Mental illness is no joke, and now more than ever it seems to be popping up everywhere and in everyone.
It's not hard to understand the effects it has on us without any prior research or doctor consultation:
- it sucks, and
- it has the ability to effect our daily routine in our personal life and professional life.
Although May is Mental Health Awareness Month, it's important to recognize the fact that our mental health is something that we need to focus on all year around. As I have been reading over some articles on the topic, one thing I noticed the most was that the first thing we need to learn is to recognize that we may have an illness to begin with! And honestly this was my biggest problem.
In just this last year I was able to finally admit to myself that I have anxiety. I have had a few panic attacks before I even knew that's what was happening to me. I was also made to believe that having anxiety wasn't a big deal.. NEWS FLASH - it is. We all cope differently and we all have our own little tricks to give ourselves what we need to calm down the rattling in our head and chest.
I read this article called "The Ten Worst Habits For Your Mental Health", and some of the habits were kind of shocking! But what wasn't shocking was that overuse of social media, and overuse of a smartphone (not even on social media) were two out of those ten habits! That makes so much sense with one of my previous blog posts on "How Instagram DOES Effect Self Image"!
In fact, "in the United States, almost half of adults (46.4%) will experience a mental illness during their lifetime" [https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/2019/02/5-surprising-mental-health-statistics/], so this is definitely something we need to talk about more often considering so many people are experiencing mental illness in one way or another. And of that 46.4% of adults experiencing a mental illness, one of the most common is anxiety - "an estimated 31.9% of adolescents had any anxiety disorder" [https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/any-anxiety-disorder.shtml]. Finally, with the rising dependence on our phones and social media, it is not surprising at all that the "rate of youth experiencing a mental health condition continues to rise" [https://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/issues/state-mental-health-america].
However, one thing I have also learned is that sometimes we may not know what we need to do to calm down, or that what we think we need is not enough to fulfill our needs. It may even be possible that the things that we do to make ourselves feel better are having a worse effect on our mental health. Which is why I opened up this discussion to all of you over Instagram! And boy did you guys have a lot of options! I am sharing them with all of you so that hopefully if you are experiencing a mental illness of some sort, that you can fine-tune exactly what you need to get back to a stable sense of self.
For some ideas on how to maintain a positive healthy lifestyle, watch this video below! I also share my own personal journey in finding out I even had anxiety.