1. Stop assuming that only perfect lives can be extraordinary. Nobody who did anything worthwhile had a perfect life. “Perfection,” however you perceive it, is a dull pursuit, one that’s always going to be out of reach. And reaching isn’t going to make you invulnerable — the greatest vulnerability is pretending you don’t have any weaknesses at all.
2. Imagining and preparing for the worst possible outcome will not prevent it from happening. Beating someone to the chase in thinking up every last terrible thing about yourself doesn’t theoretically make them believe it less — it just makes you believe it the most.
3. Every time you find yourself sinking over the fact that you just can’t seem to get over someone, imagine the person who came before whom you also swore you wouldn’t get over. Focus on how irrelevant that situation feels, and start taking comfort in the fact that whatever you’re going through now will feel the same eventually.
4. Stop seeing pain as negative, but as a siren or a signal that something’s off (even if it’s simply your mindset about a situation). Pain exists so our illusions don’t get too out of hand. Pain exists to bring you back to reality, to show you something means something. Your hand hurts when you put it on a hot stove so you’ll move it and not lose a limb to fire. Apply that logic to everything else.
5. Walk outside. Lay on the grass for an hour. Get sun. Eat vegetables. You are a being created from the sun and you are nourished by it — it’s a fact that’s lost to us in modern, industrial society. Your body craves natural things. Give them.
6. Let some things be meaningless. Not everything has a significant impact, not everything means something. Most of life is nonsensical even just for the fact that we won’t understand its purpose until well after the fact — if ever. There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s only a matter of learning to be okay with it.
7. Realize that most sexual partners are far more forgiving about your physical appearance than you imagine — and they’re most likely too busy worrying about their own insecurities, not yours.
8. Nobody is as obsessed with what’s wrong with you as you are. Every time you’re convinced the world is plotting against you, when it seems like every last person you know has the same, recurring thought that’s humiliating and awful toward you, remember that people are predominantly just concerned about themselves most of the time — like you are, right now.
9. Stop predicting the future based on your present circumstances and what you’ve experienced in the past. You can only fathom for yourself that which you already feel worthy of — fortunately, in reality, that’s more than you can conceive of. Let things be better than you can imagine.
10. Make a backup plan. Start a savings account in case you lose your job one day. Disperse the emotional eggs you probably don’t realize are already in one basket.
11. Indulge in the little joys in the basic, silly, plain ways they come. In a good cup of morning coffee and a sunny day. These are the only things that matter in the end. Don’t overlook them.
12. Stop waiting for love to solve your loneliness. Relationships don’t fix things. Outside circumstances don’t change you. You change you, everything else follows.
13. Realize that calling someone else “fat” doesn’t make you “thin.” Comparison is something that only makes you either feel a lot better completely unwarrantedly, or a lot worse, completely irrationally.
14. Address what’s wrong. Stop deflecting. Get help if you need it. Get medication if you need it. Needing either of these things is not weakness, being someone who is too prideful to receive help is.
15. Say “thank you” out loud. Say thank you for every little thing you can think to say thank you for, and repeat it as much as you can. You’ll find that after even just a few seconds, your heart will swell a little and your perspective on your immediate surroundings will start to change.
16. Excuse yourself from plans you truly don’t want to partake in.
17. Don’t say sorry for that which doesn’t warrant your apology. “Sorry” has become a reflex, and it deflects from the moments when you truly are sorry. Make those apologies mean more by standing by what you’re not sorry for.
18. Trust yourself over everybody else. You don’t need other people to affirm something for it to be true. So long as you do, you’ll live forever at the whim of their opinions… a place that never lands you on solid, happy ground.