Keith is a regular contributor to Bring Change 2 Mind’s blog, and to the Good Men Project. If you are interested in working with Keith feel free to reach out. Contact WL if you want to be a Guest Blogger.
Worth Living Top 10 Countdown – with Scratchley Q and Zippah
In my off time I like to explore different genres of music. I enjoy learning about music from different cultures. Having traveled to Kenya and getting to experience first hand some culture and traditions, I get a special feeling inside when I listen to Kenyan musicians and artists. It brings back so many emotions and great memories. Big ups to Zippah for contributing to this week’s countdown. This week we decided to give you ten songs that we enjoy. Most of the songs on this countdown are Kenyan or come from a country in Africa. Enjoy some global tunes. -Scratchley Q
10. Kababye (Remix) – Chin Bees ft. Khaligraph Jones
9. Pro (Kameshika Remix) ft. Naiboi, Kristoff, The Kansoul & Jegede
8. Phy – Ruka ft. King Kaka & Khaligraph Jones
7. Woju Kiss Daniel ft. Davido & Tiwa Savage
6. Niseme – Yamoto Band
5. Nakupenda – Yemi Alade ft. Nyashinski
4. Piga Makofi- Longombas
3. Always On My Mind – Vivian ft. Pallaso
2. Sing Along – Octopizzo
1. Love Portion – Mafikizolo
Worth Living launches Worth Giving!
All of you have supported, embraced, and contributed to Worth Living and I thank you! Each of you is a voice in the conversation on mental health awareness. The WL message of health, hope, and happiness has gone global. Let’s connect with more people.
The Worth Giving Story
I was recently talking with Mickie Bowe. She is the Executive Director and I serve as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Self Help Connection but most importantly we are dear friends who have shared a lot over the years.
We were talking about kindness and how people can make a change. I told her about my nephew passing by Shelter Nova Scotia on his daily walk and seeing a sign asking for socks to be donated. Well he never had socks with him, so one evening he gets home and orders 2 boxes of socks to be delivered directly to Shelter Nova Scotia. Towards the end of my story, Mickie says, “Stop, wait“. We pause for a few seconds. She then says, “Worth Giving, that’s you, that’s yours, that’s what you are doing”. Worth Giving was then created. A special thanks to her and to my nephew. Another special thanks to WL Ambassador Angela Lam for the amazing logo she created. Please use it on your social media and share it.
Worth Giving will encourage you, your friends, and colleagues to give back to your communities. I know many of you are active now in your community and beyond, even into other countries.
By giving back, the rewards are incredible, for those you help and for yourself.
Donate some time to a local non –profit or charity. Help out at the local food bank or shelter. Drop off some clothes that have been in your closet unworn for years. Maybe your local library or school requires some volunteers. Be kind to your family and friends. Be kind to strangers. Smile to those who need to see one. Embrace the kindness in yourself and share it with the world.
Please send me your stories and photos about what you have done to make a difference. They will be featured here, on Instagram, twitter, and the WL website. I will be creating a WG page on the site. WG will be a platform for acts of kindness.
Let’s all embrace the Worth Giving message to change minds by being kind, thoughtful, and helpful. Simple steps.
Krystle Lurther and I launched Worth Giving this week by delivering 4 bags of food items to a food bank. The people working there were so appreciative. We met new people and plan to help out there more in the future.
