Warming Up Positive Steps to Mental Health Walk Participants in Whitehorse

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The Mental Health Association of Yukon’s annual Positive Steps to Mental Health Walk took place Tuesday at Shipyards Park. Gurdeep Pandher, front, warmed up the group with Bhangra dance | Whitehorse Star photo by: VINCE FEDOROFF

It was wonderful to warm up the participants with bhangra moves in “Positive Steps to Mental Health” walk, organized by Mental Health Association of Yukon (MHAY) this morning! The walk kicked off Mental Illness Awareness Week events in Whitehorse, which are also being organized all over Canada.

It was also uplifting to see so many people in Whitehorse coming together and talking loudly about mental health.

Almost one half (49%) of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about this problem. ~ Canadian Mental Health Association

(Photo credit: Whitehorse Star photo by: VINCE FEDOROFF)

Warming Up Positive Steps to Mental Health Walk Participants in Whitehorse
Warming Up Positive Steps to Mental Health Walk Participants in Whitehorse

⇒ Fast Facts about Mental Illness, According to The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) website:-

Who is affected?

  • Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague.
  • In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness.
  • Mental illness affects people of all ages, education, income levels, and cultures.
  • Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives.
  • About 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder (or “manic depression”).

How common is it?

  • By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness.
  • Schizophrenia affects 1% of the Canadian population.
  • Anxiety disorders affect 5% of the household population, causing mild to severe impairment.
  • Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds and 16% among 25-44 year olds.
  • Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age.
  • The mortality rate due to suicide among men is four times the rate among women.

By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness. ~ Canadian Mental Health Association

Yukon's newspaper Whitehorse Star featured our event on its home page.
Yukon’s newspaper Whitehorse Star featured our event on its home page.

In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness. ~ Canadian Mental Health Association

 

Dealing with Sadness – Ideas and Advice

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Dealing with Sadness - Ideas and Advice

We live in a crazily driven modern world. Our modern world and the pace of living in it often brings us all manner of complications, as well as a lot of fatigue and disappointment. For example, loss of a friend or family member may set us back in life. Even a friend or close family member who is in the hospital due to health problems may give you a sense of sadness that is very hard to shake off.

To cite other examples, if your new car breaks down or there are problems with your new home, you may find that sadness crops up and is difficult to deal with. In addition, a split with a partner or spouse may trigger sadness which seems to come straight from the core of your heart. If you are missing a friend back home or you live in a different country and you cry for your family and friends (whom you needed to left behind), your sadness may overwhelm you. Ego also factors in here. For example, you may imagine that your close friends do not admire you or that your boss is neglecting the efforts which you put in at work. Debt is another problem which brings sadness. Let’s say that you have have a big credit card bill in your hand and you do not have funds to pay the bill. This causes stress which may weigh you down with negative emotions!

There are a million reasons why people feel sad. In my personal life, I have faced sadness (even extreme) many times and I’ve successfully recovered from it. In order to help you do the same, I’ve written up some tips, which are meant to help you combat the ill effects of despair.

1. Short-Term Sadness is Okay: Every human being reacts to changing situations around him/her. It’s natural and normal to have these emotions. This kind of sadness is situational.  In other words, it’s related to our hardest life experiences. After all, a human being is not a machine. However, you do need to learn how to recover from it! Your recovery should be speedy in order to benefit your mental state, health and well-being.

If you are sad for days or months at a time, then you definitely need help or some outlet which will assist you with feeling normal again. Many things can work, such as talking to a good friend, reading a good book or finding a good video which helps you to understand the situation. If you’re seriously depressed, talk to your doctor – he or she can help.

2. Take Loss Positively: Losing a friend, co-worker, money, business, or anything else that you value may spark prolonged sadness and psychological setbacks. Keep in mind that nothing was yours which you lost! Think positively by reminding yourself that you enjoyed good moments with your friend or family member, or had some good experiences with your money or business.

If you gain perspective by reviewing your own personal history, you will realize that nothing is permanent. The best and brightest people of all time gained and lost during their lives, just like you have! Maybe you lost things that you used to own? This presents an opportunity to live a more humble life, without being enslaved by the need for luxuries and material possessions.

