DEAR ME: An Open Letter To My 15 Year Old Self (Guest Post)

Wow. So you’re finally 18. Legally adult huh?

Struggling with mental issues and self disgust and suicidal thoughts and what not, you made it to 18. I know you used to think you won’t ever make it till even 18, but here you are, a published author and happy as can be.

You owe it to a lot of people. I know. But still, seeing you as happy as you are now, I am really proud of how you managed yourself and made it to this point. And now you’re managing blogs and Instagram accounts and got an impressive follower count for a beginner.

You know, you never gave yourself enough credit. You know how to take care of yourself and others too. You have got a great set of friends now. I mean you used to be so scared of making friends and talking to people, didn’t you? Now look at yourself. And don’t worry, the rest of the transformation will come as you get through college and get a job. Interacting with people becomes easier with time, don’t worry.

Now my last piece of advice for you is that don’t worry so much, enjoy. Enjoy life as much as you can because you only get one life, don’t waste time worrying. And besides, you’ll never be as young as you are now. Leave the worrying for the adults and go have fun!

Continue writing and reading books. Do more of what makes you happy.

And to everyone who is struggling like me, I’d like to say, just hang In there. Everything works out in the end. Don’t ever lose hope. No matter what.

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Making Connections Is Vital (Guest Post)

By Dr. Sinu, MD

Keep It Authentic

Whether you are young, old, rich or poor, do not isolate yourself and think that you have the world at your fingertips; it’s a fantasy. No matter how talented or successful you may be, isolation will eat you alive; first
will come the insecurity and anxiety, followed by the inevitable depression. A lone wolf mentality does not last.

Emotional intelligence involves having self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills; the ability to make connections. Strong friendships, family relationships and other connections are key to developing excellent mental health.

Whether you are a student, lawyer or NBA baller, the benefits from making prosperous connections are enormous:
New friendships that will bring you happiness and love
A boost in confidence (being able to handle multiple connections will increase your sense of value)
Improved social skills (the more you interact with different types of people, the more diversity you expose yourself too)
Gaining new knowledge and insight (people come from many different walks of life; there is always something new you can learn)
Helps keep depression away (depression strives best when we are lonely and vulnerable; keep the depression door shut and open the social doors that will bring you happiness and prosperity)

Lastly, do not take advantage of your connections; your selfishness will not go unnoticed forever. Be authentic and strive to learn and build with your connections; sharing is caring!
The DSM Ready Movement is about building an international community focused on bringing people together to achieve a happier and healthier state of mind! dsmready.com
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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Unique Ways to Clear Your Mind (Guest Post)

When you’re dealing with depression, anxiety, or you just need a new filter on life, there are many ways to clear your mind and allow you to get a better sense of mental health. In this post, we will look at a few ways you can clear your mind that are unique.

But First

If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, need life advice, or need relationship help, there is no shame in speaking to a counselor or a therapist for help. Online counseling and therapy has made it easier than ever. Sites such as Regain.us help to lead the charge, and you can be a part of the online counseling revolution by trying it out.

Write Your Feelings Down

When you have a stressed mind, why not write everything down? Thanks to phones, you can write down your feelings anywhere. You can be direct, or try to be creative with expressing yourself by putting it in a story or another unique manner. If you can’t sleep, writing everything down is a great way for you to unwind and go back to sleep. Try blogging out as well.

Try a New Look

Sometimes, by changing your look around, you can refresh yourself. A new look can mean a new hairstyle, a new wardrobe, or anything that keeps you looking fresh. While it won’t clear all of your problems, you can treat it like a fresh start.

Try Mindful Behaviors

Mindfulness is something that you should try if you want to clear your mind. Being mindful means that you are aware of the present and the world around you, learning how to discard self-defeating thoughts and feelings. You can achieve mindfulness through methods like body scans, meditative breathing, or take mindfulness courses to make it easier.

White Noise

Listening to a bunch of white noise is a great way to clear your mind. For those who don’t know where to go to look for white noise, YouTube videos that play ocean, rain, or ambient music are a good start. Or you can look to apps that can make noise. White noise is great for focusing and for sleeping if you feel like your mind is too preoccupied.

Go on a Long Run

A run is good for the mind. It helps release feel-good chemicals to keep you happy and helps to relieve pain. In addition, it’s great for focusing. Going on a long, productive run may be the answer you’re looking for. If you’re not physically fit, a nice little walk in nature may be able to suffice.