Please join us as WL continues to embrace this challenging world but with arms of kindness,
Worth Living Ambassador Ayesha Noor
Worth Living Ambassador Ayesha Noor joins us from Dubai. She shares a poem and as she describes ” I started writing poetry as a way to cope with my anxiety and the tumultuous emotions it caused that wreaked havoc on my sanity. Word by word, and poem by poem, i slowly released the agony rioting in my mind. When I’m not writing poetry, one can often find me curled up with a book or watching the latest crime series like my life depends on it. Or at least that’s what you can find me doing when I’m not running around like a headless chicken trying to keep up with the demands of being a law student.”
progress is progress is progress
how can one word put so much fear into us?
it seems to take control of our minds
until we’re nothing but passengers in our own life
it might seem like there is no way
to take the driver’s seat back
but i can assure you there is
and i’m not just spouting reassurances
that i think you want to hear
i am speaking from personal experience
i too have experienced the agony that is anxiety
while everyone’s anxiety is different
what is the same
is that we have all suffered
that we have all felt soul searing pain
our journeys of healing will all be different
and will progress at different speeds
but what’s most important is
that any progress is good
and something to be proud of
Worth Living Ambassador Haddi Browne
Hello, my name is Haddi. I am a Research professional and a Psychology graduate. During my course, I volunteered within various mental health services, which included working on a helpline for people affected by mental illness, organising activities for inpatients on a psychiatric ward, and working in a therapeutic community for people with severe mental illnesses. For me, the most interesting parts of my degree were learning about different mental illnesses and their causes and treatments.
Unhelpful Thinking Patterns
One of the modules I found interesting whilst studying was Cognitive Psychology. During this part of my course, I learned about cognitive distortions and negative thinking. I learned about the relationships between thoughts, feelings, and behaviour and how negative thinking can keep us in unhealthy, vicious cycles.
Cognitive distortions are a concept used in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and they are defined as exaggerated or irrational patterns of thinking. These irrational thoughts and beliefs can lead to difficult emotions and behaviour, like anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, and relationship problems.
Here are 10 common cognitive distortions:
1. ALL-OR-NOTHING THINKING: seeing things in black-and-white categories. Believing that someone or something can only be good or bad, right or wrong, rather than anything in between or ‘shades of grey’.
2. OVERGENERALISATION: Making judgments based on a single negative event. If something bad happens once, you expect it to happen again and again.
3. MENTAL FILTER: Picking out a single negative detail and dwelling on it. Only noticing what the filter wants you to notice, like only catching negative things in your ‘kitchen strainer’ whilst anything more positive or realistic is dismissed.
4. MIND READING: Assuming you know what others are thinking. Concluding that someone is thinking negatively about you, without any evidence that it’s true.
5. PREDICTION: Anticipating that things will turn out badly, and believing that you know what’s going to happen in the future.
6. MAGNIFICATION (CATASTROPHIZING) OR MINIMISATION: Exaggerating the importance of things (such as your mistake or someone else’s achievement), or shrinking things until they appear insignificant (like your own achievements or qualities). Also, exaggerating the risk of danger or the negatives.
7. EMOTIONAL REASONING: Assume that your negative emotions must reflect the way things really are: “I feel bad so it must be bad!”
8. SHOULDS AND MUSTS: Putting pressure on yourself by thinking or saying “I should/shouldn’t” or “I must/mustn’t”. This can result in feeling guilty. When you direct such statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.
9. COMPARE AND DESPAIR: Seeing only the good things in others and feeling upset when you compare yourself negatively against them.
10. PERSONALISATION: Blaming yourself for events or situations that are not totally your responsibility.
We can probably all relate to at least a few of these thinking styles. Being aware of your thoughts and identifying cognitive distortions can help you challenge negative thoughts.
