There is more talk about mental health nowadays than ever before, but sometimes I have to wonder if the ‘talk’ does more harm than good.
This morning I ran across a short article regarding Camilla Cabello. I have no idea who she is. I know very little about Hollywood type stuff or the people involved, but I saw this article, read it, and felt I had to share it because it is so dead on right – in my mind.
In the course of our lives, we all struggle mentally and/or emotionally – at least occasionally, and at least severely enough that we need to address whatever issues we are struggling with.
That is exactly what Camilla Cabello discusses in this article. She offers no excuses, no blame, no explanation for how or why or where or when she came to develop anxiety issues. She talks about her anxiety issues, the pain they cause, and her efforts to deal with them. Period.
It is one thing to discuss the cause(s) of our mental or emotional issues with professionals and those closest to us as part of our healing process, but obsessing over the cause becomes more of a problem than a solution in my mind. Too often, that is where a lot of people seem to be stuck and what a lot of the current talk revolves around. It becomes more about justifying mental/emotional issues than dealing with them and recovering from them.
Anyway, this is a link to the article I read. It is short and well worth the time to read it.
Since I have been sharing a ‘piece of my mind’ on various topics this month, I thought this would be a good time to share my thoughts on mental health.
I have always believed that mental health was every bit as important to one’s wellbeing as physical health. I strongly urge anyone, who is struggling with any aspect of their mental health to seek professional help – and I do hope that such help is available to anyone who needs it.
I am not a health professional – physical or mental. My thoughts on this subject are mine and mine alone. For what they are worth, here they are.
1. Let’s talk about it – By all means, if one is having issues with their mental well-being ‘Talk About It‘. Talk to a family member, friend, confidant or professional. Talk to Oprah or Dr. Phil or whoever – but talk about your issues, what you have done to cope, how you struggle to cope, what helps, what doesn’t. What doesn’t help is going on national television or running around anywhere and everywhere, talking about who caused your mental issues, how they caused them, or why they should be publicly flogged.
2. Deal with it! – In this day and age this is frowned upon – especially in regards to mental health but just like physical exercise, mental exercise is not a bad thing. Everyone struggles mentally/emotionally at times. It is okay, and it is okay to work one’s self through these times. The strongest, happiest, most well adjusted people I have known are people who had been through hell and back, mentally and emotionally – over and over! They learned to overcome. The weakest people I have ever known were either coddled through life or simply plodded through life, never trying to overcome their issues. Whether it is seeking out the help and guidance of professionals, reading self help books, physical activity, taking a break, or meditation – just do something. No one should have to live with depression or stress or anxiety or anger issues or any other debilitating mental health issue without at least trying to deal with it.
3. Covid and mental health – First off, not everyone has struggled mentally and/or emotionally through this pandemic. For some people it has been an opportunity to reset their lifestyle, their priorities, and heal from all of the stress and anxiety of their typical day to day life. The media, politicians, and ubiquitous ‘experts’ have beaten this Covid mental health thing like a drum for the past two years. If one is seriously struggling they know by now, if their children are struggling they know by now, if their pets are struggling they know by now. Make literature and resources available to those who need it. But quit with the depressing ‘everyone is struggling mantra’. Quit trying to make anyone feel guilty and miserable for being happy, peaceful, and content. It does not make any of us less caring and compassionate. Maybe the world needs those who are happy, peaceful and content to keep hope alive for those who are struggling.
4. There is no excuse – There are many who suffer from mental/emotional health issues. I believe we all do at different points in our lives. Attention has been given to making it okay to seek help and to speak out about our mental health. That is all well and good, but recently I have seen more and more people who use mental health issues as an excuse for bad behaviour or avoiding responsibility. I am not judging anyone specifically. But I see it a lot and what I particularly dislike is when people use self-diagnosed mental health disorders (like OCD) to bully others. First off, it is totally disrespectful to anyone who actually suffers from such disorders. Secondly, people with OCD do not go around using it to get everything they want, when they want it, done exactly as they want it. If it is not yours, leave it alone. If you do not like how someone else does something, keep quiet or do it yourself. No excuses.
