What do we all do when we read a really good book or see a great film? We lend it to someone or recommend it to someone, who we think would like it or benefit from it. Which is great, passing on good stuff, helping our tribe out.
But what if we expanded our feelings and cared about strangers too? I had the thought of wanting to do this, and I wish there was some sort of community board to add things to, but a lot of people wouldn’t look at that and it would only be in one place. I like the idea of leaving things on buses and benches, for people to pick up if they like the look of it.
So now, after I’ve read a print out, flyer or poster, instead of putting it in recycling, is put them around my environment, so that strangers can benefit from them too.
Some people might consider this littering, but I don’t because the idea is that someone will take it – that is the intention of the post-it saying ‘take me’ on each one.
It’s valuable information that I’ve gotten something from, and I want to share with fellow humans, in the hope they will get something from it to. And I’d like to believe that fate will determine who will pick it up, and maybe it will enter someone’s life when they need it or are ready for it.
So we’re calling them Mind Fuel Pick-up’s, and we will keep doing it. We have much compassion for our fellow humans. We all want to be happy. Hopefully this action goes towards improving people’s minds, lives, and society, even just a little bit. Even just to know that strangers care about them, could maybe improve their day. Imagine if more people did this…
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There were at least four warning signs in my life, that unbeknownst to me, were signalling depression on the horizon. If only I could have stopped to reflect on how I was feeling at the time, and sought help before things got really bad. But I didn’t listen to how I was feeling at all, and I didn’t slow down.
This lead to a breakdown/quarter life crisis, meltdowns, chronic back pain, an anxiety disorder, burn out and finally depression. It’s ironic – I never listened to how I felt and now I’ve lost the ability to feel.
If you can relate to any of these, I don’t need to tell you the awful effects any of them have on your mental & physical health, wellbeing, relationships, work and life in general.
I’ve learnt lots about myself going through all these things, but I don’t want anyone else to end up with depression if I can help it. So i’m writing this blog post in the hopes I can help you or someone you know, become aware of the warning signs you have, and to seek help, before things get worse.
I think that with either chronic stress, an anxiety disorder, burnout or depression: your brain is maybe telling you that something seriously needs to change in your life-style, situation, or thinking habits. Maybe you’ve been strong for too long.
For me, my life wasn’t balanced at all. I placed no value on healing, play or rest. It was like 24/7 work/achievement/productivity for most of my life. And my thinking habits were unhealthy and unhelpful. I would constantly over-analyse and over-think. My personality was always a worrier, conscientious, highly sensitive, introvert, deep thinker, strong sense of responsibility, inability to set limits, excessively ambitious, high standards and a perfectionist, with a real compulsion to achieve my high standards and goals.
All of those attributes combined, make an outcome like burnout and depression seem pretty predictable, in hindsight.
You can arrive at depression from many different routes, (trauma, genetics, social or environmental factors). For me, it started with simple stress, (and my innate inability to cope with it).
I believe if I noticed and dealt with any of the warning signs, I could have avoided depression. So watch out for those signs of yours! Best of luck on your journey.
– Listen and pay attention to how you feel
– Be aware of your personal limits
– Schedule time to relax and play
– Identify warning signs
– Identify causes
– Identify triggers
– Talk to someone, especially GP
– Minimise triggers
By Annie Charnley.
Do you have any thoughts you want to share? Please get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to hear from you. If you enjoyed it, help me out and share it so other people can benefit/enjoy it too. Thanks.
Sorry there’s been a lack of fuel from me recently, but now I’ve quit my job I’ll have more time to dedicate to this blog that I love so much!
“If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have 3 options: 1. Remove yourself from the situation, 2. Change it or 3. Accept it totally.” – Michael Singer
I often read/hear that practicing gratitude will put you in good stead for a healthy wellbeing and state of mind.
I’ve tried to do this many times. I think about what I’m grateful for and write it down, and, at the time, I don’t necessarily feel happier for doing so. But, I have felt grateful out of nowhere before; so practicing can only be a good thing. On days that I’m really, really low, when I have no motivation or energy, and where anything but sleeping is too much effort, I find it really hard to practice gratitude.
