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I’m Feeling Lighter & Happier … But Am I Going To Jinx It?

Our mindset drives us, and overtime, it becomes who we are. It becomes so embedded in us that we forget our mindset is malleable; we can mold and shape it however we like with the correct amount of effort. In reality, no one dictates our mindset other than ourselves, and it is something that is constantly growing- similar to our bodies. Whether it be due to evolution or cultural influence, our mindset is our eyes to how we perceive ourselves, others, feelings and the world around us. It is something that must be prioritized, because if not properly taken care of, it can negatively affect our day to day actions and words.

The question is then asked, what factors make a long lasting impression on our mindset? Personally, I struggle a lot with superstitions, and I always assumed I was the only one. That is, until some of my friends mentioned they felt the same way. For instance, whenever I feel happy or some sort of joy, I always remind myself that this feeling is temporary, and I shouldn't speak about it out loud or recognize it, since I am scared of jinxing the feeling. On the other hand, when I feel anxious or upset, I verbally recognize it and cope by ranting. There is a clear disconnect here. Why do we validate the negative emotions and fail to give enough credit to the positive emotions? We are the ones in charge of how we perceive the accomplishments and hardships, yet we have a tendency to permit ourselves to truly feel the hardship rather than basking in the accomplishments and well deserved joy. I always felt like the universe was against me, and for the longest time, it felt like in every aspect of my life,I was being knocked down. It took me a while to realize that this was my subjective perception of my life, and not my exact reality. The universe is not after you. 

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A lot of us constantly hear about fixed versus growth mindset. I used to roll my eyes whenever I heard someone say this, but in the last few months, I can honestly say that this is all I think about. I reflect and try to change my mindset when I know I am only thinking of issues and events in one way. I can see this change in my friends as well, and I cannot help but wonder if this is all part of the journey to true, independent adulthood? Graduating, moving to a new place, getting a new job and making decisions about a long term relationship are all very new situations to people in their early 20s, and they also require a lot of mental energy. It seems like we prefer to prepare for the worst when it comes to major life milestones, because we do not want to endure more hurt and disappointment in the future. This is a toxic cycle because it makes us fixate on the possible risks and consequences rather than enjoy what is happening in the moment. The growth mindset is worth it, despite what may happen in the future. 

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Changing how you view the world around you takes a lot of time and energy. But, at the end of the day, it is the effort that is going to make your life a little bit easier, regardless of what may be happening in the background. I take the good and bad days as gifts and as challenges that I can endure and adjust my mindset to. I do this by giving myself love and allowing time for self compassion. Being a bit selfish, taking the hour off to relax or simply disconnecting from the rest of the world are necessities we must take advantage of in order to give time to ourselves. It does not mean we are lazy or bad friends and significant others; it just means we owe it to ourselves to take a break and love ourselves too. I am not the only one with mental setbacks, and neither are you. We are all experiencing tough times, so when you need it and your judgment is clouded, lean on your support system, and try to view the cup as half full. 

Yasmin is a second year student at UCLA. She is majoring in Psychobiology and minoring in Global Health. Other than being involved in Her Campus, she does research at the Semel Institute in Los Angeles and is a member of Flying Sams. She loves reading, binge watching Netflix shows, and painting (even though she isn't great).
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