Rather Than Complaining Today, Think Of Everything That You're Grateful For

Rather Than Complaining Today, Think Of Everything That You're Grateful For

Praise yourself for what you've accomplished and smile about everything going right.

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Complaining is a hard habit to break. It doesn't take much effort and it actually has a pay off (in the short term). You get to feed your ego and ditch all responsibility for your own happiness, success, and well-being. Haven't had any luck finding a job? Complain. There must be something wrong with the hiring managers. Is there a long wait time at the restaurant you just got to? Complain. Obviously, the workers are too slow and incompetent. Got a speeding ticket on your way home? Complain. Clearly, that police officer has nothing else better to do with their life than badger you.

What happens when we complain, though, is that we weigh ourselves down with negativity, regret, and a general dissatisfaction with our lives. We harp on what we don't have, what we did wrong, or what others did wrong to us. We forget to think about everything that we do have, what we did right, and things that others have done to help us. Most importantly, we forget to be thankful. And truthfully, there is always something to be thankful for, especially when others have it much worse.

Haven't had any luck finding a job? That sucks, but at least you still have some money saved up. Long wait time at the restaurant you just got to? That sucks, but you and your friends can bond while you're waiting. Got a speeding ticket on your way home? That sucks, but at least you got home safely. It's okay to be sad, upset, hurt, or angry -- we shouldn't try to mask our emotions behind fake optimism; however, we should always try to see the good in our situations, not because we're playing 'misery Olympics' and since there are people dying of cancer, we should never be upset about what we face in our daily lives, but simply because being grateful feels good. It keeps us happy and helps us extend that same grace to others.

If you're feeling bitter today, think of South Sudan. According to Oxfam International, "This year's harvests [in South Sudan] will be poor or non-existent for many, this is an extremely worrying sign for the long dry months ahead. 4.8 million people — nearly half of the population — are facing extreme hunger." South Sudan has had a tough break since the onset of their civil war, which started in December 2013. More than 4 years of constant battle has destroyed their economy and threatened the lives of many, causing over 1 million South Sudanese people to flee the country, opting to go to neighboring countries such as Uganda and Ethiopia. In an article from Panntv, Nyabolli Chok, a local South Sudanese woman, reminisces about how she was unable to feed her three children, causing them to ultimately leave the country. "We were eating leaves off of trees," she cries.

Now, I don't know about you, but I think I'd rather have one hundred speeding tickets than to have to eat leaves off of trees. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty damn glad that the worst tragedy I've experienced this summer is having my study abroad plans fall through (long live the RU screw). When I think about the children in South Sudan that are hungry and in poverty, and the parents that feel like shit because they can't do anything to provide for their kids, I don't have it in me to complain. I don't have it in me to dwell on life's bumps and obstacles; because let's face it, we all have them, but we have the power to not let them control our thoughts and feelings.

If you're feeling bitter today, think of what you're grateful for. Praise yourself for what you've accomplished and smile about everything going right. And most of all, don't forget to help others.

If you'd like to support South Sudanese People, you can donate to a few organizations I trust, like Africare, American Refugee Committee, and International Rescue Committee.

Cover Image Credit:

Unsplash

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I Woke up In The Middle Of The Night To Write About My Fears, They're Worse Than The Dark

One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

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It is one of those nights when I am tired, but for some reason, I can't seem to fall asleep. So, what do I do? I pull out my laptop, and I begin to write. Who knows where it will lead. It could lead to a killer article or something that does not make sense. I mean it is almost 2 A.M. In my mind, that's pretty late.

Anyways, let's do this thing.

Like many people, thoughts seem to pile up in my head at this time. It could be anything from a time when I was younger to embarrassing stories to wondering why I am "wasting" my time somewhere to thoughts about the future. All of these things come at me like a wildfire. One minute I'm thinking about what I want to do after college next thing I know I'm remembering the time I tried talking to a boy and choked on my spit.

The thought that is going through my mind as I write this is about the future. It's about the future of my fears. Let me explain. I have multiple fears. Some of my fears I can hide pretty well, others I am terrible at hiding. My fears may seem silly to some. While others might have the same fears. Shall we start?

1. My career

I don't know where to begin with this one. For as long as I can remember, my consistent dream job has been working in the world of sports, specifically hockey. A career in sports can be and is a challenging thing. The public eye is on you constantly. A poor trade choice? Fans are angry. Your team sucks? "Fans" are threatening to cheer for someone else if you can't get your sh*t together. You can be blamed for anything and everything. Whether you are the coach, general manager, owner, it does not matter. That's terrifying to me, but for some reason, I want to work for a team.

