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 Ambassador Jessie Fawcett
Hello, my name is Jessie and I’m a student attending Ryerson University to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. I am dedicated to being able to work in a juvenile detention centre in order to help aid youths who are struggling with their own lives. Mental health has always had a huge impact on my life and I’m finally starting to be able to share my story in hopes to help others who are also struggling with the same issues as well as shedding some light onto mental health.
The Realities of this Disease
You know, I often think to myself that I seem to be doing better and that complete recovery is possible. Unfortunately, I have once again found myself in a situation where the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be getting dimmer and dimmer. I know they always say to look on the bright side and that things will get better and to be positive. Sadly, it isn’t always quite clear to see when darkness overwhelms every aspect of your life.
There aren’t many people out there who truly understand the severity of this disease, depression I mean. And that is exactly what it is, a disease. There is an extreme misconception construing that depression is simply a personality flaw or people that tend to be more sensitive. I can assure you otherwise. Personality traits reflect a person’s characteristics of their emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. This is where the confusion comes in implying that depression is merely someone who is sad fairly frequently. Depression is a disease because it manifests in the way that it can literally take over a person’s life. It is so strong, in fact, that depending on the severity, it usually has a detrimental impact on a person’s day-to-day life. I for one can confirm this for you.
Every day is a constant battle. I am required to fight myself from the moment I awake in the morning until the second I fall asleep at night; and even then, it can continue to manifest itself into my subconscious by causing me to have frequent nightmares. I wake up exhausted and need to fight myself to get out of bed, get dressed, and go to work and to my classes. Then I fight myself throughout the day to eat. I fight myself on small details of the day such as thinking my coworkers hate me and that I am alone fighting this battle. I go home after work and fight myself to go out and do stuff instead of sitting in my room sleeping. I fight myself against the constant and excruciatingly agonizing thoughts that circulate my mind over and over again until I finally fall asleep. I don’t believe that a personality flaw is capable of causing so much constant torment.
Depression doesn’t only show itself through exhaustion or hunger, or lack of it. You can’t always see it through someone’s loss of interest or impulesivity. To be entirely truthful, you can’t always see it; and I don’t only mean that for the bystander. Sometimes it just comes out of nowhere and knocks the wind right out of you. It will suddenly just collapse on top of you like a bag of bricks. It will stare at you dead in the face then jump out at you, shattering every bone in your body with both fear and pain. Not only is the weight of the world on your shoulders but your bones are so broken that you feel as though you have nothing left to support yourself.
It hit me from out of nowhere.
It was a normal Thursday night. I was sitting in my room listening to music. I was fine. And then it was like a light switch was flipped. I got a sudden urge of sadness engulf me. With every breath I took, the despair just kept growing stronger and stronger. I was sobbing. I felt alone. I felt hopeless and that there was no point to keep on trying, that there was no point to keep on breathing. The thoughts that filled my head were dangerous to say the least. As the risk of danger kept increasing, the more frightened I became. I knew that if I didn’t act quickly that something bad was going to happen. I’m still unsure as to what triggered me. And so, I texted my friend explaining that I needed her to come to me because something was severely wrong. She arrived within ten minutes and brought me to her vehicle and started driving. I thought she was bringing me to the hospital and was going to have me forcibly admitted. Luckily, that wasn’t the case. We just kept driving and she made me explain to her what was going on through my head. But I had no idea what was going on in my head. My thoughts were going a million miles an hour. I made her pull over because I felt so unwell that I thought I would vomit. I didn’t want to live anymore and she knew that’s what I was trying to say. She tried her best to convince me of how much potential I have and how I could save other people’s lives in the future with my career choice. I didn’t see the relevance. I believed that there are thousands of other students out there learning the same things who can do it just as well if not better. She tried convincing me that that thought was completely wrong and that I matter but I was still blinded. She didn’t know what else to say. I was broken, I was devastated, I was confused, and I was angry. But so was she, angry. She wasn’t angry with me, she was angry with my disease. And that’s what she told me. She told me that I need to learn how to fight this disease in order to help others who are battling with it as well. She tried to convince me that I am not the problem, my disease is. She kept repeating how it’s the disease and not me. I think that is what stuck with me the most.
