Why Your Childhood Matters to Your Mental Health as an Adult

January 30, 2020 / Alex Hanna  / 
baggage, childhood

We all hear that our childhood experiences impact our lives as adults — to varying degrees based on who you speak to and what you believe. But wherever you fall on the “nature vs. nurture” spectrum, one thing is undeniable: we all have childhood experiences that creep into our memories as adults, whether good or bad.

If you grew up with a physically abusive or emotionally abusive parent, for example, that tends to stick with you into your adult years and affect your mental health. That’s not to say that people who were abused as children can’t or don’t grow up to be perfectly functioning human beings — they do. It just means that they may have different baggage than other people. Let’s face it, we all carry around baggage of some sort. What it looks like and how heavy it is will change, that’s all. Regardless, no matter what the circumstances of your upbringing were, you were affected.

So what do you do about it?


You Are Enough

January 21, 2020 / Alex Hanna  / 

When you doubt yourself and feel like you don’t deserve happiness, remember that you are enough. (Published on Medium)

when you learn that you
are enough
you see the world
you see the world
in color
instead of the black and white
to which
you’ve become accustomed
your face shines bright
in the mirror; illuminates
the dark room
where you once hid
you stand taller
you smile wider
people see you
for the beauty
which you exude
with every waking breath
you attract goodness 
and joy
and share these gifts
with those
around you
you stop trying
to be that person
wants you
to be
weight lifted
you can breath
because you know
just as you are
that you
are enough
~ A. Hanna

The Effects Death, Traumas And Disasters Have On Mental Health

October 11, 2019 / Alex Hanna  / 
death, trauma
This post was sponsored by, and originally published on Choice Mutual, Written by Anthony Martin,

When people watch news reports about death, natural disasters, terrorist attacks or school shootings, they may feel confused and scared.

Maybe they worry about themselves and the safety of their family and friends. These events disrupt our way of life and peace of mind. They can make people feel unsafe and afraid.

The following information can help people prepare for a death or disaster. The more someone learns now, the easier it can be for them to deal later on.

How do people feel after a death or disaster?


I’m Doing Pretty Okay

June 4, 2019 / Alex Hanna  / 

You don’t always have to be awesome, steller, or even happy all the time. We all need a break from the reckless and unrealistic expectations that we can always be happy. The truth is, sometimes we’re just doing okay. And that’s perfectly fine. There is nothing to be ashamed of when feeling “just okay”. 

been doing okay
in this flowerless may
and though today
that’s all I can say
i’m doing pretty okay
~ A. Hanna

As I went through the month of May, I felt good at times, bad at times, and just alright at times. Now, it’s well known that given our social media exposure, we think that everyone else is happy, gleeful, and always doing awesome things. And because of this, we feel that there is something wrong with us if we don’t feel the same way: that feeling “just okay” equates to being the opposite of happy. We have to change this paradigm. 


What Does a Diagnosis Mean?

March 12, 2019 / Alex Hanna  / 

I’ve been struggling recently to understand just what a diagnosis means to those who have a mental illness. I have been diagnosed with a few (depression, generalized anxiety, adult ADHD), but sometimes I don’t know that this is accurate. Most of it fits, but the medication I am on better aligns with other disorders, such as Bipolar II or Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). And when I look back at the past 10 - 15 years, I can see indications of where these other diagnoses may have been more appropriate. But when I was seeing doctors and therapists, I may not have been exhibiting all the symptoms (such as mania), so they found another explanation. I am not questioning the abilities of my healthcare providers in the least. This is more of a philosophical question to ponder. (Note, only a certified mental healthcare professional can issue a formal diagnosis. This article is not intended to encourage self-diagnosis. Rather, I want this to encourage asking questions.)


The Mental Health Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors

November 27, 2018 / Alex Hanna  / 
mental health outdoors

A cloudy weekend invites you to stay indoors, wrapped in your favorite flannel pajamas. While it might be comforting to wallow in bed and binge-watch your favorite soap opera from 10 years ago, there is a better way. Face it, we are all a bit lazy on the weekends, falling back into old and comfortable habits.

Break out of those old habits and face the sun. Scientists are finding that spending time outdoors can give your mental health a well-deserved boost. You’ll surprise yourself with the fun you’ll have. So, dress well, pull on your boots, and see if you don’t find these benefits within just a few hours.

There are places in every corner of the world that offer splendid scenery, great exercise opportunities, and fun for people of all ages. Don’t worry if you can’t climb a rock face or bike for 26 miles; there’s activity for persons with any ability. There are many benefits for persons from five to ninety-five.

Five Mental Health Benefits of Spending Time in Nature



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