Have you ever asked yourself, “Am I normal?” In today’s era, lots of us do not feel as though we fit in. Some of us are shy, some of us are anxious, some of us have lived through trauma, and so on. Humans are fragile beings, and the word “normal” easily shakes us to our core.
What if I told you, there is no such thing as “normal”? Without invoking the “everyone is unique” cliché, we are all built differently, and we all live in the same era, but differently. Nevertheless, many of us have strong similarities concerning our mental health. Ah, “mental health,” the most fragile subject of them all. We fight through our obstacles differently, and it is normal to do so. In today’s blog, I will remind you that you are not alone, and that problems were created to provoke solutions.
For those of you who follow me on Instagram, I created a short “yes/no” survey in September. The results were awakening! They reminded me of how little we see our problems, and they often slowly build up without us noticing. I am aware that I did not share this survey with a great number of people, but there were about 30 to 40 answers to them, which gives us an idea. Enough with the gibber jabber, let’s get STATISTIC!
Are We Normal?
Posting vague but simple questions made it easier for me to trace a portrait of our generation. “Have you ever felt depressed or not fully yourself?” A bulky 92% of responders answered with “yes.” I could not vote in my own Instagram surveys, but this applies to me, too. To you, reading this blog, how do you feel about this? In my personal experience, downfalls are the way to see further up. Society puts an immense amount of pressure on us, whether it is about financials and politics, or the way we look, dress or act. We are often scared of what others think, and that creates lots of unneeded self-doubt. It is important to take a moment away from society, including social media, to take some time for ourselves, to reflect on ourselves and remind ourselves that we are okay. I was glad to see that 88% of my responders do take some time for themselves, because that is a key point to growing as person and understand who we are. It is okay to not be okay. I repeat, it is OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY. Whether it is seasonal changes, constant stress, or you are just not in a good place right now, it is okay and it will get better. Easy to say but hard to believe, I know, I have been there, and I do go back there, sometimes. Yet, that is what makes us human, this is what makes us NORMAL. Oh! “Normal.” Normality is not a trait, nor is a way to be or a standard to live up to. Fact is, we all have a body and emotions, which ultimately characterizes us as “normal.” Then again, I do not want to insist on the definition of normality, as this blog is not meant to be a philosophy 101 course.
One last “push and shove” before I get into the uplifting part of this blog: Toxic surroundings. I am pretty sure we have all known one person whom we thought was a positive pillar in our lives, even if all the red flags surrounded them. Whether it is a family member, a friend, a co-worker, a boyfriend/girlfriend (or ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend), and so on, some of us are just not compatible. Yet, it is often around these people we feel the safest, as we breathe the toxic fumes that compel us into feeling fine. These people are usually the hardest to leave, as we have often had them in our lives for a while. A whopping 67% of followers who answered my poll said that they would let this person, or situation, go. It is not as easy as counting sheep, but this action generally leads to immense self-awareness and gratitude. You feel grateful for going through that situation, because you can now detect the toxic signals more easily. You feel ultimately aware of the weight that has been lifted off your shoulders, as this person or situation has become a burden, even if it was not intentional.
Feeling better about ourselves does not happen overnight, nor is it a miracle brought to us after a wish upon a star. Confidence, self-respect, and a positive mindset are built from countless hours spent working on ourselves. According to some fellow Alowa ambassadors, a good mental health occurs when you are at peace with yourself, who you are, who you have become, and who you want to be. It also implies a decent life balance between work, relationships, family, school, and yourself. Stability is not an easy state to accomplish, but it is doable if it is what you desire. Of course, once you discover the perfect algorithm to balance out your life and its external factors, you must maintain it at all costs! We constantly work on ourselves, and we always will, indefinitely, as life is full of unexpected events, and we sometimes need to adjust ourselves to these twists. How to maintain this adequate mental health, you may ask? It varies from one person to another, according to different external factors, hobbies, schedules, etc. Some activities, such as exercising, will stimulate your senses and increase your dopamine levels as you sweat out the negative energies. Other more relaxing activities may simply include spending some time alone and appreciating these self-caring moments or interacting with your loved ones. Dedicating time to your hobbies is a must, as this will help you get back to your roots and stay grounded. Most of all, if you are not feeling well, talk about it. Whether it is to a close one or a professional, we sometimes need an extra push to get back on track and to continue fulfilling our journey.
We are never who we were yesterday, nor a year ago, and even less who we were five years ago. Change is good, and even if some changes may seem overwhelming and out of place, they are most often the changes that create who we are, today.