I have little control over the way my mind works. With a lot of hard work and the proper therapy, I can gain that control back. But the loss of control was a result of my disease. She is one of very few people helping me learn that. It is extremely touching because this person does not understand what it is like to live with this disease and yet still fights for me anyway and tries to learn how to deal with it, both for her sake as well as mine.
So, what is the point of this post? Well, I really wanted to provide some strong messages regarding this disease. I keep on repeating this term because I need for more and more people to fully comprehend that this in fact is a DISEASE and is not a choice, it is not attention seeking, and it is most certainly not a personality defect. It can come from out of nowhere and hit you from behind. It can blindside you. It will attempt to suffocate you with all of its power and it will…if you let it. There is absolutely nothing easy about fighting this illness. I am still trying to figure out how to continue to do so. I am still trying to figure out how to keep living when my illness tries to convince me that there is no reason to.
I can’t give you a reason to keep fighting, to keep breathing, to keep living. But if there are people out there who are truly trying to show you your importance, then there must be a reason. Why would someone lie about such a thing? Find something beautiful to keep you going, to help you get out of bed in the morning.
I understand how letting people in and getting to know you is outstandingly terrifying and nearly impossible for some people, at least for me it is. But think of it this way: if you leave yourself open, you have more of a chance of getting hit and getting hurt. But if you leave yourself closed off, then you’re preventing yourself from feeling that you’re still alive. At least by feeling something you know that you’re still here, breathing, and surviving
Worth Living Ambassador & Official DJ Scratchley Q
Worth Living Top 10 Countdown – Summer 2018
There was some great music that was released this summer. What are some of your favourites?
Enjoy some of these releases! – Scratchley Q
10. The Middle – Zedd ft. Maren & Morris & Grey
9. DarkSide – Alan Walker ft. Au/Ra & Tomine Harket
8. Natural – Imagine Dragons
7. Dance To This – Troye Sivan ft. Ariana Grande
6. High on Life – Martin Garrix ft. Bonn
5. Could’ve Been – H.E.R. ft. Bryson Tiller
4. Side Effects – Chainsmokers ft. Emily Warren
3. One more Day – Afrojack ft. Jewlez & Sparks
2. Bella Ciao – El Profesor (Hugel Remix)
1. DJs Gotta Dance More – A-Trak ft. Todd Terry
Worth Living Ambassador Nikki Opara
My name is Nikki Opara, I am 22 years old and a recent psychology graduate from California State University Fullerton. I am a Mental Health/ Lifestyle Blogger, with a passion for fighting the stigma around mental illness and encouraging young teens to never give up. I hope to attend grad school someday and pursue my masters in macro social work and global practice. – Nikki ( Her Daring Thoughts ).
How Are You Here – Original Poem
I know what you are thinking, how are you here
How is someone like you barely making it through?
this is not supposed to be the reality
Your goal was to be dead by the end of twenty-seventeen
But you’re not. You are here. What does this mean?
I know what you are thinking, how are you here
How is someone like you barely making it through?
your pain is temporary
Look up and over the valley
This year. You are supposed to be here,
I know what you are thinking, how are you here
How is someone like you barely making it through?
Don’t let the illness fool you
it’s the enemy in this game
depression, anxiety tries to spell weak with the letters of your name
Your mind has been running, and now your soul is confused
Now your heart is broken because it is woven within the two
You were not created to be torn for long
You were, you are, and forever will be created for a greater purpose
So You. Me. Us. Let’s be strong
I know what you are thinking, how are you here
How is someone like you barely making it through?
Believe it or not, there is a tiny hope within you
A little voice that reminds you life is worth holding on to
So let’s fight that lion in a cage battle, screaming but can’t be heard virus
Because my friend, the victory is yours and you will in soon time
have your answers.. Stay Alive.