New Surroundings

Going on a little vacation can help clear your mind. A new surrounding can help keep your mind preoccupied and put your troubles on the back-burner for a little while. Your vacation doesn’t have to be super expensive, either; you can go to a park or another new place you haven’t been to if you want to get the new surroundings experience without paying too much.

Spend Extra Time With Your Kids

If you have children, spend time with them and focus on their well-being. While you should be out for yourself as well, taking some time for your kids is a good move. You can get some new ideas for activities, too, by looking at some websites. For more information on the topic, it might be helpful to review sites like FamilyHype or FamilyEducation.com.

Conclusion

Clearing your mind is a challenge. Life can be a hassle, we know, but by taking some time to defragment, you can handle your problems in a way that is healthy and productive for everyone. Try it out and see what we mean.

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Six Word Story

One step at a time- progress.

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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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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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Top 5 Movies That Deal With Dementia (Guest Post)

Movies that deal with real suffering of ordinary individuals are usually those that stick in our minds for years to come. Many older actors who have portrayed people affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia have gone on to win Academy Awards or nominations, and will forever be remembered in the history of cinema. The following is a list of some of the best films on memory loss and how it affects everyone involved.

5.   The Savages (2007)

Starring Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Savages is a touching story about two siblings who reunite for the sake of their father who’s suffering from dementia. This tragic comedy yielded some wonderful performances and nominations, including Laura Linney’s Oscar nomination for Best Actress, and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy). Tamara Jenkins was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

  1. Aurora Borealis (2006)

An indie movie released without much anticipation, Aurora Borealis is a story about a grandfather, (Donald Sutherland), who suffers from dementia and needs more care than his wife (Louise Fletcher) can provide. They hire a home health aide (Juliette Lewis) to assist, and enlist the help of their grandson (Joshua Jackson) to provide proper care to Sutherland’s character who believes he can see the Northern Lights through his window. Although Aurora Borealis has never received much praise from critics or moviegoers, it is one of those films where Donald Sutherland steals the show for the millionth time.

  1. Age Old Friends (1989)

John Cooper, played by Hume Cronyn, wonderfully portrays an elderly man who chooses to live in a retirement home to preserve his independence and not be a burden on his daughter, played by his real-life daughter, Tandy Cronyn. He becomes friends with Michael (Vincent Gardenia), who is diagnosed with dementia, and is faced with a tough decision when his daughter wants him to come live with her. Should he leave a rigid retirement home and go live with his daughter or should he stay to help out a friend in need?

  1. Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch (2001)

Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch is based on a book by John Bayley and a true story of English author Iris Murdoch’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease. This film will forever be remembered by its outstanding cast and its breath-taking performances. Jim Broadbent, who plays Bayley in his later years, won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor. Judi Dench and Kate Winslet both landed Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for their portrayals of Murdoch in her older and younger years.

  1. The Notebook (2004)

The Notebook is certainly the most famous of all the movies on this list, and for a good reason. Based on Nicholas Sparks’ bestselling novel of the same title, The Notebook might not have received as much praise from the critics as it did from the audiences around the world, but it will forever be adored as one of the most romantic movies of its generation that break down both young and senior dating and everlasting love that knows no boundaries. Featuring Gena Rowlands and James Garner, The Notebook tells a story of a loving elderly husband of Allie who is trying to rekindle her memories destroyed by Alzheimer’s disease. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams play the couple when they were younger and their chemistry is out of this world.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/18286504@N00/1705421249/in/photolist-3AGJjD-98m9Ga-71h7jm-7zL9r4-69Fvsi-9cJ8qi-hVikNa-4dETvV-5UxjFd-4W6PRT-bJpdQe-axX5kB-5R4LiH-9Ax2D7-k6TeEL-7qFxg4-mbUudT-9DvemK-6xzY5V-95pcTj-7Hqirr-bjrXKa-8xtjDn-5SVFLL-6eNTYc-7qcVow-eH2o1q-kQfhn-fEK8Lh-hV3HNp-8ixgR2-8nXK1F-7L1gBp-7v52af-6j7Pti-6FvYY7-7YJqM8-abHHxY-duuHp1-4vwSg-kwdKwB-4r11Zh-dupack-a7ecfV-dMkqo8-TfKJGb-8z3B4A-4kDDvv-7MubvM-4mogBW

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An Open Letter To My Anxiety

Before I start this I just have to say that I was inspired to write this by swiftiewithfragilex who is an amazing blogger as well as an incredible Youtuber. She has not only given me lots of inspiration but has become a great friend too. I would highly recommend anyone reading this to take the “Open Letter Challenge.”