Worth Living Ambassador & Official DJ Scratchkey Q
Let’s take some time to remember those who have sacrificed their lives for us. Let’s remember those who served our country. This week’s countdown is dedicated to the soldiers, service men and women, their families and Remembrance Day. Enjoy. -Scratchley Q
Worth Living Top 10 Countdown – Remembrance Day
10. A Pittance of Time – Terry Kelly
9. Travelin’ Soldier – Dixie Chicks
8. Remembrance Day – Mark Knopfler
7. Solidier’s Cry – Roland Majeau
6. Letters from The Home – John Michael Montgomery
5. I Want You to Live – George Canyon
4. The Green Fields of France – Eric Bogle
3. Remembrance Day – Bryan Adams
2. Standing Strong and True (For Tomorrow) – Various Artists
1.Highway of Heroes – The Trews
Worth Living Ambassador Becca Shipley
Hi, my name is Becca, I am ‘Worth Living’s’ newest ambassador and I couldn’t be happier to help make a change! But first it’s worth telling you how I got to this point in the first place. I live in a little town in the North of England, but I am hoping that my words reach much, much further! I write a blog over at http://www.postivfworld.wordpress.com where I talk about my life now that our IVF journey has ended, what brought me to this point in the first place, my mental health, my issues with food consumptions, my osteoporosis and generally what life is throwing at me, feel free to take a look or reach out at any time!
Where It All Started
At 15, I was diagnosed with early menopause, it was devastating and in all honesty I didn’t understand the long term effects this was going to have on my life, only that I was different from my school friends and hospital appointments were the norm, this in itself didn’t feel good.
In the years that followed, I was back and forward to the hospital, trying to reverse the menopause, find a reason for this happening and to keep my hormones at an acceptable level.
As the time passed the appointments lessened, they weren’t able to reverse the menopause and my hormone levels were monitored.
But what was becoming more apparent was the lasting effect this was having on my mental health. I felt so out of control when it came to my body, as if it wasn’t really mine. I began to find other ways to control my life, unfortunately the way in which I did this was to control my food intake. I felt like I could punish my body for what it was doing to me by deciding when I did or did not give it food and I began to like the feeling of being hungry, as if it was my body crying for something that I didn’t feel it deserved!
Writing this now, it is painful, I almost want to delete what I have just written, I know it sounds crazy, but the mind works in strange ways, I was only young, and I was never offered any professional support.
I wish back then, I had the support of the online mental health community that is available now. I know it would have been a massive help to me, which I why I want to get involved with Worth Living, to help others where I wasn’t, having mental health issues can be so alienating, confusing and lonely. It can also be empowering to channel these feeling into something more positive where possible.
I am looking forward to speaking to you guys and working with you in the future!
Worth Living Ambassador Niko Colletti
Hey there! I’m Niko, 20 years old, of Southern Ontario. I’m on a journey to find myself and discover what truly makes me happy, while continuing to learn how to function in this complicated world around me. I was diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism as well as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at a very young age, and it’s been a long haul living with a brain wired so differently. I intend to continue bettering myself while sharing my experiences with those who are feeling overwhelmed in their struggles, showing that with enough determination and patience, you will persevere no matter what demons share your company.
I love you and so should you
I am back and posting after quite a hiatus. Ooooohhhh my, I feel so good!!!!
I don’t want to discredit those who aren’t in this place right now, but I feel like this is such an important thing to talk about, and acknowledge, because feeling good is such an achievement when you’ve felt so bad.
I have learned so much about myself this year and made some crucial self-discoveries that have distracted me from what I wanted to be my 3-posts-per-month schedule for this blog. Because of how hard I have worked on myself and how far I have come in this past year, I wanted to document it so I could see where I was at each month looking back. I soon remembered that I have limited energy to sustain effort towards things and decided to just focus all of my energy on my journey for the last little while. But I’m back! And here are the few things I have learned in BULLET POINTS BECAUSE PARAGRAPHS ARE HARD FOR ME TO WRITE WITHOUT RAMBLING OKAY
•Medication does not work for, or has to work for everyone. If it does, good for you but keep in mind it does not “fix the problem”. It creates a platform you can work with to help work on things in a more controllable and balanced way.
•Holistic medicine has the potential to work super-duper well and everyone should give it a try, especially those who didn’t respond well to medication. Don’t be afraid of stigma.
•Trust the process. Some days will be better than others. It also isn’t a linear process. It may suck tomorrow then be dope again then suck again. Get used to it. You’ll be so badass, and you’ll also be fine, I promise.
