One day while I was looking in the mirror, I realized I did not know who I was anymore. I was depressed, unmotivated, and angry all the time. I would lash out on others when things would go wrong, causing many people to turn away from me. My eyes filled with tears as I realized I needed to change, not just for myself, but for the little boy growing in my stomach. I instantly made up my mind and began working on myself. It has been over a year since that day, and I am still improving myself every day. Now I am hoping to inspire others to look deep within and defeat any darkness they may be holding on to. Keep reading below if you would like to read about how I started to work on myself. Keep in mind, that working on oneself is an everlasting and continuous journey. There is not a quick fix or short cut, it is mentally challenging, and you will uncover so much about yourself you never knew, some of it may be hard to face. However, it is worth it.

You, yourself, may not need to change for the better. Though, you may know someone who does. There is a section in this post that is about helping others realize their actions may not be the greatest. Keep in mind, these suggestions may or may not work for you.

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Realizing There is a Need to Change

One of the hardest parts about changing for the better is realizing you need to change; that is if you truly want to improve yourself. This does not mean you are a bad person, only that you need to work on some of your unhealthy habits. Something could have happened in your life that was not favorable, and it caused you to change your views and reactions toward certain situations.

For example, after experiencing several abusive relationships, I became very defensive. I would hurt those who hurt me with things I knew would hurt them. Eventually, I started to become physically abusive towards the person I was with, that is if we began to argue and it got out of hand. I was like a cornered snake, striking to defend myself, even if the other person was not going to hurt me, I still believed they would. Understand, I am not a violent person. I do not like fights at all, I don’t even like pro wrestling (though if you do then that is great, I’m not knocking wrestling, it’s just not my favorite sport). After I would lash out, I would tare myself down and become very harsh with myself. I would often cut to make up for how I was treating others. It was a cycle of destruction I desperately needed to get out of.

**I am not proud of my past actions. There is never a time where someone should hurt someone else, except during self-defense (Personal opinion). I share my firsthand experiences to let others know they are not alone, and they too can overcome many obstacles if they have the willpower to do so.

Everyone experiences different situations that can alter how they react to certain things. It could be pushing others away due to the fear of being afraid of becoming overly attached to someone. Or isolating yourself because you feel different in society’s eyes. There are many examples, these are only a couple. Usually, how you react towards certain things is either how you grew up or how the events in your life played out. It can be hard to pinpoint what needs to change in order to grow mentally. Here are a few ways that can help:

  • Make a list of the negative traits you believe you have, and write down ways you can start working on them. Sometimes writing things down helps more than keeping it inside your mind.
  • Think of how you treat others. Think about if you would like to be treated like that, if not then something needs to change.
  • Think of some of the things you went through in life, did it change how you viewed certain things? Why?
  • Think of the people you look up to in life. Are they good or bad influences? Many people live their lives based on who inspires them. The thing about inspiration is it can be either good or bad. For example, a serial killer may have been inspired by an earlier killer, making it a desire to kill someone for the experience. While a cancer survivor may have become inspired by the hospital that treated them and they decide to dedicate their lives towards finding a cure for cancer. As you can see both were inspired with different intentions. While these examples are a bit on the extreme side, they still show how others can influence the mind.
  • Do you often upset friends and family members with some of your actions? Do they tell you, you need to change your actions? If so, listen to them and write down what they keep getting upset about. Would it make you upset if someone said or did that to you? If so, ask yourself why you do that. Search for a deeper meaning than “I don’t know” or “it’s just the way I am.”

Pinpointing negative traits can be challenging and mentally tiring. If you become very depressed, angry, or upset, while doing this, try again later or with professional help. It’s important to seek professional help when things become too overwhelming. Remember this process takes time and it’s okay to seek help when you need it.

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Helping Others Realize They Need to Evaluate Their Actions

Let us be honest, if you go up to someone and say, “hey, your actions suck, you need to change” it is not going to do much except cause them to become defensive. Many people do not like to be corrected, even if it is for their best interest. So, how does someone help those who might not see the error in their ways? It can be tricky; however, you must go into, what I call, stealth mode. Dropping hints here and there, planting tiny positive seeds of awareness inside their mind. Here are some ideas that can help:

  • Setting positive examples yourself. Sometimes when someone does something good, it can have a ripple effect and inspire others to do the same.
  • Tell them when they are in the wrong. However, do not go into detail or argue with them. Wait a few hours until everyone is calm, then casually bring up their actions. Explain to them why their actions bother you. Waiting until everyone is calm to go into an explanation helps to avoid pointless arguments. Furthermore, they are a little more open to receiving the message.
  • If the other two suggestions are not working, you could try getting a few people together who agree that there should a change in said person behavior. Think of it as an intervention for helping the said person, see the error in their ways. I have not done this, and this should probably be used in extreme cases and with the guidance of a professional, due to the backlash it may cause. This direct approach will put the other person in a defensive mode. They might say or do things they do not mean because they feel cornered. A professional can help guide the “intervention.”
  • If nothing is working, then you may have to step back and realize this person does not want to change their behavior. I call this tough love. You still love the person dearly, but you no longer want to be a part of their cycle of destruction. Sadly, a lot of people know they are in a destructive cycle, but they relish in it. Stepping away from someone until they change their ways is sometimes all we can do.

These ideas may or may not work for you. Everyone is different and has a different story. I am simply trying to inspire others to become more mindful. If anything seems wrong or what I have said is untrue, let me know in the comments. I am growing and learning just as everyone else is.

What Can I Benefit From by Changing My Ways

Some of you might be sitting there thinking, “what will change do for me? Why should I change from my negative ways? What if it makes me feel worse than I feel now?” I’ll be honest, it might make you feel worse at first. It is not easy for a lot of people to admit they need to change their ways, nor is it easy to change when they do come to the realization because it is uncomfortable.
Let’s use moving to a new state as an example. When moving to a different area, things are unknown to you. You might not know where anything is located, meeting new neighbors can be frightening and let’s not forget, getting adjusted to the new house. It can become overwhelming, and sometimes can be a bit intimidating. Fast forward 3 months, and you’re settled, making new friends, and the feeling of uncertainty is reduced significantly.
As you can tell from the example, it might be uncomfortable at first, but with time it gets easier. Do not let the feeling of uncertainty cloud your judgment if you are changing for the better. Training the mind is hard and there will be times where you feel defeated. However, if you keep pushing through the hard times, you will be able to do anything you put your mind to. Instead of moving to a new state, you are moving into a new state of mind.
So, what benefits can you expect from changing negative habits? Here are a few I have gained from my experience:

  • Clearer thinking
  • Significantly reducing depression
  • Enjoying life a little more
  • Gaining motivation
  • Finding new inspiration
  • People enjoy my company instead of turning away from me due to my negative energy
  • Helping others find their positivity
  • Smiling more
  • Not being as upset when bad things happen
  • Controlling emotions better

As you can tell, there are many benefits when it comes to examining yourself and weeding out the negativity within your mind.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, changing negative habits are a must when it comes to bettering yourself in general. Realizing you need to change for the better can be difficult, however, it is doable. Though, if you become too overwhelmed it might be in your best interest to seek professional help. Remember, you are in control of your own mindset. Negative mindsets can make you see life as dull and depressive. Changing your outlook can have many positive benefits like reducing depression and enjoying life. Sometimes you, yourself, do not need to change, but you know someone who does. Planting tiny positive seeds of awareness into their minds can help them change their ways. However, if they do not want to change their negative behavior, you might have to step back until they can see their actions are not acceptable. Negative actions usually start within the mind, training your mind to think more positively can help in many ways.

Additionally, I want to thank you for taking the time to read, like and share my blog posts. It means a lot to me when you guys read and comment your thoughts on what I write. We are all trying to find hope through this crazy ride we call life. If I wrote anything that seems off or wrong, please let me know in the comments below. As a beginner in writing, constructive criticism is always welcomed. Also, if you have any topics on mental health you are curious about, let me know in the comments below.

