WHAT'S REAL WITH AMY COLEMAN
What’s your favourite color?
Green, the colour of the earth
What self-care habits do you intertwine into your daily routine?
Simple things that make me feel better are making my bed as soon as I get out of it each morning, drinking lots of water - I love drinking hot water, moving my body, filling my belly with nutritious, yummy and filling foods, writing or reading, walking my dogs, and reminding myself of all the love in and around my body.
What's your favourite book?
A New Earth by Eckhard Tolle. This book changed my life.
Who can you go to when you need to get something off your chest?
I used to be very bad at sharing my thoughts and feelings and although my close friends/family encouraged me from the start, I always found it hard and felt like no’one would understand. So I used to journal and used this as an outlet. But for me now nothing compares to speaking to my mum or boyfriend about my feelings to better understand why I am having them, where they are coming from and how I can manage them. I have a very analytical mind so I find that talking out loud about my feelings really helps me to understand them and work out what they mean which is so helpful.
What’s your safe place?
I find being in nature grounds me and allows me to see and understand my mind more clearly.
Have you ever dealt with anxiety? If so, how do you calm your mind?
I have dealt with social anxiety more so. To calm my mind I try and rationalise my thoughts and focus on my breathing. With social anxiety the thoughts I was having were usually about how others would perceive me. A big lesson I have learnt relating to that is this: Everyone is so in their own head of thoughts, they are not going to be thinking or worrying about how you look or behave. And if they do, how does that affect you? How does that make you any more or less of a person? Who cares what they think. You can’t and will never be able to change their thoughts but you can change your own. And only you can change your own.
Have you ever gotten yourself out of a dark place? Or have you ever needed to help someone else out? If so, how?
I started struggling with my mental health when I was about 15 years old, I am now 22. I think only recently have I really understood my mental health and the negative thoughts I suffered from and sometimes still do. I believe the book I mentioned, A New Earth, was pivotal in allowing me to realise I am in control of my mind and my mind is in control of my life. I also strongly believe that going vegan was huge in the shift of my outlook on life and subsequently the beliefs I held against myself and my value to the world.
Do you think social media affects your mental health or has any other negative impacts on you? If so, how do you best deal with it?
Social media definitely affected my mental health when I was younger and in the phase of Tumblr. Instagram has also played a part in my mental health as I’ve gotten older, with comparing myself to others. To avoid this I remind myself that online is very different to real life and you have to take everything on social media with a pinch of salt. But there are so many amazing people and brands on social media who have such a positive and inspirational influence and these are the accounts I encourage people to follow. You curate your own feed. Unfollow those who do you harm, follow those that make you feel good. And remember to take time off of social media however often you need to.
What’s your biggest fear?
Losing the people I love and feeling like there was something more I could have done or said.
What’s the biggest change you can identify within yourself in the past year?
In the past year I’ve really started to be able to notice and identify my thoughts. I have a process every time a negative thought enters my mind. I try to catch the thought as soon as I think it before it starts to affect my feelings. I then ask myself why I have thought that and try to take myself out of the situation and view it as not personal. I then try to think more positively about whatever has happened. As I practise this more I am going through the process much easier and identifying negative thoughts more quickly. I feel like I have much more control over my mind now. I feel more connected to my being and have realised how important the relationship I have with myself is; one that is loving and understanding.
What’s one of the hardest things you’ve had to go through in life? How did you get through it?
I’m extremely grateful that I haven’t had any major life changes that have been hard to go through. One harder experience I had was moving away from home for University, which I dropped out of a few months later. I really struggled with my mental health living away from home and felt like I didn’t fit in or connect with anyone. Having a strong family support at this time really helped me get through this and feel confident in my decision to leave. Looking back now I feel like I was definitely too young in experience for University. I hadn’t figured out who I was, I wasn’t connected to myself and being in a new and challenging environment didn’t help that.
What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
There’s so much I would say! I actually made a list of things a couple of weeks ago so here are a few:
- Inner resistance creates outer resistance
- Vulnerability is strength
- There is always something to learn from negative experiences and everything happens for a reason, even if you can't see the reason at the time.
- The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts are it. And you can change your thoughts. Being aware of your thoughts is your greatest power
- There is no point comparing yourself to others. You cannot change what’s not yours. The only thing you can change is your perception and mindset which is the ultimate key to your happiness
- You are not above or below anyone or anything
- You are the only you to ever exist
If you could change one thing within society, what would that be?
That’s such a hard one! There’s so much work to be done in our society but I do think we are slowly moving in the right direction. I wish everything on this planet was seen as equal by all humans - so every person as equal, and every person as equal with every animal and every living being on the earth.