That is it for today and my thoughts on mental health. As always, thank you for listening and feel free to comment.
It is day nineteen of my June ‘Accentuate the Positive’ blog challenge. Today I am dedicating my blog to bridges and to overcoming the challenges that have presented themselves in my life. 👍
One of the challenges in my life that I have overcome was my fear of crossing bridges. (Fear is way too benign of a word to describe my bridge phobia). For the first sixty some years of my life I struggled with anxiety and panic attacks. For the most part, they did not stop me from ever doing what I had to do, but I certainly avoided doing things that I knew would trigger my anxiety. One of the things that I avoided was crossing bridges.
The very first memory that I could ever remember of my life was of crossing a bridge in sheer terror. I was two or three years old and my mother and her friend would take my sister and I on Sunday walks, which would inevitably include crossing one of, if not THE sketchiest bridges on the planet. A few years ago, I decided that this memory may well have been the trigger for my anxiety issues and that it would be helpful if I returned to the scene of the crime and crossed this bridge (as a rational adult). My husband agreed to take me to confront my demons so for our anniversary we headed off to Souris, Manitoba to cross the swinging bridge.
When we got to Souris, I discovered two things. The original swinging bridge had been replaced by a much sturdier and safer looking bridge and a section of the original bridge was kept as a monument of sorts to the brave fools who had once crossed it. It was a narrow, flimsy bit of chicken wire and boards – every bit as bad as I had remembered over the years.
I had come to cross a bridge and I decided that since it wasn’t my fault that the original bridge had been replaced, I would cross the new one and call it a win. So I did it! I crossed the new bridge. It was such a monumental moment that I have loved crossing bridges ever since!
So, in honor of bridges and the crossing of them, I would like to share a few pictures of bridges today.
Nineteen days down and only eleven more days to go! I hope my little selection of bridges provided a positive moment in your day.
Everyone suffers from stress in their lifetime, some more than others. I tend to be one of those others. As a result of being easily stressed, I have tried a number of methods for dealing with my stress and I have taken note of how others tend to deal with theirs. These are some of the worst methods for dealing with stress that I have discovered over the years.
1. Self medicate. Whether it is alcohol, illegal drugs or over the counter medication, it is not a solution and will inevitably create more stress for you in the long run. 🍺
2. Blame others. First it will add bitterness, anger and resentment to your stress. Second it will deprive you of finding and using effective methods to deal with your stress. It does not matter why you are stressed. It does not matter if someone else caused your stress. Once you are stressed, that stress is yours, you need to own it and you need to deal with it. 😤
3. Avoid your stress. (Or the things that are causing you stress). That ugly file on your desk – quit trying to bury it, financial problems – quit trying to pretend they don’t exist, relationship problems – quit waiting for your partner to deal with them. Your stress will not go away by hiding from the problems that are causing it.🙃
4. Using counterproductive measures. Stressed out because you have financial issues? – skipping work won’t help, binge shopping won’t help, wasting your money in a bar or casino won’t help. Stressed out over failing grades? – skipping school won’t help, avoiding your homework won’t help. Stressed out because you have a nagging cough ? – smoking won’t help. 🙄
5. Banishing toxic people from yourlife. (Unless we are talking about a seriously manipulative, hurtful person who is a danger to you and your well-being). For your friend or your mother or your co-worker who has annoyed you, or had a disagreement with you, or inadvertently hurt your feelings – no! Talk to them, compromise with them, consider what it means to have them in your life before you kick them to the curb. If this is your go to method, you are going to cause yourself stress by losing loved ones, having to avoid loved ones and causing difficult situations with people who love you and your banished friends and family. 😢
6. Take your stress out on others. Stress is not an excuse to mistreat others – ever. Mistreating others will not make you feel any better. It certainly will not make them feel any better. Just don’t do it. 🤯
7. Give up. Never give up. Stress sucks. Stress makes life so much harder and more miserable than it needs to be. There are many healthy, effective methods of dealing with stress. You will find ones that work for you as long as you keep looking! 👍
I hope if you having been struggling with stress, that this post helps you avoid some pitfalls in looking for relief. In my next post, I will note some of the best ways that I have found for dealing with my stress💖.