It is very hard for me to share personal experiences, however, I know through my experiences I can help others through their own struggles they may have. Thank you once more, you all are amazing.

If you enjoy this quote, my Instagram is full of original quotes. If you would like to follow me on Instagram you can follow me here.  I also have a new facebook page where you can vent, talk about mental health, and more. It is very new, so there are not many posts up, however, if you are interested in following the Facebook page you can here. Just click on the highlighted words to take you to each account.

 

  

There is no telling how many times I have canceled plans due to my social anxiety spiking at the last minute. Just the thought of being around people would make my heart start pounding in my chest, like an out of control jackhammer. I would cancel plans often upsetting friends and family. Additionally, there have been many times where I have been in public and started crying out of nowhere. Which would cause me to become embarrassed and spike my anxiety into pure panic attacks. Many people I have spoken to, or have read about with social anxiety, have experienced similar situations. Through the years I have learned how to manage my social anxiety with different techniques. Life has taught me to have two more plans in motion just in case the first plan falls through. Keep reading below if you would like to see how I manage my own social anxiety, tips, and advice for those with social anxiety, and how to be there for someone who has social anxiety.

What is Social Anxiety

According to WebMD, social anxiety is also known as social phobia and it is one of the most common mental disorders. It is more than your typical shyness. Social anxiety affects your everyday life and can cause problems like IBS, panic attacks, and can even make you lightheaded. Moreover, it can make your job a living nightmare if you must deal with a lot of people. It can also affect your grades in school by not being able to focus on your work. You constantly worry about being judged, talked about, saying the wrong thing, offending others… the list goes on and on. As one can see, social anxiety is more than being shy and can cause many problems in everyday life.

Many people with social anxiety struggle with things like talking to strangers, making eye contact, going to social events, talking on the phone, public speaking, using public restrooms, etc. They can spend hours trying to convince themselves to go out and have fun with their friends and at the last moment cancel plans. Or they may have to write down what they are going to say over a phone because they panic and freeze up, forgetting what is needed to be said.

People with social anxiety tend to be overthinkers and can make up some of the worst scenarios in their heads before going to an event or talking to someone. Often after mustering up the courage to go to a social event or talk to a stranger, they worry about how things went. This can be for days, weeks, months, or even years after the social situation. It can cause mental exhaustion and stress on those who experience this disorder.

What is social anxiety? It is a deep-rooted fear of social interactions that can cause many life problems.

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Ways to Manage Social Anxiety

Now, before I go into ways to manage social anxiety, understand these are some of the things I use to cope with social anxiety, and they may or may not work for you. Managing social anxiety can be challenging, however, it is doable. For starters, getting your mindset into a more positive outlook can help in many ways, especially when it regards social anxiety. Getting into positive thinking habits can be challenging, here are a few ways to get into a positive mindset to help cope with social anxiety:

  • Thinking of the things you can receive from by the social interaction
  • Having a close friend or family member go with you or be next to you
  • Having an anti-anxiety plan for when your anxiety begins to spike
  • Making a list of calming music to have on your phone or music player
  • Carry a small journal and write or draw when you feel overwhelmed
  • After going out, write down three good things that happened and how you felt

Social interactions are not always avoidable, especially when you must go to school or work. Having multiple ways to cope with social anxiety is always a great idea. Above I mentioned an anti-anxiety plan, you might be wondering what an anti-anxiety plan is, here is an example of one of my anti-anxiety plans:

  1. When I become overwhelmed in public settings I can:
  • Find five things I can see, hear, and feel
  • Count to 10 and take a deep breath
  • Find an isolated spot and recollect my thoughts
  • Put in my headphones and listen to music
  • Remind myself I am okay
  1. When I become overwhelmed talking on the phone or online I can:
  • Write important things down before calling
  • Have a pen and paper near me to write down information I might forget
  • Let the other person know I have social anxiety and ask them to bear with me, sometimes letting the other person know can be a tremendous help.
  • Finding a quiet place to talk

Having an anti-anxiety plan does not mean you will not have anxiety, it is a plan for when your anxiety pops up. It is there to be a guide to help you overcome and conquer your anxiety at that moment.

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Ways You Can Help Someone with Social Anxiety

If you do not have social anxiety it can be difficult to understand some of the actions of someone who has it or knowing how to help them in general. Like knowing when they are about to have a panic attack or how to help during one. Here are a few ways you can help someone who may experience social anxiety:

  • Take them by the hand and reassure them they are okay and to relax
  • Never leave them alone when in a social setting, if you must, text them often to make sure they are okay
  • If they are terrified of making phone calls, sit by them and remind them to breathe
  • Ask them what helps

Remember, everyone responds differently. What works for one might not work for someone else. Most importantly, be patient and understanding. People who have social anxiety do not enjoy having it, we are trying.

 

 My Personal Experience with Social Anxiety

I have always been shy; however, my social anxiety did not start until around the age of 12. Before the age of 12, I was very social after I became comfortable around people. For example, I loved going overboard on book reports. One time I dressed as Hermione Granger from Harry Potter to give a report on The Prisoner of Azkaban in 3rd grade. I did not care if the other students thought I was a loon, I loved sharing what I read.

Honestly, I am not sure why I developed social anxiety. I will say, I had experienced several types of abuse from the age of 6, but having social anxiety was never a problem until I reached 6th -7th grade. I became very reserved and I did not talk to many people after moving to yet another school. By the time I was in 6th grade I had attended 5 different schools from having to move around a lot. I became afraid of finding friends and having to move again. I remember failing an English class in 7th grade because I refused to give the required speeches or do the projects that involved presentations. I was not trying to be defiant, I was having panic attacks and freaking out on the inside. The first time I gave a presentation in the English class I tripped on a student’s shoe and fell in front of the whole class. Mortified, I did not give another presentation that entire year.

 

If you have read my other blog posts then you know it was also around this time when I started cutting and sent to live in facilities for 5 years. When I was released from the facility my social anxiety skyrocketed. Additionally, I gained a lot of weight from all the medications I was on and it added to the anxiety I already had. I locked myself away from everyone and was very awkward in social situations. Many people admitted they thought I was stuck up or mean, which is simply untrue. I was just terrified of people. I thought everyone was judging me, talking about me, or out to hurt me. Looking back, I know people were not talking about me and that I let my mind become overly paranoid. It took a couple of years to gain my confidence back. However, I ended up snapping, lost most of my memory and had to go back to one of the facilities I grew up in. This completely undid all the progress I made on my social anxiety. However, it took less time to reclaim my confidence after enrolling in college. After I had my son my social anxiety lessened a lot. Children do as they see, and I did not want him to see me afraid of the world. So, I started working on my mental state of mind.

My anxiety still pops up every now and then, but I have learned how to manage it a lot better. I still have trouble going into stores alone and making phone calls, but it is getting better. Another thing I do is compliment strangers when I am having a confident day. I found out by complimenting strangers it makes me feel good and I become a little more self-assured. Additionally, having a blog is helping me in many unexpecting ways. By sharing my experiences and aiming to help those through similar situations I am finding my voice I thought I lost long ago.

Conclusion

Social anxiety is the fear of being in public situations. Whether it is making a phone call, going to a party, or meeting a stranger. Social anxiety is more than being shy, people can usually overcome being shy. When you have social anxiety it can be a lot more challenging and cause many health problems like stomach problems, mental exhaustion, and panic attacks. Many people with this disorder have trouble making eye contact, going to public events, making phone calls, etc. Having ways to manage anxiety can be very beneficial for your mental mindset. Additionally, those who do not have social anxiety can help in several different ways like being patient and understanding.

Having social anxiety is never fun. If you have more tips and advice on how to manage, overcome and help others with social anxiety comment below. Just remember to be courteous of others.

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Thank you for reading my blog, do not forget to hit the follow button if you liked what you read. I also recently created a Facebook page you can join where you can vent, write about things about mental health, and be a part of a community of people who are there to help one another.

