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How Vlogging Can Improve Your Mental Health

How Vlogging Can Improve Your Mental Health

Mental illness is, unfortunately, seen as a topic no one is willing to talk about. Even in the 21st century, people still run away from it. Because of this, those who are suffering are afraid to share their problems openly. They fear being mocked and judged, so they keep carrying the burden alone, isolated, which only furthers the illness.

However uncomfortable it might be at times, getting things off your chest can be really helpful. Additionally, spreading the word about what it is really like and the possible dangers will help to destigmatize mental illnesses. Basically, the more people who are aware, the better the chances of finding help and adequate support.

Vlogging is a viable tool for discussing and coping with mental illness

Involving a great number of people is key in order to fight misconceptions about depression, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), schizophrenia, or any other mental illness. What these misconceptions do is destroy people’s willingness to seek help, as well as their belief that there is any help available at all.

It’s important to get people to understand that mental health is something a significant portion of the population has problems with, and that it is something that has to be talked about, understood, and treated appropriately.

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Vlogging can actually help you improve your mental health, cope with all the related issues, and even help others to live happier lives, and there are people who are already vlogging about this with great success. Here are some of the benefits of vlogging on this topic and a few tips on how to get started.

Speaking about your problems makes it easier to deal with them

Opening up to anyone, or the whole world if you are a vlogger, can be a huge help. By saying some things out loud, you begin to actually deal with them. When you say something, you acknowledge its existence. Also, you start crystallizing your thoughts, which enables you to make the first step towards getting better.

Through vlogging, you not only make it possible for yourself to heal, but you also become an inspiration for others. For instance, if you speak up about self-harm or depression, others suffering the same way will understand you and know that they are not alone in this. Perhaps it will encourage them to seek help or to start openly talking about it and expressing themselves in a creative manner. You can get some things off your chest, and offer a helping hand to someone in need.

You will build a community of people with similar problems and a strong support group

People that would watch your vlog would most likely be others struggling with mental health issues. Whether it is to support you or to try and help themselves, they would be there for you. And, as more and more viewers come along, you will build a strong community with them.

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For example, you will communicate with them through your videos, comments, or perhaps build an even deeper relationship by meeting up in real life. The last option could result in a support group with regularly scheduled meetings. If you are feeling really ambitious, you could start an official organisation that would deal with mental health issues.

Spreading awareness and helping others will give you a sense of purpose

Once you make an improvement within yourself, you will feel a lot better and a lot healthier. Helping people around you will give you a sense of usefulness and purpose. This purpose will bring you further into the world of vlogging. In a way, you will become a spokesperson for mental health. This will make you fight harder and try to get your life together.

And, the more you try, the better you will become at it. Spreading awareness by actually talking about an issue, dispelling myths, and teaching people how to cope is immeasurably more helpful than wearing a bracelet or sharing an image on Facebook.

If you are indeed serious about this, and willing to try it, there are some actionable steps you need to take. They can be both easy and hard at times; the key here is to never give up, to never stop. Continuing with your project when you are feeling as if nothing is going your way is crucial. Even when criticism comes, you should fight it and keep doing what you love.

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Here are some of the steps you will need to take.

1. Get started on YouTube

Getting started as a vlogger is super easy. You just need the right equipment — a decent DSLR camera, mic, a basic lighting setup, and a YouTube channel. Also, think of a plan. How many times do you want to vlog and what do you want to say exactly? More importantly, choose a good name for your channel and keep it up to date. Lastly, when you post a video, share it on other social media platforms to get the word out. Promotion is very important if you want to be heard and known.

2. Turn streams of consciousness into coherent scripts

If you want to have a good-quality program, you should think of daily tasks. Having a daily theme would be a nice way to start. Perhaps you could have daily or weekly diary entries on your vlog. Moreover, you could answer questions from your followers at the end of each video. Having a quality script will attract viewers. You should also be talking about relevant things, such as how you coped with your personal mental health issues and how you overcame your problems.

3. Engage your audience

As mentioned, engaging your audience through a question and answer segment is the best way to do it. You can have them ask questions or even share their experiences. You can also answer them directly in the comment section, which is more immediate and a lot easier. Additionally, you can request topics to talk about. This way, you address your audience’s needs.

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4. Deal with criticism and trolls

When you are in the public eye, especially as an Internet personality, you will constantly be under scrutiny. Unknown people will criticise you, both in good and bad ways. Even worse, as you reach more people, the infamous internet trolls will flood your comment section.

Unfortunately, their words can be hurtful and mean, but you should not let them get to you and bring your spirit down. If you decide to answer them, you should do it in a specific way. It is crucial that you do not answer in a hateful way. You should be humours and calm. Try to write something funny or even sarcastic. Of course, a great tactic is to simply ignore them and ban people who are being abusive. They will go away eventually.

Not everyone has the courage to openly discuss mental health, but the worst thing you can do is to keep your feelings bottled up and let them eat away at you. We are social beings and we need to talk to others about our problems. Not only does this help us cope, but it also provides others in a similar position with some valuable insight and teaches those who don’t have these problems about what it’s really like.

Vlogging is a great outlet, a great way to build a community and share experiences, and a great way to spread awareness about a topic that very few people actually understand or are ready to openly talk about.

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Nemanja Manojlovic

Editor at MyCity Web

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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