Madison Childers

Where you live and who you surround yourself with is an important part of finding happiness. Sometimes you may not realize how much it can affect your mood until you get out of a bad environment.

If you find yourself constantly feeling really down and nothing is helping your mood, you might need to get out and find something better. Recently, I have completely changed my mood just because of where I live now. I moved into a new apartment and never realized how miserable the previous environment was making me until I was gone.

You don’t have to find a new apartment or house like I did, but your surroundings can really change your mental health. If you have someone who is constantly putting stress onto your life, then you should consider taking space from them. You have to live your life for yourself, not for anyone or anything else, because you are the only constant in your life.

Toxicity can expand from the people you may be around. The place you live in or work at can be factored into stress as well. However, you do not have to stay in one place forever and just deal with it. You are allowed to leave when it gets to be too much for your mental health. Life is supposed to be lived happily. Stress will naturally occur, but it should not take over your life. Stress will cause you to be overwhelmed, affect your immune system and can even make you an overall unhappy person.

Finding your own happiness can be a mix of different things, but something new can be just what you need during rough times. Only you know how to make yourself happy, and only you can change that for yourself. You cannot rely on other people or things to fix that for you.

Keep an eye out for red flags of toxic people and environments. When someone or something is making you anxious to be there, that is when you should leave. If someone close to you is telling you that you have changed and seem unhappy, take that as a sign as well. Take a step back from where you are in life and see what could have changed your attitude towards things.

Eventually, you have to stop hiding from tough situations and face them head-on. Facing them is the only way you can change your outlook on your life and start taking control of your emotions.

Sometimes you need a reminder to pause, breathe and evaluate your personal situation. Pay attention to the red flags that people, your work or your living environment give you. Think about what is best for you because, at the end of the day, you have to prioritize your feelings over anything else. You cannot let situations make you feel guilty for doing what is best for you in the long run. So, here is your reminder to take a step back, breathe and look at what is truly bothering you. How can you fix it?

Madison Childers is a junior majoring in journalism & electronic media. She can be reached at mchilde7@vols.utk.edu.

Columns and letters of The Daily Beacon are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Beacon or the Beacon's editorial staff.

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