The top anxiety blogs of 2018

top anxiety blogs

It’s a new year, and the Watersedge team have a reason to celebrate, because we were just named one of the top anxiety blogs of 2018 by Home Remedies for Life!

We are so privileged to stand along side other renowned wellness blogs like The Mighty, Blue Light Blue and Honest Mom. Whether you’re after a personal perspective on battling with anxiety, or a more clinical or educational approach, this list gives you a huge range of options that will help you feel less alone.

You can see the full list here. Thank you to our friends at Home Remedies for Life for adding us to the list. We are so excited to share our new content with you in 2018!

Do you experience anxiety? Would you like to explore strategies and techniques to overcome it in your life? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

 

10 natural ways to overcome anxiety

natural-anxiety

An estimated 1 in 10 Australians and 1 in 6 Americans are taking antidepressants, but research shows that while these professional prescribed medications can be beneficial for many people, it can also have potentially nasty side effects. These include tremors, headaches, indigestion, vomiting and even insomnia. The good news is that if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you can try these healthy alternatives.

Good natural ways to overcome anxiety are to eat certain foods that boost your mood and take up activities that calm your mind.

Examples for stress reducing foods are fish and walnuts, which contain Omega-3 for healthy brain cells. Turmeric is a great spice, which works as well as the popular drug Prozac and can be consumed in any amount. Another popular choice is the St. Johns Wort herb, which has been used as a natural antidepressant since the Renaissance.

Activities include exercising, meditation and certain breathing techniques are also great natural cures for anxiety. Working up a sweat for just 30 minutes three times a week will make a big difference in mood and stress levels.

And doing it outside provides even more benefits because the sun recharges your Vitamin D deposit, which has a big effect on your mood. Mindful meditation helps you find peace with your inner self.

If you’ve tried medication and are unhappy with the results, * or you are looking for a natural alterative, start by eating well and having an active lifestyle. This has a huge impact on your journey to an anxiety-free life. 

10-natural-ways-to-overcome-anxiety

Are you interested in the natural ways you can manage anxiety? Would you like support before you head to your doctor to talk about anti-depressant medication? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

*Speak to your doctor or a medical professional before making any changes to your prescribed medication. If you are experiencing any physical or mental symptoms that concern you after choosing natural remedies, speak to your doctor immediately.

Rene is a writer for homeremediesforlife blog where he investigates ways to battle anxiety, depression and stress without the use of drugs. You can read his article about the most powerful natural antidepressants here: Home Remedies for Anxiety

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How to deal with stress in everyday life

Stress influences everybody. Regardless of your age, sexual orientation or identity, we all know how stress feels. A great number of people choose to overlook the worry in their life since they think it simply comes from the pressure of their surroundings and they should ‘toughen up’ and ‘get over it’. However, when stress is ignored, it can influence our lives significantly.

Stress can be positive and negative. Positive pressure will influence you to work when you don't feel like it and you will accomplish your objectives. Yet negative pressure will put an enormous STOP sign on your cerebrum and you won’t move forward.

This negative pressure will influence you to feel apprehensive and stressed, and it will estrange you from everybody. That is often the manner by which negative pressure influences your life—it begins positively, yet when the anxiety rises it develops into an awful expectation that pulls you down.

When we battle pressure, we must do it consistently. Discover an interest, schedule time or create a routine that will allow you to unwind consistently. This can include swimming, bicycle riding, going out for a stroll, perusing a book, and hanging out with your companions or family over a foosball table or other entertainment.

Create a routine and stick to it. When individuals have a strong routine in their life, they feel relaxed because it gives them the sentiment of control. You will realise that, regardless of what is going on in your life, you will unwind with that movement.

Bear in mind to put yourself first and let the pressure leave your body since it will enhance your life all around. As life goes on and stress comes your way, you will be able to better comprehend and oversee it. Remember—keep in mind to unwind!

How to deal with stress in everyday life

 

Do you feel stressed? Would you like support as you look for ways to relax and live a balanced life? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

Mark Čop is a blogger who made this infographic about pressure since he sees the significance of managing worry in regular day-to-day existence. His most loved stressor is his blog about foosball, on the grounds that he is dependent on foosball and trusts that it is definitive against stretch treatment. You can read more about his treatment on his blog called the Foosball Zone

10 conversation starters for awkward holiday parties

10-conversation-starters-for-awkward-holiday-parties

December is prime time for awkward conversations. There are work break ups, and family reunions, catch-ups with friends and community gatherings—all which require a certain amount of social prowess.