 

 

References

Social Anxiety Disorder: When It Happens & What It Feels Like. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-social-anxiety-disorder#1

*Trigger Warning!!!

Suicidal thoughts can be a heavy burden to carry inside your mind. It can be a life-threating situation when life starts to feel as if its walls are collapsing all around you. It can leave you feeling lost, hopeless and wishing for some way to gather the pieces to build your life again. However, it seems impossible at that moment, so you think about giving everything up. I’ve been there with tears streaming down my face, pill bottle in my hand, and blood dripping down my arms from the razor I used to slice myself wide open. I remember thinking, everything will be better once I am gone. People will be happy. They will hurt for a little while, but they will eventually move on and they will not have to worry any longer. This was just one of many encounters with my personal suicidal thoughts. I am ashamed of how I let my thoughts get to the point to where I thought it would be better for everyone if I were to die. Keep reading below if you would like to know how I overcame my own suicidal thoughts, when to seek help, what to do when a friend needs help, how to overcome a suicide from a loved one, and numbers you can call when you’re needing help. It is okay to reach out and seek help. Life can become overwhelming at times, remember you are never alone and there is always someone ready to help you overcome anything. However, sometimes you must seek them out yourself.

 

Catching Negative Thoughts Before They Become a Problem

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We can all agree, negative thinking can make you feel depressed, unmotivated, and can become a real problem if you let yourself dwell on the uglier side of life. I am not saying you should be positive all day every day but finding a balance would be ideal if you tend to dwell on the negative aspects of life, the majority of the time. Learning how to find and redirect negative thinking can have many positive benefits regarding your mental wellbeing.

Some of these benefits include:

  • Reducing depression
  • Clearer thinking
  • Being able to see the bigger picture
  • Lessen stress
  • Gaining a new appreciation over things you cannot control
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Being able to enjoy life more

Catching negative thoughts is easier said than done, however, it is achievable. The first step in changing your thinking pattern is understanding that it takes time. Think of your brain as a giant muscle that needs training. Just like with physical exercise it takes time to see results. This is not something that happens overnight and there will be days where depression can creep its way back into your life. However, with training your mind it will be easier to handle the days when things start to fall apart.

The second step is catching yourself when you start thinking about undesirable thoughts. For example, when I would look in the mirror after having my son, I would think to myself “wow, I’ve really let myself go, I look horrible”, which would make me feel worse about myself and cause me to lock myself away in my room, not wanting to go anywhere. Now, I remind myself that I brought a beautiful baby boy into the world and that I am currently working on getting my body back in shape. By doing this, I gain a little more confidence and I am more willing to go out in public. It is amazing how your thoughts can either make you or break you.

 Some ways you can catch negative thoughts are:

  • Write down any negative thoughts you have about yourself or life and rewrite the negative thoughts with a positive outlook
  • Knowing what makes you upset and producing a plan when things do not go as expected, to avoid being too harsh with yourself.
  • Trying to find the good in every situation, even if it seems impossible

Which brings me to my third and last step, redirecting negative thoughts to more positive ones. This is not an easy task and you must work on redirecting your thoughts every day if you really want to start looking on the brighter side of life, reduce your depression, and lessen your anxiety. As you can see in the paragraph above, I was able to redirect my thinking when I looked in the mirror. However, it did take time and I still have self-doubts at times. Just keep trying and you will soon see how effective redirecting your thoughts can help you.

Ways you can try redirecting your views are:

  • Think of someone you love and care about. If you would not say it about them, then you should not be thinking it about yourself.
  • Tell yourself every day that you are worth it, you are beautiful, and you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
  • Take the time to invest in yourself. Build yourself up and do not let anyone tare you down.
  • Look at your friend group. If they are bringing you down and making you feel miserable, you may need to find new friends to become inspired by. Sometimes the people we hang around influence us more than we think.

I truly believe that even in the darkest time in your life, you can find the light if you search for it.

When to Stop Reading Advice Posts and Seek Professional Help

While reading posts and talking to friends can help you overcome depression in many ways, there are still times where you may need to seek professional help. This does not make you weak, it takes a strong individual to admit they need help and to go out and find it.

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Some of the signs you may need to seek professional help are:

  • A feeling of hopelessness and believing you should die
  • Thinking the world is better off without you in it
  • When you are actively harming yourself
  • When you are looking up things like “would my insurance cover my death”
  • If your friends and family are urging you to seek help

After I had my son, I went through postpartum depression. I have always had depression from an early age, but this depression was different, it was harsher. I thought my precious baby boy would be better off without me. I thought things like, he would not have to be embarrassed by his mom, that he could live a happy carefree life without me being in the way. I was so convinced he would be better off without me I started looking up insurance plans that covered suicide. I remember crying and feeling like all hope was lost. After calming down I realized I needed real help. I could not keep relying on well-written posts, friends, and family to keep dragging me out of depression, it was not working. I made an appointment with a local therapist and she prescribed me medication. I will admit, I do not take the medication because it made me feel worse, but I do talk to a professional when I need to. Never take yourself off medication, tell your doctor and see if there is an alternative or if they can help wean you off the medication prescribed if you decide it is not for you.

Therapy is not a dreadful thing, it can be scary at first, but there are people who go to school to help others overcome the darkness within their mind. The majority of therapists are kind souls wanting to help guide you in a positive direction. Granted, you might not have a good relationship with some therapist, but you can always find someone you are more compatible with. Opening to a stranger can be intimidating, but in time you will thank yourself. I know I am glad for seeking help when I did.

Never believe the world is better off without you. It’s not, nor will it ever be. There is someone who values you more than you know. There are many times where it feels like life keeps beating you down. However, you can take those experiences and help someone who might be feeling the same way you were. Dark days are rough, but when they pass you tend to appreciate the brighter days a little bit more.

Overcoming Suicide from a Loved One

Death of a loved one is never an easy subject, especially when suicide is involved. There are so many questions left open like why? Was there anything I could have done? Is this my fault? Etc… Sadly, there is nothing you could have done at that moment. It is not your fault unless you were telling them to kill themselves, which would be considered murder, but I highly doubt you, reading this, would do that. Suicide is a very hard concept to understand if you have never experienced the feeling of not wanting to continue life. It can happen to anyone. A celebrity, the rich, poor, children, the elderly, etc. It is a disease within the mind that makes you feel worthless and that life is pointless. You feel like you want to escape, so you believe there is only one way out and that is to take your own life. It is a horrible feeling.

Personally, I do not think anyone stops hurting over suicide from a loved one. I believe the pain lingers on, it just gets easier to manage. However, there are ways to overcome the pain and help others who experience the same situation.

Some of the ways that have personally helped me are:

  • Reaching out to others and trying to help them overcome their own personal darkness by creating Maybe Crazy Help
  • Creating a photo collage to remember them by
  • Remembering the good memories shared with them
  • Being kind to others, you never know what type of day they are having. A small compliment could go a long way, even to a stranger

While these methods work for me, you might have to find something that works better for you. I have learned, the emptiness will always be there but being able to help others who are experiencing the same thing can help you in many ways.

I remember scrolling through Facebook not too long ago and coming across a post about a recent suicide in a town I grew up in. I was not prepared to read my childhood friends name in the first paragraph. My world felt like it stood still. With tears streaming down my face, I grabbed my phone and called an old number I had… no answer. I did not want to believe it. I couldn’t. Memories kept flashing through my mind of us playing together and getting in trouble together, as kids do. I did not want to message his mom, I honestly did not want the reply. I did not want to hear or read the words, yes, he took his own life. However, I mustered up the courage and messaged her. I remember not getting a reply, so I visited her Facebook page and seen my fears coming true. For weeks I could not eat, and I stayed in bed the majority of the time unless there was something I had to do. I experienced a deep depression, I couldn’t even begin to imagine how his family felt.

After a couple of weeks, I concluded I could not keep dwelling on it. I had to do something. I wanted to help others who felt like they could not go on. I wanted to show them that they are not alone, so I produced the website Maybe Crazy Help. This was my way of healing and helping others through rough experiences in life. Being an active voice can help in many unexpecting ways.

