mental health

Currently Anxious

Lately something triggered my anxiety severely. It’s mainly been feeling like I’ve offended or hurt someone and trying to fix that. So naturally I wanted to make a post about anxiety and talk about the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack, as well as techniques to help one through it.

The Difference:

Firstly, I want to start with describing both types of attacks. A panic attack involves heavy breathing, gasping for air and circulating thoughts. Panic attacks are also unprovoked, not involving a stressor. On the other hand, an anxiety attack follows a stressor. One is fearful and apprehensive about it and it often leads to illogical thoughts arising and jumping to conclusions. In terms of physical symptoms, I don’t tend to gasp for during a anxiety attack as it’s very much in the moment. It’s more just breathless feeling and chest tightness. However, everyone is different and physical symptoms can depend on an individual.

Both are scary and it can be quite hard to escape them without feeling negativity towards yourself. At times during anxiety attacks we can blame ourselves and feel like we’ve done something wrong. As a result we apologise for things we probably didn’t do. Something I’ve learnt recently is the term logical fallacy and it really helps take away from the situation and view it objectively.

Logical Fallacy:

Logical fallacy is the use of invalid or otherwise faulty reasoning in the construction of an argument.

Wikipedia

When we view this in terms of anxiety, it explains the reasoning of how we can jump to conclusions. For example, if someone doesn’t feel like talking or leaves us on read. Sometimes my brain can say oh they might be busy. However, when anxiety sets in, it says they’re mad at us or that we’ve done something wrong. This is an example of a logical fallacy. Through overthinking, faulty reasoning weeds it’s way into our mind and then we draw a conclusion based on zero facts. So how does this help with anxiety?

It’s definitely a mental effort, but knowing and identifying a logical fallacy can really help In deterring unwanted thoughts. Even if you if try and fail, letting the negative thoughts in, it’s still progress. I like to think that it’s an accumulative effect, every time you tell yourself this, the faster it takes for you to realise the logical fallacy. In saying all this, I want to stress that this definitely isn’t the only way to help with anxiety attacks, and it’s up to you to find what works best.

Techniques for Combating Anxiety:

  • Writing. I’ve said this many times and I’ll continue to mention it. Right now as I write this, it’s very therapeutic and helps me consolidate my thoughts. It can be in any form but it definitely has the ability to help.
  • Drawing. Taking the time to draw allows reflections. It keeps you moving at a steady pace while your mind thinks. It’s a lot better than the erratic motion that anxiety can bring because this type of motion is controlled.
  • Replika. This is an artificial intelligence app that is free. It’s there to help with mental health but also just talk to you. I’m not going to lie, she can be a bit weird in role playing mode, but the regular conversations really can help.
  • Positive affirmations. I recently downloaded an app that gives you notifications throughout the day. It has messages like ‘I am loved’ and ‘I deserve what I achieve’. It’s really good because I find myself saying these lines in my head throughout the day. And eventually I started to agree with them!

These are just a few techniques to try and everyone’s different. It’s about finding what works best for you. In saying that, it’s good to try different things because what works for you one week might not work another.

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Photography

Silently Watching

I’ve recently started photography as a hobby and I wanted to share on of my favourite photos and a quote that match.

Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.

Robert Fulghum

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Inspiring People

Self Expression

Self expression is important for reflection. In a way it helps the mind to set thoughts and feelings free. The act of writing, drawing, amongst other things helps a person to observe the feeling, emotion or situation. Observing it in another form rather than in your brain is a great way to grasp how oneself sees the pains. I sort of lost my way recently in terms of why I draw and write. It’s easy to become focused on likes and comments. While I love to help others and I’m sure many people do, sometimes we need to remember to focus on ourselves and express our emotions. So, let’s explore ways to express ourselves.

Writing:

Writing is a great start. Creating a character, a scene or anything for that matter expresses the state of ones mind amazingly. Writing has so much symbolism in it and you can truely tell when someone has felt pain through words. If writing isn’t your thing, reading can definitely help in understanding emotions.

