Mental health awareness week: 4 Lessons to take away from CBT

Last week was mental health awareness week. Social media platforms were inundated with discussions surrounding the topic. However, as the week drew to a close so did the discussions. Only recently has the stigma associated with mental health started to dissolve, so it’s only natural that both individuals and organisations tend to be apprehensive when it comes to tackling the subject matter. Yes, as a society we still have a long way to go, however I believe we are making progress; as slow as it might be, it is something.

If you’ve been following this page for a while, you may know that last year I opened up about receiving treatment (CBT) for my social anxiety and depression. I first deemed CBT to be ineffective and was so reluctant to attend the sessions. However, in hindsight there were some aspects/teachings that actually proved to be pretty helpful when it came to managing my moods. Since it was of help to me, I thought it be best to share, just in case it can potentially help someone else ๐Ÿ™‚

1.Keep a ‘positive data log’

The main aim of a positive data log is to challenge negative thoughts by focusing instead on the positive. Similar to gratitude journaling, the positive data log requires you to create a daily list of at least 3 positive encounters, thoughts or feelings. By creating this list and reviewing at either the end of the day or week, we get to appreciate or at least acknowledge some of the positives which we had otherwise forgotten about if not written down.

2.Drop the comparisons

In CBT, negative comparisons are referred to as ‘compare and despair’. As this thinking pattern would have been developed over time, it is something that will take a while to eradicate. The act of comparing ourselves to others is beyond detrimental to our mental health & overall wellbeing, so it’s important that we make a conscious effort to drop the comparisons.

3.Voice how you feel

Bottling up is unhealthy. It is important that you have someone to communicate with throughout your journey. At times you may feel like a burden to others when trying to voice how you feel (this is one of the many reasons I didn’t open up to anyone); In this case seeing a therapist once a week or every other week works great.

4.Make a list of things you enjoy and try to incorporate something into your day

The gratification we gain from of doing things we enjoy, more often than not gives us a sense of achievement and purpose that can (in some cases) turn our mood around. We are much more likely to attempt to get out of bed if we have something to look forward to. In my case, I enjoy yoga, reading, taking pictures and blogging. I therefore do my best to incorporate these activities in my weekly routine, giving me something to look forward to at the end of a rubbish day.

Hopefully this list has been useful for someone out there. If you are considering seeing a therapist, I would definitely recommend that you do your research to find out what type of therapy is most suitable for your needs. CBT, is all about changing your behaviour and thought patterns which may be more geared towards those suffering from anxiety and/or depression.

Please drop me a message if you ever want to talk. I am in no way shape or form an expert, so please contact your doctor if you feel you need a professional’s help or opinion ๐Ÿ™‚ Remember, only you know how you feel.

Thank you for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

Photography equipment (Recommendations)

Capturing moments and preserving memories is one of my favourite past times. Did you know that the majority of our memories are actually based upon photographic evidence? However in Julia Shaw’s book ‘The memory illusion’, she explores the idea that a lot of these memories can actually be considered as false memories. Despite this contrasting view, photos have the power to recall as well as invoke emotion. How much could you really recall from your childhood if you didn’t have a picture to help you fill in the gaps?

Since I have a photography section on this blog without any content ๐Ÿคง I thought it best to start off with a small list of the photography equipment I use.

1. An IPhone

I’m sure that an iPhone making the list will not as come as a surprise to most. Iphone’s are amazing for capturing content, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to do so. The ‘portrait mode’ on the newer models adds somewhat of a professional feel. Although I hardly use the portrait mode, it’s a nice to know that it is there, as it does come in handy for the odd nature shots. I personally use the 8plus & have since been told that this particular model features one of the best cameras across the entire Apple product portfolio.

2. Canon G7X Mii

This small but powerful camera is amazing for travellers or those who desire something that’s lightweight and doesn’t compromise on quality. The Canon G7X Mii has advanced controls, giving you the flexibility to shoot in manual. However, if like me you’re still stuck auto there’s no need to worry as you’ll still get some decent shots. I originally purchased this camera to vlog for my Youtube Channel, so the added feature of a flippable touchscreen (for no other reason but so that I could see myself whilst filming myself) was the icing on the cake!

3. Canon 77D

Last but not least is the Canon 77D. Yes it did set my bank account back a little bit, however it is definitely worth the investment. A decent camera body is pretty much the foundation, which you can then build upon by purchasing different lenses. This camera is also intended to bridge the gap from entry level hobbyists to professionals. It includes a helpful interactive guide on the screen showing you the optimal settings for your desired picture, easing you into shooting in manual. The 77D is also WIFI enabled, allowing you to send images straight to your phone. This WIFI feature is also available on the G7X Mii, and is honestly a lifesaver if you don’t always travel with your laptop.

Hopefully this post has been of use ๐Ÿ™‚ There are so many other cameras out there so make sure you research heavily before spending any money. I am by no means a professional however I am always willing to learn, so if anyone has any photography tips or recommendations please let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading ๐Ÿ™‚