8 Practical Tips for Dealing with Generalized Anxiety

Anxiety, no matter what form it chooses to show itself, tends to cause similar reactions within our minds and bodies: our hearts pound, our breathing intensifies, our minds feel out of control, which makes us feel powerless against ourselves. Because of the seemingly ceaseless ‘what-ifs’ and startlingly detailed nightmares we play on repeat, we become our own worst enemy when it comes to kicking anxiety out of the driver’s seat of our brains. The fight to win our brain back seems hopeless. At least, that’s what anxiety wants us to believe…

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Mental Health in the Media and the World Around Me

I think maybe the very first time I was every truly talked to about mental illness was when some student in the middle school (I was in elementary school at the time) had committed suicide and they had the school counselors talk to us and create a sort of dialogue on the situation so we could comprehend and process it a lot better. Part of their goal was to also prevent this from happening again, of course, so they certainly encouraged us to be there for each other and not hesitate to talk to an adult. It’s been a long time since that talk but I think they mainly covered  what suicide was, explained that maybe the kid had troubles at home or something and that he was in this isolated dark place. There unfortunately was no talk about how mental illness could have been at play here.

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Why People Rarely Talk About Mental Health

In college, I decided to take ownership of my mental health and to really dive into mental health awareness. Not only did I see a lack of conversation regarding mental health with others, I also realized that I wasn’t really talking much about it either. Let me preface this by saying that just because you have mental health issues does not mean that you have to share your story with everyone you run into or to anyone at all, that is your personal story that you have the right to share or not. But for me, I felt the urge to share my story, even just with new friends that I had met in college. I felt that I had a fresh start to not let my mental illness define me, but to integrate it normally into my conversations and my life as just one part of me.

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Finding Beauty

Whether that be in the smile of a stranger, a gentle breeze on a warm day, the sound of water lapping the shore, words brilliantly strung together weaving a story, lovers holding hands, a child's giggle, wrinkles around my eyes, reminding me I have laughed much in my days, glasses clinking and candles flickering on the table.  There is beauty in the difficult too, those moments where it seems hope is lost, only to be found again when one seizes the opportunity and discovers the divine.  A horizon calling and a blank page waiting for scribbles.

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My Mental Health Journey: By Andrew

Without being fully aware of it, my mental health journey actually started pretty early on due to my family situation. Unfortunately at 2 years old I lost my mother to cancer and from then on my father had to raise me by himself while also working his job; a lot of tension was created as balance was constantly sought. While this intermittent tension and stress was going on, the lack of a mother figure in my life surely took its toll on me in more ways the I am conscious of. In some ways I feel it may have affected me in my relations to others, my needs for intimacy, and of course having a mother figure in my life.

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Mental Health and Me: My Journey with Mental Illness

This week on the blog, I will be sharing more about my journey with mental health. As I mentioned last week, my journey with mental health began my junior year of high school. I had just gotten out of a fairly unhealthy relationship at the time, and it felt as though all of the emotions that I had been suppressing in the context of that relationship suddenly rushed in. I began to isolate myself, act uncharacteristically, and I overall felt very heavy physically, mentally and emotionally.

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Meet the Interns of Summer 2019

#MeetTheInterns: We are thrilled to introduce to you our summer interns! Riley and Andrew will be with us for 8 weeks, helping U!Shine Vienna grow and develop into a supportive organisation for everyone. The interns come from our partners at IES Abroad - a study abroad program that offers college students in the U.S. opportunities to intern at businesses and NGO’s overseas.  Riley and Andrew will be sharing their latest insights and realisations on what it’s like to be an intern at U!Shine Vienna (and in a new country!) in our new weekly blog series called From the Intern’s Desk. So every Saturday, so you can learn more about what it’s like in the shoes of a U!Vie intern :)

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An Evening in Pencil with Self-Help Author Luke Pemberton

U!Shine Vienna hosted its first self-help author, a wonderful gentleman by the name of Luke Pemberton, who gave a fascinating, emotional lecture on Toxic Shame by taking us through his collection of self-drawn, self-describing pictures. Pemberton began drawing out his feelings as an adult when the effects of his childhood came crashing down on him. Married and the father of two kids, Pemberton struggled intensely with his own life balance, steady job, and worsening mental health condition. Eventually, he found a therapist with whom he clicked, and a creative outlet in which he could express his thoughts and feelings.

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You wanna cry or be strong? Both, actually.

We all know how pain feels. We all know those moments, when it feels as if an elephant is standing on your chest, refusing to get up. We know how it feels when we try to push it away and the sadness and anxiety that comes with it. We have all experienced it, whether we’re honest about it or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s loss, trauma, a breakup or unrequited love. It’s part of our lives.

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