depression

Mental Health: Using Your Experiences To Help Others

Every year almost 1 in 5 (around 42.5 million) American adults suffer from some sort of mental health issue; including, but not limited to, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. This is a scarily large figure but doesn’t include a large number of cases. Especially of mental health issues within teenagers and younger children. This large figure means that, although there are a lot of people suffering from mental health issues; there are also a lot of people that are suffering or have suffered; who want to use their experiences with mental health to help others.

If you have suffered from a mental health issue; you will be able to better understand the person whom you are trying to help. You can also share your own experiences, so they don’t feel alone. Many people do this; I’ve listed a few different ways in which you too can take your experience to help others. Of course, none of these options are a replacement of professional help; they are simply others forms of support and forms that often help a person to realize that something may be wrong and that they may need professional help. There is importance with mental health using your experience to help others.

Mentoring

If you are still of school or college age, then mentoring might be a good option for you. It allows you to engage with people the same age or a little bit younger than you and provide support and guidance. Most people, when they first realize that something may be wrong do one of two things; they either search for their symptoms online or talk to a friend.

As we all know, Googling symptoms is never a good idea, as it always says somewhere down the line that you’re dying of some rare disease that you don’t even find in your country. Talking to a friend, however, that is helpful. Friends are there to provide you emotional support, so are often the first people you tell about a mental health issue, even before family. However, some people may feel as though they don’t have a friend they can truly trust, and confide in, which is why peer-to-peer mentoring is such a good idea – It provides you with a confidant, who you can trust to listen to you and try to help you if they can.

Blogging

Blogging can assist you in helping others on a much wider scale than one to one mentoring. Depending on your experiences, you can write about a range of topics from self-help and techniques on coping with stress, to any medication you may be taking. Many people with mental health issues feel completely alone, but simply sharing your experiences can change that, and help them have a much more positive view of themselves. Blogging allows you the option to remain anonymous, and with plenty of useful tools and websites online, setting up a blog nowadays is relatively easy, so there’s absolutely no reason why this couldn’t be an option for you.

Vlogging

In the past few years watching your favorite channels on YouTube seems to be more popular than watching your favorite channels on an actual television. If you wanted to aim your support and guidance at younger adults and teenagers, vlogging is a brilliant idea. There are many wonderful YouTube channels based solely on mental health; which have videos based on the suggested topics of blog posts from above. Many of the bigger YouTubers, such as Zoella and JackGap, also use their channels as a platform to talk about their own experiences with their mental health. This allows young people with mental health issues to feel more ‘normal’; by knowing that their favorite YouTube star also suffers from the same things as they do. There are many helpful guides online that explain to you how to set up a YouTube channel, which can make the whole process a lot easier – All you need now is a camera.

Become A Therapist

A therapist is a mental health professional, who assists their patients in reducing their symptoms of mental illness, by improving their emotional and cognitive skills, and teaching them how to cope with various challenges from everyday life. Granted, this isn’t the easiest way to share your experiences concerning mental health. It certainly takes a lot of dedication, but if it’s what you want to do, then it is definitely possible. By taking an online psychology degree, you can study and get the qualifications you need to commence in higher education, while still having the time to hold down a full-time job.

Join A Therapy Group

If you don’t want to become a therapist yourself, joining a therapy group is another great way to share your experiences with mental health. Not only will it help you, as you can share you problems, hear others advice, and hear other people’s own experiences, but you can also help out other in the group in the same way. This is a lot like mentoring, except it’s not on a one to one basis; which in the long run might be better for some people. It provides you with a group of people who understand you, rather than just one; which could provide you with a sense of belonging.

All of these are great ways of using your own experiences with mental health to help others. Many of them could also help you improve your own mental health at the same time; as they provide an audience to which you can let out any feelings and emotions. However, you must always remember that, although you may want to help people, and although you may have in-depth experience of your own mental health problems unless you do train to become a therapist, you are not a professional. You can certainly provide advice and support. However, you need to know when to let a person know they need to speak to a professional.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Setting Up A Blog To Share Mental Health Issues

Many people around the world feel that stress is part and parcel of living in a busy and hectic world. Therefore, coping mechanisms are sometimes seen as a fruitless pursuit because tension is experienced in many different ways and aspects of our lives. It’s almost as if defeatism is commonplace and people just accept the fact that their lives will be full of anxiety and nervousness. Often the best way to cope with stress is to release the energy by being totally open and talking about yourself and the experiences you go through. Especially for someone suffering from mental disorders, storytelling or general diary writing in the form of a blog gives individuals the chance to be open and honest, in a bid to hopefully connect with the world. It may seem like a drop in the ocean, but blog writing is like a ripple which can turn into a wave the longer your stay at it.

How easy is it?

There is a plethora of online tools and website which you can utilize to create your blog. You have the choice of websites which are simple, more catered for people who aren’t tech-savvy, and other websites which are comprehensive. Take, for example, WordPress Hosting, you have the option of keeping it simple, with predetermined backgrounds, wallpapers and banners. The benefit of being a member of such a website is that your website will have a dedicated server and domain, which can replace the generic free account design and have your blog behave like an independent website. With a little elbow grease, you can personalize your blog entirely and with the vast array of tutorials online, it can look professional in no time.

How can you help others?

Dependent on your life experience, you may have knowledge of drugs, diagnosis, and symptom recognizing abilities, life-hacks to cope in public life, controlling stress at school or work, advice on bringing up children, or simply writing about your personal experience. Sometimes, people who have fragile minds, they just need someone to talk to who has been or is currently going through the same challenges they are. You can talk about and prescribed medication you’re taking, the dosage, the length of consumption and what kind of effect it’s having on you. Blog writing can be about anything, and readers want a lot of transparency. So if you’re approached by an advertiser or sponsor for mental health solutions, be respectful and communicate with your followers that you’re being paid. Moreover, if you truly believe in a product, explaining why you’re putting it on your blog won’t be difficult at all, because sharing your experiences is the lifeblood of originality.

