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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Boston chapter.

How speaking kinder words to myself helps me out of funks.

As young adults, reaching this point in our lives can be a turmoil of events and emotions. So much to the point, we have days where we can’t help but want to scream at the world and say ARE YOU DONE? The pressure to be the best gets real, responsibilities get larger, and relationships become vital life lessons. That being said, I salute us, because even with these hardships, we strive on. Sometimes we don’t even know how, but we find the little fuel we have left inside of us to create sparks still. And it’s like magic…the power of how much we hold within ourselves.

Nevertheless, every so often these problems can come all at once. When you dodge one, another comes left, right, and next thing you know you’re in this dark hole you didn’t anticipate yourself to fall in. When this happens, the feeling of hopelessness inevitably comes to us, and finding ways to combat it becomes a crucial life skill. More specifically, finding a non-harmful, kind coping mechanism is our best friend. In this article today, I will speak about the power of words and how affirmations are more than cheesy little phrases.

Going back to the feeling of hopelessness, how can one combat this intense feeling of despair? In other words, how can I get out of bed when I don’t want to because I’d rather sleep the pain away? How can I find it in myself to feel beautiful when I hate what I see when I look in the mirror? How can I ever find love if I can’t even love myself? I am listing examples of feelings that come up when we feel defeated and can’t find anything to make ourselves feel better. The answer to these questions is, you force yourself to say something nice to yourself at the moment because you want to combat self-sabotage. The truth is when you’re in a funk, there’s no bigger enemy than yourself. Therefore, it’s important to practice being self-aware of your thoughts when you bully yourself. I speak on this from my own experience and will share an exercise I’ve done recently to help me kick depression when it wants to get the best of me.

The exercise I like to do is called emit and reject. It’s a combination of letting myself excrete whatever I’m feeling in the moment and then reflecting on that experience by writing myself a letter commending how proud I am for being strong. This is something I came up with one day when I was having a panic attack in a school setting, and suppressing my emotions at the moment almost made me throw up. Thus why it makes sense for most of us, including myself, to rather stay home than mask ourselves outside. However, the reason this exercise worked for me in that given moment, and why I continue to do it even at home, is because it allows me to be human. It reminds me I am not the superhuman that society expects me to be, and if I want to cry, hell I am going to do it with no judgment towards myself because it’s normal. Therefore, it’s important to find a safe space, in or outside of your house to let yourself do this. For me, it’s a single-stall bathroom where I can get a little privacy. Or going to the beach where it’s huge and I can find my own secluded space. Then I either let everything out, whether, that’s crying, writing in a journal, or listening to music to help with the suppression of not wanting to let my feelings out. Once I’m done, there’s immediately a weight lifted off of my shoulders, and I reflect on everything I just let out. Then I take out a blank page and write myself a letter of gratitude. If I decide to do this digitally, I use the format of a letter that’s provided on whatever software I’m using and insert a young picture of myself. The young picture to remind me, if I could go back in time and build Stella up again, how would I talk to her? The answer is, with lots of love. We are all deserving of lots of love. 💛

Stella Arotoma

U Mass Boston '23

Hello everyone! My name is Stella, or you can call me Stels, and welcome to my HerCampus page! 🌸😊 I am currently a senior at the University of Massachusetts Boston, majoring in Economics who is joining the writing community on HerCampus in hopes of contributing fun, helpful, and relatable pieces, to hopefully bring a smile or tear to your face. Topics I will be touching on will be self-love, story times, music recommendations, and improv poetry that gets me by on daily basis. Thank you for stopping by, and happy reading!