Dear Anxiety,

I guess I’ve always been a little paranoid and I’ve always had the tendency to overthink everything and I can’t say that your appearance in my life is completely unexpected. I don’t know why I’m like this- maybe it’s the way I was raised or maybe I’m just genetically predispositioned to be an anxious person. Honestly, it could easily be either.

You joined me soon after your co-worker depression decided to leave. All my life I’ve felt as if I need to be cautious, as though I should always expect impending doom and once you joined me it only got worse. I stopped being myself. I felt as if my life, my mind, my personality was slowly deteriorating and I could do nothing to stop it.

The light headedness, the nausea, the headaches, the random panic and the social phobia were beginning to pull me under. With depression it felt like I was at the bottom of an ocean with a rock tied to my foot but with anxiety it was more like someone just threw me into the water and no matter how hard I tried to swim, to get back up I just kept going further and further down. I was drowning in my own panic and paranoia. I felt permanently exhausted both physically and psychologically as though I had no strength left. It takes more strength than most people realise to be panicked and uncomfortable all the time.

But the truth is that I have learnt to live with anxiety. I have learnt to live with the irrational thoughts, the feeling of fear and impending doom, the occasional lightheadedness and panic attacks, the cold sweats and nausea.

The only thing I have left to say is that I thought anxiety would ruin my life but it only made me stronger, braver, more determined to do as I choose without constantly worrying what the aftermath would be. As long as it keeps pushing me up I’m going to keep swimming upwards trying to break free. It no longer controls me, I control it.

***

If you or anyone you know is suffering from anxiety or any mental disorder please seek help . It is important that you make sure your mental health doesn’t bring you down and there are lots of people out there that offer help. Mental illness often also effects those around us and a lot of times couples counselling can help your significant other understand what you are going through better.

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Tips On How To Deal With Anxiety

I usually have lots of anxiety about things most people tend to not even think about. Recently my anxiety had gotten worse but I have been trying to fight it. I know anxiety is one of the most common disorders in the world and I wanted to share some of the things that help me feel less anxious all the time and help me ignore the symptoms.

Stop overthinking it– sometimes distracting yourself can really help ignore your symptoms. The thing with anxiety is that it is always with you all the time and sometimes doing something calming like reading or listening to music can really help.

Exercise– exercising releases endorphins which make you feel better and feeling good removes the anxiety because two opposite emotions cannot coexist. Exercising can also really help give you time to think about situations more calmly and realistically.

Write/Talk about it– writing about things I am anxious about is for me the most helpful out of all of these. It just feels so good to vent and just be open about what’s bothering you. If you don’t particularly love writing you can always talk about it to someone you trust or to someone online.

Make a plan– if there’s a certain situation that’s making you overly anxious plan it out. Think about the worst possible outcomes and then try to think about what you could do to better the situation and think about how realistic those outcomes are. Sometimes we overthink things to the point where our thoughts aren’t even rational anymore. Plan everything so you have no reason to be anxious anymore.

Just live with it– sometimes you need to just ignore the anxiety and stop letting it control your life. I know it is easier said than done but for me one when I’m anxious I get lightheaded and it makes me really uncomfortable but I’ve learnt to just live with it and not pay too much attention to it.

Stop trying to please others– one thing that most anxious people have in common is that they are perfectionists and people pleasers. Something I’ve learnt though is that there are people who will never be pleased no matter how hard you try and sometimes giving up isn’t a bad idea. Instead of trying to be perfect and pleasing others you need to put yourself first. Being perfect is not possible and sometimes things don’t go as planned but that’s okay because you did your best and that’s all that matters.

Seek help– in the end if nothing seems to be working you should seek professional help because it can very difficult to live with anxiety. There are drugs you can take and people you can speak to and this can really be helpful. There is nothing to be ashamed of for seeking professional help because it doesn’t make you weaker than everyone else, it makes you stronger because you know your weakness and you’re ready to fight it. There are lots of therapists out there wanting to help and if you can’t for any reason talk to a therapist in person there are lots of online psychiatrists willing to help that could really help you change your life for the better.

I really hope you enjoyed this post and if you did give it a like, follow, share and comment on what helps with your anxiety or if any of these tips helped.