I realised that maybe it might help me to practice acceptance first: acceptance of my current situation, personality, life, problems, pain and feelings, acceptance of my depression, that I feel like shit right now, that my back is in pain and has been for 5 years, acceptance of the fact I have no motivation or inspiration right now.
I first realised the power of acceptance when shivering in the cold, waiting for the bus. I thought ‘just accept the cold, accept it….it’s okay go on, accept it’, then all of a sudden, I released my fight against the cold and I relaxed and felt a bit warmer for a while. So I’m trying to practice that with more aspects of my life.
I have a constant inner conflict inside that takes a lot of energy, which means I end up unhappy and distracted a lot of the time. In fighting my pain and suffering I’m trying to control one part of myself with another part. I want to feel happy and get rid of these bad feelings, and if fighting it doesn’t work (which it never does) I want to run away and escape myself entirely.
But in rejecting/bullying myself this way, it’s like saying to myself: “Stop feeling down, be happy for god’s sake, what’s wrong with you? There’s no reason you should feel depressed, I wish I wasn’t you and I was someone else, someone happier, I wish I had someone else’s life, not this one.”
If I accept my low feelings, stop fighting them and berating myself, accept that I’m the product of my genes and upbringing, and that I can’t help being depressed, I let go of the grip my mind has on itself and life becomes easier to deal with. I feel more compassion for myself, and feel more liberated and validated.
I think to some people, acceptance seems like giving up, giving in, and the other person or situation has won. But if it’s something you can literally do nothing about, and not accepting it causes you more pain, then maybe accepting it would be a healthier/happier choice for you.
Things to practice fuelling your mind with (easier when you have the mental energy to do it):
– Mindfulness (Be mindful of unhelpful thinking styles – more on that in another post).
– Acceptance (When you feel down or upset instead of feeling bad and fighting the feeling, try accepting that you feel low, allow yourself space and time to feel how you feel, validate yourself, it’s okay to feel shit right now. If that’s too hard, first try to accept the cold and see if you feel warmer even for a few seconds).
– Gratitude (Trying to notice people and things in your life that you’re grateful for regularly, even the smallest of things).
I would love to know if this helps anyone else, try it out and let me know? You can email me at email@example.com
I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought-provoking stuff. If you did enjoy it, help me out and share it so other people can benefit/enjoy it too. Thanks.
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So, I haven’t written a blog post in a while, here’s why.
I’ve had the realisation that a lot of my problems are stemming from totally and utter burnout and meltdown, like constantly. There’s many reasons for this like stressful work or too many responsibilities. But also your lifestyle and personality/how you look at the world.
I’ve been unknowingly seeing myself as some sort of robot, able to complete everything that needs doing with no breaks and rest. I have a bit of a serial processor brain, which doesn’t seem to be compatible with how life works, and sometimes I don’t know how to live in this world. It’s bad for my health, relationships, work, life and everything really.
I’m finding it very hard to fit into society’s system. I feel I don’t have enough time to do what I want because of things getting in the way like work, sleep, having to eat, shop, clean, exercise, and do other stuff that needs to be done. I feel like I’m always just existing to complete a never ending load of tasks, chores, lists, responsibilities, duties, obligations and problems to solve. I have an intense need for resolve. I can’t think about anything else until things are done, and out of the way. Only then, can I relax and enjoy myself, but because the list never ends, I never get to that part.
Everything is of equal priority, all urgent and it all needs to have a productive outcome or it’s a “waste of time.” Which is silly because intellectually I know that nothing is a waste of time if you enjoy it. It’s like a never ending addiction, it’s my personality (the analytical thinker). I’m not great at taking care of myself, I kind of see myself as a tool to accomplish goals. I can feel lost on holidays and weekends because there’s nothing to fix or resolve, it’s freedom to do what you want, but I don’t know what to do with that sometimes, if I’m honest, weird I know.
