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How far have we taken the idea, and placed importance on “true happiness?”
We all buy into a false ideology of what makes us “happy.” People choose their own idea of happiness, whether that be material things, drinking and taking drugs, traveling to never come home, sleeping with people, or earning money. Materialistic items, sleeping around, taking drugs, drinking, having lots of money, and running away to other countries in the hope to find yourself doesn’t work out quite as rock and roll as people would hope. There’s no real substance to “true happiness” through any of these things. This is the type of artificial happiness that the media and society here in the UK has inflated and forced down our throats.
Young people are failing to recognise the connection between being sent into free fall out of this artificial happiness and the detrimental effect it has on their mental health. There has been a recent paradigm shift in the loss of stigma associated and attached to mental health, it should be mentioned here that this is a societal success. However more people are going straight to their doctor at the sign of a sudden change in emotion, or overwhelming feeling. Which in most part is sensible to do. However, with this being said, if a young person is put on medication to treat their mental health illness, whether that be depression, anxiety, anything, it can be a very difficult road to head down. In most cases coming off medication can be easy, but this is not always the case.
Young people need to expect that feeling rubbish when being broke, lonely, hungover, and tired are all “normal” feelings. It must be exaggerated that clean living, exercising and taking yourself “out of the loop” are vitalities to avoid the downward spiral most people experience. Life is pretty shit. Life is full of shit half of the time. Awful things will happen to you, without warning, without explanation, without any control on your part. Fill the other half of life with things you want to do. Being selfish is important. I’m not talking about being selfish in all aspects of life, just the area’s that you can be. Recognition that others may not be as fortunate to be in the same position as you, and helping others will always in turn help accumulate positive vibes in your life. Stop hanging in the streets at night and give a hand to those sleeping in the street at night. We’re always told that being selfish is the worst thing in the world. It isn’t. Ignorance is the worst thing in the world. If you are ignorant and selfish, this is problematic. Do things you want to go and do, change the things you want to change, get the job you want, surround yourself with the people you want in your life. Only you can make these changes that you need. It is only you who can identify and alter elements in your life. We don’t see our politicians sent into emotional self destruction after their private life is exposed in the media. We don’t hear about our icon’s drug addictions until they’re dead.
“I’m going to find myself." The overheard phrase of many students traveling abroad for the first time alone. No matter where you travel to, or how far you travel, an investment in the bid to find something that isn’t actually lost is wasted. With the exception of those who are physically missing people, branding yourself as “lost” is just an excuse for the uncertain state of mind you’ve found yourself in. Again, an intense year crammed full of self indulgence, blissful ignorance and stress is certainly to blame. Going to a poverty stricken country, and getting on a plane and flying far away--you will not find yourself. You will find real people. You will find starving children, murder on your doorstep, rape and sexual abuse, new babies deformed from their mother’s drug abuse throughout pregnancy, and broken communities. We often forget the world can be a horrible place. These experiences will help shape a new outlook on the way you approach life, imprinted in your memory. This being said, it cannot be held accountable for all travel experiences. Certainly for most, their outlook changes, they return home the same person they left, but having a priceless tough reminder not to be a dick to people that love you.