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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at JMU chapter.

If you’ve read some of my other articles, you’ll definitely recognize some common themes of self-recognition and self-work. Life is not necessarily about finding yourself, but more about creating yourself. There are so many fluctuations when it comes to emotions though, that it can be relatively easy to lose sight of the things that matter right now in the day-to-day aspect of life. SO! With that said, let’s talk about mental health awareness.

The World Health Organization defines mental health as, “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

But what does that mean? Simply put, it means that we are in a state of being where we believe in ourselves enough to process and reflect on instances in everyday life, while also being able to prepare ourselves for the bigger picture events as well.

Not everyone handles situations the same way. But, that’s ok. Not everyone experiences the same emotions the same way. But, that’s ok. And not everyone wants to address problems on an individual basis. But, that’s OKAY!

However, being aware of how we personally experience, adapt, and perceive emotions, actions, and happenings is a HUGE step towards personal happiness. The first step in reaching this goal of personal happiness is separating what has actually happened, what might happen, and what did not happen. Scenarios can help us to prepare for things if they do happen, but life is too short to spend it worrying about the “what-ifs.”

Our personal mental health can have large effects (both positive and negative) on people around us. It can help some to realize that they’re in a similar position, and it may even give them the strength to find a system that works for them. However, it can also be a bad thing for those people who are constantly trying to save you from yourself.

Alright, so the real question is: How do I get to a better mental state if I’m not happy in the current one??

The answer? You have to figure out what’s right for YOU. The way that I process, perceive, and experience things is not even the same as my parents. And they gave me life! I can’t explain why it’s so different other than saying the fact that if we were all the same, we wouldn’t have these things to talk about in the first place. The other thing to remember is, we get caught up in life. We get caught up in the reasons and rationale behind things, when sometimes there is no reason or rationale and stuff just happens.

I will leave you with a very important piece of advice—We cannot control others, we can only control ourselves. When we feel that we are out of control of our emotions, it is time to find out what is causing our doubt, anxiety, frustration, concern, or anything else we may be feeling. It is time for us to do inner reflection in whatever way is beneficial or supportive to our personal growth and needs as individuals. We are not the same, but we are compassionate if we allow ourselves to be. So, be compassionate to yourself. Believe that you are worth the time it takes to make yourself better, faster, stronger.

But most importantly, there is no label required for whatever you are dealing with, because it is your own. You are who you want to be and you can be whomever you want to be in the future. You’re special because you believe you are, not because someone says so.

Have you ever thought "Am I the only one who..."? I'm sure you have, and I promise you're not. Live the life you love. I don't take things too seriously, because life is too short to be so obsessed with what everyone thinks of me. I became a writer so I could say what everyone else is thinking. I believe that treating others the way you want to be treated means you will never have to regret a decision you make. I make mistakes, but that's what makes great articles!