FMyLife or GivesMeHope – Your Words Can Affect Your Mental Health

Image from Redbookmag.com

In a day and age where everyone is telling the world about whatever is on their mind via Twitter, Facebook and other social networking devices, it seems that it is only fitting that we go one step further down the social networking spiral. That’s right! Anonymous posting of events in your life. See, its one thing to go and let everyone you know what’s going on, or even 1,800 total strangers (like I do from time to time…what is wrong with me? 🙂 ), but its something entirely different when you can share an event with a bunch of people, and make it completely anonymous.

Enter FMyLife.com and GiveMeHope.com.  Two distinct sites with two distinct purposes. FMyLife, in case you couldn’t tell by the title, is a site where you share a terrible event: something ironic, funny, or just out and out painful, and at the end, put the letters: FML. In essence, the idea is that because something bad happened to you, well, then we should just *F* my life. Now granted, I understand the nuance of sarcasm, and recognize that this sort of thing can be helpful and cathartic. However, is saying F My Life really the way to go here?

And if it is, what does that say about our perceptions of life, and its value? This has to do with Words, what you say to yourself and others. The quesion here is, are your Words affecting how you perceive yourself and your life?

The other side of this coin is GiveMeHope.com. This site is all about things that happen to people, good but also some bad, that give people hope to go forward with their lives.  Same concept, but different spin. There is certainly a stronger level of optimism in the posts, and people seem to want to inspire others to hope as well.

So what’s my point here? Great, Jim. Two websites, one thinks life sucks, the other is about hope. Big deal.

Well, it is a big deal if you consider that our Words have been shown to affect our attitude about ourselves, our lives and those around us. Not only that, but it can also affect your overal physical health. Don’t believe me? Go take a look at what the Mayo Clinic has to say about the power of our words over our lives.  Here’s what popped out at me:

“Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress “

So my point is, think about how your negative self talk and thinking affects you. I know it got the better of me this week (what, with my celebrity envy and all), and it really affected how I saw myself and my world. Once I snapped out of it, things seemed to go a lot better (I usually don’t let things get to me for more than a couple hours, give or take).

Moreover, think about what thinking positive can do for you. I’m not talking about the corny Stuart Smalley stuff. I’m talking about just straight up honesty about how good things are in your life. For me, the key to contentment in life is humility and gratitude. If you can’t be grateful for what you have, then you’re going to be ungrateful for what you don’t.

So be careful with all this FML stuff. Consider that perhaps your life and how you see it has much to do with your attitude, and if you let the negative stuff get  the best of you, it can have greater consequences than you think.

Kate Le Page also has a good article on this at Suite101.

On a housekeeping note, I have got to fix my email notifications, because it seems my WordPress doesn’t like telling me when I get comments. Its either that or my new Motorola Blur. Not sure which one is in the wrong here, but I’ll figure it out. 🙂