Posted in Anxiety/Mental Health/Stress Management, Helpful, Thoughts

Stand Up to Bullying Day

Bullying has become an unfortunate part of modern culture that we just have to accept and deal with. Many tell stories of how they were bullied in school or college or work. It is relentless and never seems to stop. But today we stand united #StandUpToBullyingDay.

Bullying can take many forms including physical attacks to verbal abuse but we must establish that no matter what form, it is NOT acceptable. It is NOT okay. For example, recently we have just voted in the EU referendum. I have heard a few people tell me they were voting to leave because of the immigrants as if this will automatically shut them out from our society. It won’t!

With the rise of technology, increases the rise of bullying. The young generation of today arguably spent a lot of time on social media. Bullies have sought into this and began to use the internet as another way to get at people. I often wonder what someone must have went through in their life to target another and do anything they can to destroy that person’s happiness. Yes, you don’t have to like everyone. You don’t even need to spend time with everyone, but you DO have to respect them.

Recently I have began to notice that if someone doesn’t like a particular person they may act against them and do what they can to upset that person. This is the wrong way to think. Why should you be in charge of another person’s happiness? Happiness is not for you to control. If you don’t like them and don’t wish to be friends with them, then why not just leave them alone? Instead of spending time fueling hate against them?

In my younger years of high school, I had a big falling out with a member of staff. I made a simple mistake, but instead of owning up to this, I began fueling anger into the situation. I began talking about them behind their back in the hope that they would hear me. I wasn’t well, but that’s no excuse. More importantly – I could have just apologised for my mistake and then moved on with my life. Instead, I wasted months of my time hating her and making things difficult for her when an apology would have just ended the disagreement. I have regretted this ever since and now wish I would of just spoken to her about the issue. Since we did get on before it, we trusted each other and we got on after it reasonably well, just without the trust. I was naive and young, If I could go back, I would of probably of done things differently. Then again, if it wouldn’t have happened, I wouldn’t of became the person I am today.

Why waste days, months, year or even decades of your life fueling hate against other people when you could focus your energy on helping others and making the life of others? You could spend your time working, studying, with people you actually care about, living your life instead.

Bullying is never okay. While you are fueling your anger at other people. Think of what you could be doing to them? They wouldn’t tell you, but they might be going home, crying into their pillows every night. They might be wishing they were dead. They might have family struggles going on. They might be struggling with a mental illness. They might be in an abusive relationship. There are probably over a million or more different scenarios about what this person you don’t like may be going through. You don’t know the full story, you don’t know what they are struggling with. So how does this give you the right to manipulate their weaknesses? It doesn’t!

After I left high school, I lost touch or fell out with most of my friendship group. Now, three years later, I have only kept in touch with two people out of my friendship group. There was one girl who I thought I’d continue to be friends with who then abandoned her school friends for her University friends. People change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst. You will need to accept this. I lost touch with most of my friendship group as I realised that they had not been very good friends. They were only ever there for me when they needed or wanted something. Other than that they were nowhere to be seen.

Pain or stress can make all sorts of people behave in all sorts of different ways. Towards the end of high school, one of my friends I lost touch with decided to start arguments with me just because she could. Around the time of our exams, she started an argument with me publicly over my friends Facebook timeline. She didn’t even have the decency to private message me. I forgave this despite no apology because another friend had a word with me briefly about what she was going through at the time. Then once we left, another argument began. At this moment, I decided that it was better off us not being friends, and me not being in her life. I didn’t see the point being friends if she was going to start regular arguments and leave us both upset. She had me crying myself to sleep some nights with worry for her. I made a decision on what was best for her and stuck to this.

I don’t see the point creating arguments for no reason, targeting people just because they are different or you don’t like them. When I was in my younger years of high school, a girl in my year went as far to send a virus to my computer just so she could see what I had accessed and tell others to make fun of me. She did all that at the thought of being popular. Popularity can be a deadly poison. Some people will stop at nothing to be popular which is unfortunate because they end up missing out on a great deal in life. One of my friends at that time even screwed me over because she was getting the attention from the popular students who only spoke to her for gossip and someone else to laugh at.