Worth living Ambassador & Official DJ Scratchley Q
Worth Living Top 10 Countdown – Liberation
This week we cover the theme of liberation.
“As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Nelson Mandela
Enjoy this weeks countdown! – Scratchley Q
10. Liberty Walk – Miley Cyrus
9. Liberty – Journey
8. Liberty – Groenland
7. Liberty – Switchfoot
6. Freedom – Steve Angello ft. Pusha T
5. Liberated – DeJ Loaf ft. Leon Bridges
4. You Don’t Own Me – Grace ft. G-Eazy
3. Liberation – Liberation
2. Liberate – Eric Prydz
1. Liberation – Harold Van Lennep
Worth Living Ambassador Beth Allen Returns.
We have missed you. Please congratulate Beth on her winning the MHVlog Award! Very well deserved.
A New Chapter – #MHBlogAwards & an emotional welcome back.
“It’s so good (& emotional!) to be back! How have you been?
This week’s video is a good ol’ catch up filling you in on my whereabouts & where we’re headed next as a community. I’m SO excited!
I’d love to hear about what you’ve been up to in the last 2 months. If you’ve been thriving or been challenged by your mental health remember you are ALWAYS moving forward. There are always better days ahead – my new motto after these past few weeks!
I will see you soon with another video – bye!” – Beth Allen
LET’S CHAT ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Do You Need a Personal Directive?
We know that we like to watch what we like to watch.
We know that an afternoon walk can sometimes really help our day.
We know that we hate boiled greens but roasted is just fine.
We control our quality of life, our activities, our day.
When you are sick, this isn’t always the case. If we are sick for a long time, we may experience less and less control around our lives. This is why having something like a personal care directive is important.
When I practiced law, I saw too often the difficult and emotional circumstances that can arise when the proper paperwork is not followed and completed. This short blog post can help prevent that for you, your family and friends.
What is a Personal Directive?
A Personal Directive is a document that sets out your future personal care decisions for when you are not mentally healthy enough to do so on your own. It is only effective when you are alive and while you are unable to speak on your own behalf. A Personal Directive will cover health care treatment, nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene, recreation, comfort, and similar supports. It allows you to set out what you want and need for your future. You control your future today but only if you do it TODAY.
Please note that a Personal Directive does not cover financial decisions. Those are covered by an Enduring Power of Attorney (next blog post ).
Should you have a Personal Directive?
Everyone should have a Personal Directive.
We can lose our mental capability at any time, whether temporarily or permanently from illness or accident. A Personal Directive gives you the sole voice in determining your health care and treatment if that should occur. Take the time to ensure you control your future. Another reason to have a Personal Directive is that it helps your family and friends. It provides them at a difficult time for all with your personal instructions. No one will wonder what action to take. Your Personal Directive will remove that burden from them. All is clearly stated in the Personal Directive.
What completing a Personal Directive means to you
It gives you piece of mind. You will know that your future care and treatment will be carried out according to your wishes. That is a huge comfort to you. Your loved ones will also appreciate that you have a Personal Directive.
How to obtain a Personal Directive?
Most provinces, states, and jurisdictions now have laws and regulations that state the requirements for a Personal Directive to ensure it is legally and properly completed. In Nova Scotia, my province, there is a Personal Directives Act. The government here provides 10 pages of suggestions and instructions together with a draft Personal Directive which are quite helpful. These may also be provided where you live.
Get your own Personal Directive and off you go to a more certain future.
For more information or for help to complete your own Personal Directive, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Keith Anderson, LL.B., LL.M.
Worth Living Ambassador Kara Lynn
Kara Lynn graduated university with a B.A in Psychology and is in the final years of Psychiatric nursing. Being an avid mental health advocate, Kara is able to offer therapeutic programs to aid in challenges that people face while being able to bring awareness and enlightenment to those within the community to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.Not all mental illnesses come from trauma, and not all traumas inspire mental illnesses, however these are paired among society.That said, Kara is also a motivational speaker, looking to inspire and encourage others to live a healthy, positive and full life.