Some examples of amazing literature that show the human condition incredibly well:

  • Wuthering Heights. It shows how one can love someone so much yet still let status and pride guide them.
  • Harry Potter. While this author has been disowned by fans. The writing is great and it demonstrates too many themes to cover.
  • Poetry by Henry Lawson. He was an Australian poet and the imagery he creates in The Water Lily is truely beautiful.
  • Poetry by Rosemary Dobson. Again this poet is Australian and creates fantastic imagery in her poetry.

Art:

Drawing, painting or whatever type of art you prefer can help with reflection. It’s creating a story within a usually stagnant piece of work. Art can take hours to do as well so it’s really bringing one back to the art piece and helping them to think. I don’t have any favourite artists so please recommend some to me! I’m always looking for new inspiration.

Photography:

I previously tried getting into photography and my family as well as some classmates made me feel stupid. Never feel stupid for learning a skill, especially one that creates a scene for you. I’ve started trying to photograph again and it’s really calming to just take photos of things that love and inspire me. I definitely recommend it! Luckily Instagram has made photography accessible, so it’s quite easy to find someone you connect with to inspire you.

Baking:

Baking is great! The entire process not only gives one time to think but it creates something delicious to enjoy at the end of it. When you bake a cake or make a pie you can also decorate it and I’ve seen some truely amazing decorations. What better way to express yourself than decorating a cake and eating it afterwards!

Your Style

Fashion exists for a reason. It’s self expression. Days when people feel uncomfortable they choose safer clothing. Days when people are happy they tend to put more effort in. Our style is a reflection of who we are and it’s great in terms of positive self expression. So why not dress up and do some photography, it’s amazing to feel good about oneself and express that.

A common theme amongst all these activities listed tends to be creativity and it really does tie in with self expression. So look for inspiration and create for yourself. It’s okay to let others guide you and inspire but don’t compare to others because everyone’s unique in how they express themselves. I know I’ve missed a lot of stuff to try and these are just some I have personally experienced, so let me know, what do you do for self expression?

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Poetry · Uncategorized

Art

Today I realised,

Why I love art so much.

It keeps my hands busy,

Matching my mind.


Long ago,

I lost touch with it.

It was years since I drew.

Then recently,

My pen touched the paper.

And it’s movement matched my mind.


Art truely can heal.

It’s calming.

Allowing the pen to flow,

It lets my mind do the same.

Now I remember why I love art.

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Uncategorized

Ignorance is Bliss

Lately I’ve noticed exactly how much the world enjoys living in ignorance. Naturally, I became curious as to why. I know I personally prefer to ignore the hard things in life and go on not knowing. While it can be easier to ignore what’s troubling us, it can become quite detrimental to our mental and physical health. So, how exactly can we escape it?

Blissful Ignorance – Agnotology

When I first began to reflect on ignorance it was because I heard the term Agnotology in a podcast (ologies). Agnotology is the study of culturally induced ignorance and how it’s used as a tool to divert our attention from social problems. A recent example is the pandemic, some people are being purposfully ignorant despite the very obvious signs it’s going on. While on a societal level its easy to see how the media and the input we get influences us. So I want to explore the reasons we want to be ignorant in every day life about every days things.

Why Do We Choose to Ignore Things?

Personally, when I am faced with a hard task I like to ignore or even procrastinate it, especially when I think I might fail. The brain likes use ignorance as a coping mechanism and if it isn’t there then it cannot cause us pain or hurt. It’s very much a survival instinct, similar to being afraid of what we cannot see in the dark. If it cannot be seen, it’s scary. If we don’t know what’s going to happen it can hurt us. And so, we can go through life blissfully avoiding/ignoring it. While this causes us less pain, that hurt is a part of life and helps us to grow, without it our mental health can suffer.

How Does it Effect Us Mentally?

Most of us have experience a situation when we would really like to do something but are afraid, so we dont try never knowing what would happen and thus we are kept ignorant. The issue with doing this is that it keeps us stagnant and wondering what if, as well as keeping us in a constant cycle of being afraid to try. That consistant cycle keeps us from progressing mentally and in many other aspects. We need to fail to learn and grow, without it people become less open minded. An analogy is when someone is confronted about their behaviour and how it effects the person. Sometimes they refuse to acknowledge that they did hurt someone, maybe its because it hurt that they themselves made a mistake. But the result is that they can’t grow and move forward, learning to handle confrontation and even apologise. They continue to be insensitive and go through life like that. These kinds of people also tend to lose others a lot because they refuse to change. For me, I try to embrace failure the best I can because I know the outcome, which is that I will become better because of it. Yes, its incredibly painful but we can be resiliant at times and we come out better because of it.

