Connect. Understand. Be Mindful

For the past week, posts have popped up everywhere around Mental Health. Here in New Zealand, it’s mental health awareness week. This is supported largely by the Mental Health Foundation here in New Zealand. They’ve a load of resources and information on their website to help those who want to know more about how they can improve their own or help someone else who is struggling with mental health.Con

Out of all of the posts and information shared, the best thing I’ve noticed this week is the connection and support of people for each other. In the organization where I work, people shared some personally stories of their own struggles with mental health. People felt more empowered and as the week went on, more and more stories were shared. It was great to witness.

On Facebook, in a group I’m a part of, I also witnessed a woman post up her own story. She shared her story with the same intention as those I work with, to spread awareness & help empower others. The end result was the overwhelming support she received in response. As a result of sharing her struggles, she took action that afternoon. She’s posted an update since and is sounding in a much more positive frame of mind. All because she felt supported enough to share her story.

It’s phenomenal how connected and supported social media has made us all.

There are undeniably multiple negative impacts of social media as well, but the key is focusing on what we can control. We can’t control what others are going through. We can’t control what they post online but we can control how we allow it to impact us. We can control what we choose to see.

I’ve been pretty honest on here about my own battles with body image, mental health and self-esteem. I’m open to sharing for the sake of hoping it helps others. In saying this, I often see posts online and comments from friends which send me into a spiral of negativity. Sometimes it takes just one post and I’ll get worked up. It’s not until I’m asked why, or I actually think about it and realise I’m getting angry over something that’s not that important in the grand scheme of things.

The reality is, I’m a very angry person. This is something I shared in common with the woman who asked for help recently on Facebook. I thanked her for sharing as it’s always nice to know when you’re not alone. Most people would probably look at me confused if I were to say this. Those who’ve seen Britenay in the ring will prob be like, “oh yup, yeah, you’re crazy angry”. But nevertheless, those who have seen me drunk know the extent to which my anger can get. It’s not pretty.

When I was first told I was angry by a psychiatrist I laughed. No, I’m not like that. She took one look at me and asked, “how are you when drinking?” And I went, “oh…” Ha! She had my number!

The thing is, I am working on controlling my anger. I’m great at controlling it in the workplace as it’s a professional environment where it’s easy to remain calm. That, and there’s not much that truly angers me at work. The stuff I face outside of work is normally what causes anger and frustration. And I’m working on controlling this better. I’ve recently been making more of a considered effort to practice mindfulness and meditation to remain calm.

It’s working, and I totally recommend it. Mindfulness, plus getting outdoors & connecting with nature more is a great way to stay calm and care for my mental health. For more info, check out Mental Health Foundation’s website. Or my post last year about the 5 Ways to Wellbeing.

Also, if you catch me not getting drunk. Don’t pressure me to do so. I’m doing me, sober, sane and in control. I’d appreciate not pressuring me to do otherwise. Help me help myself. Thank you.

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