2. My family

Julie Fox

Failing with my family, whether that be the family I was born into or my future family, it terrifies me. I have watched families around me fall apart and I have seen how it has affected them. Relationships have fallen apart because of it. I have heard people talk about how much they hate one of their parents because of what happened. I don't want that.

3. Time

This could be a dumb fear. I'm not sure, but I fear time. With every minute that passes, I am just another minute closer to the end. With every day that passes that I am not accomplishing goals or dreams I have, I am losing precious time. It scares me to think of something horrible like "What if I die tomorrow because of something horrific?" or even worse, "What if I don't make it through today?" It's terrible, I know.

4. Forgetting precious memories

When I was younger, I had brain surgery. It is now much harder for me to remember things. I am truly terrified that I am going to forget things I will want to hold close to me forever, but I won't be able to. I am scared I'll forget about the little things that mean a lot. I'm afraid of forgetting about old memories that may disappear. I'm worried that I'll forget about something like my wedding day. That might seem out of this world, but it's a reality for me.

5. Saying "goodbye"

I hate saying bye. It is one of my least favorite things. Saying bye, especially to people I don't know when I'll see again, is a stab in the heart for me. I love my people so much. I love being around them. I love laughing with them. Thought of never having a hello with them again scares me beyond belief.

6. Leaving places that I love

Alright, let me start off by saying this- it takes a lot for me to love a place. It has to feel like home. It has to make me feel comfortable. It has to be a place I can go to and be myself. Thankfully, I have had and still have multiple places that are like that. I have also had places I could not wait to leave. I think that's why leaving places I love is so hard and something I fear so much. I am afraid I'll never get that place "back", for lack of a better term. I guess, I'm trying to say, it's like a piece of me is leaving as well.




These six things are just the start of my fears. Some of these might seem "dumb" or "ridiculous" to you, but for me, it's my life. These are the things that I think about the most. These are the things that feel like a pit in my stomach. These six things are parts of my life that mean a lot to me.

Cover Image Credit:

Emily Heinrichs

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The Dreaded Summer Slump

Summer isn't always fun in the sun for everyone.
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Summer is a time for fun in the sun, hanging out with friends, and living it up, but for some people, that's not the case. Summer is a nightmare for idle minds. Let me explain what I mean by that. For people with mental illness having the extra time to think and relax can be devastating for their mental health. Now, this isn't a problem for everyone but for some people who suffer from mental illness, this is a reality.

Unfortunately, I am one of those people who keeps my schedule busy enough that I don't have time to think, let alone deal with my mental illnesses. I know this is unhealthy and I am working on it, but this summer especially has been an extremely tough situation for me and I know that I'm not the only one going through this. When this summer started I decided that I would allow myself a "dead" week. Basically, I was giving myself a week to relax, indulge in self-love and take care of myself and not doing anything outwardly productive. Three weeks later, I find myself still stuck in that cycle. I keep telling myself tomorrow will be the day where I'll jumpstart all my summer plans. Meanwhile, tomorrow comes, passes, and the list of things I have to do this summer never shrinks and the days I have to do them dwindle.

An important thought to remember is that just because you aren't doing the best mentally doesn't mean that you can't change that at any given time. Changing your mental habits are the hardest task I have ever set out to do. Every day is a constant struggle to remind myself that I am worth it, that I do belong here on earth, that I'm not a freak, that I am allowed to be who I am without being "perfect". The process of recovery isn't an overnight accomplishment, it takes months, years, sometimes even decades, to get to a point where a thing that was bothering you doesn't bother you anymore. You shouldn't let that discourage you though. With each day that you were towards your mental health goals, you are making yourself a better person and you should be incredibly proud of yourself.

With the summer months in front of us, I want to take this time to remind everyone that's struggling that not every day is going to go as you hope, you're going to have good and bad mental health days. There may be days when you feel nothing, there may be days you don't feel you have a purpose, but you do. Give yourself small tasks if you're having a bad day, they can be as simple as getting out of bed and open a curtain, or drinking a glass of water. The best advice I have ever gotten is to just be kind to yourself. You're not a bad person for needing extra time to heal and process things. You are worth it and you will get through the summer. You are never alone.

Cover Image Credit: Maranatha Pizarras

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