Don't Rely On Others For Happiness

Don't Rely On Others For Happiness

It's so cliche but happiness does come from within.

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My fatal flaw is that I tend to rely on my friends and family a lot for mental and emotional support and that's not fair to anyone.

I was really unhappy for the longest time. I mean, I was in a relationship, going to work, hanging out with my friends; I did everything a young twenty-something-year-old should be doing but for some reason, I was never happy.

Every quiet moment alone was hard. I avoided 'alone time' at all costs and the best way to do that was to be with other people constantly.

I worked almost 50 hours a week like a maniac. By the time I got home, I was so exhausted that my alone time was just the 7 hours of sleep in my bed. It was easy to keep up the routine when I was motivated to stay busy. I love being busy, it gives me purpose. I didn't realize at the time that I was keeping busy to avoid bigger issues at hand. I thought that by surrounding myself with people I love would help bring my mental health and spirits up -- I ended up dragging others down.

This may sound really crappy and I'm only saying this out of personal experience but being around someone who is constantly sad, unhappy and unmotivated can be very draining and it gets emotionally tiring. Eventually, you just can't handle being around that person anymore.

I was that person.

Sure I was at work doing my duties but my co-workers were less and less enjoying my company and I started seeing my friends fewer times in the week. I came to realize that it wasn't anyone else's responsibility to make me feel better other than my own.
Of course, my friends tried to help. They did the best way they could, by just being there but it is not their responsibility to take care of me. Putting pressure on those who aren't actually trained professionals of mental health is unfair. My friends didn't know how to handle me and when they started distancing, I couldn't blame them because I probably would have done the same.

Self-love comes from within. Learning how to love yourself starts with YOU. You have to motivate yourself to do something different, to go outside, to read a book to learn something new. I realized that my energy and how I carried myself affected the people surrounding me and I wasn't ok with how the situation was unfolding.

I understand that change is hard. Since I am a very routine person, it was extra hard for me to come out of my comfort zone. Once I did, everything started looking up.

Reaching out for help is one thing but relying on others to fix you and your problems is another. It's ok to ask for support, to ask for help when you're lost but be considerate of those you're pulling into your situation. Everyone has problems and dumping yours on someone else's is never ok.

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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Stand In The Mirror

An exercise in self-love.

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If you're reading this, then I want you to stop what you're doing right now, get up from wherever you're sitting, and go stand in the mirror.

Yes, that's right. Close your laptops, put down your phones, and walk to the closest bathroom, or vanity, or wherever else you can see your reflection the most clearly. Pretend like you're the only person in the world for a little while.

Are you there? Good.

Now I want you to look at yourself, very closely.

Start with your eyes. How beautiful they look underneath the light; you can see all their colors, just like a painting! Something that unique belongs in an art museum, don't you think?

Those eyes of yours have seen so many wonderful things. Think of all the sunsets they've allowed you to witness, all the times your best friends have grinned from ear-to-ear and all the books you've read.

Now, look at your lips. Think of all the lovely people they may have kissed, all the Thanksgiving dinners they've touched and all the funny faces they've helped you express.

Think all of the times they've opened to exude laughter and joy, to express awe and other associated feelings words cannot express.

Now it's time to examine your arms. Shrug your shoulders and admire the way they fall so gently at your sides, like water flowing from the mouth of a river. Think of all the wonderful things they've helped you to reach, of all the trees they've helped you climb and monkey bars they've helped you swing through. Think of all the people they've hugged, and all the dogs they've helped you pet.

Finally, move to your legs. Think of all the races they've helped you win, all the hurdles they've helped you jump through and all the lengths they've helped you swim.

Think of all the pristine places they've carried you to, and reflect upon all the places you'll soon be heading to.

Can't you see now that you're a masterpiece, dripping with color and beauty, emotion and experience, from every fiber of your being?

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