3. Feel Good About Your Mistakes: No one is perfect! We all make mistakes and, sometimes, we repeat these errors! Accept mistakes not as signs of weakness but as signs of courage. At least you tried! Consider the fact that all people in the world make mistakes and that you are no different from them! Laugh at your mistakes in order to change the way that you feel about them! Don’t be sad that you did something wrong.

Also, think about the fact that you may suffer from misconceptions. Maybe your family and friends are not thinking bad thoughts about you after all – maybe it’s just your imagination! People around you are very busy, they do not have time to think about your mistakes and weaknesses all of the time. So make an effort to avoid cluttering your mind with the idea that people are thinking terrible things about you.

4. Sad Poetry and Music are Ok in Moderation: Sad poetry, music, or literature may be used for short periods of time in order to fit your mood. Sometimes, I do listen to sad songs and feel good after listening to them, it may be the same for you. However, too much sad “entertainment” may actually trigger a downward spiral into depression. As I said earlier, it’s healthy to be sad for short periods of time, it’s okay to be sombre now and then.

However, healthy sadness is all about recovering from sadness quickly and returning to a happier state of mind!

5. Avoid Too Much Solitude: When you spend long periods of time alone, you may be prone to indulge in self-analysis and bad thoughts which keep your feelings of sadness alive. Many times, obsessive self-examination disconnects us from the realities of life which are all around us. For example, you may try to explore and connect with metaphorical images and figures when you are alone for long period of times! It’s better to live in the real world as much as you can, so do make sure that you go outside, get some fresh air, talk to neighbours or friends or take care of pets. This will help you to come out of your imaginative world which was created in response to your prolonged period of solitude.

There are many other strategies for dealing with sadness. However, I believe that the ones detailed here are great for self-help during tough times. Keep in mind that sadness and depression are closely related to each other. As I mentioned earlier, if you are always sad or frequently sad, please talk to your doctor. He or she can treat your depression and get you back on the right track.

Learn to Laugh

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We’ve all heard about how laughter is the best medicine, and it’s not far from the truth. Laughter releases hormones that make you feel good about yourself, relieves depression, and spreads positive waves to the people around you. Although it may be hard to do sometimes, laughter somehow magically makes any situation better. Whether you’ve been embarrassed, hurt, or disappointed, the giggles will help you soothe your wounds much more effectively than the bowl of ice cream.

Everyone’s known that horrifying feeling when they’ve taken a spill in a crowded hallway or spilled coffee on their white blouse. The dreaded sniggers rise from the people around you and you start to blush. However, don’t freak out. Instead, laugh along. Make a nonchalant remark like ‘Oh, clumsy me.’, and get on with what you were doing before. Making a scene will help your incident stick around in people’s minds much longer than if you act mature and laugh at your mistake.

So you’ve broken up with your significant other, or you had a fight with your parents. Before you take out that box of chocolates however, call up your funniest friend to cheer you up and to talk. Of course, if the hurt was significant, you may take some time to grieve, but only to an extent. You know the saying ‘You’ll be laughing about this in a year’? Why wait that long? If you start laughing about the situation right now, you’ll recover much faster.

We’ve all heard about how laughter is the best medicine, and it’s not far from the truth. Laughter releases hormones that make you feel good about yourself, relieves depression, and spreads positive waves to the people around you. Although it may be hard to do sometimes, laughter somehow magically makes any situation better.

Disappointment happens to the best of us, and there’s no point in wallowing in it. Instead, take your mind off things by getting together a group of friends and go out to do something fun. Laugh lots (even at the corniest jokes), and just enjoy the moment. You’ll bounce back quicker, and feel more empowered to get out there again. The more you laugh, the more friendly you seem, and the more opportunities will come your way.

Laughing is not the easiest thing to do all the time. Sometimes, our instinct is to cry or scream, which is healthy, but only to a certain point. The more you wallow, the more you drive people away. Have you ever heard the saying ‘You get what you give’? Well, if you continuously act sullen or depressed, you leave no room for positive energy to come in. If you open your heart and laugh, however, positivity will flow to you, making your life happier and more successful.

