A musician who has struggled with feelings of anxiety and depression is showing how creativity and nature helped him to move forward.
James Gordon has made a film with Fixers encouraging young people to find a positive way to deal with their emotions – such as creating music or spending time outside – rather than turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms.
The 24-year-old, who lives in Derby, says: ‘My film is all about self-empowerment and overcoming obstacles. I want to emphasise how much self-expression can help people.
‘There are so many different things that people go through in life – like anxiety and depression – and my message is that you can overcome it if you are willing to think about why you might be feeling that way.’
James said that spoken word poetry and music gave him the creative outlet he needed to deal with difficulties in his life.
‘Growing up I was quite a temperamental child because there was an intense environment at home. My parents split up quite regularly and it caused me to lose myself in many ways,’ he says.
‘I’ve always had a huge passion for music and sound and it helped me. I played guitar and drums and would sing from a young age.
‘When I was about 18 I started writing a lot more and performing with a few reggae bands.
‘I reflect on certain experiences in my life and write. I can look at how I'm feeling and find a way to express it and let it out.'
James says that spending time in natural settings also helps him feel more positive.
‘Stepping away from all of the distractions of everyday life and coming into nature, turning off my phone and being able to reflect has helped me find inner peace,' he says.
‘It’s something a lot of people don’t do and they can find themselves wrapped up in pessimistic thoughts because they are watching negative soap storylines on TV, listening to music with degrading messages and eating unhealthy food.
‘If people use negative influences for entertainment then it breeds other problems. There's a certain sense of calm you can get from going into forests or for a long walk in the park - so I want to encourage people to do more of that.
‘It was important for me to include nature in the film – so it includes shots of the river and me walking in Derby River Gardens. I wanted to show how it’s a good place to reflect. It’s a nice little spot.'
James plans to share his film on social media to reach as wide an audience as possible.
‘I hope it encourages people to live a little and find a way to get into a positive mind set.'
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