1. Every time you wake up, before you reach for your phone, just think, I’m alive.
2. When you’re hugging a loved one, give yourself a millisecond or two to appreciate that they are in your arms, right now, smiling and breathing and warm.
3. Remember that just as you are not spending your days fixating on little, insignificant things that other people have said or done – they are not spending their time thinking about you and all of your words and actions either. No one has time for that.
4. Constantly look out for excuses to say “thank you.” It is such an effortless way to remind yourself of all the things you have to be grateful for in your life.
5. Be present. Tell yourself, remind yourself. Over and over again. Be present, be present, be present. Initially, this may feel weird, but eventually, it may help you to get into a mindset of listening and watching for all the little things. The sound of the subway. The smell of the sidewalk when it rains. The goosebumps you get when your friend is telling that story. These are the little, easy-to-miss signs that you are alive.
6. When you catch yourself judging someone and became conscious of it, stop focusing on what it is that you’re judging about them and instead try to figure out specifically why you are doing it. Usually, you’ll realize it’s because of something you see in them that you either wish you had, or something you also hate about yourself. The more you do this, the more aware you’ll became of your internalized feelings and the less you’ll be tempted to judge others.
7. Remember that your body is built up of so many moving parts that function in a certain way every day to get you up and out of bed. You are a walking miracle.
8. Tell people why you think they are great. Their reactions will make you feel good too.
9. When you’re tempted to lash out at someone, pause and give yourself a moment to see if you can sense the logical thinking that rests just beneath your emotions. It will help you determine if you’re in the right to lash out, or if it’s just an impulsive way that you’re trying to address your own feelings about something completely unrelated to this moment.
10. Do not forget, particularly in difficult times, that you’ve made it through a lot of things already that you never thought you would. Trust yourself.
11. Remind yourself to be kind to people, even when they’re not kind to you. Regardless of how they act, your behavior will at least keep that much more negativity out of your being.
12. When you’re tempted to bail out on something – work, a friend’s birthday dinner, a meet up with an old friend, whatever – think about how you’ll feel outside of this moment. Are you going to feel guilty or lazy or restless or disappointed in yourself after it’s over? If so, the high of canceling the plans is not worth it.
13. Remember that you are deserving of love.
14. If you are experiencing anxiety or depression, be loving to yourself, not ashamed of yourself. You are not weak or wrong or broken for going through something like this. You are strong, and you just happen to be facing a burden that millions of other people undergo, too. Don’t let anyone, including yourself, ever make you feel ashamed for going through this. Save that energy for getting yourself some help, in whichever form you need it.
15. When you make a mistake, give yourself a few moments to dwell on it, obsess over it, feel frustrated over it. Then think about why it was a mistake, and how you can learn from it, and how to avoid it next time. And when you’re done, move on, let it go, and remember you’re human.
16. Admit it when you’re proud of yourself or of something you’ve done. You can do it quietly, in your own head. Just make sure you do it once in a while.
17. Tell yourself you can do it, whatever it is. Sometimes you will fail. But there’s no point in trying in the first place unless your brain gives you the freedom to start with some confidence and positivity.
18. Remember that you will never be perfect.
19. Hold yourself to the standard of being a source of goodness for others.
20. Believe that you deserve to be with someone that treats you with love, respect, and kindness.
21. Believe also, that you can be whole without a significant other. You can certainly be stronger and happier with them, but they are not the source of your sense of self and they never can be.
22. Remember, always, that happiness is a state of being, available at all times.
23. Never forget that love is surrounding you on all sides. And that sometimes it’s hard to feel, because sometimes you have to be the one to seek it out instead of always letting it find you. Just remember, it’s there.