1. Remind yourself of one positive attribute you possess, each and every day. It might seem like the most overplayed cliché to stand in front of your mirror and recite good traits you have, but it helps foster a more tethered grip on who you are, sans the flaws we’re all prone to nitpick at. Plus, it’s fun to fake interview yourself and inflate the ego a little!
2. Find friends that help heighten the good traits you already see in yourself. The people you surround yourself with say a lot about the person you consider yourself to be. Distance yourself from those who spend time self-deprecating and tearing themselves down. Friends are supposed to be there for you to comfort you in times of need, but also need to be a wholesome and accurate depiction of who you aim to be, so as to not bring about negative opinions from hanging out with the “wrong crowd”. Cliques can’t kill, but they certainly can brand you.
3. Do not bear the weight of the world on your shoulders. There have always been pre-consisting conditions in this troubled world that you shouldn’t trouble yourself with fretting over. Global warming is real, but you cannot single handedly reverse it. Focusing on the individual impact you can have on situations, whether infinitesimal or incredibly huge, will help alleviate some of the impending doom.
4. Similarly, your shoulders are not solely for crying on. It’s amazing that you have a deep and resounding connection with your BFFs and they can always rely on your unwavering support. However, it’s too much pressure to be the only source of happiness in a person’s life. Use those shoulders to carry your head high and set an example for others around you.
5. Pet animals. This one seems pretty self-explanatory, but there’s nothing like unconditional joy from a wagging tail or a little meow. It doesn’t even have to be your own pet- the world is full of animal companions, and that’s something to be happy about.
6. Call your parents. Granted, most kids my age still live with their parents, but as our lives are changing drastically for college, it’s nice to give the folks a ring. Make it a habit to call not out of necessity, but simply because you like to carry a conversation with them.
7. Do one thing a day that scares you. No, it doesn’t have to be tiger wrestling or bungee jumping. Your tendencies to confine yourself in a comfort zone makes for an uncomfortable transition to making friends and opening yourself up. Put yourself out there, and gain some good stories along the way.
8. Smile! It seems almost too easy, right? You can stop pursing your lips and shine those pearly whites. Who knows, you might encourage someone else to do it too!
9. Find a new TV show. I know this seems to be the antithesis of what this has been about so far, but there’s nothing quite like vegging on the couch occasionally and watching a season, or four to relax and unwind.
10. Don’t dwell on the past. There’s a famous saying, “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.” It resonates with me because too often, people are prone to honing in on past mistakes and regrets they wish they could undo. Look ahead to the future and focus on righting wrongs instead of fixating on minor failures.
11. Splurge a little! Retail therapy is one of those things that means an array of different things to people, but it’s okay to fork over a little cash for a fun new experience or a coveted wardrobe must-have, camera, etc.
12. Celebrate accomplishments, big or small. Life is full of milestones (I just graduated high school!). It’s awesome to be happy about hard work and the payoffs that it may bring you.
13. Enjoy unexpected weather. Didn’t pack an umbrella? Jump in the puddles instead. Humidity wreaking havoc on your hair? Break out a fun sunhat and pretend you’re on a tropical beach resort. Life is what you make of it.
14. Spread acts of random kindness. Maybe you harness this mentality in paying for someone behind you in a drive-thru line, or helping carry groceries to a car of a mother wrestling with a stroller. Take the initiative to be kind, and spread kindness.
15. Eat your favorite meal. Simple as that, it’s your favorite for a reason!
16. Don’t guilt yourself into not taking mental/physical health days. This life we’re all leading can be tumultuous and tiresome. You’ll be happier after you recuperate and don’t allow yourself to feel shame in not being 100% all the time-you’re human.
17. Self care is key. It doesn’t have to be lavish spa treatments and a grape leaf fan. Taking time to simply paint your nails or do your hair and be proud of your outward appearance will shine deep inside you too.
18. Love like nobody is watching. We all have blood coursing through our veins, but your capacity to foster a sense of belonging and friendship is essential to happiness. Open your arms and envelop the ones you hold most dear, I guarantee it’ll boost their joy too.