Blogging + time = positive mental health

I really do love scrolling down the Meet and Greet section of my site. Every single day I am getting new additions to this and people seem to really enjoy introducing themselves and having a browse of other blogs. It is great to see and I am pleased I have it on here.

As I have said a few times because of the number of comments I receive here I am not going to try and respond and clog up the feed, I would prefer to leave it clean. I can barely keep up with daily blog comments and my about me section, not that I would consider this a bad thing for a second. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

However every now and then I will spot a contribution that catches my eye. Elizabeth over at Living with Mental Illness asked me a question that I have answered recently in comments, however with the theme of mental illness I will try to answer with this topic incorporated.

 


How do you reach a larger audience with reads and follows? I would greatly appreciate any advice you can share! Thank you in advance.


 

I have always wanted to expand my blog as much as I can. Not really out of an ego although we all have one to some extent, but because I would love to reach as many people as possible with my thoughts and opinions. The further we reach, the more people we will meet with the same outlook on life. We will also reach people that disagree but are willing to engage in interesting conversation. The more people I reach, the bigger the audience that would potentially read a book that I may publish further down the line. Also, the opportunities through blogging increase as it grows. Would I like to have a living outside of the 9-5? You bet.

In my late teens and twenties I started suffering from anxiety and a mild form of depression. Not to the extent that some people have it but enough to see me go to therapy for a few months. I realised that the more time I had to be in my head, the more these conditions manifested into something ugly. As a result this totally demotivated me to blog which only went and gave me more free time to think negative thoughts and a whirlpool opened up below me.

Another factor was the nature of my blog. I had a blog that originally started out just as I was leaving religion, and many of my posts would reflect on existential questions and philosophy. Naturally, putting my non religious views out there to the world caused occasional debates and I often went out to seek them. Not to be a troll but because I really wanted the truth. But because of this blogging wasn’t always fun, and when I was feeling very low I needed something (no pun intended!) to raise my spirits. I ignored my blog for this reason as it didn’t appeal to me when I was at my worst.

This inspired me to change up my blog style and theme. I wanted a happier blog full of colour and photographs. I also decided to travel to Australia as I felt this would be a great distraction from my anxiety, and at the same time I could give much more positive blog posts to the world. I am so glad I did this.

IMG_5595

One thing that helps keep my my mind stimulated is continuous blogging. I now spend many hours a day here and it is something I love to do. I love watching it grow and everyday is a new challenge to write about something which is a great mental exercise. Now this is the beautiful part. Blogging frequently does more than just keep us stimulated and- hopefully- free from mental anguish. It means more and more people are able to find our blog. People in the same boat and people that would love to see life from our perspective. No one is perfect, and hearing from others with daily struggles reminds us that we are all human and that we shouldn’t strive for perfection.

Despite having this blog since 2014, it was only in September 2017 that I started to really put effort into this website. That was when I landed in Sydney and my motivation to blog increased tenfold. I had a two year working holiday to show family and friends back home and every day was a new experience. But I couldn’t just post and expect people to come over and read. I had to engage too. This is half of what I do everyday, crossing over to other peoples blogs and introducing myself. If I didn’t do this my blog wouldn’t be as popular. I realised that people enjoy conversation. We all do, we are social creatures and a conversation unites us. No one wants to spend all their time reading in the same way we don’t want to simply listen to someone wanting to speak all the time. We like to have a say and make it a conversation rather than a lecture. I have found some amazing blogs and people this way.

I then found myself with a much larger community of people that I was engaging with. The same thing happens when we decide to leave our house and explore the neighborhood… the people that didn’t know we existed do now and are happy to say ‘hey’! It isn’t that people don’t want to speak to us, it is that they aren’t aware that we are here to speak to us in the first place.

I thanked 600 people whilst I was at the Blue Mountains in November 2017 for following my blog, and I expect at the end of the month I will be thanking 7,000. A huge change in 13 months, and that change is all down to the time spent on my blog and engaging with others.

IMG_5524

I keep blogging as it has been a great form of therapy, and if I stop I am unsure whether or not I will sink to those depths again. Keeping busy is a great remedy, and I can see why so many people blog. It is the chosen method for many to keep their heads above the water, and at the same time be creative. It is truly turning a negative into a positive and is great to see.

I hope this answered the question, and if anyone has any thoughts on this topic please feel free to let me know. As always, I will see you in the comments!

 

Sam


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

This is life 

What is desired more than quality? Trends. The need to be like everyone else instead of what’s suits us best. After all if trends change, they couldn’t have been that special anyway.

The easiest thing to do is fit in. Simply look at what is popular and buy it. Listen to what we are told is cool by apparant experts and give them our hard earned money.

Customers queuing for food on Grainger St, Newcastle, UK

I have just walked by this burger van near the Greys Monument in the city centre. It may in fact be the best burger I will ever have. But what I have learned is that for a queue to be this long, quality isn’t always in the recipe. It could be average, the thrill of being in the cool crowd overcompensating for mediocrity. 

It is astounding how much money goes towards ‘keeping up to date’, another term for blending in with society. Why spend so much money on wanting to be unrecognisable? Another brick in the wall, another drop in the ocean living life with an aim to be accepted instead of glorifying personal strengths and interests.

Life is too short for that. The effort put into adhering to societal norms could be spent changing them for the better. 

Once again, this burger van may not be a culprit, it was just the inspiration for my post. If the queue goes down, I may give it a try.

Your the key to you’re success

I find some people are unwilling to accept help or advice if it exposes a personal flaw. People are very reluctant to receive constructive criticism, rightly so if it is done in a condescending fashion.

I personally love my own flaws being exposed. That one moment and acknowledgement of imperfection helps me to become that little bit closer to perfection in whatever it was I was doing at the time. 

Question. If you are reading a post, Facebook status or watching someone create an email in which they type ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’ and you are with the author, would you tell them? I don’t think it is a bad thing to do so. If it is considerate and good willed, I don’t see the problem. The problem is so many people would rather shun the correction and try to preserve pride, although that pride is an illusion as people pretend there wasn’t a mistake in the first place.

I have just read a post by a very ambitious, highly driven person right before this post and thought I’d ask. There is no quicker way to success than getting help along the way. Accepting it costs nothing, but may be invaluable.