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:

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Thank You, Lilly Singh, For Reminding Us It's Important To Put Mental Health First

You are truly leading by example.

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YouTuber Lilly Singh, also known as iiSuperwomanii, announced she was taking a break from YouTube from November 18-December 6, 2018. This meant no twice-weekly videos and daily vlogs. Her biggest reason:

She could feel her mental health deteriorating from her busy schedule, and she wasn't happy anymore.

Lilly has always been open about her struggle with depression and anxiety, and has credited her starting a YouTube channel as a way for her to cope with her depression as a teen. She always presents a very upbeat, happy-go-lucky attitude in both her videos and vlogs. To hear Lilly sit down and talk seriously about something that was clearly so important to her was a major contrast from her usual tone.

When I watched Lilly's first video back--the first collab in her annual "12 Days of Christmas" series, featuring James Charles--the difference was insane.

Lilly looked happy, refreshed, and most importantly, relaxed.

While her break was only for a few weeks, it was clear those few weeks had done so much good. And as someone who has struggled with mental health for years, that was so inspiring.

Here's this woman with so much influence, taking time for herself and showing her millions of fans that it's not only okay to put your mental health first, but it's of the utmost importance to do so.

Each video and vlog since her break clearly shows Lilly in a much better place than she was once in. You didn't even realize just how much her mental health was weighing on her until you saw the videos of her after her break. Lilly always looks like a weight has been lifted off of her. She sprinkles so many words of wisdom around and just looks happier.

I particularly have loved her vlogs. Lilly talks about and really shows what she's been doing to keep herself in a better place. To make sure she reserves "me time" and finds things to do that are for her and not work-related.

I'm a senior in college with a lot on my plate right now. I work, I have an internship, I write for Odyssey, and I serve as president of my Odyssey team. I'm about to start a new semester. With all of that, I know I need to keep an eye on my mental health and, like Lilly, make sure I'm not getting all caught up in the work.

Lilly has reminded me that it's ok to put my mental health first.

Lilly has reminded me it's okay to take time for myself and not feel guilty about it, since that time is necessary to breathe and recharge. She reminds me to take those little steps that can make a day feel less crazy at the start, like making a lunch or picking out an outfit the night before. She reminds me to find things you love to do that aren't connected to work or, in my case, school.

So Lilly, thank you for being so open about your experiences with mental health. Thank you for showing your fans the importance of taking care of yourself. Thank you for showing us that you can take care of yourself, have a career, and be a bawse as we take on all of it. Hopefully, you've inspired others as you inspired me to remember our mental health comes first.

Keep on being an amazing human being and a genuine bawse.

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