Anxiety disorders can occur for a variety of reasons. Alcohol abuse, medical conditions such as an underlying endocrine disease that causes nervous system hyperactivity, and stress are just a few examples.
Although anxiety has been considered by some as a condition to be feared or frowned upon, anxiety is a much needed component for our survival. Every living being has some level of anxiety. It is a key component in threatening situations and is part of the fight or flight response in the sympathetic nervous system. Your fight or flight mechanism ensures greatest possibility of protection by providing increased energy in potential danger situations. Research has also shown that low levels of anxiety lead to greater risk of death, therefore making anxiety crucial to our survival.
This is all important to confirm you are not alone in this.
Taking deep breaths tend to ease tension in times of stress and apprehensive situations, while allowing the mind to bring its focus back to a less agitated state.
In 2015 I lost my best friend. I had arrived home from work and received a call from one of my oldest friends.
In a quick moment, my mental and physical state changed.
For the first time, I found it difficult to breath and the only words I could muster were “I’m so sorry”, as if it were somehow my fault that he was no longer with us. In an instant, I took the blame for an unforeseeable and unfortunate outcome. The anxiety I had felt consumed me. It took my logical and practical thought and replaced it with what felt like irrational feelings.
I thought I could have done more to prevent it. But I couldn’t. You can’t control the inevitable even if the inevitable is unexpected and may be preventable. When you seek control and guidance, anxiety will take away clarity and leave behind uncertainty. It takes away your potential to understand situations and instead leaves you with questions that hinder your actions.
It was the first time I had ever truly experienced loss. There was a constant weight that sat centre on my chest everyday as I lay in bed and the most simple tasks such as eating became daunting.
An attempt to return to work proved unsuccessful. Stepping out from the four walls of my bedroom into what felt unknown frightened me. I’d make it part way then find myself returning home. Back to the comfort of my own home, to my own bed which became my sanctuary, with my cat who stayed snuggled by my side. As I would lie in bed, the weight on my chest would grow heavier. It was as if someone was laying on top of me, restricting me from movement.
I pride myself on being pollyanna. I could no longer just sit in bed, basking in sorrow. It didn’t make my situation easier, if anything it was more difficult. It seemed to heighten my current state of emotion.
Did I stop hurting? No, absolutely not. But I refused to give up. I devoted all my attention into school and found daily activities that could ease what I had been feeling for months. I put my focus in the gym, improving my health and lifestyle while removing alcohol in its entirety. Slowly, I began to see the outcome I desired. I no longer perceived anxiety as a venomous snake holding me back from what I wanted to achieve. It wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen overnight but I continued to strive for results that fed my eagerness to overcome what set me back for months.
Finding motivation in people you surround yourself with while using resources to return yourself to a happy medium helps to discover what you desire and what it takes for you to conquer your biggest fears. Start small.
It takes work and dedication. In some cases, the anxiety may never fully diminish. However, each step forward is a step toward success and overcoming your obstacle. Find what works best for you.
Life isn’t always about what you don’t have, it’s about what you have and finding ways to enjoy them. Life can be grim and uninviting if you allow it. Investing time and energy into activities and resources can uplift your mood and provide the proper coping skills in anxious situations.
Keep a journal close by, write down what made your day enjoyable and what didn’t. Look for improvement in unfortunate moments. Find the good in the bad, the happy in the sad. Everything happens for a reason. We may not want to believe it because those unfortunate moments hinder our ability to see past the negative, but the positive is there. Search for it.
I’m blessed that I got to spend half my life laughing until my sides hurt and making bets where I could win for a dinner at the Keg. I’m forever grateful for the abundant knowledge I’ve received from him.
What works for some doesn’t work for all. Finding what lifts your spirits, what inspires you, and what motivates you will have the greatest impact on your future.