Remember, if one of your friends or family members are showing signs of severe depression, talk to them. If you feel they need professional help, do not hesitate to call someone. It could save their life. They might be angry with you at first, but in time they will understand you were looking out for their best interest. Furthermore, if you see a stranger who is about to commit suicide, call the police and try to calm them down until the police arrive. Do not be the person who looks the other way, lend a hand. Sometimes all someone needs to see, is there are good people in the world. Too many people have taken their own life due to the darkness of the world, be a light that inspires people to do better.

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Conclusion

As you can see, suicide is a heartbreaking subject for everyone involved. Thousands of people experience the harsh sting of a suicidal death every day. Moreover, suicide is a feeling of wanting to escape and thinking death is the only way out. It is not, there are ways to overcome those feelings by training your mind to think in a positive manner. Changing your thinking pattern is never easy and it takes time. Do not be afraid to seek help when you need it. Furthermore, overcoming the death of a loved one who has committed suicide is an emotionally painful situation. Making others aware and trying to help others overcome the pain can help you in ways too. Never be afraid to help someone who needs help, even if they refuse. This is a life we are talking about.

I have provided a link down below to my page of numbers and websites you can call or visit when your thoughts become too overwhelming. There are also numbers for runaways, abuse, and more.

Suicide Hotlines

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Sharing my personal experiences are never easy, but the need to help others in similar situations and to be a voice is stronger than my fear of being rejected. Remember to like, follow, and share this post, so the rest of the world can hopefully benefit from it. Suicide is a rapidly growing problem throughout the world. Coming together and offering a helping hand can save the lives of hundreds.

 

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Be the change you wish to see in the world.

R.I.P to all the beautiful souls who were taken before they were able to see the brighter side of life. You may be gone, but you are not forgotten.

 

 

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It’s a personal belief, that art is one of the most important tools mankind has. Through different types of art, we can study ancient civilizations. By studying past art styles, we gain a better understanding of how past cultures were created. Additionally, we’re able to learn how to communicate. If you think about it, writing is just one squiggly line after another to create structured sentences for people to understand. I believe art is one of the biggest influences in all cultures, if not the biggest. Furthermore, art can also help you through some of the hardest times of your life. Art is known for reducing stress, anger, and depression.  When using art to express how you’re feeling you can create beautiful heartfelt masterpieces that can capture the attention of people around the world. Did you know some of the most influential pieces of art were done by artists with mental illnesses? Even if you don’t know the names of the artists I will be reviewing, I’m positive you’ve seen some of their masterpieces through social media, in school textbooks, or maybe graffitied on a wall. Sometimes a spark of madness can create inspiration for millions of people through many years.

Everyone Has an Artistic Side

It’s true, everyone has an artistic side even if some people believe they do not. The truth is, anyone can pick up anything that can make a mark and create something. Remember the saying beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Well, that goes for art as well. You might think your art is ugly or unworthy to be shared with the people around you. However, someone might see your artwork and think it’s beautiful and inspiring. Granted, there are people born with a natural talent for art but they too must practice mastering their talent. Don’t be intimidated by art you believe to be better than your own. Self-doubt often leads to not trying or giving up. Try to catch your thoughts and redirecting them by thinking positive thoughts like “through practice, I will become better” or “I have my own unique style which is beautiful to me.” Catching negative thoughts as they come is a great habit to get into.

However, even though everyone has a creative side, it can still be challenging to find the motivation or desire to create something. The good news is, there are ways to overcome these challenges. The bad news is, you’re going to have to muster up the effort if you truly want to gain the inspiration to create your own masterpiece. For example, going to a museum or art fair could spark your interest and give you the motivation you may have needed to start on your journey to find your own art style. Going to places like these gives you the opportunity to connect to likeminded people who can give you advice. It’s a great way to meet new friends who share the same interest and to really take in the beauty of the pieces on display. Another way you can gain inspiration is by getting connected on social media and following artist you enjoy, you can even send them messages asking them about art. Many individuals enjoy giving feedback to those who enjoy their art style. Lastly, sometimes all you need to spark the motivation is to just start drawing and the motivation will come on its own. I’ve learned through trial and error that putting things off just prolongs the desire to do something and sometimes can burn the desire completely out. Stop putting your interests on hold, you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish if you just go ahead and start.

Famous Artists Who Also Suffered from Mental Illnesses

There have been many artists throughout the years who have created beautiful masterpieces that have captivated the world with the stroke of a brush, quill, pencil, etc.

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Some of the most well-known pieces of art have been created by artists who also struggled with mental illnesses. According to brains.org, Michelangelo, the famous painter who is well-known for his painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, was believed to have depression and a bipolar disorder. Another well-known artist, who many people know by his famous painting, The Scream, Edvard Munch, suffered from hallucinations, anxiety, and nervous break downs. Munch sought therapeutic help to help him through his darkest times. Lastly, Vincent Van Gogh, the famous artist who cut off a part of his ear, suffered from epileptic seizures, depression, and manic bursts. Sadly, he took his own life at the age of 37. The complete list of 10 famous painters is on Brains.org if you would like to check the rest of them out.

These artists changed the world with their art while battling their own mind. They inspired the world for many generations and will continue to inspire the generations to come. Don’t let depression, anxiety, bipolar, psychosis, etc…. control you. Use it to your advantage to create beautiful works of art that could possibly one day become a legend. Living with a mental illness is ugly but using it as fuel for creativity could create a beautiful masterpiece.

My Personal Journey with Using Art to Help with My Own Mental Struggles

From a very young age, I’ve known the darker side of life, due to going through various abusive situations, no child should ever have to endure. I didn’t know how to handle the pain on the inside, so I turned to self-harm in my teenage years to numb the pain on the inside. Sadly, I used to cut myself to escape the mental torment I was going through. I rather physically hurt than hurt mentally. However, my grandmother found out I was cutting my wrist when my brother and I were sent to live with her, after being taken away from our mother. Shortly after my grandmother found out my secret, I was sent to live in facilities for a total of 5 years. Though I will admit, it was my fault I wasn’t released from the hospitals sooner. I acted out and lashed on everyone that tried to help me. By acting out, I caused my stay in the facilities to be longer than the original 3 months. I felt alone, hurt, and betrayed. Most of all, I didn’t understand why life kept putting me through hell. I was angry at the world. Though, now I look back and realize my grandmother was doing what she felt was best for me at that time. I couldn’t imagine where I would be if she didn’t send me away to get help. Honestly, I would probably be dead. I’m thankful she did what she did, even though it wasn’t easy for anyone involved.

While living in and out of different behavioral hospitals, I learned how to manage my emotions through various coping tools like reading, writing poetry, playing the guitar (kind of ha-ha), and drawing. Drawing has always been one of my favorite ways to stop thinking about things beyond my control and focus on something productive. I honestly thought my drawings were awful, but I enjoyed drawing, so I kept practicing. Eventually, my art style became more detailed and defined. I learned different techniques and styles through trial and error. Most of all, I didn’t give up or let negative thinking stop me from something I enjoyed. The sketch is a recent picture I drew after Stan Lee passed away, it helped me through the sadness that came with his death.

In 2014, I was sent to one of the facilities I had spent my teenage years in. I was not admitted due to self-harm this time, but from my mind snapping from all the things I had been through in life. I was 22 when I went back, though I couldn’t remember any of the doctors, nurses or staff members that knew me. I couldn’t even recognize my own mother, brother, nor roommates at the time. I was hospitalized for three months, while the adult unit ran tests on me and used therapy to regain my mental state of mind. Keep in mind, I was not on any type of drug when my mind snapped. I was terrified of drugs, due to my brothers and I being taken away from our mother. I simply overstressed and went into deep psychosis. Luckily, I was able to pull myself out of whatever trance I was in. The best way to describe it is; you’re sitting back in your mind watching yourself do these crazy things and you’re trying to tell yourself this isn’t right, but your mind and body keep reacting in absurd ways. Like you’re not in control of your own body. It was the scariest thing I had ever experienced in my life. I remember drawing in the dayroom a lot. It kept my anxiety and depression down, from being back in a place I thought I would never return to. As you can see, art has helped me in the toughest times in my life. I’m not saying it will cure your depression or fix your anxiety. However, if you let it, it can be a great outlet for when life becomes overbearing.

