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akg aged 17
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"Happiness in Life"


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A friend told me that the happier somebody seems, the more baggage that they have got to go with them. This could not be any more true. The people who have had life harder have to do so much more to leave the past in the past and keep it there than those with a great past. Those who have not been through hell and back only seem to focus on all the bad because of the good that has been put around them is not good that they self-created. Rather, it has been done for them, inevitably leading to expectations. The more pain someone has been through, the more grateful they are for even the small things in life that bring joy to their hearts. Everyone has their hardships and everybody has their own way of dealing with them accordingly. Life was never designed to be a walk in the park, neither was it designed to be so demoralising that people lose the will to live. Yet those extremes exist in our world. Despite all the pain that is 90% possible to be bestowed upon you, don't forget about the small amounts of happiness that give life such a glimmer of hope. We would never appreciate the sun without the rain, nor would we appreciate happiness without the sadness. Hardships and pain challenge you, but they show you your capacity to live through and put them behind you and move on. Anybody is strong enough. Keep living through and make your own happiness, and by no means let anyone rain on your parade. It's your life, and it is up to yourself to make the most of it, because nobody else will. Make your own future, own happiness, own success and prosperity, and make your own life so much worth living. Make it a life to remember. Make it a life that you will look back on when you are 100 years old and make it a life that you could only smile back upon. Live your life to the fullest to attain true happiness.

"Positive Mental Health!"


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Mental health should not always been seen to be a bad thing. When people think of mental health, the first things they think of are the mental illnesses, like depression and bipolar disorder, or OCD. Why is it that when people generally think of mental health, they think of all the negative aspects of it before they actually think of positive mental health that is just as attainable? You know, the positive self-attitudes, autonomy, and personal growth that any person could achieve. Mental health seems to be so stigmatised because of the awareness of simply mental disorders, therefore lacking the signs of having positive mental health. Mental health allows us to be able to think and feel and empathise and sympathise with other human beings on the surface of this earth. Mental health allows us to communicate with others and maintain healthy relationships and friendships. Mental health allows us to achieve our maximum capacity in times where we need to prove to ourselves that we are worth everything. Mental health allows us to motivate ourselves in times of hardship and arduousness. Mental health allows us to understand ourselves better than anybody would ever know. Mental health allows us to be who we are.
Mental health has so much value that it is priceless, yet there is so much misunderstanding over it and it's passed off as something where you are vulnerable to nothing but illness. Illness is not the singular element that mental health narrows down to. Of course, nobody has the ideal mental health; none of us have all 6 criteria- autonomy, mastery of environment, self-attitudes, personal growth, integration and accurate perception of reality. But we were never meant to. Our mental health is designed to be healthy and positive, not ideal, unrealistic and perfect.
Mental health has so many positive connotations, not just negative. Mental health should not have to be solely a negative thing. Mental health lets us live the way we want to. It's our freedom.

"Happy Days"


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Occasionally, life really starts to become more of a burden than anything else. Waking up becomes as much as a chore as having to vacuum an entire household. When life becomes a burden, everything you think, feel and do suddenly becomes pointless and futile. Your outlook on the futility of life becomes apparent in the effort you put in to day-to-day activities and tasks. It becomes apparent to people who surround you. It becomes apparent to you. You realise that this isn't the way you are and the way you want to be.
In my time, I think that anybody can get themselves out of such a hole. Everyone, deep down, has that drive and determination to get out of feeling so down and hopeless. Nobody should be born to feel that their whole life means absolutely nothing to themselves or to anybody else. Everybody deserves to value themselves and define their worth and be happy and optimistic about life.
So, if you wake up one morning and feel absolutely rubbish, take a moment to remember that you are worth so much and that what you think, feel and do matters so much. A world without you and your happiness isn't a world where your family and friends would want to live in. A world without you and your happiness lacks you and your happiness.
You get one life, and that should be lived with the most satisfaction and pride and joy that you could ever envision, because this life is yours, and only yours. Each day, each week, each month, each year is what you make it. It should not just be a new chapter every year, but a new chapter every day. One bad day should never dictate the next 6, or 30, or 364. One bad day should just be one bad day.
Nobody is saying that you aren't allowed to have the odd bad day, but believe me, your life deserves to have as many happy days as you can possibly have, and only you can allow that to be the case. Endless happy days.