Worth Living Ambassador Jess Harvey
I’m a mother of 2 who let my depression run my life for way too long. After losing my father to cancer when I was 30, I spent 7 years trying to deal with my grief and understand all its stages. It’s not something that defines me anymore, and Now I want to offer strength and inspiration to those around me by speaking out in the hopes that I can give someone else a voice. Please visit my personal blog www.jessharvey31.blogspot.com
When you find a way to be stronger than your depression, life gets brighter ~
This is What Progress Looks Like
So today I decided to do things a little differently after a conversation last night with one of my best friend. I realized that I’m not the only one who often has the feeling that you’re having a midlife crisis.
I’ve written about this before about the uneasy feeling that lives inside of me, the feeling of fulfillment, the feeling that I’m not successful enough or like I have so much more I want to accomplish but I’m always unsure how to accomplish it, or maybe it’s the anxiety of failure that stops me from doing it.
It seems that my problem is going from step A – which is me deciding what I want to do, to step B – which is me actually accomplishing said task. I think I lack the ability to put a plan into motion, this is my weakness… AKA Fear!
Which is weird because I’m a very well organized person.
My plans usually sound really good and would make me feel very accomplished if I achieve them, but I don’t always get there.
Sound familiar? It should.
I’ve been writing about this in my blog for years stating that I know that there’s more I’m supposed to be doing, I know that this isn’t “it”for me, and I know that I’m not alone when I say that. So now that I have activated my body and my mind is in a healthy state, I am more excited than ever to finally put the steps in place in order to fulfill all of my goals.
What I’ve discovered is that baby steps are my key to success.
First off, let me explain what my goals are. This will help keep me accountable.
It should be no surprise to any of you that I have a passion for helping people, I want to advocate for mental health, and I want to teach people about body image, self-confidence, and especially kindness as I used to lack all of the above. (Except kindness, I would like to believe I’ve always been kind) but I don’t feel like these things are discussed often enough.
Believe it or not, I am excited to speak in front of people and help them get to a healthier place in their life however it scares the hell out of me. I want to make an impression on people because I know what I’ve had to overcome to get to this place. I’ve lived through something I never thought I could.
I lost my dad, and it rocked my world. I never thought I could feel “Normal” again.But I made it through, even though there was many times I wanted to give up, I had zero drive or ambition. To make it through a day it took everything in me.
If you’ve never had depression or anxiety or any other sort of mental illness, you’re very lucky. However, I think that there are more people faced with this then they choose to admit.
I want to help change that.
I want to empower people to believe in themselves and realize that in order to start overcoming some of those demons you must start with yourself. For me, a journey of personal growth has been the most beneficial part of my life. Starting with learning how to appreciate who I am, learning how to get rid of negative energy in my life, and learning how to stop giving a shit about what other people thought of me
Of course I say that with the upmost respect but truthfully if more people just stopped worrying about what everyone else thought about them, I’m sure their own image of themselves would become much brighter. Once you step out from behind the shadow of other people’s opinions, it’s amazing how bright your days will become. Giving people that power over you is like adding more weights to the backpack that you’re carrying around every day, it weighs you down, tires you out and it drains your energy. Worst of all, your anxiety FEEDS off this like the disease that it is.
This is part 1 of the things that I want to help people understand. Self -Talk is the key to Self- Improvement
This will be a process and at this point I’m unsure what people’s response will be but I’m certain it will reach at least one person. That’s a victory.
One small step for me, one giant leap towards my goal 😉
So far I’ve survived 100% of my worst days, you can too 💛
Worth Living Ambassador Frankie Samah
Hi I’m Frankie and I’m from Wales, UK. I am a psychology teacher and postgraduate education psychologist. I am a women’s right activist, working with women’s aid to raising awareness and to break the silence. I am a mental health advocate and writer. I believe in counteracting the stigma around mental health and we should begin with the ideology. Instagram- Frankie Samah www.frankiesamah.com
The Psychology of Loneliness
As I approach being middle-aged and working far too many hours with little contentment, I ask myself what is it that makes me sad? It isn’t smoking or drinking too many gin and tonics, my grey hairs that now looks like a badger stripe down the middle of my head or even the whiskers that seem to have appeared on my chin but probably more the loneliness or the lack of genuine connections I have and how I have tended to let my friendships lapse.
