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Choose happiness

Coming from someone who suffers from anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, happiness can be a tough

thing to achieve. It used to bother me when people would tell me to choose happiness and life will be easy. I used to think, “How

can I just be happy when so many horrible things have happened?”

I really didn’t use to think about being happy. The thought that usually crossed my mind was getting through the day and

being strong for my parents. The exhausting thing with mental illness is that you are constantly fighting battles inside your head

and most people don’t understand. However, you can be lucky and find people that do and want to help you.

I sought professional help and visited a counselor because my friends could only help so much. After a short time, I started to

see a difference in the world and, therefore, in myself. The panic attacks were down almost 70 percent and I began to remember,

for the first time in months, what being happy felt like. I didn’t want to let go.

I started doing things for myself. I went back to my old hobbies, like reading, writing, painting, going out with friends and I did

not think of anyone else except myself. This might sound selfish but until you are truly happy with who you are, you can’t help

anyone else.

So, for a while, I was selfish and looking for the best version of myself. I started to have a “YOLO” (You only live once) mindset.

I didn’t care what people thought about me or if they thought about me at all.

The key to happiness is choosing to be happy. It might take a while but I can assure you that it feels so much better than being

sad all the time.

Sometimes you can’t control feeling sad but when you do, just think, “I deserve to be happy.”

For me, anxiety will always be there but I can choose if it’s in the back of my mind, almost forgotten, or if it rules my life.

So, my advice to you is to go and do those things you have been putting off. Go talk to that friend you haven’t talked to in a

while. Watch that movie that made you laugh. Think of yourself and not of what others think of you.

I’m not saying that you will be 100 percent happy all the time but try to look for at least one good thing that truly makes you

happy each day. You are worth it and deserve it.

Most important of all, surround yourself with people that love and care about you and avoid those who don’t.

When you feel down, just think about this quote from the TV show “Doctor Who”: “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good

things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t always spoil the

good things and make them unimportant.”

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