I thought and hoped that when I left school things would changed. I hoped that I would have got rid of the kids that like to upset others to become popular. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case. For two out of three of my college years, everything was exactly how I thought it would be. Then this year something changed within our class. A bunch of students got into what you would call a clique. A girl I thought was my friend began blanking me all of a sudden for no reason at all. I just let her go, after what I had been through in school I decided it would be pointless to try to talk to her about it and that I was better off not having anything to do with her.

This clique began to sit in classes in a group and laugh and snicker at those not in their group whenever they spoke in class. They began finding people’s weaknesses and manipulating them to get what they wanted. Unfortunately this divided the class into groups. I was lucky to have another two I could call friends. I ended up witnessing a lot of hurt this year but was glad that I managed not to end up involved in any of it. It went as far to get our lecturers upset and for them and the few of us not in this group to get sick of the class.

Now that I’ve left, I’m glad to be rid of that class setting but I do miss certain lecturers who I hope to stay in touch with. I was lucky that the last three years at college I’ve had the same guidance lecturer who has been a great support to me. He has been there for me whenever needed and hasn’t let me down and I really appreciate this. Just goes to show, there are decent people in this world if you look for them.

Bullying creates a poisonous/toxic atmosphere that isn’t healthy. It causes tension and hate. If more people were to actually stop and think about how their actions could affect someone else then maybe they would see this. Stand Up to Bullying Day is about saying STOP to bullying. It is NOT acceptable and we need to work to change people’s opinions sooner rather than later.

If you are being bullied, then PLEASE speak to someone you trust. I know it can be very difficult, I myself have major trust issues. If you look hard enough you will find someone you can put your trust in, just like I found with my college guidance lecturer. Be it a teacher, a parent, a friend or someone else. Please let others in. Perhaps if I’d have just let in that high school teacher in my younger years I could have saved myself a whole lot of hurt and regret. On the slight chance if anyone had read this far – If you don’t have anyone you feel you can talk to you can email me at I will list some useful resources that you may find useful at the bottom of this article.

If you have the feeling that someone you care about is being bullied then handle with caution. You may just scare them away if you fife off at everyone. Let them know that you are there for them and want to listen when they are ready to talk. Alert them to any resources that you may find useful yourself. Perhaps have a quiet word with a teacher or parent if you have serious worries about their health/and/or mental status.

If you think you are a bully, then also speak to someone you trust. It can be difficult to change your ways. It is up to you to decide the person you wish to be in life. If you look at yourself and don’t like the person you’ve become then maybe its time for change. It can be difficult to make that first step, but having the support of those around you can be a life changing way of changing yourself as a person.

Useful Resources

Posted in Anxiety/Mental Health/Stress Management, Thoughts

You Do You

So today is international happiness day. Yes, there is a day dedicated to being happy. What is happy, you ask? Well, happy is not having to put a fake smile on your face and pretend to be okay. Happiness is getting up in the morning and actually wanting to face the day instead of hiding under your bed sheets. Happiness is many things.

In this day and age it is becoming increasingly common to feel down/depressed. With the constant peer pressure to look or act a certain way, it isn’t a surprise that some people don’t get enough fulfilment out of their lives. Running around day in day out to conform to stereotypes or make others happy is one of the things which wear us down.

This is where I want to say, you do you! You are going to get more enjoyment and fulfilment out of life if you do what you want to do and what makes YOU happy! As long as you aren’t hurting people on purpose and acting with good intentions, then you won’t be criticised for this! We live in a world where it is becoming increasingly difficult to act yourself. The use of the internet makes the whole aspect of bullying worse with the many trolls you can find there.

In high school, you tend to get bullied or picked on for anything and everything that is unique about you. This is where we need to get the world to STOP bringing kids down from an early age. This bullying is causing the young generation of today to grow up feeling worthless. Children get that used to people saying negative things about them that they start trying to blend in with the crowd and start to harbour negative feelings against themselves. After all, we tend to be much harsher on ourselves than we are on other people. To change this we should encourage young school children to see the positive things about themselves and not to pick on others for their negative things. By doing this, I feel we can teach future generations to have more respect for themselves.