•Know yourself, because you are the only one that lives in your head. You might as well know how everything works; you’re the one using it!!
•Not knowing or being unsure about any part of you is normal and okay. Don’t feel like you need the answers to everything, and don’t feel like you have to label yourself. Labels are for others to better understand you, but you have to understand yourself first and foremost. No one else matters and it’s none of anyone’s business what you label is or if you have one.
•You are in charge of your own happiness, but it is okay to be unhappy. It is so, so valid to feel sad or angry or any emotion you need to process your feelings, and it is totally acceptable if you find you aren’t happy most of the time, or even all the time. Remember, though that the only one that can ultimately affect your happiness is you. While no one can decide whether living is tough, only you can decide if living is worth it.
•There are no rules to your recovery process. There are no rules to how you can feel. There are no rules to life, period. The only rule to life is to be kind to one another.
That’s all for now. Stay ready for more, I have so much to share. I wish everyone reading this well. Love, and live a life worth living.
Worth Living Ambassador Ayesha Noor
I started writing poetry as a way to cope with my anxiety and the tumultuous emotions it caused that wreaked havoc on my sanity. Word by word, and poem by poem, I slowly released the agony rioting in my mind. When I’m not writing poetry, one can often find me curled up with a book or watching the latest crime series like my life depends on it. Or at least that’s what you can find me doing when I’m not running around like a headless chicken trying to keep up with the demands of being a law student.
you will survive this
there are days
when the pain will
seem like too much
when you think
it will never end
when you think
you should end it yourself
and i know this
because i’ve been there
which means i also know
that you can get through it
you can survive it
it seems impossible right now
Worth Living Ambassador Felicia Singh
Hello, my name is Felicia. I am a 25 year old healthcare professional and counseling / psychology student with anxiety. As well as someone with an unexplainable yearning to understand mental health disorders. The who, what, where, when, and whys of it all.
Let’s Talk about Sleep
I’ve been studying the different stages of sleep this past week in one of my Psychology classes. I
did know that sleep was important to our bodies, but I did not realize how important sleep is to
our brains and our overall mental health. Lack of sleep takes a major toll on our cognitive, as
well as other parts of the brain. Sleep deprivation can cause the hippocampus to not work
properly, which is the region of the brain that is critical for storing new memories.
Studies show that a lack of sleep can alter your mood significantly, making you irritable and more easily
angered than usual. In fact chronic sleep deprivation puts you at greater risk for mental health
illnesses such as anxiety and depression.
Here are a few tips to help you make sure you are getting an adequate amount of sleep.
1. Try to make time for regular exercise, but avoid working out an hour before bed if
2. Avoid tea, coffee, or other stimulants during the evening hours
3. Give yourself time to unwind and decompress at the end of a long day
4. Stick to a sleep routine
5. If you must take naps then limit them to 45 min max
6. Make sure your sleeping arrangements are comfortable (pillows, mattress, sheets, etc.)
7. Try natural sleep remedies (oils, herbs, vitamins)
8. Ask your doctor about sleeping medication
However you do it, just make sure you’re doing it. Remember that our brains are the control centers for our bodies. Sleep is a vital part to maintaining good mental health
Worth Living Ambassador & Official DJ Scratchley Q
What does being grateful mean to you? What about gratitude? This week’s Worth Living Top 10 Countdown might help with that. Enjoy. -Scratchley Q
Worth Living Top 10 Countdown- Gratefulness and Gratitude
10. Thank You For Loving Me – Bon Jovi
9. Thank you For Sending Me An Angel – Talking Heads
8. Gratitude – Earth, Wind & Fire
7. Give Thanks and Praises – Bob Marley
6. Everyday – Rascal Flatts
5. Thank You – Dido
4. Alright – Darius Rucker
3. Roc Boys (And The Winner Is) – Jay Z
2. Dear Mama- 2Pac
1. Shelter From The Storm – Bob Dylan