The Power of Mindfulness

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Have you heard of mindfulness? Or just wondered what mindfulness is? Mindfulness is about becoming more aware of yourself, being present and non judgmental. Being mindful has many benefits; it leads to better self control, helps lower anxiety and stress, is a mood elevator, leads to better decision making, higher self esteem, promotes social and communication skills.

Here are some quick tips on how to be mindful:

  • Be aware of ALL YOUR activities for the day (eating, working, cleaning, driving, texting)
  • Pay attention to how your Body Moves (grabbing something, bending down, reaching out)mind
  • Be aware of the way you Walk (posture) and Talk
  • Pay Attention to the Thoughts you are having, rid yourself of the Negative ones but be gentle with Yourself
  • Express Gratitude (for people, nature, and your blessings)
  • Slow Down when reading, take in the information on a deeper level
  •  Accept ALL the Emotions you have but do not define yourself to them
  • Do one Thing at a Time
  • Understanding that nothing is Permanent, everything comes and goes
  • Express Curiosity for new things and your new Mental Development of Mindfulness
  • Be Fully Open Minded with what is going on around you, and inside of you

Here is a list from Gabriela Green’s blog about when it is a good time to practice mindfulness:

  • When you wake up
  • While you are walking to work
  • In the shower
  • When are getting dressed
  • While preparing breakfast
  • At work when you feel overwhelmed
  • Ideally, you can practice one of these every hour, to keep you grounded
  • After a meeting
  • Before planning your day
  • Before enjoying your meal

The number one goal of being mindful is to SLOW DOWN!

Do you have any tips on how to be mindful? Come down to Youth Outreach and share your ideas! We are open noon to 9pm!

 

National Mental Health Day

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Did you know October 10th is National Mental Health Day? What does that mean you might ask. It is a day that raises awareness of mental health issues.  According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five U.S. adults experiences mental illness, one in 25 experiences serious mental illness, and one in six U.S. youths ages 6 through 17 experiences mental illness.

This years mental health day focused on suicide prevention,  and the role that each of us can play to help prevent it. According to The World Health Organization every 40 seconds someone looses their life to suicide, that is roughly 800,000 people a year.

mental health blogMental health and suicide are such important issues to focus on because it affects everyone young, old, men and women. It is important to start conversations with family and friends to take away the shame and guilt people often feel, which can lead to people not reaching out when help is needed most.

If you suspect someone is suicidal simply listen, being there for someone can be life changing and is the first step in preventing people from feeling alone. Here are some conversation starters from the Each Mind Matters campaign in case you are like me and sometimes simply don’t know what to say.

“I care about you. How have you been feeling lately?”

“I’ve been worried about you, how are you doing?”

“You seem yo have a lot on your mind lately. I am here to listen.”

“I’m here for you, let me know if you need anything.”

“You’ve seemed stressed lately. What’s going on?”

If you or someone you know is suicidal do not hesitate to call The National Suicide Hotline at  1-800-273-8255, it is available 24 hours a day.

YOU MATTER!

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As you read those words, I’m sure you have seen these signs or other handouts in your neighborhood, social media, or online somewhere. If not and this is the first you have heard of it, Youth Outreach wants to let you know: YOU MATTER!

 

This saying along with many more sayings were created by a family in Newberg, OR. They couldn’t believe how much the suicide rates were just in their little community, let alone in the United States. In fact, as of today in the United States, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death. Every year, we lose about 45,000 people to suicide, which in a closer perspective is about 125 suicides per day. These suicide rates, statistics, and suicidal thoughts come from elderly, adults, youth, and even children as early of 10 years old.

 

With that much influence, suicide is definitely not a subject to be taken lightly. Although there are many great programs and suicide preventions out there, many people don’t receive the assistance they need. However, a small town family has proven that they don’t need all the nooks and crannies of a big organization, rather a simple sign with encouraging words will send a message of hope for people. Because of their efforts, the don’t give up signs helped hundreds of people around the world to not just prevent suicide, but also any negative thoughts they may be believing about themselves.

 

At Youth Outreach, we have our staff and youth participate in sign rallies. These rallies consist of us all going out into our Newberg community, sign waving, and sharing what were all about. All the drivers and people passing by are then refreshed with these words and reminded: they are worthy of love, they aren’t alone, their mistakes don’t define them, it’s never too late, don’t give up, and so much more! We hope to continue this tradition of ours, because we see the impact it’s bringing not only to our little Newberg community, but around the world.

 

If you are going through a hard time or just needing a little encouragement, Youth Outreach wants to let you know that You Matter! The life was given is good and bad at times. Sometimes it seems like the bad consistently overtakes the good. But, it’s always a blessing to hear that you never have to be alone in this life. There are people, organizations, and communities who actually do care and want the best for you. The dreams and goals you have in life are all going to fall in place, as long as you don’t give up! Stick with it even through the bad and ugly of times. There is a light amidst the darkness you may be struggling with. Be the fighter that you are and don’t let life knock you down.

 

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide and need someone to talk to, please call the suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255. Also, if you want to know more information on the don’t give up signs, check out their website: https://www.dontgiveupsigns.com/

If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t!

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Throughout adolescent’s you will face many situations where there is a right and wrong choice, not all of these choices will be black and white and easy to make. Depending on who your circle of friends are, the groups you belong to and the situations you find yourself in you could feel pressured to make a choice that you would not normally make due to pressure from your peers.
If ever you are put in a situation where there is pressure from those around you, take a minute to evaluate your options. A good way to help determine and make a good decision is by these STEPS:peer pressure

S-stop what you are doing.
T-think it over.
E-evaluate the situation.
P-proceed with your decision.
S-stand firm.

It is often hard to just say no to something that doesn’t feel right and people often put pressure on each other as to why they are saying no. Here are some strategies that go beyond just saying no:
1) Delay. No, not today. Maybe tomorrow
2) Be a broken record. Keep saying no several times.
3) Have a plan B. Okay, but how about we do this _______ instead.
4) Be truthful. No, because ______.
5) Avoid. I can’t, because I forgot to do_____.
6) Leave the scene. Say no and leave.

You, Yes You Matter!

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You may have seen Youth Outreach at the flag pole holding signs of encouragement letting people know they are not alone, you might have even participated in one of our sign rallies or seen the signs around town reminding people not to give up! Once a month during the school year and every Friday during the summer Youth Outreach gathers together and has a sign rally at Newberg’s flag pole!

The You Matter movement was started to let people know that their problems, fears, worries and all that they do MATTERS! The signs might be simple, just white and black but they carry a strong and needed message to all that see them. The goal is to give those who need just a little glimmer of hope the encouragement to keep going and let them know that they are enough.

signrallyvday2If you would like to read personal stories of how these signs have touched those who have seen them go to http://www.don’tgiveupsigns.com. Or come and stand with Youth Outreach rain or shine!