Feeding the mind

I wanted to touch today on certain day to day activities I do the keep the mind occupied. Often, when one is anxious and/or depressed they get this overwhelming sensation where the mind just seems to race and cannot focus on one thought because too much is going on in the brain. Being so hard to focus makes me more agitated, emotional and I experience much more negative feelings throughout the day. This is something I feel happens to me quite often, I can tell almost straight away if I’ve woken up in one of those frames of mind. Sometimes it can last the whole day, and other times it may just be the morning, or it may even creep up on me during the day.

In this century I feel that our day to day lifestyles do not help this happening to the mind; Having a 9-6 job, resting for only 2 of the 7 days, and having always to wait, queue, or travel to comply with a London lifestyle. This puts a lot of pressure on the brain, because this lifestyle involves a lot of worry and stress. When I’m having a “unfocused mind” day it’s usually because I’m stressed about work, or about money, or even the worrying global events that are so easily known about via television and social media. Throughout history we have had to deal with stress, but when have we ever had global crisis pushed in front of our faces almost 24/7. No Viking or Victorian would scroll down their Facebook page to see a malnourished, starving Syrian fighting for survival, yet every spare minute of our current lives we scroll through Facebook to witness these things adding yet more worry to our already hectic lives.

There are many things today that increase anxiety in our society, but what do I do to try and prevent that? There’s no definite cure, because I still have incredibly thought racing days, today being one of them. It’s one of those months for me where I’ve ran out of money despite being paid last week, my hairs gone a ridiculous orange after me impulsively deciding to try and dye my hair blonde, and my skin is so bad in terms of my pores and spots. Men may not relate but this causes stress for a girl!

So what have I done? Food. Food is something that really does help calm the mind, through a happiness found in taste. We see so much in the media about what we shouldn’t eat to stay slim and healthy, but why not listen to your body? I feel when there’s a craving for something, there’s a reason for that. If you know you will fulfill that craving then you will get a subconscious happiness through satisfaction. This doesn’t mean binge on junk food (or though you cant beat one of those days!) it just means listening to your body. Take time out of your day to spend time making an effort in creating a dish for yourself. Balance your meal accordingly with all of your favorite things from  each of the food categories. Spending time cooking something your body wants will make your mind focus because you want if for yourself. What does focusing the mind do? Leaves less space for thought racing. Focus is the key to avoiding self destruction.

There’s a big satisfaction humans receive when they make a meal themselves that has a really enjoyable taste. Serotonin levels in our brain are increased through compliments, because they make us happy. I don’t know anyone in this world that doesn’t like receiving a compliment if they have made a good meal. This blog isn’t telling you to binge eat, it’s more about focusing on what the body wants rather than over thinking. Physical and mental well being come hand in hand, and one thing who will never lie to you is your body. When you listen to your body your body will respond. This morning my body fancied some pancakes, it’s fun and simple but it helped me focus for my morning, and brightened up my day. Comment if anyone has any food creations that brighten up their day.12593753_1145847762128354_2533906629711609825_o.jpg



You know them things you constantly tell yourself you will do, and just never get around to doing? For me, starting a blog was one of them. I’ve always had this idea to just write down all my thoughts and ideas and maybe this would help my mind constantly racing with thoughts, but in this day and age it’s much harder to sit down and actually do something rather than just thinking about it. When you’re in your early 20’s, trying to juggle living independently, working an office 9-6 job, you begin to realize that life isn’t quite as sugar coated as childhood. This does make it harder to start things you’re thinking about doing, because you’re too busy stressing about things you think you should be stressing about, such as work, relationships etc.

Rather than rambling, I guess I should do what I set out to do with this first blog, which was to introduce myself. Without providing names just yet, here is my attempt to try and explain myself, and my story so far..