One thing I have learnt in the last few years is that if someone is bringing you down and having a constant negative effect on you then bin them. As difficult as it seems, it is much better for the both of you if you part ways. When I was leaving school, a girl I was friends with at the time started an argument with me and said some very hurtful things that upset me despite them not being true. A few months later, another argument occurred and this is where I decided that I would rather not be in someone’s life than to be in their life and arguments occurring often no matter who started it. As difficult as letting go is, once you have done it, life becomes slightly more positive and you feel lighter. You should surround yourself with positive people who bring you up instead of negative people who bring you down.

In life we strive to be happy but unfortunately we can’t be happy all the time. When it comes to career’s, some dream of being a teacher, some an astronaut, some the prime minster and others, something completely different. We go to school to learn, to progress in subjects we have a keen interest in and to discover what we want to do with our life afterwards. There is no unspoken rule to say that you have to decide what you want to do with your life before leaving school. There is heavy pressure within schools on students to study and know what want to do from an early age but what happens if you’re not ready to decide? Take your time finding out what you are interested in and then decide what you want to do with your life once you actually know, don’t rush it!

No matter what your career dream or goals are, make them realistic and something you actually want to do. Some people decide they are interested in a certain career because of money. Pursuing a particular career for the pay check you will receive is a big no. If you chase a job for the money, then you will never find happiness within your career. You will spend your life running around in circles searching for the next big thing with a half empty heart working in an area you don’t enjoy. Pick your career based on what you want to do and once you decide, work your butt off to make your dreams happen. This will allow you to create your own happiness and get the most from life.

Challenge yourself – Challenge is a great way to create your own happiness. Doing the same responsibilities at work day in day out may become boring and dull. By finding ways to challenge yourself, you can keep your life current and exciting. Last year for my college graded unit, I organised and carried out a sponsored abseil from scratch. Even though I had done charity event in the past before, this is something in which I had not previously done. It was a majorly nerve-wracking experience but it pushed me out of my comfort zone which allowed me to see what I could do and that near enough anything is possible. This year I am organising an even bigger event for my graded unit along with two other students. So far it has been a major challenge but I am enjoying it and know it will be worth it in the end. Challenging yourself allows you to push yourself and see what you are really capable of! You then gain happiness out of your achievements made.

Never be afraid to ask for help – Sometimes we all need a bit of help/support in our lives but it can be very difficult to actually ask for this help. If you need help or support, no matter how difficult it is to speak out, try and do it. You are not going to be judges for asking for help. In many situations, those close to you will even be proud of you admitting something is wrong. Many counsellors only need to pass on what you say if they feel you are at risk, so counselling can be easier sometimes than talking to someone you actually know. I myself have always found it difficult to admit when things are going wrong and actually ask for help. Recently I have begun trying to make the effort to talk about my problems and I can honestly say it was a good idea. Bottling up your feelings isn’t good for anyone, it only makes things hurt for longer than they need to. Talking to someone helps many to relieve themselves of the pain going on inside their brain. It could be a good idea to get a box and put inside any nice messages/comments you have received from others or any inspirational quotes you have read. This means that, when you are feeling down, you can revert to this box and read all these positive messages/quotes and be reminded how many people care and to keep fighting.

Having fun – Try to manage your work/life balance. Working too often can cause you to be stressed or down regularly. In school the often pressure received from teachers involve things like “if you don’t put in the work now, then you won’t make anything of yourself.” This is simply not true! You will not get doomed all because you didn’t study at school or failed your exams. This world is constantly changing and evolving and so are you! This means that you have a lifetime to focus on your career. Live in the moment and do what you can for today. Don’t take things for granted and live like there’s no tomorrow but don’t propel yourself so far forward that you are unprepared. If you need a gap year – take it. If you want to go travelling – do it. Do what you want to do in the current moment of your life. It’s all good and fine to have an amazing career, but you shouldn’t have to cut out your social life to do so! Go to see that movie with your friend. Go on that holiday you’ve been dreaming of. It is never too late to have a career!

If you struggle to find happiness then why not try getting a notebook and writing down something every day that makes you happy or makes life worth fighting for. Hopefully from there you can build your everyday happiness!