I think I need a better filter, better priorities and to get the rest I need to start with. Everything will become more enjoyable if I do it when I’m in the mood to do it too. I’m guessing this isn’t just me and that the human brain didn’t evolve to process the amount of information we’re fed/bombarded with today and to become achievement machines, the under appreciation of rest in modern society isn’t helping either.
From everything I’ve gathered, read and know, I feel like there’s a big scale where at one end, you have right brain dominated people who can relax, have fun and be in the moment, but if they’re unable to be focused and get things done, they’re at risk from becoming unsuccessful, feeling useless and depressed. Much like my little brother, who’s the opposite to me in this way.
At the other end of the scale you have your left brain dominated people who are productive, focused, determined and successful but if they’re unable to relax and live in the moment, they’re at risk from becoming anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, overworked and burnt out and also depressed.
So my personality informs the way I look at the world and my lifestyle, and my job in the mix means this is what I get. Lovely.
I don’t feel free. Life feels pointless. I feel like I’m just surviving and existing, but not living at all.
Never mind the absolute hell my life is because of this, I also don’t want to be on my death bed thinking “I got a lot of things done”, I want to think ”I had a lovely ride, lot’s of fun, mad experiences, and no regrets.”
My friend said a great thing to me “You do need to enjoy things. Like…you’ll die one day. This is a profoundly unfair FACT. You should squeeze out of life what you want, not what you think you should do.”
Which is great advice, but obviously she doesn’t have my brain, personality, lifestyle and mindset. There doesn’t seem to be any help or support out there that I know of for this, but I’ll do all I can to help myself and others going through the same thing.
Fuel to remember:
– If I feel on the verge of a burnout, stop what I’m doing and rest, cancel plans and remove stress – Ask myself – does that really need to be done right now? – Try to live more in the right brain and the moment and give myself a break – Find balance and you will be more content – I’ll die one day, so squeeze out of life what I can – Do what the fuck I want in life, not what I think I should do – I’m not a machine or robot, I’m a human, and human’s need balance in rest and achievement – Nothing is a waste of time if I enjoy it – Meditate daily, exercise 3 times a week – Find a way to do my passions and have a better work-life balance that I’m happy with
I hope this had some value to you, and your mind is more full of meaningful, thought provoking stuff. If you did enjoy it, help me out and share it so other people can benefit/enjoy it too. Thanks.
Follow my blog by email on the top right hand side or on twitter, and get weekly inspiration, videos, quotes and resources on thinking, questioning, growing and learning about yourself, others, life and the world.
Depressed people’s brains are overactive in certain areas. As Laci Green puts it: “They’re ruminating on their own inadequacy and worthlessness to an obsessive point. This over activity is an illness that actually removes people from reality and the research suggests that magic mushrooms block this obsessive activity. People that took part in the mushroom test felt much happier in the weeks after taking the shrooms.”
When you hear scientists talk about latest drug studies, it’s mostly about what the chemicals do to certain parts of your brain and what that means, but never how the person taking it actually feels. Did they have a profound realisation whilst high because the cloudy pain of judgement was released, giving them clarity on a problem? Is that why it’s good for depressed types? Because it allows them the freedom to assess life and themselves quite objectively? I doubt just having good feelings and obsessive mind activities blocked for a period of time would create lasting changes after the drug has worn off.
I find it unbelievable that the humans that claim power over other humans get to decide which things we can use, even though they have been growing on the earth for hundreds or thousands of years. And I can’t believe that they would deny anyone with mental health issues or just a curiosity about life and themselves; treatment that could possibly do far more for them than any pharmaceutical medication could ever do.
We need more clinical trials and less ‘red tape’ to find out the possible break-through this drug might have on such long term hard-to-treat disorders such as depression.
Dammit government – let us fix people and make them happy again, without being drugged up zombies on pharmaceuticals for the rest of their lives! Let’s actually cure their issues long term!
