If you are reading this article then you are most likely going to accept your predefined status in society that you are a geek. That’s alright, because I’m a geek too! It doesn’t mean we’re bad or strange people. In fact, nobody should be called good, bad, strange, odd, ugly or have any other label attached to them. That’s not ok. We are all different and it’s ok to be different. We must treat all equal. As geeks we might believe that we are mentally strong, it doesn’t mean that we are immune to a lapse in our own mental health.
It is well known that some of the world’s best hackers and most influential computer scientists are or have been victim to various forms of mental health issues. Sometimes this can be a genetic problem which has been present since birth, or it could simply be that life has taken its toll on a person and they’ve mentally struggled to deal with their problems appropriately. The moral is we are all open to the possibility of falling victim to a lapse in our own mental health. But rather than wait until you do become a victim of your own negative thoughts and behavior, you should take control of your mental health and well-being. Preventing mental health issues is always much easier and safer than trying to deal with them when they take over your life. This can not only affect yourself and lead you on a path you do not want to go down, but it can also affect the loved ones around you and your friends that care for you most.
I’m not ashamed to admit I have previously fallen victim to my own negative thoughts and have allowed my own mental health and well-being to fail in the past. I sought help from various avenues and learned from my experience. I never resorted to alcohol or drugs, as neither of those are a solution to any of your problems. Most of the time, alcohol and drugs will create more problems for you.
I am in such a positive mental space now that late last year I took it upon myself to become an advocate for two of the most important organizations that helped me. I am now an advocate for Beyond Blue and Headspace. Both organizations go to great lengths to generate awareness of depression, anxiety and a whole range of issues related to mental health and general well-being. Beyond Blue primarily focuses on adults and Headspace primarily focuses on youth and young adults. However, it’s important to remember both organizations are open to helping anyone in need of support.
If you’re finding yourself feeling down and need some help with your own mental health, you can contact the organizations on their respective websites.
Beyond Blue: www.beyondblue.org.au
What can you do right now to help your own mental health and well-being? Well, you’re probably walking around with a smartphone in your pocket right now. The best thing about smartphones is the benefits they offer to become a vital tool to help you through each day. You can log your thoughts and actions through various useful apps. Let’s take a look at just a few of the most useful apps.
I have a daily routine I go through using a set suite of different apps to manage my day. I have apps to remind me to drink water throughout the day, help me with my breathing when stressful events and remind me to meditate each night at sets times. The selected apps I’m sharing in this article are not necessarily the exact apps I use, but they are my recommendations. But there are many others available in your app store. So if you find this selection of apps does not suit your needs, then be sure to browse your app store and see what other options might be more suited for you.
If you just want to log your thoughts and daily events, then Daybook is the perfect app which is like a traditional journal where you simply write stuff down. Even sharing your thoughts in a diary that nobody else reads is a great way to get stuff off your mind. Freeing up your mind of stress and negative thoughts is the first step to improving your mental health and well-being.
This is a brilliant little app which enables you to log your life by adding the stuff you do throughout the day and attaching a mood to each entry. You can also add notes to entries so you can use it like a traditional diary. Daylio tracks your mood and activity entries and presents you with mood charts, activity counts, goals and achievements. It’s quite flexible and you can post entries as often as you like. But for best results, it’s always a good idea to make it a daily habit to track your moods. That way, you can work out what’s making you happy and what is making you stressed or depressed.
Stop, Breath & Think
Stop, Breath & Think has a good reputation as one of the best apps for taking care of your mental health and well-being. It is a flexible app which allows you to interact with it in whatever way you want. It has programs available which guide you through the entire way. Or, you can simply use it to help you through daily meditation or to improve your breathing techniques to help you deal with stressful moments. Whether you’re dealing with depression, anxiety or just want to freshen your mind through daily meditation, Stop, Breath & Think is definitely one of the best apps you will find.
Beyond Blue has a brilliant community forum, free to use. You can sign up, share your thoughts and speak with other people who may be experiencing the same issues as you, or different issues that they wish to share with others. It’s all completely anonymous and the community is extremely friendly. Posts rarely go without replies from someone who expresses empathy for your situation and attempts will always be made to steer you in the right direction. Alternatively, if you’re feeling great and want to help, you can join the forum and communicate with others that simply want someone to talk to and to listen. Sometimes someone to listen is all that is needed.
Headspace have a brilliant app. It is similar to Stop, Breath & Think. It’s best to go through the guided programs. Make it a daily habit to check in with Headspace. The programs are brilliant and they have a whole range of programs available which can help you with a whole range of different issues you may be experiencing.
Beyond Blue and Headspace are Australian-based organizations. However, their websites and apps can be accessed and used by anyone. All of the apps recommended in this article are free to download and use. There is limited free programs available, with more extensive programs requiring a subscription. If you require more support, then often the paid programs are worth the small fee for a subscription.
If you find yourself in a very serious situation or have serious mental health problems then please seek professional medical help and advice. Apps are great to keep balanced, but there will always be cases that are more serious than others that will require professional medical intervention.
As geeks, we enjoy tinkering with computers, installing Linux and writing code, but we still need to take care of our own mental health and well-being.
OSRadar.com is giving away free wristbands for Beyond Blue and Headspace. If you’d like one sent to you free, please contact me on the following email address [email protected] and put “Wristband” in the subject field and your address as the body text. We will ship anywhere in the world for free!