World Mental Health Day

One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.

Around 450 million people currently suffer from mental health related problems.

Mental health disorders are among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide (World Health Organization).

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Over the last couple years, the issue of mental health has become a prominent subject matter in the public square. Celebrities have raised awareness for those who suffer from mental illness and websites like Twitter have allowed more people to have a platform to spread information about the importance of mental health. People are starting to realize that mental health is just as important as physical health—and slowly, the stigma attached to mental health struggles is beginning to fade.

Thus, with it being such an important and widely spoken about issue, I have decided that to write a post about mental health for my blog to help raise awareness for this issue.

If you have been reading my blog for a while now, you may know that I’m no stranger to this issue. For years now, I have struggled with OCD and anxiety, which can at times can be crippling—making it difficult to handle situations that most people would be completely comfortable in. I struggle with both stressful, unwanted thoughts and quirks such as not wanting to touch a doorknob and checking my cups to make sure they’re clean.

Nonetheless, over the last few weeks, I have made a conscious decision.

I have made a decision to be healthy.

By choosing to be healthy, I don’t mean that my OCD has gone away entirely or even that I believe it will go away entirely. In some way, shape or form, I’ve suffered with it since childhood. When I was in grade school, I used to arrange my crayons by color and run to my mom whenever I had a thought that I considered “mean” or “bad”.

Nonetheless, I have recently discovered that there are steps that I can take to cope with it and intentionally lessen it; and I believe that many of these things can help those who struggle from other forms of mental health as well.

Pray

To clarify, I don’t believe mental health problems are a sign of a weak faith or not trusting God, as some suggest. However, I do believe we serve a God who cares about the well being of His children. James 5:13 says, “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” The Bible encourages us to pray during times of trouble, and I believe that if we ask, God will give us peace during our storms—and the strength to get through them

Eat right

Before I tried it myself, I used to think that people who touted healthy eating as the answer stress and anxiety were crazy. Nonetheless, after changing my diet and implementing more whole foods and vitamins, I’ve noticed that my anxiety and even my acne has decreased tremendously. It is obviously not the answer to every problem, but it can help you feel better and more at peace. Eating less processed foods and more foods with vitamins shown to treat anxiety has helped me leaps and bounds in my journey to mental and physical health.

Exercise

I’m going to be honest—I am a complete and utter bookworm. Given the choice, I would much rather read a good book than hop on a treadmill. However, despite the fact that working out isn’t always fun for me, I have begun to take more initiative to exercise. Exercising naturally increases serotonin levels in our brains, which is often something that people with high levels of anxiety tend to lack. Through exercising, we can increase our serotonin levels while staying fit in the process.

R&R

In a world as fast paced and intense as ours, it can be hard to force ourselves to relax and unwind. There’s always something we need to do or that we can worry about. However, God didn’t intend for our bodies to work like this. As finite creatures, we cannot keep going without facing some serious burnout.

So, the next time you find yourself feeling anxious, depressed, or worried, take some time for yourself. This isn’t selfish—it’s healthy. Read a book. Soak in a bubble bath. Watch your old favorite movie. Do whatever it is (within reason) that helps you relax and calm down. Don’t be afraid to slow down and let yourself rest. If you do this, you’ll be refreshed and ready to face those tasks when you return to your daily to-do-list.

Self-talk

Oftentimes, our worst stress is caused from out-of-control worry and stress. When our minds get out of hand, sometimes it’s best to try to talk ourselves down. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Sometimes we can be nicer to others than we are to ourselves, but according to the Bible, we are called to “love our neighbor as ourselves” (Mark 12:30-31). It’s important that we show the same kindness to ourselves that we show to others, and part of this is remembering that things often aren’t as severe as we imagine them to be.

Talk to someone about it

Sometimes, one of the best ways to stay mentally healthy is to talk to someone—whether it be a pastor, a counselor, or a friend. Maybe you have something you need to work through, or maybe you just need another person to tell you it’s all going to be OK. There’s no shame in seeing a counselor or asking for prayer and advice. We weren’t meant to do this life alone—God has placed other people in our lives and our paths for a reason. Never be too prideful to ask for help. Furthermore, if you feel it is serious, never be afraid to contact a professional.

Note -– If you’re in a moment of crisis and you’re in emotional distress right now, don’t hesitate to talk. Call 1-800-273-8255.  https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

How about you? Have you ever struggled with mental health? And do you have any advice for those who do? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

 

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Some Writing Tips From 1 Timothy 4:12 Girl

Hey everyone, I’m back again with a new Thursday post – but this week, we’re changing things up again! 

Typically on this blog, I run posts about belief, inspiration, and current events. Nonetheless, this week, I decided to do something different. I still intend to keep this blog predominantly about those things, but this week I decided to write about one medium we can use to live confidently in Christ—writing!

  • More than likely, if you’re reading this, you’ve done some writing yourself, or have at least dabbled with it at some point. Personally, for me, writing has been a passion since my childhood. Thus, I would like to take this time to give some of my very own tips on writing. 
  1. Know Your TopicThis is vitally important to the process of writing. Whenever your writing, it’s important to know your topic like the back of your hand. If you’re writing an essay on photography, research photography, if you’re writing an article on the challenges of Christians in college, research what it’s like to be a Christian in college. This even applies to fiction—maybe even more so. When you’re writing a book, you need to have intricate knowledge of your characters, settings, and storylines. Oftentimes, I’ll even write character profiles, to learn even the minor details about my characters. The information may not all be used, but it never heard to have it on file for safekeeping.
  2. Get FeedbackOne of the most helpful things for me as a writer is getting feedback on my work. It’s pretty easy with blogging, as you’ll sometimes get comments on your work from fellow friends and bloggers, but it’s honestly helpful in every form of writing. I often ask my mom and close friends to read my writing and give honest feedback about their thoughts and opinions. As a writer, it can be easy to get “stuck in your head”, reading your work so many times you can’t even tell a period from a comma. It can be helpful to get objective feedback when this starts to happen.
  3. Silence Your Inner Perfectionist We are always our own worst critics. There have been countless times that I’ve either written something and obsessed over whether or not it was right or written nothing at all. When we’re writing from a place of perfectionism, it can be almost impossible to write authentically and creatively. Oftentimes, God will take our work in a place different than we expected, and that’s OK. Listen to that inner voice. Go with it. There might just be something beautiful there.
  4. Get In The Mood – Obviously this one could be turned into a form of OCD if taken to extremes, but many times, it can be helpful to write when we’re in our element. This means knowing when to take a break, and being aware that oftentimes, our moods can seep into our writing, for better or worse. It also means making your writing environment comfortable and natural. Oftentimes for me, it can be helpful to play music fitting to the tone of my writing, having the right amount of lighting, and being comfortable, but not the point that I want to fall asleep. For me, these things combined create the perfect writing atmosphere.
  5. Have fun with itMy number one rule of thumb for writing is that if I’m bored, the audience probably is too. Thus, I try to write things that I would want to read myself. Does it sound like the kind of book that I’d pick up? Would I grow to love this character if it weren’t my own? Does this topic sound like it would make an interesting article? These are the kinds of questions we should be asking ourselves as we go through the writing and idea process.

How about you? What writing advice do you have to share? Tell me about it in the comments section below!⬇️