"More than what meets the eye"


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People think that they can understand someone who is going through a mental disorder, as if they do not need to undergo it themselves or see someone so close to them undergo it in order to comprehend the sheer pain and internal suffering of one going through such a thing.

Simply put: if you have never been through mental illness or have seen someone so close go through that, then you haven't the faintest idea. You won't know what it is like to fall asleep on a pillow soaked up in your tears, or know what it is like to bottle all these overwhelming emotions up until you lash out at someone, or what it is like to have to resist harming yourself because of the promises that you made to people you love (as meaningless as those promises were to you, they were most meaningful to the people who you promised).

If only people could stop thinking that it takes one motivational speech or one talk out of feeling such lows. If only people could use their bodies to hug and hold instead of their mouths to utter words that are repeated so often that they become effectively futile to the ears of the mentally suffering.

Sometimes, when you want to comfort someone who has gone through so much that they feel like they have been reduced to a crippling mental state of mind, it's best to remain speechless. Sometimes, holding a person and hugging them tight and not letting them go whilst their pour out all their emotion at once and release their tension is all that is necessary. Telling them you are there for them and ready to listen whether it is midday or midnight. Loving them through all their pain so that they know that they can be loved through their pain and anguish and restore themselves back to normal.

"An analogy"


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Compare a mental illness to 3 people stuck in a hole, with one person needing to leave the hole more urgently than the other two, perhaps because they have claustrophobia and the hole has very limited space.

The claustrophobic person will have to do most of the legwork, by pushing themselves up out of the hole using all the strength and might in their arms and lifting the whole of their body above the whole in order to reach overground. After getting out of the hole, they will be panting heavily, sighing in relief and tired. But they will be glad they got out of that hole.

Now, the two people that helped that person get out of the hole gave all of their own strength together to lift up that claustrophobic person out of the hole. They boosted that person so that they could get to the top, and when they see the person safely at the top, they smile and cheer in happiness.

The claustrophobic person now thanks the other 2 people in the hole b getting them out, by lending a rope to them to anchor themselves on. The remaining 2 people get out of the hole too, and now everybody is safely out of the whole, and they choose to get shovels and fill up the whole so that can't be repeated.

Now... compare that to a mental illness. A person using all their mental strength to alleviate themselves of their mental illness, with people close to them helping them to combat it. Over time, the person would hopefully be more content with life, and have these 2 people to thank for what they did, by being there for them when they need it. The burying of the hole symbolises leaving that terrible past behind them, and preventing that from happening to themselves again, but they also learn from their experiences.

"The Recognition of Mental Health"


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It's ironic how physical health is talked about so much more purely because of the fact that it is so much more apparent. But for people that suffer mentally, if they could paint you a picture or if there could be some sort of visual representation in order for one to see what it was like to live with a mental health issue, it wouldn't be so pretty.

The deal with mental health is, it can be so easily concealed because of the fact that it is up here, encased in our skulls, which are wrapped in layers of skin and epidermal layers. Even our brains physically could never show what we think and feel. Nothing could really visually show you what people think and feel. Only words.

But sometimes, not even words are good enough to describe to you what sort of turmoil one goes through on a day-to-day basis. Nothing could do justice to the thoughts and feelings one has, nothing at all. Maybe that is why mental health is so much harder to comprehend that physical health.

For something that impacts 1 in 4 people annually, it is rather surprising how little mental health issues are truly discussed in the general public, compared to physical health. It is not to say that physical health does not deserve as much recognition as it gets, but surely mental health should have the same level of recognition? So many physical health concerns arise from mental states of mind, so could it not be said that the mind and the body are interlinked and so the health of both the mind and body are interconnected as well?

Mental health deserves to be spoken about and people deserve to be educated on such a vital topic in today's society, or it will only ever remained hidden away and people will only suffer because they don't understand themselves about the mental affliction they feel within their minds. One day, I hope the world takes this on.

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