Moving on from Failure

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Accepting defeat is an action most of us rebel against with fervor, because we think acceptance will deepen the loss and make it more painful. This line of thinking leads us to live in denial of what we lost, and over time can create feelings of depression and ill-will. In order to heal and recover from our past ordeals, we must learn how to deal with failure in both short term and long term.

Loss, at first, may seem impossible. Your mind goes completely into shock and all you can do is stand there as waves of despair crash over you. At this time, especially if you are in public, it is best to put on a brave face to avoid further embarrassment. Take a deep breath, and crack a joke about it. For example, if you just got fired, don’t run sobbing from your boss’s office. Look him or her calmly in the eye and say ‘I understand’. This shows maturity and poise.

After the initial rude awakening, there is most often a period of pretense that everything is alright. There is no need to do this. You should not feel guilty if all you want to do is cry and eat ice cream for days on end. Feel free to use whatever method you would like to help you cope, even if they aren’t the healthiest; just be sure you don’t seriously harm yourself or others. Expressing emotions now will make acceptance come faster and smoother later on.

Now that you’ve cried and screamed your heart out, it’s time to move on from the ordeal. At the time, it might seem impossible to do, since what you lost probably meant a lot to you. However, you should know that a better opportunity will come along very quickly and it’s best to prepare yourself for it now rather than wait until the last moment. In order to accept defeat, you must be gentle with yourself. Give yourself positive encouragements. Sure, you’ve fallen off of the metaphorical horse, but that just means you have to get back up on to it. After all, you’ll never reach your destination if you have no steed.

Throughout your journey, it’s important to realize everyone has setbacks and one failure does not define who you are. Define yourself by your successes and your relationships, and you would live a much happier life. In the end, what matters is not whether you succeed in all your endeavors; it’s whether you have learned anything from them. If you feel you have gained knowledge and experience from your journey, then you have succeeded no matter what the outcome.

Learn to Laugh

Posted on 2 Comments

We’ve all heard about how laughter is the best medicine, and it’s not far from the truth. Laughter releases hormones that make you feel good about yourself, relieves depression, and spreads positive waves to the people around you. Although it may be hard to do sometimes, laughter somehow magically makes any situation better. Whether you’ve been embarrassed, hurt, or disappointed, the giggles will help you soothe your wounds much more effectively than the bowl of ice cream.

Everyone’s known that horrifying feeling when they’ve taken a spill in a crowded hallway or spilled coffee on their white blouse. The dreaded sniggers rise from the people around you and you start to blush. However, don’t freak out. Instead, laugh along. Make a nonchalant remark like ‘Oh, clumsy me.’, and get on with what you were doing before. Making a scene will help your incident stick around in people’s minds much longer than if you act mature and laugh at your mistake.

So you’ve broken up with your significant other, or you had a fight with your parents. Before you take out that box of chocolates however, call up your funniest friend to cheer you up and to talk. Of course, if the hurt was significant, you may take some time to grieve, but only to an extent. You know the saying ‘You’ll be laughing about this in a year’? Why wait that long? If you start laughing about the situation right now, you’ll recover much faster.

We’ve all heard about how laughter is the best medicine, and it’s not far from the truth. Laughter releases hormones that make you feel good about yourself, relieves depression, and spreads positive waves to the people around you. Although it may be hard to do sometimes, laughter somehow magically makes any situation better.

Disappointment happens to the best of us, and there’s no point in wallowing in it. Instead, take your mind off things by getting together a group of friends and go out to do something fun. Laugh lots (even at the corniest jokes), and just enjoy the moment. You’ll bounce back quicker, and feel more empowered to get out there again. The more you laugh, the more friendly you seem, and the more opportunities will come your way.

Laughing is not the easiest thing to do all the time. Sometimes, our instinct is to cry or scream, which is healthy, but only to a certain point. The more you wallow, the more you drive people away. Have you ever heard the saying ‘You get what you give’? Well, if you continuously act sullen or depressed, you leave no room for positive energy to come in. If you open your heart and laugh, however, positivity will flow to you, making your life happier and more successful.