Down below are two pictures I drew, one is from 2015 and the other one is from a couple of weeks ago. As you can tell, with patience and practice, your art will continue to grow and change, just as you will. I’m still learning new skills and developing my own art style, I’m glad I didn’t throw my hands up and stop trying. If I would have done that, I wouldn’t be where I’m at now with my sketches. I do have an Instagram for my art if you would like to follow me: snow_crystal_1991

Conclusion

As you can see, art can help with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and many other mental illnesses. Furthermore, many well-known artists were able to use their own mental struggles to create captivating masterpieces, that changed the world. You can overcome any struggle with the determination and desire to do so. Art and creativity can help you on your journey to self-healing. Even if you don’t become a famous artist, art has many beneficial factors.

If you want to unlock your creative side and don’t know where to start or what brands are reliable, I will provide links to some of the art supplies I personally buy, along with a short review. I like being honest with my readers so I will say, these are affiliate links and I do make a small commission if you choose to buy the product after clicking on the link. I use Amazon affiliates, a well-known and trusted website. I use affiliate marketing to make a side income from home so I can continue my dream of becoming a writer. Here soon I will be publishing my first book, 365 Days of Self- Reflecting, a prompt journal to help you discover your true self.

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Links (just click on the highlighted word to go to Amazon)

Sketch Pads 

This is one of my favorite sketchbooks. I use sharpie markers often and the ink hardly bleeds through the paper. The paper is thick and ideal for many types of art. Additionally, they are extremely cheap, they’re usually around $7!

Giant Sketchbook

For around $25 you can get a giant sketchbook that will last you for years. I bought mine in 2015 and I’m not even halfway through the sketchbook, though I go back and forth between it and my small sketchbook. The paper is thick and is great for many projects. The only problem I had with it is after a while the binding gave out, though that’s to be expected when you used something often.

Small Canvas

These small canvases come 12 in a pack for about $9, which is an amazing deal if you think about it. I’ve used sharpies, paint markers, acrylic paint, and color pencils on this brand and they have never disappointed me. Occasionally, some canvases will have small strings within them, so read the reviews and decide if you want to take the risk. After all, they are on the cheaper side.

Skin Color Markers

Let me say, these markers do take time to get used to if you’re new to blending. However, once you get the hang of them, they are really easy to use. If you enjoy drawing people or cartoons, these markers are magical! I highly recommend them to those who enjoy drawing anime.

Sketch Pencils

These sketch pencils are great for beginners as well as cheap. I still have my set after 3 years and they still work beautifully. I highly recommend these sketch pencils for those who are just starting out.

Paint Pens

I really enjoy these paint pens. You shake them and they are ready to paint! However, if you press them down for too long they will gush paint everywhere, so be careful not to hold them down for too long if you decide to go with these paint pens. Furthermore, you can use them on canvas, rocks, shirts, and more!

72 Count Sharpie Box

Okay, I am a huge sharpie fan and this box is amazing. There are 72 sharpies of all different colors, sizes, and none of them were dried out. This has been one of my favorite purchases off of Amazon, even though they are on the pricy side. Though I believe it’s worth the $50, due to how much I use them.

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A Big Thank You

**Remember, you don’t have to click on the link nor purchases anything. However, if you do decide to purchase one or more of the items below and use the links I provided, it is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance to those who use the links provided, you are awesome.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, if you like what you read don’t forget to comment and click the follow button. I try to have a post written every week, check out my previous posts as well.

 

References

URLhttps://www.brainz.org/10-great-painters-mentally-disturbed/

Website TitleBrainz

Article Title10 Great Painters Who Were Mentally Disturbed

Date Accessed March 14, 2019

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Being overweight often causes depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, and can make you want to lock yourself in the house all day, canceling plans because you can’t find a decent outfit to wear while going out with friends. It’s a miserable experience. However, it doesn’t matter how many times as you tell yourself, “tomorrow I will start this diet or exercise program”, you find yourself never going through with it. Sadly, this is where many people become stuck in a cycle of depression and regret. Which often leads to overeating on the couch while binge-watching your favorite show. I understand and know this feeling all too well. I used to do it for years. However, what if I told you that you could break the cycle, lose weight, and get out of depression from being overweight? You can! However, there will be sacrifices, there will be days where you don’t do so well, and it will be hard in the beginning. That’s where motivation and determination come in. Once you have the motivation, will power, and start working towards a healthier version of yourself, you start feeling better, depression reduces, and you become proud of every step you take towards bettering yourself. The hardest part is starting and not giving up. Though I’m here to say, you can do anything you put your mind to.

So, stop waiting for tomorrow, get started today, even if it’s a small goal of 5 sit-ups, throwing out unhealthy food or cutting back portions. You are the one in control. Stop letting your emotions get the best of you. With that being said, keep reading below for advice on how to gain and keep motivation, what to do on the days you feel as if you failed, and some of the things you can do to get physically healthy for your mental wellbeing. Additionally, there will be links to some of the things I personally use to feel my best, lose weight, and how I stay motivated when it feels like the world is against me.

*The links are affiliate links. I do make a small commission if you buy a product, I sometimes use affiliate links to make extra income, so I’m able to keep writing and following my passion. You don’t have to click the links provided nor buy any product, however, if you do, it is very appreciated. So, thank you in advance if you decided to use one of my links to buy a product. I do my best to make sure the links are safe, reliable, and are from trusted sources.

 Gaining Motivation

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Have you ever had a burning desire to start something, but had absolutely no motivation to actually start whatever it may be? Weight loss, a sport, learning something new, etc. If so, it’s okay. Starting new things can become overwhelming at times. Especially, with countless resources, both biased and unbiased. It can be confusing on where to start and what to do after you start, sometimes it feels better to not try, or you start researching and become stuck. Many people often watch and read about success stories repeatedly, wishing they too could become a success story. However, they never really start on their personal goals. Well, I’m here to say, YOU can become one of those success stories! All it takes is one step followed by another and not giving up, even when you stumble. There will be days where you feel as if you’ve failed, however, that’s when you get back up and keep trying. Don’t let one day turn into weeks, months, or years of not perusing your goals. Whether it’s for weight loss or something different, you’re the one in control.

You may be sitting there thinking, yes, I know these things, now how do I gain the motivation to start on these goals? Simple. You just start, even if you don’t want to. Start anywhere you want to, this is your journey. Your success, failures, and goals are your own. Prepare for the days when you didn’t meet your goals and get back up and try again. Your failed attempts will shape and mold you. Additionally, you will gain experience you can share with others so they can learn from your personal mistakes.

Somewhere in your mind, you may be afraid to start. Whether it’s because you fear failure, change, or you’re unsure of the outcome. Try to take a few moments to clear your mind and ask yourself why and write down the things you come up with. Then take a moment and list the excuses you tell yourself of why you can’t or haven’t started perusing your goals. Many people, myself included, use the excuse, I don’t have any time. However, they scroll through social media for hours at a time or play games. Now, imagine taking 20-30 minutes out of your social media, gaming, tv time, etc. to work towards your goals. You still have time to do both. Additionally, you can work on goals during work breaks, during the time between classes, even when going to the bathroom. Personally, I do 10-20 squats every time I go to the bathroom, so I’m able to get some type of exercise throughout the day. My point is if there is a will,  there is a way. Stop coming up with excuses that are preventing you from becoming one of those success stories you’re always watching and reading about.

Keeping motivation after you’ve started can be challenging at times, so I am providing a list of things you can do to reboot your mind, so you can continue working on your goals.

