Have you ever read a “motivational” quote that sounded condescending? Some people believe that achieving happiness is as easy as simply deciding to be happy. If that were the case, wouldn’t everyone just choose to be happy? Although everyone is capable of feeling good, becoming happy with yourself is a process. That process varies in length depending on the person, and for some people, it’s a struggle. That’s why I’d like to present the reality of the situation to those who may think that people are always at fault for their own unhappiness.
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- No one else can love you until you love yourself.
Everyone sees themselves and others differently- no one will have the exact same perception of you. The fact that you might not be able to see what a wonderful person you are doesn’t mean that no one else will be able to see it.
The truth: Whenever I hear people say this, I interpret them as really saying, “people are turned off by your lack of self confidence.” People who don’t embrace you regardless of how you see yourself are not worth your time. No one is perfect, and everyone has insecurities. You don’t need people who expect perfection from you.
2. Medication is a “cop-out” to working on achieving true happiness.
People who suffer from mental illnesses can see fantastic results from taking medication prescribed by a doctor. However, some people expect everyone to feel their best without the help of medication. Psychiatric medications are stigmatized- some people feel that they simply mask problems instead of solving them. However, medication can help to get someone in a mindset that’ll allow them to achieve happiness quicker.
The truth: Some people aren’t as capable of producing serotonin as others. That’s why they would be prescribed a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or an SSRI. These medications allow for the brain to utilize their serotonin more efficiently instead of it all being absorbed by receptors in brain cells. Even though people like to think that SSRI’s aren’t necessary for anyone, everyone needs functioning levels of serotonin to feel their best. Medication for depression is similar to insulin for diabetes. Everyone needs insulin, but most people don’t have to take insulin because our bodies already produce it at normal rates.
3. You can wake up one morning and just decide to be happy.
As I said earlier, happiness is a process. You can wake up one morning and decide to work on your self-esteem and outlook, but it isn’t going to change overnight. For some people, therapy and/or medication is necessary to help facilitate progress. Working on boosting your self-esteem involves consciously and consistently reminding yourself of your worth, and being able to challenge your own negative thoughts about yourself. It takes time before someone is actually able to believe what they tell themselves. It’s also hard work.
The truth: Sometimes, people are turned off by the process of boosting their self-esteem because they know how long it may take. It may seem hopeless. People who are reluctant to start that process do not want to live in constant dread, but they might have accepted it as their reality.
Although achieving happiness can be easier said than done when you’re dealing with a mental illness, there is hope for everyone. Everyone is capable of making the most out of their lives. If you’re currently trying to find your own happiness, remember how strong you are for continuing on a journey towards mental wellness. There is no right or wrong way to achieve happiness, but remember that there are professionals available who can help you along the way. You never have to go through it alone.