Fourth Estate/Allison Alberty


With midterm season almost ending and colder days beginning, we see stress, anxiety and seasonal depression on the rise. This is a letter of encouragement to hang in there and believe in yourself. For those of us connected to Mason, take advantage of the vast campus resources to stay engaged and to shake off that stress.

Let’s be real. Have you ever blamed people or circumstances for challenges in your life? It might not have felt relieving. The energy of criticism, complain and comparison stays within you. Now, have you met someone–a life partner, a mentor or an acquaintance that said something or looked at you in a way that instantly uplifts you? 

There are two sides of energy that are percolating in the current global environment. One is pulling us down into a rabbit hole, the other is lifting us toward our inner goodness. The question is, what thoughts do we feed–wasteful thoughts or positive thoughts?

All of us have cried in our lifetime for various reasons such as disappointment, trauma, and expectation. In the current world of degradation, we see emotional leakages when we feed our attachment, lust, greed, anger, and ego–ALGAE–as explained by Sister Dr. Jenna, a global spiritual mentor, author, radio and TV personality. When we forget who we are, we lose our self-esteem. We start to thrive upon externalities. 

When we don’t get what we want, we lose hope and develop doubts about our capacities to perform certain actions, to think in a particular way to help others. The words stress, burnout and exhausted, become more embedded in our everyday vocabulary. When we come across solutions, wellness programs and counseling resources, our inner ‘stuckness’ doesn’t allow us to see the value in them. Why? ‘I don’t have time’, we said. However, a tipping point comes when on the cusp of mental fatigue. If we don’t seek help, depression begins to seep in.

Well, what is the answer, you ask? Before you go further, congratulate yourself for coming this far. Now, a positive turning point begins when you start believing in yourself, and in your physical and mental capabilities. Obstacles come not to stifle you, but to show there’s more power within you. Awaken yourself to your skills and accomplishments. This has a ripple effect by allowing others to be inspired too. 

This elevated attitude will make life even more beautiful every step of the way. Stand up for yourself with the intention of doing the right thing. Cooperate and uplift each other. Interact with the best of each other. When you get knocked down, ask yourself: Is my thinking and my doing contributing towards human goodness or is this feeding the not-so-good part in me? Then, the choice is yours. 

To conclude, life brings challenges and we have tools to cope with them–inner strength, a good social circle and lessons learned from past experiences. What if we treat it like a game where we get better at recognizing and dealing with each challenge that comes our way? Takeaway: remain unshakeable no matter what is happening around you. You are stronger.  

Check out more well-being resources on campus: https://wellbeing.gmu.edu 

My favorite interview series on various topics surrounding well-being: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfEac9_-Od2ITWLQdZ6Nhhtjc6dmNDcvb