  • Take a relaxing bath with candles, scented oils, bath salts, while playing relaxing music
  • Have a cheat day or two planned out, but don’t overdo it
  • Make time to read or watch inspirational stories
  • Keep a journal of how far you’ve come
  • Remember to be patient, it takes time to change
  • Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake, learn how to get back up and keep trying
  • Get creative, having a creative outlet like writing and drawing, can help you reduce stress
  • Have a supportive friend to encourage you when you feel like giving up

Failed Days; They’re Okay!

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As much as I dislike saying this, I must. There will be days you fail to meet your personal expectations and sometimes you’re going to want to give up. It’s okay,  it’s natural, these feelings don’t make you a failure nor do they take away the progress you’ve already achieved. The only way you fail is if you decided to give up. This is where determination, will power, and understanding comes in. On these days, it’s important to remember to keep going. As mentioned above, you don’t want one day of not meeting your goals turn into weeks, months, or years. This is where you break the cycle of starting and stopping. Your failed days are going to make you stronger mentally. Learning to be self-disciplined is crucial when achieving goals. Think of yourself as a rock becoming a diamond. Through hard work, determination, and not giving up, you’re in the process of becoming a diamond. Diamonds are made by time and an enormous amount of pressure. They’re not only beautiful after the process is complete, but they’re also hard to break. You are in the process of becoming an unbreakable diamond, don’t give up in the middle of your transformation!

Here are a few ways to jump back in when you feel as if you failed

  • Journal all your feelings and thoughts. Furthermore, write down a plan for when things don’t go as planned. Writing down a plan is more effective than keeping it in your head.
  • Make an upbeat playlist and listen to it when you feel as if you failed to meet expectations. I will include a list of motivational songs at the bottom of this page in a downloadable format, to put you back into the groove of accomplishing your goals.
  • Try not to snack away your feelings, this can make you feel even worse.
  • Do something productive, sometimes doing something productive counter reacts to the negative feelings of not meeting a goal. You’ll be able to say I didn’t meet my goal, but I was able to get__________ done. It always brightens my mood up a little when I’ve gotten something done, that I put off.
  • Learn how to accept failed days as a part of your journey.

Even celebrities have moments where they feel as if all hope is lost and may think about giving up. However, most of them push through and become better than they already were, inspiring thousands in the process.

My Personal Journey with Weight Loss: The Shortened Version

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Tears filled my eyes after stepping on the bathroom scale. Seeing the numbers 253 made me feel like an elephant, but less cute. My son had just turned one and seeing the birthday photos made me realize how much weight I had packed on. Stepping on the scale and seeing how much I gained hurt, but it gave me the determination to start my journey. Immediately, I made my mind up. I was going to lose all the extra weight so I could be healthy for my son. The next day I removed all snack foods and started reducing my soda intake (I was drinking a 12 pack in two days or less). I won’t lie, it was hard at first and I craved soda, chips, and sweets. I had constant headaches that made me irritable, but I pushed on, telling myself it would all be worth it. After two weeks of letting my body adjust to all the changes, I started an exercise challenge, using the app 30 days. Within the first month, I lost 10 pounds and became more motivated than I was prior. I switched my daily soda to sparkling water, started the Keto diet, and started drinking a gallon of water every day. By doing all this, I lost 40 pounds in 4 months and I’m still losing weight.

I also invested in protein shakes, a stomach wrap that promotes sweat, thigh wraps, water reduction pills, and night time weight loss medication that also helps with sleeping. I will provide my personal reviews and the links below.

The picture on the left is when I weighed my heaviest at 250+ pounds, the right picture is after I lost 40 pounds. I still have a long way to go, but I know I can achieve anything I put my mind to. If I can do it, you can too! What are you waiting for? Get up, get active, and become one of those success stories you admire.

Links and Reviews

As promised, here are the links to the products I’ve personally bought, along with a short review. (Just click on the highlighted words if you’re interested in buying something, the links will redirect you to Amazon, as well as keep this page open)

FitMiss Delight

Personally, I loved the taste and was able to use water instead of milk. However, it was hard to mix with a spoon, so I bought a mixing cup with a spring ball, which helped to mix the powder a lot easier.

The Helpful Blender Bottle

 

This is one of my favorite purchases I’ve bought for my weight loss journey. It’s easy to clean, mixes powder better than most things out in the market, and is price friendly! I use mine daily and have not had a problem, it’s a great buy!

Drinking a gallon of water every day is easy with the QuiFit Gallon Water Bottle

 

I love, love, love this water bottle. It was a much-needed upgrade from the milk jug I was using. However, it’s not as cheap as some of the other gallon water bottles. If you are worried about the price, here is a cheaper version of this water bottle. Though, I don’t know how well it works, always remember to read reviews before buying anything online.

Sweet Sweat Stomach Wraps and Thigh Wraps

Both of these products have helped me sweat off inches and lose weight. My body retains water often and both of these help me sweat out the access water while working out. They are a little pricy, but it’s worth it. You’re investing in yourself!

Hot Gel 

 

Thermoactive Hot Gel helps you produce more sweat, helping you lose weight faster. It works wonders when exercising, and it smells awesome!

Slim Fast Meal Replacement Shakes

I personally get a big can and two smaller cans when buying Slim Fast. I also switch back and forth between products, so my body doesn’t become adjusted to one product and stop working. I just started drinking Slim Fast at the beginning of the month of March, so I don’t know how well it’s going to work. The taste is amazing and it does keep me full for about 4-5 hours.

Lean PM Nightime Weight loss and Sleep Aid

This product helped me lose 11 pounds in a week! I was able to sleep better and lose weight in the process. However, you have to remember, everybody’s bodies react differently, so be cautious when taking supplements. 

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Remember, you don’t need any of these products or a gym to start your journey. It’s up to you to take control of your life and put forth an effort to change. It’s hard, it’s time-consuming, and most of the time it’s not fun. However, with enough determination and motivation, you can do anything you set your mind to. You are a success story waiting to happen.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, it is greatly appreciated.

Personally, I view stress as a normal response your body has when someone takes on, or expects, too much from themselves or others. When you over think or overwork your body responds with things like being fatigued, irritated over the smallest things, depressed, sluggish, etc. Additionally, stress can cause physical harm to the body such as constipation, hair loss, ulcers, weight gain/loss, memory loss and more. These are signs that mean you should step back and evaluate what’s making you feel the way you’re feeling. Sometimes the things we stress about are beyond our control, while other stress triggers can be reduced or eliminated completely. Keep reading below to find out how you can reduce stress and find more inner peace with situations beyond your control.

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Coping with stress is easier said than done if you’re like me, even coping with stress stresses you out, ha-ha. However, everyone has something they can do to help cope with stress. To begin with, I would like to address the type of stress that is beyond our control. Things like having to work to provide for yourself and a family, worrying about the future or past, stressing about what others think about you, etc.… While these are inevitable, there are still ways you can lessen your stress and get through the day without wanting to set the world on fire. First, try making a list of things in your life that are out of your control. Second, after you figure out what you can’t control, try making another list of things that bring you joy. Finally, after you write down a list of things that bring you happiness, try to come up with several plans with the “joy” list for times you become overstressed. Sadly, stress will always pop its ugly head up during the worst time. It’s always a good idea to have a plan for when things become too overwhelming.

Additionally, there are types of stress that can be cut out of your life, though you must put forth an effort and a change of lifestyle if you want to eliminate the stress that is within your control. I won’t lie, you’ll be stressed at first, however, you will be working towards reducing or eliminating that stress for the long run. Being stressed about weight, whether you need to lose or gain weight, is an example of stress that you can control (unless you have a medical condition). It will be hard at first, but when you put the time and effort into yourself and see results, your stress about weight starts to reduce. Another example of stress you can control is stress related to self-esteem. While you may not be able to control the way you look, sound, stand, walk, how others view you, etc…, you can change how you perceive yourself. Did you know it takes about a month to break and create a habit? If you would like to break negative thinking you could start a self-love journal or do self-love challenges to get your mind in the habit it should have been in a long time ago; loving yourself and accepting yourself for who you are, instead of worrying about who others want you to be.