A therapeutic escape

We all feel the need to escape from the world and everyday life because prolonged living in a busy lifestyle can be a game of endurance or simmering to a boiling point. Regardless of what goes on in life, a blog is there for you to free yourself from the mundanity of routine and the constraints you have in your life. Blog audiences want purely authentic stories, and this gives you the chance to be totally open and use the online world and the feedback you get as an emotional pincushion. You’re free from judgment as many outbursts or episodes as someone who is mentally ill, can be incredibly embarrassing in public. Some disorders are still, unfortunately, taboo subjects in public discourse and so, if you set up a blog, you’re free to address the matters in whichever way you wish.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

Guest Post: The Power Of Running For Your Body And Mind

Everyone knows running is a great way to get into shape. It’s not a secret! But do you know that running can also benefit your mind? Have you ever wondered how running influences your brains? If you haven’t now it’s the time to realize the benefits of running for your body and mind.

So, let’s start… How does running influence your body and brain?

Stimulate Memory and Learning System

People who prefer to sit on the sofa instead of morning run can’t show off a good memory and learning as their brains are slowly dying away. Fit people and those who like exercising have a better ability to concentrate, solve different memory test better and combine multiple tasks easier.

Reduce Stress, Anxiety and Help with Depression

When you run, your body produces endorphin. This hormone improves your mood and health. Endorphin allows your body to lower your stress levels, anxiety, improve your sleep and eliminate depression.

Stop Deterioration of Brains with Age

With aging, the human brain can begin to deteriorate but running prevents or reverses this process as it affects brain chemicals. Running boosts the production of new nerve cells and blood vessels within the brain that’s why the runners’ brains have better metabolic efficiency and getting old later than non-athletes’.

Help to Burn Calories

Running is considered as one of the most effective ways to lose weight and keep in shape. It is a unique type of exercise as you can burn calories not only when you work out but also and after training. Such effect is called “afterburn”.

Prevent Disease

Research shows that running is a nice way to increase your overall level of health and it means that running helps to reduce or prevent the risk of disease. While you’re running the level of good cholesterol in your blood raises. As a result, the lung function of your body increases, you enhance your immune system and the risk of developing blood clots becomes lower.

Make Your Heart Stronger

One more useful characteristic of running is the ability to take care of your heart health. Regular runs are the best prevention of heart disease. Running has the magic impact to your health. It can reduce the risk of heart attack, lower resting heart rate and reduce blood pressure.

Strengthen Your Bones

Running also helps to strengthen your bone health. If somebody says that running damages your bones don’t trust this person. The repeated impact on your bones and joints during your regular runs makes to build thick calcium layers in the bones and they gradually get stronger.

Prolong Your Life

It is no big secret that people who exercise at least 30 minutes, five times a week live longer than those who lead passive lifestyle. When you start running you give up bad habits, you promote your health and don’t allow your brain to age. Of course, all this helps you to extend your life.

Here you’ve read about the best benefits of running. As you see running can be considered as a universal workout as it useful both for your physical and mental health. How has running improved your body and mind? Please, share your thoughts with us.

Written by: Helen Rogers – http://thecrossfitshoes.com/

Worried About A Friend? Here’s How You Can Help

Everyone cares about their friends, that should hardly come as much of a surprise to anyone! Your friends and loved ones are the people around you who make life more than just a day-to-day slog of going to work and coming home again. They are the people you go on adventures with, that you make memories with, so it only makes sense that you would always have your friends best interests at heart, no matter what. Of course, that doesn’t mean that lending a hand to your friend when they need it is easy. In fact, it’s one of the toughest things that you can do. Knowing how to respond to something that a loved one is going through can be a real challenge but, when the only other option is leaving them behind, it’s worth putting in the effort. Here are a few things that you can do to reach out to someone you love in order to offer them the best possible support.

Practical Advice

Sometimes, when you’ve got a friend or loved one who is going through something really difficult, it can be almost impossible for them to see a way out of it. Whether they’re stuck in a job that they hate, they’re dealing with a nasty break-up, or going through any of the other things that can knock a person to the ground; they’re often not in a position to see things practically. In that case, you’re in a great position to offer them a perspective that they simply can’t otherwise achieve. You can help them understand the big picture and see that. However, bad things might seem right now; they won’t be that way forever.

Tough Love

Of course, sometimes the help that you give to your friends needs to be a little harder edged than that. There are plenty of occasions where the problems that someone is having are down to their actions alone. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be there for them. Just that you need to adjust your tactics. While offering them solutions can often be incredibly useful; sometimes what they really need it a kick up the backside to get them back on track. If there’s an aspect of their lifestyle which is hurting them and other people around them, then you may need to be the one to confront them about it, pointing them towards things like the recovery village if they really need support. If things aren’t working out in your friend’s life and it comes down the way that they are behaving; your duty as a friend should be to be to hold them accountable.

Just Listen

Sometimes the best thing you can do is actually the simplest thing: just listen to them. When someone is going through something difficult, it can feel incredibly lonely and frustrating for them. Because of this, just getting to vent to another person, or talk something through can be the most helpful thing of all. Don’t feel like you always have to be there to come up with solutions for them; sometimes just being there so that they can bounce thoughts and feelings off you, coming to their own set of solutions, is the most valuable thing of all.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

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