Help Friends with Depression by Learning to Listen

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Change The World One Skill at a Time: World Mental Health Day

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Small and simple ways to help friends with depression

Hello everyone, Today is World Mental Health Day., Right now around a billion people experience a mental illness or a substance abuse disorder and depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. But the solution sometimes seems overwhelming. So it’s needless to say that mental Illness is a big problem for many people

And the causes are complex, from biology to experience to how we think and act, and in my opinion depression and anxiety are often caused by a lot of tiny little thoughts or behaviors that we don’t even notice, but over time these pile up. Things like beating yourself up mentally after a mistake or thoughts like “I’m such a failure” and when we do this over and over a thousand times we don’t even notice we’re doing it and we can’t figure out why we feel so crappy.

But the research is clear, most mental illnesses are treatable, we can change how we feel, we can improve mental health and fight depression and anxiety by changing how we think and changing how we act and seeking professional and medical support.

My #1 message on today’s world mental health day is don’t give up, don’t just settle for where you’re at. You can learn small and simple ways to improve your mental health, and these can really help you get feeling better and also get better at feeling. These are little skills that add up over time, like learning to calm your body, practicing self-compassion after a mistake or challenging black and white thinking.

So my encouragement for you today is to do two things:

1- Reach out to one person you care about who may be struggling and ask them how they’re doing. If they say fine, ask them “No, I mean How are you really doing?” and take the time to listen, to really listen, no advice or suggestions, just take the time to hear them and to show them that you care. This small and simple act of real listening could have as much impact on the world’s mental health as large government sponsored campaigns. Caring about someone and listening to them can help them feel loved, can help them heal, it can help prevent suicide and strengthen connection.

2- Learn or practice one new skill, you could choose one from one of my playlists or from somewhere else. Little skills can lead to healing and massive growth over time. And some of them only take a few minutes.

When I started my channel, years ago, my goal was to help people overcome some of the barriers to improving mental health. The costs or the stigma or the lack of resources or education. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to find a group of people who really wanted to learn mental health skills, but thank you for being here, because if you’re here, that means you’re working to improve yourself and learn ways to change and heal and grow, and when you do that, you make a difference in the world, so thank you for watching and please, take care of yourself.

 For more ways to help someone struggling with Mental Illness, check out my course, How to Help, below. 

This post is sponsored by BetterHelp, where you can get a professional licensed counselor who can help you learn skills to improve your mental health for around $65 a month. Click here for 10% off your first month.

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