Now if I quickly take a stock look at my life, I’ll try to prove to myself that in fact, it was just life that got in the way. During the week, my life seems to revolve around work and children, driving to work, driving home from work, remembering which after-school club my daughter has to be at that evening, making dinner, cleaning, washing, etc. But this seems to be a familiar story and in recent reports, health practitioners believe that it is not cancer or heart disease that is the epidemic for this country but in fact loneliness. The late Mother Theresa described loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted as the most terrible poverty.
As we know, I have a slight love for old literature, so it seems like a poignant part to mention the psychology of loneliness in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. The protagonist’s need for love is expressed not through loving but rather through the anguish of loneliness. Brontë uses a Freudian approach to explain loneliness, exploiting the conscious misery of loneliness trying to prove love in impossible with the characters learning in their childhood to fear rejection and love eventually leads to rejection, so they keep themselves isolated, highlighting the dark side of love. Satisfaction must be bought about by bringing the unconscious alive and arousing their fantasies. But we know this is just a story and keeping yourself alone eventually only hurts ourselves.
Times have changed, we live in a time where we can connect with anyone at any time from any place in the world so why is there this epidemic of loneliness?
Despite our societal advancements and even though communication may be easy, it is finding connections with people that is the tricky part. Social media allows us to stay in touch with people and keep up to date with their news without having to connect with them.
Humans are hyper-social beings; social situations influence our emotions. As a society we tend to organise ourselves into little communities, we all like to feel we belong. But as we hit being middle aged, we don’t short change our children; we short change our social life. So those connections are put to one side and we continue with our responsibilities.
Loneliness is not just a source of inspiration for the arts; it is a biological mechanism. Our brains yearn for interaction because our prehistoric ancestors desperately required company to survive; being surrounded by other humans ensured protection and children. Our brains still tell us we should surround ourselves by others to thrive.
Loneliness is a different feeling than being alone and loneliness in all accounts is
a natural feeling that everyone can experience at some point in their life. But if that feeling of loneliness continues, it can become a concern as chronic or long-term sense of social isolation is linked to depression, anxiety and PTSD.
When we were younger, I remember being in the car with my two brothers and two sisters and Mum refused to let us listen to the radio as she wanted quiet for five minutes. I thought Mum was such a fun spoiler and it’s only now I realise how important this quiet time was. It helps us to reflect on our day, on experiences, to shed the expectations and judgement of society and this is good for our self-care and mental health.
But being alone and lonely are not the same thing. Loneliness is a feeling that we are socially isolated but we don’t wish to be. People might surround us, but if those connections aren’t meaningful to us and make the soul feel alive, we might as well be the only person on the planet.
Neuroscience and psychology provide insight that the pain associated with loneliness is real, it is a psychological feeling of being more fearful, more anxious, and more depressed, but additionally physically making us more susceptible to disease with raised levels of stress hormones and a decreased immune response.
Loneliness is not just a physical malady but an emotional one too.
Research shows that social isolation affects the activation of dopaminergic and serotonergic neurons which are vital to our emotional well-being. The dopaminergic neurons in a brain region called the dorsal raphe nucleus were activated in response to acute social isolation and triggered the subject to become more motivated to search for and re-engage in social interactions.
This suggests the brain controls loneliness; we must learn to recognise the traits we have when we feel loneliness taking its toll. Our brains tell us when we have physical pain, with psychological distress; this is our brain telling us there is something wrong. Next time you have these feelings think of the neurons in your brain; they are trying to help you out, seek contact and social interactions and give them a break.