As someone with social anxiety, these events exhaust me. Having to navigate awkward questions about my relationship status and side step political banter means I don’t have a lot to give when it comes to starting conversations.

Come January 1, lots of us feel this way. So to help you along the way, we’ve come up with 10 great conversation starters for you. Pull one out next time you’re standing next to an introvert or when your second cousin once removed is seated next to you on Christmas Day.

All going well, this will create a conversation deep enough to go beyond weather talk, but light enough to avoid the unmentionables—politics, religion and having kids.

  1. What do you do with yourself when you’re not working?

This is a fail-safe way to find out about a person’s general interests. Maybe they’ve just started Cross Fit, are taking the kids to basketball practice, or belong to a religious community. You may even have something in common!

  1. What are your plans for the New Year?

This general open-ended question gives the other person permission to talk about whatever they want—holidays, new goals in the work place, their hope to start a family, or their plans to travel.

  1. Have you seen any good movies lately?

Short of having someone say, “I’m not really a movie person,” this is bound to start a conversation about the definitive ranking of Star Wars movies, great rom-coms, historical masterpieces or your favourite superhero. 

  1. Tell me about your work.

Some people can go on about their work for ages, so this opens up a lengthy conversation that will also identify what their vocation is and how they entered the industry. Steer clear of this if you’ve heard someone is searching for work or has been unable to go due to health reasons. If they’re searching, just say, “Oh, great! What are you looking for?”

  1. Do you have any animals?

Because who DOESN’T want to talk about their fur babies, and want to show strangers the collection of adorable photos they have of them on their phone?

  1. What are your kids interested in?

Obviously this is only useful if you’re speaking to a parent, but children are a great talking point—especially if you’re a relative. You’ll hear about their school work, their extra curricular activities, their health and their favourite TV show. Some parents will be more comfortable talking about their kids than themselves!

  1. Did you see [insert name of TV show/movie here]?

If you’re talking to someone in a similar age bracket, there’s a good chance they at least know about the TV shows and movies you’re into. If not, choose a generic movie or TV event few people miss—like Carols in the Domain, the New Years Countdown or a long-awaited miniseries about an iconic person. 

  1. What are you reading/watching at the moment?

The perfect question for avid readers or Netflix fans—this gives people the opportunity to talk about what they love and why. You’re giving them an outlet for their obsession. Trust me, they love it.

  1. Take a look at this video!

Find a hilarious video on Facebook and share it with your long-suffering compatriot. Animal videos are always worthwhile, although you can find some holiday-themed gems as well.

  1. What surprised you about this year?

This is an out of the box question that is sure to get the wheels turning in their head. While they’re considering their answer, come up with your own. This will lengthen the conversation and give you a chance to really get to know someone else.

Do you feel anxiety around the holiday season? Would you like support as you navigate difficult relationships or awkward conversations? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

The top 10 blogs of 2017

The-top-10-blogs-of-2017

It’s been a huge year for Watersedge. We debuted a new look, released more Enneagram resources, and opened up our website to guest bloggers!

We’re so grateful for all of your support, and want to celebrate by listing our top 10 blogs for 2017—as decided by you. Enjoy, and keep your eyes out for more new content in the weeks to come. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram to see all our new content first!

  1. The five types of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Infographic by Therapy Tribe

  1. Six ways to manage social anxiety

By Jessica Morris

  1. Who am I? The key to understanding yourself

Infographic by WatersedgeCounselling

  1. 12 ways to practice self awareness

Infographic by Huffington Post and The Utopian Life

  1. 12 reasons why a dog can help you cope with depression and anxiety

By Andy McNaby

  1. 10 reasons you’re becoming burnt out

By Jessica Morris

  1. 10 Mental health accounts you need to follow on Instagram
  1. 10 Amazing self-care charts you need to see
  1. Managing meltdowns: Wisdom from over the fence 

By Louise Griffiths

  1. Consider this before you move in together – Part 1

By Colleen Morris

Do you want to live a whole and healthy life? Would you like support as you navigate life-changing issues or circumstances? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

Movie review: What If It Works?

what if it works

What If It Works? (MA15+)
Rating: 4 / 5

Depictions of mental illness can be hit or miss on screen, but when it comes to the Australian dramedy What If It Works? we reach a delightful new tier of excellence—one where the complexities of the issue are met with superb characterisation.