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Consequently, if you do not try to reduce your stress you could go through physical and mental despair. Some of the physical complications your body can go through while you’re overstressed can include stomach complications like ulcers, constipation, and IBS. Furthermore, acne and weight problems are also related to stress. Additionally, stress can also cause mental struggles like anger, depression, insomnia, and memory loss. Personally, I have experienced all of the complications mentioned above, including memory loss. In 2014, I lost most of my memory from overstressing and acting like everything was fine. I didn’t get the help I needed, and I had to be hospitalized for 3 months. I could not recognize my mother, brothers, nor my roommates. To make things worse, my brain was trying to merge the past with the present, along with reality and fantasy. I was not on drugs, and I had quit drinking 3 weeks prior. I woke up one day and snapped from all the crap life had thrown at me from the age of 6. Apparently, the human mind can only withhold so much before mentally snapping, even if you’re happy and living a good life. The doctors didn’t know what was wrong at first, but after being evaluated I was told I was going through psychosis from the amount of stress I was under. As you can see, overstressing can have serious consequences.

However, you can look at normal stress as beneficial. Normal stress lets you know when you are taking on too much, it’s your body’s way of telling you to relax. Furthermore, some stress helps you be more productive. It helps by making you aware of the projects you’ve been putting off. Not to mention, some stress can keep you out of dangerous situations. For example, if you’re invited to a party, but you’re not getting a good vibe from the invitation, that’s stress letting you know, “hey this might not be a good idea.” Always listen to your body, it helps guide you through life if you take a moment to listen to its needs.

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As you can see everyone experiences stress men, women, children, the elderly, even animals experience stress. However, everyone experiences stress differently. What stresses you might seem silly to someone else, always keep in mind everyone responds to things differently. Never make someone feel as if they are being over-dramatic about something that is stressing them. Comfort them at the least. Not taking stress seriously can have serious health consequences, both physical and mental. If you begin having serious problems, see a doctor immediately. There will always be a way to manage stress, whether it’s going to a doctor, therapist, or taking the time to meditate to listen to what your body needs.

I have provided a stress worksheet with examples down below.

Stress Worksheet

 

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Remember: You Are Never Alone in Your Struggles

Time is a wonderful tool to help numb the harsh sting of death. However, nothing can ever replace the deep longing of wanting someone who has deceased to come back. The death of a loved one leaves an invisible scar within the heart, that can hurt years after someone has passed away. You could be out walking and pass someone with a familiar scent and a million memories cross your mind in an instant, due to a particular perfume or cologne. Suddenly your eyes start to water, and your heart begins to swell with emotions. Many people question things like, how does someone overcome these feelings, is it controllable, what do you do when it happens in public? Keep reading below for tips, tricks, and advice on how to manage the sting of death, and how you can be there for someone going through this brutal part of life.

Tip Number One: Channeling the Hurt into Something Positive

A beautiful quote by Ovid says, “Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.” What I personally take from this quote is, by going through the pain and getting through the hurt, in a healthy, positive manner, it can help you in the future. For example, you could channel all your pain into art and possibly become a famous artist; or you could dedicate yourself into helping others who have felt similar grief, overcome their own sorrow. Channeling your grief into something positive, such as art, poetry, teaching, or guiding others out of similar situations can benefit you and others in a few ways. Additionally, you could channel your pain into playing a sport, gaming, LARP, or another community like activity. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people and having fun can help you get your mind off the loss of a loved one. There are so many different groups for just about anything, a quick google search should be able to help you find a group of people you can relate to. Channeling your pain into something positive like art or an active community can help you cope with the loss of a loved one by getting your mind off the unchangeable. You can also meet new people who can help you overcome your sorrows.

Tip Number Two: Let it Out and Cry, It’s Okay to Feel

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Many people believe crying makes them look weak or undesirable. Crying and having emotions are normal, and it’s also a way for our bodies to cope with stress. Holding in emotions can have numerous negative effects later, like breaking down over something small. By giving yourself time to cry and process your emotions, you can begin to properly heal. When you hold in your distress you can easily become irritable, tired, angry, depressed, and unmotivated. Crying is the body’s natural way to overcome the pain, so don’t feel embarrassed or weak by letting out your emotions. Losing someone you love is something everyone goes through, it’s okay to cry. It takes a strong individual to display how they feel.

Tip Number Three: Surround Yourself With Positive Friends and Family

When someone you love is taken from this world, it’s easy to want to hide away from the world and ignore everyone. Don’t do that. Yes, it’s okay to take the time to get over the death, however, don’t shut yourself away from the world. By shutting yourself off from the rest of your friends and family, it can cause deep spiraling depression and make you feel worse. Surrounding yourself with friends and family who care about you can help pull you out of depression and can eventually help cheer you up. Your friends and family are your biggest support system, they are there when you need them. However, there are many people who do not have that type of support system. Though, there are organizations who have thousands of people who care about others and will talk to people going through a rough time.

How to Cope When Depression Hits in Public

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As mentioned above, sometimes being in public can trigger memories of a deceased loved one. When this happens, it can be difficult to manage your emotions. If you need to, quickly find an isolated spot like a bathroom or an empty store to collect your thoughts. If you begin to cry, remember that it’s okay and normal to cry. Try taking deep breaths and focusing on good memories, talk to yourself and reassure yourself you are fine. It can be embarrassing to start crying in public, I know this all too well. There was a time where whenever I saw an older couple I would instantly start crying, leaving the person wondering why I was sobbing like a child who lost her favorite toy. Little did they know, I had gone through the death of a close friend and I kept thinking “she will never grow to be old.” That certain realization caused me to weep every time I saw someone elderly, for almost two weeks. There was nothing I could do, except go through the emotions and get past the pain. Sometimes that’s all anyone can do, is let the pain pass.

Helping Others Cope With the Death of a Loved One

Sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where one of your friends are experiencing the death of a loved one, and you don’t know how to help them. This is a time where all you need to do is be there as a shoulder to cry on and have an open ear, to listen to them vent. Remind them to eat, shower, and get out of bed. Losing someone dear can make anyone experience a deep depression, check in on them frequently and remind them they are on your mind. However, don’t be overly pushy or demanding, these actions can cause them to lash on you, even though you’re only trying to help. Be patient and understand they are going through a rough time. Time heals all wounds, friends help guide us through the pain.

While the longing to be able to see your deceased loved one will always remain in your heart, there will always be ways to get through the pain. Losing someone you care about cuts deeper than a knife and can make you want to shut yourself away from the world. However, this will only make things worse. Having an outlet, a positive support system, and crying can help you overcome the loss of a loved one. Death is a part of life and is inevitable, the way you cope with death can either help you grow stronger as a person or it can make you want to lock yourself away from society. By keeping your mind busy and active with the support of friends and family, you’ll be able to overcome the harsh sting of death. Additionally, you’ll be able to help guide a friend through this rough part of life.

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*HUGS* To everyone who is going through the death of a loved one.

 

This blog post is dedicated to my beautiful, loving, grandmother Joann Price Cornelius, who passed away on February 6, 2019. You touched many people’s lives while you were alive. Your kind words and wisdom will continue to live on through everyone you inspired. You were one of the strongest women I knew, and many people looked up to you in awe. You may be gone, but you will never be forgotten. Rest in peace maw-maw, I love you.

 

Depression can make you feel like darkness is taking over you, changing you inside and out. The happy go lucky person, who always has a smile on, is replaced by a version of yourself who sees the darkest aspects of life. It can change your whole personality and make you feel hopeless. Down below, is a poem I wrote when I was feeling highly depressed. It’s not a happy poem, but it is a poem about how I felt at that moment and an inside look of what depression can feel like.