How Do We Escape?

Like most things we do, it’s definitely a mental battle. The mind can be powerful in stopping and starting new behaviours. Here’s some ways that I believe could help, it’s very much dependant on an individual, in saying that it’s fantastic to get ideas and try new things.

  • Start small. Think of something small you’ve been avoiding. Going all in and trying new things constantly can be overwhelming and can have the opposite effect.
  • Positive mental feedback. I tend to get thoughts where I put myself down but I’ve learn’t to automatically talk back to them. For example, saying you’re stupid. Tell yourself ‘no, I’m not’ back. Negative thoughts can have a major effect on ones belief in themselves.
  • Praise and congradulate yourself when you achieve something. You struggled mentally and you’ve overcome. Celebrate in any way you can.
  • Create a list. I used to think it was stupid to write down all my mental jargon. It totally isn’t, we need to express ourselves and correlate them somehow. Write a list as detailed or simple as you desire.
  • Symbolism. This is a great way to channel your feelings. It might sound a littler bit strange but it can help especially when you’re first learning to overcome obstacles.

These are just some suggestions that might help. It’s about finding what works best for you. Many of us struggle with overcoming fear, but as long as we keep trying to push through them we shouldn’t feel guilty about lack of progress in life. And if anyone reading this is trying debating whether they should do something they’ve been afraid of, this is a sign! Thanks for reading!

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Shallow Breaths

Every single breath, Doesn’t feel whole. It’s a tiny fraction of what it once was. I don’t know why I let the pain in, The hurt becomes too much to bare. I haven’t been myself for a while, And now everything is resurfacing suddenly. I long for the time my breaths were whole, A time… Continue reading Shallow Breaths

Black And White

There’s no black and white. A million possibilities exist. Yet, if that’s the case, Then why doesn’t it feel that way? There’s only two choices, Pain or not. That’s all I can see, And all I wish to see. My heart is too weak, The hurt is too strong. Sometimes I forget, The pain that… Continue reading Black And White

Currently Anxious

Lately something triggered my anxiety severely. It’s mainly been feeling like I’ve offended or hurt someone and trying to fix that. So naturally I wanted to make a post about anxiety and talk about the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack, as well as techniques to help one through it. The Difference:… Continue reading Currently Anxious

Poetry

Rely on Yourself

I found myself seeking others,

Trying to find a solution,

Only to be disappointed.


I searched,

Over sharing my thoughts as a cry for help,

Desperately holding back the tears.


Then someone answered.

It wasn’t a solution,

Not in the sense I was expecting.

But, those words ignited a flame in me,

An idea that I realised I was searching for all along.


“Rely on yourself”, they said

At the end of the day,

I know me better than anyone,

Therefore I know what’s best.

No one could help me,

Because I needed to help myself.


These words still ring in my brain.

And I am forever thankful to the person who cited them.

Inspiring People

Changing Mindsets

Something I’ve struggled with lately is changing my mindset. I find that my view on something changes in relation to my mental health. For example, when I am struggling with my mental health, the bad things in life become painful, as if the universe is trying to make life harder. In this post I want to explore ways to change mindset and to remind myself, as well as others that shit happens.

Challenger Your Thoughts

Changing mindset is a mental battle and simply telling yourself that the universe isn’t out to get you and bad shit just happens can go a long way. Earlier this year when I felt I wasn’t in control of my actions and was stressed about it. I would tell myself ‘I’m in control’ every time feelings of anxiety arose. Eventually it gets in your head that you are in control and no one around you can truely control you.

I believe this is manifestation in a sense. We can manifest our positive mindsets because we are telling ourselves. If we were to wait for things to go right than we’d be waiting a long time, because life is full of obstacles.