This results in not only excellent storytelling, but also a greater understanding of mental illness as well.

Based on the family experience of producer and director Romi Trower, What If It Works? immediately creates rapport by introducing us to Adrian (Luke Ford), a 20-something tech nerd living in metropolitan Melbourne. We learn that he is on a three-month ordered-leave from work to get his obsessive compulsive tendencies under control, and we soon see why.

wiiw

Stuck in a cycle of incessant clean­liness, order and ritual, he is unable to truly connect with anyone or anything in the outside world—until he meets Grace (Anna Samson), a young artist with dissociative identity disorder. She has 10 different personalities, stemming from childhood trauma and sexual abuse.

After Grace walks in on Adrian’s psychiatrist appointment as G—her hyper-sexual, unrepressed self, the pair become unlikely friends. This is not without drama, as each learns to understand and navigate life with the other’s symptoms and consider the possibility that maybe healing—and love—is possible for them.

Also starring Brooke Satchwell as Adrian’s ex Melinda, and Wade Briggs as Grace’s manipulative boyfriend Sledgehammer (the name speaks volumes), this is a solid Australian film, complete with a savvy score, a compelling script and witty characterisation.

Without a doubt, the highlight of the film is the portrayal of the lead characters. If anyone else portrayed Adrian and Grace it would be a mess, such is the multi-faceted nature of their characters and illnesses.

Yet Ford’s ability to embody anxiety with an endearing charm is extraordinary, and Samson balances numerous characters with intuition and integrity. You can’t help but barrack for their recovery, and the storyline gracefully leaves room for growth long after the credits finish rolling.

At times this is a confronting film, especially when Grace ‘switches’ to different personalities. Flashbacks to her trauma and the physical way she copes with this may also be triggers for some people.

However, if you’re looking for an inspiring and truthful Aussie film with enough charm to rival The Silver Linings Playbook, you won’t want to miss this—especially considering it’s picked up nods at film festivals in Australia, the US and Canada.

Highlight: Brilliant characterisation
Red flags: Language, sexual references, sex scenes, trauma, racial profiling and references to drugs and alcohol.

This review was originally published in Warcry magazine.

Do you relate to the characters of Adrian or Grace? Do you experience Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder? Are you in a relationship with someone who experiences a mental illness? Call Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. To make an appointment, go to BOOK NOW.

40 Ways to care for your mental health

40-Ways-to-care-for-your-mental-health

As non-profits gear up for World Mental Health Day on October 10, now is the perfect time to consider how you can best take care of our own mental health. We all have our ups and down when it comes to our mental health, and this is often impacted by what’s going on in our lives and the world around us.

So how has your mental health been lately? Are you sailing along contentedly, or do you feel the weight of a thousand different expectations on your shoulders? Maybe you’re doing well for the most part, but you’ve sensed a shift in your mood since politics has taken over your social media? Or perhaps you feel isolated and lonely, and asking for help seems like a big step.

Wherever your mental health is at, this World Mental Health Day is your invitation to take stock of your wellbeing and have permission to care for it. This coming week, Australian charity Headspace is asking their supporters to answer the question: What puts you in a good headspace?

We’d love you to answer the same question. If you’re not sure, think about what makes you happy. When was the last time you felt most alive? And what helps you to relax and feel positive? You can find out more about Headspace’s Headspace Day campaign and fill out your own placard for social media here.

If you’re struggling to get started, here are 40 ways you can put yourself in a good headspace and care for your mental health.