 

Taken Over

I can feel the depression on my skin

It takes ahold of me

And the process of hopelessness taking over begins

Long sleepless nights

Leave dark bruises under my eyes

This sadness is no longer just inside

You can tell by the way I walk

You can tell by the way I talk

The depression is slowly consuming me

Taking every part of me until I am nothing but empty

This darkness spreads like an incurable disease

There is no fixing me

So, I shall bleed

The pain is what keeps me from the empty feeling inside

Though I fear I have already died

I am no longer me

Depression has finally taken over, can’t you see

 

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Surprisingly, I felt better after writing about how I felt. Having a creative outlet can help you in many ways, from feeling better to building a creative portfolio, in which you can share with the world, to help others overcome their own depression. Feeling lost and hopeless is one of the worst feelings out there, being able to help someone overcome those feelings is a wonderful gift. The world needs more people helping each other overcome hardship, rather than suppressing feelings and ignoring those clearly in distress.

Growing up, I was not taught how to manage my emotions. I turned to self-harm in my teenage years, along with overeating, to ease the pain inside. For a long time, I was an unstable adult, who managed my emotions poorly and became stuck in a cycle of depression. After having a child, I decided it was time to learn how to manage my emotions so I could teach my son how to express his emotions in a positive manner. Personally, I believe many children are not taught how to manage emotions, which is why there are so many adults with negative outlets when it comes to anger, depression, and fear. Numerous people turn to drugs, self-harm, overeating, and other negative outlets, to avoid painful emotions. I believe if there were classes dedicated to managing emotions in every school, we would be able to build a better future for the upcoming generations, a future where there are less destructive outlets. Therefore a decrease in violence, drugs, and prescriptions for things like bipolar and depression.

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As you can see, creative outlets have numerous positive benefits, like helping others overcome their own personal demons and helping you take better control of your life. Being able to control your emotions is vital to your mental health. Once you are in complete control over your emotions, you can overcome anything. So, the next time a wave of depression or anger washes over you, try to find a creative way to let it out, you will be glad you did.

Don’t forget to hit the like button and follow my blog, if you enjoyed what you read. Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Constructive criticism is more than welcomed, I am always eager to learn from mistakes to improve my writing.

There once was a very greedy king who owned more than any man in the land. However, the unhappiness in this foolish kings’ heart caused him to want more and more. He tried filling his life with objects, beautiful women, the finest horses, and more; but he could never satisfy his greedy heart. One day he overheard two young knights talking about a myth, passed down for many generations; saying if one was to find the lost items of a ruler from long ago, the person who found the items, their heart’s desire would be met. Instantly the king began to plan his journey to find the lost items, hoping to satisfy his unhappiness. He ordered knights to protect him from harm while on his quest. After 15 years of searching for the lost items, the king and his knights came across a cave, inside it was the lost items from the stories. However, there were only five items in the cave, a painting, a sack of coins, a staff, a mirror, and a saying on the wall: “Those who journeyed across the land for the items I have left, how much time has passed? Were you not satisfied with the life you had? Your greed and worldly desires caused you to waste your life, searching for the things in life I treasure dearly, not you.” The king began to weep, he finally understood life was not about meaningless objects. His kingdom was lost, he no longer had any of the lavish objects he once owned, and the time that passed by had turned him into an old man, who was now bitter about the things he had lost. Be grateful for what you have, because you could end up losing everything searching for nothing.

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Sometimes we cause our own unhappiness by wanting things we don’t need or being unappreciative towards the things we have. Many people, myself included, take so much for granted. Things like clean water, a warm home, electricity, and food. When material things become our main focus, the bigger picture can become blurry. We automatically think material things can bring happiness, which they can, but only for a short time. It’s like a drug that gets you high temporarily. Happiness is found when you are content and at peace with yourself, even if you don’t have the latest gadgets, the biggest house, or the nicest clothes. In reality, those things don’t matter. Happiness is found within, so to achieve happiness, you have to journey within yourself, to find peace.

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I wrote the short story above as a reminder to be appreciative for everything I have, instead of wanting more. It’s okay to want nice things and go after them, but don’t get too wrapped up in material objects. You’ll end up on a wild goose chase trying to find happiness, only to end up unhappy.

 

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Living with anxiety can be a living nightmare; in which you’re trying desperately to wake from. The rapid heartbeats, the overwhelming rush of nervousness, the unstoppable, overthinking that never slows down… Anxiety can take its toll on anyone’s mental health and stability. The bottom line is, anxiety is difficult to live with and can make you feel as if you’re drowning in your thoughts and emotions, as you’re desperately trying to gasp for air. However, there are ways you can cope with anxiety. I’m sure you’ve heard of various breathing techniques and methods to calm down, which are great, however, today I’ll be giving you three ways to cope with anxiety, that can also help you bring in a little extra income. Keep reading down below to find out three money-making anxiety reducers, along with links to help you get started selling your creations online.

Art

Do you ever find yourself getting extremely anxious and start doodling, either on your skin, or a piece of paper? Art is a very helpful coping mechanism when it comes to reducing anxiety. It helps to focus your mind on more productive and creative things, rather than stressing about things out of your control. Furthermore, you can turn your stress doodles into cash by selling your artwork. There are various sites that can help

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you get your art out into the world. You can sell original or even prints of your masterpiece. There are even people who come up with designs for stitch work and convert them into a PDF, that can be sold. Another fun thing to do that falls under art, is making crafts to sell. The dollar tree and wholesale websites are wonderful for finding things to make. For example, you can buy one-dollar mugs or glasses, and draw characters on them to sell them online. Facebook, Craigslist, and Letgo are all amazing ways to sell your crafts locally. I have provided links at the end of this article for well known and trusted sites that can help get your art out into the world. Being able to reduce anxiety and make a small income is a win-win.

Writing

Not good at art or creating things? That’s okay, another anxiety reducer that can help you make money is writing. Poetry, novels, opinions, songs, are all a form of writing that can help you make a little money on the side. The best part is you don’t have to be good at writing to write, if you’re able to get your point across to get your readers to take from your writing, then you’re doing something right. Your writing doesn’t have to be 100% perfect.  However, it’s always a good idea to get someone to revise it and help with

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spelling and grammar. Publishing something that can potentially make your anxiety spike worse is never a good idea. There are many free websites that help with punctuation, grammar, spelling, plagiarism checking, and other writing tools and tips. You may be wondering how can you sell your writing? Well, if you have access to a laptop or computer you can easily find places to sell your work. Websites that I have personally used are ProBlogger, Fivver, Freelancer, Vocal, WordPress, etc… You can also cold email companies and ask to write for them. There will be links to websites at the end of this article.

Photography

Can’t see yourself doing the two suggestions above? Good news, there is also another anxiety reducer that can help you bring in money. Taking photos of the beautiful world around you can be another way to reduce anxiety. This can help you get out of the house, and get fresh air while doing something productive. You don’t need professional equipment to start, you can always work your way up to better equipment. You can easily take photos with your phone, and edit them, thanks to today’s advanced technology. If you have an eye and a talent for capturing the perfect moment, then this would be the way to go. There are many people who make a living off taking and selling photos online for reuse.

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There you have it, three anxiety reducers that can make you an extra income. Creating beautiful art, that people would love to have in their homes or give as a gift. Writing captivating stories, poems, life events, and more. Many people enjoy getting lost in a good story. Lastly, capturing mesmerizing photos for people to use on their websites, blogs, inside their homes, or offices. These three activities help reduce anxiety by getting your mind to focus on something productive. You can make money with these anxiety reducers by selling your creations, offering your services to companies that need a good content writer, or selling captivating photos. Go ahead, and try one the next time you start feeling overwhelmed, even if you decide to keep your creations for yourself, though you wouldn’t be making extra cash. Always remember, it’s always better to have a healthy mind than to be full of stress.

Links to websites

Selling Art:

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Writing Jobs:

 

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Selling Photography:

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The websites above may or may not be free to sell your services, sometimes websites ask for a fee to promote yourself. Sometimes in order to make money, you have to spend money.

 

 

 

 

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