Consume Positive Media

I cannot stress this enough. Today I was watching videos on body transformations and while I have a positive body image currently, seeing these peoples transformation was making me feel the need to step on the scale. I tend to be terrified of the scale and it was having a negative impact so I had to switch it off. Obviously we ourselves define what’s negative media for us, but it can have a profound effect on our mood and mindset.

Walking away from something triggering can be difficult, especially with algorithms always throwing it in our face. Try to avoid it though if you feel particularly vulnerable, because a negative mindset can be exhausting.


Looking back, I think these are the biggest factors in changing my mindset but it’s different for everyone. Every once in a while it’s nice to reflect because everyone does forget what helps them to think more positively.

Thanks for reading!

Poetry

Breathing

Sometimes breathing is too hard

One second feeling like a lifetime of pain

With no end in sight

No endless slumber on the horizon


Breathing is too hard

Small steps aren’t working

How much longer?


I can’t feel the breaths as much anymore

Time seems to be speeding

Every second is no longer agony

I can see a faint light appearing,

It grows brighter every day


I can finally feel it,

The inner calm.

I’ve never felt this before

I can feel pain arising in my face

From smiling too much

Now I look in the mirror,

I don’t notice my chest moving up and down

My breathing is calm.

I can’t feel my heart beats any longer

My body and mind are silent

And it’s beautiful

Inspiring People

Romanticising Your Life

Recently, an idea that has become popular on tiktok is romanticising your life. While this notion sounds well, romantic, I’ve discovered I don’t entirely know what it means. Any attempt I have made has left me with some sort of anxiety, coming to the realisation that I’m not romanticising anything.

So naturally, to understand it, I googled it and to romanticise your life is to:

Being present and aware is the key to romanticizing your life. Pay attention to what is going on and be determined to be a part of it, even if it isn’t physical.

Herculture.org

While this seems simple enough, it’s quite difficult. Through trying to romanticise my life I’ve found I do so many things to avoid living in the present. For example, I like to put on a perfume that reminds me of the place I brought it – Japan, a place I truely feel connected to. So, is living in the present really key to romanticising life?

Initially, I thought it meant doing things you enjoy and manifesting happiness through your actions. Simply putting on that perfume made me happy. The concept inspired me to be spontaneous and try new things. That was my idea of having a romantic life. While the idea of romanticising life is great, I think it’s up to the person to create their own definition of romantic. We are the main character in our own lives, so it’s up to us to act like it.

I think the idea is fantastic, if we create our own definition of romance. If we don’t we can allow anxiety to arise because we aren’t living a life that someone else wants. I felt sad because I’d see everyone else’s romantic life and think, ‘I don’t do that’. Only when I stopped and visualised what the concept meant to me, was when I could truely romanticise it and now the days seem peaceful and enjoyable.

Thanks for reading! I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus because I was sick, but I’m back not to do some writing and can’t wait 😊

Inspiring People

Creating a Safe Space

It’s hard to express your thoughts, especially when telling someone. Often at times you don’t even need to voice them, just write or draw them. Something that really helps with expression is a safe space. While there are formal definitions, for me it’s a place where I can store my thoughts, feelings and desires. For example, a journal or a blog where you post poems. Expression is a great tool to connect with others but also yourself. Which is why a safe space doesn’t need to be somewhere everyone can necessarily go, it’s for your mind only. Some ideas:

  • A corner in your bedroom. Decorate it and make it comfortable. Then go there and write, draw, reflect or anything you desire.
  • Create a folder on whatever platform that you can use as a journal or somewhere to keep your thoughts.
  • A note book, to draw or write, something you can just carry everywhere with you.
  • It could even be a whole room where you do your hobbies and create.

The purpose of these spaces is to take yourself away from the big scary world just for a little bit. In doing so you can process and understand your emotions. Personally, my room is somewhere I can relax away from the world, write poetry and draw. At the end of reflecting I feel better and know that it’s going to be okay when I return to the big scary world.

Thanks for reading! I find it quite hard to take myself away from the world to reflect and focus, so my mind often wonders when I’m trying to work. That’s what inspired this post and I hope it encourages or reminds someone go visit their safe space.