I’ve had to learn all these within the last year and I wanted to write them down in case they could benefit or encourage someone else…
1. Surround yourself with things that make you happy; from friends to blogs to your bedroom walls. This is more important than one would think. Big things are almost obvious, but little things are just as important. Put inspirational words or your favorite movie characters up on your bedroom walls or in your notebook covers. Watch your favorite movies. Figure out what around you is hurtful and dispose of it or get help to fix it. Unfollow those blogs that just annoy you and you only followed them for who knows why. Mend broken relationships or get away from the people who genuinely try to make you feel bad for liking certain things or who try to take advantage of you. Basically, what surrounds you is important, so know what to keep close and what to let go.
2. Laugh as much as possible. This one is short because it’s very simple. Be as positive as possible and laugh. Learn to laugh at yourself. Laugh at your mistakes and the irony of life. Tell jokes. Figure out your sense of humor and indulge it. Not only can a funny book, blog or tv show make a day brighter but the laughter is chemically amazing for your body. 50 percent of things I watch/rewatch are comedies that I enjoy, so I keep them on a consistent rotation. Just try to laugh as often as possible, it’s good for you.
3. Remember that money mostly buys temporary thrills. This doesn’t mean “don’t ever spend your money” or “only save it for important, grown up things”. This just means think twice before you spend. It can be very thrilling to get new clothes, new games, new accessories and movies but bad aftermath can hurt if you don’t think things through. I know most of us young people have limited incomes, so it really stings to realize you’ve wasted your money once you get home (I know this from personal experience, it’s a real stab to the heart.) It is important to treat yourself, but at least save yourself later heartache by thinking through things before you hit the checkout.
4. Own who you are; your quirks, your skills, your hair and even your faults. Own it all; learn to look at what you consider odd quirks about yourself and embrace them. Own your choices in life, even ones that weren’t great. You couldn’t learn from your mistakes if you never made any. Try not to live in regret for very long; start fresh every morning. If you don’t like something about yourself, stop complaining about it and become more proactive instead. See what you can do make it better; soul search, stop being lazy, determine to be happy in the morning, or just chop your hair off like you always wanted to. JUST DO. SOMETHING. ABOUT IT. Then, once you’re able to own yourself, stop apologize for who you are, to anyone. Enjoy the things you like and learn to not victimize yourself for those things (I’ve had to learn this through my blog.) Basically, don’t be ashamed of you. You’re awesome. So own it.
5. Listen to music. Music is an unstoppable force, breaking through language barriers and generations as one of the most wonderful things in existence. Take advantage of it and keep it close to your heart. Listen to different genres and find favorite songs in each one of them; expand your diet of music as much as possible. If you already know what genres you prefer, then look deeper into them. Find sub-genres that you might not even have realized existed. Listen to music as much as possible; find music that helps you write, helps you study, helps you complete chores or bring out an emotion within you that you didn’t know needed expressing or identifying. Dance to it, play it, breathe it in. It’s the audible life booster.
6. Acknowledge change. Uncertainty is a shadow that will follow us forever. I have never liked change and I will never be able to always be happy when things I like change, but I think the key to happiness in this area is to just except that nothing ever stays the same for long. The sooner we register in our heads that everything is temporary in one form or another, the happier we can become. Of course, this doesn’t mean we live in fear all the time. Just learn to take life one day at a time. When things change, you might not be cheering about it but at least it didn’t completely blindside you either. Acknowledge that it hurts, catch your breath, and then search for the roses within it.