids, get lots of rest and just do whatever it takes to make a speedy recovery. Once you feel better physically, you’ll feel better mentally too.
  6. Stay distracted- Read, sleep, play games, start working on your doctorate… whatever, just keep yourself distracted from negative thoughts. I’m usually not one to say distract yourself or bottle up your thoughts but sometimes it’s better than dealing with them when you’re already feeling down. You can deal with them when you get better.

If you feel like your mental health is still not improving please seek medical help as soon as you can.

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How To Ease Your Travel Anxiety

As an international student, travelling has become a part of my life and as much as I actually do love travelling my anxiety does tend to mess with me sometimes. However, over the last few months I have learnt a few things that help ease my anxiety before and during my travels. I really hope it helps you guys too because travelling should be a good experience not an anxiety ridden one.

  1. Be prepared in advance– I usually try to finish all of my packing at least one day in advance so on the actual day I’m travelling I know I’m done with everything and I can relax. This gives you a chance to kind of relax your brain because once it’s all anxious it’s hard to calm it back down. I just have to go through everything and make sure I’m not forgetting anything and I’m done!
  2. Lots of chamomile tea- studies have shown that drinking chamomile tea helps calm you down and reduces stress levels so if you’re packed in advance you have a few minutes to sit down and have a nice cup of chamomile tea to really calm you down. You can also take some along with you or buy them at the nearest coffee shop to help keep you calm during your journey  Chamomile tea doesn’t help everyone but it has helped me so give it a try and see if it works for you!
  3. Meditation and yoga- like I said before if you’re packed in advance you have more time to do relaxing things and it really helps to do some yoga and breathing exercises. There are a lot of special yoga positions and meditations that are specifically for relieving anxiety and stress and I wasn’t a huge believer in either but they really do wonders for you especially if you do them long term! You can also do the breathing exercises while travelling to help you stay calm in anxiety inducing situations.
  4. Your carryon is important– This is crucial to your travel. In my experience what you carry with you on the plane/bus/train is very important to how your journey will go. Firstly, make sure to double check that you have your passport and any other documents you may need during your journey. Secondly, make sure you have a book or headphones or something to distract you in case you do end up getting really anxious or having a panic attack. I also make sure to carry food and drinks with me because I tend to get more anxious when I’m hungry or dehydrated and you can do this too.
  5. Don’t forget to breathe– at the end of the day you have to remind yourself that it’s just travelling and it’s really no big deal. Most of the time when anxiety takes over it’s hard to think rationally but you need to train your mind and make sure it doesn’t control you with irrational thoughts. Keep thinking calming things and just try to relax and enjoy the moment!

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Our Mental Illnesses Are NOT Your Cute Personality Quirks…

This. People need to understand this!

News, Reviews and the Occasional Blues...

Seriously people. The next time that I hear”Oh I must tidy up, I’m so OCD today” or “Oh she’s up one minute and down the next – she’s so bipolar!” I am going to stuff my walking stick right up that person’s asshole and turn them into a fucking lollipop. I swear I am.

Listen up people. Suffering from mental illness is no triviality and neither is it a fucking joke. I have struggles with several mental health issues, OCD and bipolar being two of them, so it really does set my teeth on edge when I hear someone coming out with an off the cuff, totally fucking moronic comment like that.

When we said we wanted mental health disorders to be spoken about more, we didn’t mean for you to appropriate them into your everyday conversations.

Lately (and unfortunately), it is becoming something of the norm that mental health…

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Quotes About Anxiety

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