  • Read a good book or watch a feel-good movie
  • Journal or colour in
  • Join a team sport
  • Go for a walk outside
  • Run or workout
  • Treat yourself to a delicious snack
  • Make a healthy (and yummy!) smoothie or juice
  • Go out for coffee
  • Take a ten minute break
  • Deactivate your social media
  • Catch up with a friend
  • Go to the beach
  • Go hiking
  • Turn off your phone
  • Try to bake something new
  • Try a new, healthy food
  • Go on a day trip
  • See a counsellor
  • Call a helpline or email them online
  • Write a letter to someone and never send it
  • Try a new hobby
  • Make a new friend
  • Go to a wildlife park
  • Ask someone to help you out
  • Take deep breaths
  • Meditate
  • Learn something new
  • Listen to music
  • Pat an animal
  • Book a holiday
  • Take a nap
  • Go to bed early
  • Cut back on alcohol and drugs
  • Learn about something new
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Read blogs online
  • Watch funny videos
  • Practice Mindfulness

Do you want to care for your mental health?  Would you like some support or guidance as you try these different strategies? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

This comic communicates the reality of depression perfectly

This-comic-communicates-the-reality-of-depression-perfectly

It’s not always easy to express how we’re feeling, especially when we are experiencing depression or are going through periods of grief. Thankfully, creating art gives many of us an outlet when it all feels like too much.  And that’s why we love this amazing comic by the artist Iguana Mouth.

Lots of people have drawn ‘mental illness’ over the last few years in an effort to explain it to their friends, but few people are able to capture the complexity and heaviness of it like this artist. Take a look at the comic below, and see if you can relate.

While this comic is dark, it is also a great reminder that depression passes, and our most difficult moments pave the way to a fuller and more meaningful life.

Next time you feel isolated, try drawing, putting on some music or meditating and wait for the feeling to pass. And show this comic to a friend—they don’t need to fix you; it’s just ‘being’ together in the moment that makes them easier to get through.

Do you feel isolated or depressed?  Do you struggle to explain how you are feeling? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

Self harm: 9 signs a young person may be at risk

9-signs-a-young-person-may-be-at-risk

As much as we don’t like talking about it, self harm is extremely prevalent in society. It can take many forms, and often carries the stigma that the person doing it is seeking attention. This is not true—self harm of any form is a cry for help, but that doesn’t mean a person struggling with it will automatically tell you they need your support.

So how do we identify the signs that a young person might be engaging in this harmful behaviour? Pretty Powerful Girls recently published a blog written by Colleen for Australia Counselling titled: Self harm: 9 signs a young person may be at risk.*

Take a look, and if you recognise any of these signs in someone you know, approach them gently. Remember, a lot of shame comes with self harm, and acting panicked or aggressive won’t help the situation.

Instead, speak to them about how they are feeling and encourage the person to seek further help. If you struggle with self harm, read this Hope Movement blog for more details on how you can find healing and use safe alternatives to manage your pain.

*Please note: This blog contains language and references to methods of self-harm, which may be triggering to some people.

Are you struggling with self harm? Please call 000 or 911 in an emergency or call Lifeline on 13 11 14.  For crisis hotlines in other countries, visit Hope Movement’s International database here. 

Your G.P. and/or a Professional Counsellor can give you the additional support you need. For a FREE 10 minute consultation as to how we can help you, ring Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 or you can book an appointment press Book Now to book in our online diary.

Please stay: Suicide Prevention in Australia

Please-Stay-Suicide-Prevention-in-Australia

Following World Suicide Prevention Day and RUOK? Day, we wanted to shine a light on the work being done around suicide prevention in Australia.

Last week we listed nine great resources you can use to learn more about WSPD, and this week we are grateful to share this article published by Warcry magazine.

Please Stay

Do struggle with mental illness, or have you thought about suicide?” As I stood at the back of the school auditorium, hands popped up all over the building. I watched the kids open their eyes, and you could see the shock on their faces—the look when they realised they weren’t the only ones struggling.

I was visiting a group of school students with a mental health organisation, and even though I knew this class of 16-year-olds would reflect the numbers—that one in four of them would experience mental health issues—seeing it firsthand leaves you breathless.

I have encountered this scenario many times, and it never gets any easier. There is no simple solution, but speaking to someone who is struggling always starts with the simple admission, “You are not alone”, and the recognition that God will always meet us in our brokenness.

The process continues by handing over a list of resources—perhaps the number of Lifeline and the details of a local church—and it builds momentum when the brave individual walks through the doorway to a counsellor and enters recovery in a healthy community.