In this video they’re talking about future possibilities of putting microchips in psychopaths’ heads, to change their brains and make them ‘normal.’ I’m not sure if it’s very ethical and it gives the people putting the chip in; way too much power, playing God a bit. Very similar to the film Clockwork Orange. Some psychiatrists believe they can ‘fix’ psychopaths through things like therapy. And some believe they just need to be locked up forever as they will never change. But either way the damage is done, and lots of people have been murdered in the meantime. So instead of treating the symptom and talking about cures, what about attacking the root cause, and preventing the creation of one in the first place?
In this Channel 4 documentary (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pROu77TvZzA) they discuss the factors that create psychopaths, 1: Genetics (nature, personality, i.e. aggression), 2: Brain pattern (nature, the way they’re wired), 3: Early abuse (nurture, physical, emotional or sexual abuse) and you need to have all 3 in order to become a serial killer type psychopath. If you only have the first two, you will likely become a ruthless business man, surgeon, lawyer or some other high powered exhilarating job.
“It’s biology plus environment which raise the odds of an individual becoming a violent criminal offender.”
Dr. Bob Johnson believes that the 3rd factor is the key to unlocking their condition. So if every single psychopath has a history of some sort of trauma, then what ways can that be stopped from the beginning? I would guess depending on genes and personality, going through a trauma would result in different psychological conditions and disorders for different people. For some Psychopathy, others schizophrenia, drug addiction, PTSD or depression? With traumas like:
– Sexual abuse
– Violent abuse
– Psychological abuse
– Death of loved ones
Do we need to get our facts right and educate everyone, especially parents about psychopaths and their behaviors? Or spot potential abuse in children, and keep an eye on them even when they’ve left school? Is that too invasive? Apparently you can’t give children therapy because their brains aren’t formed yet and they might change, so it’s too early to start diagnosing conditions.
What if the main cause of psychopaths becoming killers is because of abusive parents? A look back even further might reveal their parents to have also had a traumatic experience. Where do these things start and how do we fix it? The kind of parents that are capable of sexually abusing their child, probably won’t care about education, maybe they aren’t educated themselves. So instead, can we teach children how to be good parents or what good parenting is? So they grow up becoming better parents and spot signs of bad parenting? Who’s to say what’s good parenting? Psychiatrists setting curriculums?
If all parents brought their children up well, the world would be very different wouldn’t it? It’s not just early traumas causing massive mental health issues in people but smaller issues too that can still dramatically affect people’s lives. Like an inferiority complex, anxiety disorders or low self esteem. I think education is a good place to start in helping these problems before they manifest.
“Capitalism at its most ruthless – rewards psychopathic behavior: the lack of empathy, the glibness, cunning, manipulative. Capitalism could even be a physical manifestaion of psychopathy ” – Jon Ronson
Having psychopathic traits sounds like a fun way of living, to do what you want and not care about consequences, with all the money, charm and know how, to live a liberated existence. But there are draw backs like not being able to connect and relate well to others and live a life of meaning and depth. I wonder how many psychopaths are also extraverts and if there is a correlation. Because all the introverts I know are super conscientious and empathic.
According to the below documentary, psychopaths aren’t just serial killers but are lawyers, bankers, surgeons, salesmen and more. Their brains are wired up differently. They take risks, they love thrills, they feel much less fear, remorse, empathy and anxiety than “normal” people. They have no morals or conscience, a huge ego and a coolness under pressure.
What distinguishes lawyers, bankers, surgeons and salesmen from serial killers, is one key component – which is childhood trauma. The cause of such trauma could be physical, mental or sexual abuse, or they could have witnessed something traumatic. If it was an abusive mother – is she a psychopath too? With a lack of remorse and empathy? Quite possibly.So how do we stop serial killers forming? It’s probably impossible, but I wonder if it could be diminished somehow by making sure we know how to spot abuse early. Unfortunately you can’t vet parents to see if they’re fit to raise a child or might be abusive people. It’s no one’s place to control that, it’s free will. All you can do is help yourself not get hurt, by noticing psychopathic behavior and steer clear of those people.Take the test: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/psychopath-night