10 Helpful Tips To Lead A Happy Life

A (mostly) satirical response to the flood of lists on the internet that think “the top 20 things to do in your 20s” are universally applicable.

1. Wake Up

Open your eyes at least once for the day at whatever time you please. You don’t have to stay awake if you don’t feel like it. You don’t have to leave your bed if you don’t feel like it. It’s your choice how you want to spend your day – so start it off the way you want to (or at least the closest thing to what you want, since external obligations can get in the way of that).

2. Choose your meals

That may seem like an incomplete sentence, but it’s not. To whatever degree you can, choose what you eat. Eat or don’t eat the cheesecake – it’s up to you! And whichever you choose, choose it for you. You get to pick what fuels your body – so make a conscious decision to enjoy your food. If you find satisfaction in eating an organic salad with all kinds of nuts and fruit, then eat it because you want to. Plus, damn…those salads can be real tasty when you make them right. Or you can eat an entire pizza. Seriously, no one is going to stop you other than, well, you.

3. Wear clothes that make you feel

Pick your clothes for how you feel in them, not how you want others to feel about you in them. Let them express how you feel! Or let the express the opposite of how you feel to challenge your own perspective! Or just grab what’s on top if the pile if you feel that fashion isn’t your thing. Dress yourself like yourself. Whatever that means. Even if you feel best naked, you can do that (in certain circumstances, however, you may want to consider the legality of this clothing option).

4. Use your face

If you’re happy, smile. If you’re not happy, you don’t have to smile. Or you can, if you want to try to cheer up. But don’t feel obligated. You have a unique face filled with so many muscles and possibilities for expression- use them!

 5. Connect and Disconnect

Say hi to a random stranger, or walk with headphones in. Spend all day in nature or spend all day on Facebook/(insert hip and trendy social network here). Do both! Change it up! Try one and see if you like it – and if you don’t, then you never have to do it again! They are all valuable and they are all valid. Connect to whomever you want to because you feel the impulse, not just because I told you to.

6. Be absolutely totally obsessed with something

Then change your obsession tomorrow. Feel what it’s like to commit all your energy to something – or try being obsessed with a few things – or even try being obsessed with finding out as many unrelated things as possible! Spread your energy as widely or as narrowly as you please, as long as you control where you put your focus.

7. Be a sponge

Try to learn something new every day, even if it’s only the repetition of something you already know. Learn something about yourself. Learn something about empowering yourself. Learn something about making decisions. Learn how to breathe a little deeper. Or even a little more shallow. Then assess the change. 

You can also dress up as Spongebob Squarepants. That will fulfill this step.

8. Vocalize

Use your voice (verbally or non-verbally) to express yourself. You don’t have to be loud, you don’t have to be quiet. You just have to be you; use your body and your voice to share yourself with the world to whatever degree you feel like it. This is especially helpful to those who don’t read minds.

9. Make choices 

Don’t let things happen for the sake of not making a choice. You can choose to go with the flow. You can choose to plan things. What’s important is that you make a conscious choice of how you want to spend your life. It’s yours. Though the choices are limited by external factors, and sometimes there are no truly desirable options, you will always have a choice. So let yourself make them.

10. Live

Check your pulse. Still going? Good. You’ve got this in the bag. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Nineteen years of trying to figure everything out and this is all I’ve got so far.

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