On the ground, this is what it takes to combat the suicide crisis rippling through Australia, and in the last year it has hit the headlines more than ever before. From the controversial Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, to the death of Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington, it’s become harder to simply turn the page when headlines like ‘Australia’s Suicide Crisis Has Peaked to a Terrifying New Height’ come up. But that awareness is a good thing. Because, even though the headlines and statistics make your stomach lurch, with them comes a widespread movement to erase suicide—and it has reached Australia.

The World Health Organisation tells us that we lose nearly 800,000 people across the globe each year to suicide (that’s one every 40 seconds). Those numbers may be hard to comprehend, so let’s start at home.

In Australia, an average of 3,000 people die each year by suicide—or eight people a day. It is the leading cause of death in people aged 15–44, making it more likely to take a young person’s life than a motor vehicle accident or skin cancer. And while suicide dramatically impacts our young people, it is not prejudiced—it is the second leading cause of death for people aged 45–54. It is also more likely to occur in people who ex­perience mental illness.

Suicide rates for men are three times higher than women, and we see it peak in women aged 35–49 and men over the age of 85. With it comes a rise in self-harm (not necessarily an attempted suicide), and up to an additional 25 attempts by other individuals for every one death.

It’s also important to note that suicide is most prevalent amongst minority groups and veterans. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth, and young people in regional and remote locations, are most at risk. In fact, in many of these areas, youth suicide happens in clusters, and rates are more than double the national average.

Given this, it’s not surprising that the Australian Bureau of Statistics tells us suicide rates have reached a 10-year high.

Are you winded yet?

Take a deep breath. The facts are grim. But on World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) and RUOK? Day (September 14), we remember this: there is hope. Hope that comes from a healthy church community, and hope that we can share the strength and purpose we find in God.

Just like the group I volunteered with that day, there are many organisations and people across the world that are committed to embodying hope to combat suicide.

On a global scale, non-profit To Write Love On Her Arms is leading the way, and have named their World Suicide Prevention Day campaign ‘Stay. Find what you were made for’. They are using the event to raise funds for suicide prevention and recovery, and have encouraged hundreds of people across the world to share their purpose for existing, using the hashtag #IWasMadeFor.

Nationally we also have many organisations determined to turn the tide. The increase in suicides over the past decade has led experts to push for changes to national mental health policy, including Lifeline CEO Peter Shmigel who said, “While we’re prescribing more medication for mental illness than ever before…we are not doing enough to combat social factors that lead so many to choose death over living.”

In a recent interview with The Australian, child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg also pushed for action from the government to combat youth suicide, saying, “This is a generation that is…really struggling; I’ve never seen anything like it.”

While experts are urging policymakers to change things, the good news is that our nation is at the forefront of researching the health crisis. The Black Dog Institute, which uses research to reduce the incidence of mental illness, associated stigma and suicide, has observed that mental health tools are more effective when they are mobile and accessible 24/7 through technology.

Their Digital Dog research sector develops and creates apps and websites to complement face-to-face treatment. For instance, one of their latest trialled apps is named iBobbly, and it engages Aboriginal people with culturally appropriate art, music and stories to provide mental health care.

While technology can be used to educate people and prevent suicide, it is the relationships that people build with their com­munity that will save lives.

We see this on a local level with Salvo corps (churches) around Australia beginning much-needed conversations about mental illness, and giving people a safe place to heal, receive prayer, find a counsellor and enter recovery.

It also occurs through mental health organisations like the National Youth Mental Health Foundation Headspace, which provides early intervention mental health services for young people aged 12–25. They have more than 100 centres across Australia, and are convoying around the country in the days leading up to RUOK? Day, hosting community events in 20 locations so people can learn how to ask someone if they are at risk of suicide.

It’s impossible to change the statistics overnight, but by approaching this issue one person and one life at a time, we can make a difference. And that starts with us simply opening up the conversation with the words, “Are you okay?”  

Where to find help:

Call
Lifeline 13 11 14
Kids Help Line 1800 55 18 00
Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

Chat online
eheadspace.org.au
beyondblue.org.au

Find help near you
headspace.org.au/headspace-centres
beyondblue.org.au/get-support/find-a-professional
hopemovement.com.au/findhelp

twloha.com/findhelp

In an emergency, always call 000

Your G.P. and/or a Professional Counsellor can give you the additional support you need. For a FREE 10 minute consultation as to how we can help you, ring Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 or you can book an appointment press Book Now to book in our online diary.