I am currently just about to turn 21. The beginning of 2016 is definitely a turning point for me to say the least. I don’t think I’m the only one on the internet who can safely say 2015 has been hectic as hell. To try and explain myself properly lets start from the beginning. I was born on 10th April 1995, a middle man 90’s baby! My mother at the age of around 17/18 was diagnosed with a severe case of bipolar disorder, which really meant that she wasn’t fit to have a child. My father, who I haven’t seen since I was 3 yet still sends me the odd Facebook message to check I’m okay (21st century parenting at it’s finest!) he was an okay man from what I’ve been told, but from personal lack of effort I’d say maybe he wasn’t quite ready to father a little me into the world.

Both my mother and father struggled with alcohol addiction, I think this is what must have drawn them closer to each other. Many alcoholics say there is no better feeling than the comfort of a fellow alcoholic because both understand how the other is feeling, this is what I think they did. Until I was around 3/4 when Dad just seemed to disappear. All of this I’d like to say didn’t affect me too much, because despite this happening to me at a young age I was very much protected from all of the illness and addiction by my grandparents. Looking back on life, and comparing this to what has happened to me within recent years, maybe this upbringing did have more of an affect on me then I’d like to let on.

My Nan told me, when I was around 5 years old I’d say: “Mom thinks she’s trying to fool me, but I know there’s more than just apple juice in her glass”. I think the mind of a child is so powerful, because they have the potential to change more of the future than the adults bringing them up. Growing up I was surrounded by alcohol  more and more, I remember sitting with my mom embarrassed because she was drunk on the bus, shouting and screaming. When you live in Birmingham, catching a dirty 11 bus and having to put up with shouting drunks is no abnormality, but when it’s your own mother you cant help it affect you more so than a stranger. Despite all this, I still had my Grandparents, offering me the love and care I craved as a child. Taking me to the zoo on Sundays, making me feel as if my life was normal.

Things changed as I got to 15, this was the turning point. Throughout school I always did ok; I’d always do my homework, pass my tests. Strangely, Mom was always incredibly strict when it came to homework. Many people think that parents with mental illness are bad parents; this is not the case. Once my Mom would fixate on something, she would take it far more seriously than the average human being, this came across with things like homework. I would have to sit in front of her and finish it all, and prove that I had. My mom would sometimes even ring my teachers to make sure I’d handed it in okay.

Despite this “tough love” parenting, things did spiral for me during my teens. This was not helped by my first love, first crush, the first real guy in my life. Everyone in life goes through their first love, followed by your first heartbreak, but this was much more intense than your average teenage love story. When things went pear shaped, did I have a nuclear family to fall back on? No. Instead I had a family dealing with addiction and illness, which wasn’t easy when there’s a strong theory that mental health is hereditary. So at 15, when my mind is trying to grow and learn, with this mental health background and a boyfriend that also had a background history of mental health. He told me once he had bipolar, but he was such a bold character and his actions were so unpredictable who knows if he was telling the truth. One thing was apparent though and that was that he wasn’t normal, I think that’s why we fell for each other so hard. Abnormal people connect with each other.

If I wanted to document my whole life in this one blog introduction I would be here for days writing pages and pages, but I did just want to keep this to an introduction. Of course there will be many more future posts on relationships, friendships, and other significant things that have affected my life.

I will conclude with the purpose of this blog website, blog channel, whatever you want to call it. Throughout my life I have had incidents occur to me which have made me realize I’m not “normal”. The way I think has been affected by the history of mental health in my genetics and should I visit a doctor and sit down with him for ten minutes and explain how I felt I am almost certain I would be diagnosed with some sort of disorder. To this date however I remain un-diagnosed, because I have’t gone to a doctor to address my issues. I have started 2016 with the frame of mind that I want to control the way I live and I want to make changes to my lifestyle to control whatever it is that is going on up in my mind. This channel is for people with mental health issues, diagnosed or not. I want to share with people my techniques of controlling my own mind and I want to give people another way at looking at “Mental health”. People with mental illnesses are different thinkers, the way their mind works is different to that of a “normal” thinker. Many people with depression are much more interesting to interact with than that of people that aren’t sufferers, because they think deeper into emotion and over all have a different way of viewing the world. Let’s cherish our different minds, and when were going through bad phases where we feel at our lowest, lets talk about them. That is the purpose of this blog.

Stay tuned for future posts. Stay real.