As mentioned earlier social media helps us keep up to date with people but doesn’t necessarily mean we are connecting with others. But it can be used for a positive tool, it’s a platform to connect with anyone and there are plenty of bloggers who are open and talk positively about how social media has helped their feelings of loneliness by building connections with people. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others and join groups. My dear friend sadly lost her husband a few years ago and after hearing my stories about travelling around in my camper, she decided to buy one. She joined some Facebook groups and now goes all over the country with the dogs meeting up with like-minded people. If you are feeling low or have feelings of loneliness speak to your general practitioner who can give you advice. Don’t let the fear hold you back and remember we all have a life worth living.
“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.”
— Orson Welles
Worth Living Ambassador Michelle Peterson
Michelle Peterson has been in recovery for several years. She started RecoveryPride.org to help eliminate the stigma placed on those who struggle with addiction. The site emphasizes that the journey to sobriety should not be one of shame but of pride and offers stories, victories, and other information to give hope and help to those in recovery. www.recoverypride.org
Perpetual Therapy: Incorporating Art and Music into Your Everyday Life
There are many ways to treat addiction, but what truly matters is whether an individual recovering from drug or alcohol abuse can sustain the benefits of addiction treatment. Sustainability is what truly matters. Being able to live each day without succumbing to temptation is the measure of the treatment that a recovering addict receives. Meeting with an addiction support group allows you to talk through the challenges that threaten your sobriety. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps you alter negative behavioral patterns by modifying dysfunctional thoughts and emotions.
Art and music therapy are proven effective supplemental treatment approaches that draw on creativity and improve self-esteem and confidence, alleviate stress and help recovering addicts avoid relapse behavior.
Music affects every part of your brain, encouraging relaxation, relieving depression, mitigating pain and lowering blood pressure. These are all benefits that can have a powerfully positive impact on people who are trying to remain free of drugs and alcohol. Music therapy is used to treat Alzheimer’s patients, patients suffering from brain injuries, people in chronic pain and many others. Therapy subjects are taught to appreciate, dance to and, in some cases, sing or play music as part of their treatment.
Patients who undergo art therapy create imagery through painting, drawing and sculpting. They are then encouraged to discuss the images that they’ve created with a licensed art therapist. Art therapy helps free you from the constant worry that you’ll give into temptation and fall back into addictive behavior patterns. As such, it helps individuals come to grips with underlying psychological issues that contribute to self-destructive behaviors.
Get a hobby
Taking up art or music as a hobby is an excellent way to incorporate these two effective therapeutic pursuits into your life. It might be something you’ve considered if you played music in the past or did well in art classes when you were in school. Select a part of your house that’s out of the way and offers enough square footage for you to play music or create artwork every day. You’re taking advantage of a creative outlet that can prevent you from dwelling on your struggles with addiction.
Consider converting part of your garage, laundry room or a large walk-in closet into a creative workshop. Acquire an easel, a large drawing table or large work table if you’re into working with clay or some form of sculpting. According to HomeAdvisor, “Everyone deserves to have their own space for their passion project, be it a crafting station or simply a place to journal. Look around your home with a creative eye, and you’ll realize that much of what you need to create your ideal hobby workshop is already nearby and can easily be converted.”
Visit an art museum
If you live in an urban community, you likely have an art museum nearby or perhaps there’s one affiliated with your local university. Become a member and make visiting it on a weekly basis part of your usual routine. Look closely at the paintings and exhibits that impact you the most and let them inspire your creativity. You can also find an exhaustive supply of websites dedicated to great artworks that you can enjoy free of charge.
Dive into reading
Even if you’re not in the habit of reading for pleasure, dive into a great literary work, maybe a book you enjoyed in high school or college, or a book that inspired a movie you love. You might be surprised at how much more you’ll get from reading the book than you do from watching the movie.
Perhaps the most valuable benefit you can derive from a therapeutic activity is that it involves your mind completely. You’re not left with time to dwell on temptation and risk relapsing into addictive behavior. That’s why it’s important to incorporate a pursuit you enjoy into your daily routine.
Courtesy of Pixabay.com.