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'You are enough': North Texas twins help tackle mental health crisis with affirming apparel line

The teens say their mom played a big part in how they viewed themselves, so they want to help others reframe their own self-perspectives.

TEXAS, USA — Teens are experiencing the highest rates of hopelessness ever recorded. A recent CDC survey revealed the sharpest increase in youth despair since the agency began tracking the data.

Twins Sydney and Shea understand how dark thoughts and negative speak can impact adolescents. The teens started ‘UPwords’, an affirming apparel and accessories company focusing on improving your mental well-being and training your brain to have an abundant mindset.

Daybreak Anchor Kara Sewell caught up with the Hinckley twins while they sorted through pillows, shirts, and jewelry to process and fill orders. Declarations cover every corner of the twin’s room.

"We started off with the phrase, 'I am enough and so are you,'" said Sydney. 

The 17-year-olds started the affirming apparel and accessories company six months ago. Their workspace already looks more like a warehouse.

"Growing up, we were always taught to be kind to your mind. And our mom always stressed that you need to treat yourself like you treat a friend," Sydney said.

Between school, social media and social situations, Sydney and Shea's self-talk became the enemy.

"We see everything all the time, what's happening in the world, what's happening in our world and academics. And it's getting harder to escape that and take a break," said Shea.

Determined to break their cycle of negativity, the girls' mother challenged them to take control of their inner dialogue.

"My mom, she came into my room with these notecards that said, 'I am capable, I am enough.' And she assigned - or forced - us to wake up in the morning and pick three and say them to ourselves in the mirror," said Sydney. "So we watched ourselves and we heard what we were saying to ourselves."

Building this habit was hard!

"It was like right in the peak of puberty," Sydney said.

The twins can laugh now, but that habit transformed their self-image and how they view others.

"It's honestly a difficult and humbling experience at first because you start to realize how often you're saying negative things to yourself," Shea said.

To counter that, the teens' design affirmations for home and apparel you can use every day to serve as gentle reminders to speak positively.

"When you're not consciously thinking about it, you're consciously seeing it," Sydney said. "Because the positive affirmations are everywhere, you can see it and read them to yourselves and it's better on those days that you don't really want to change your mind."

You can change how you frame your situation.

"It's okay to feel that negativity, to feel sad and to feel your emotions; we're not saying that's bad. We're just saying it's helpful and productive to acknowledge those feelings, and yes, they are valid. But also, how can I use this to help myself and not wallow in this for too long?" said Shea.

"We really hope that you look at yourself and you know that you are enough," said Sydney.

Their positive manifestation platform is backed by science. The Mayo Clinic says there are health benefits to positive thinking like increased life span, lower rates of depression, greater resistance to illnesses and better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of stroke.

Sydney and Shea plan to expand their line to men and kids. You can shop their affirming products at shop-upwords.com

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