1. Following/friending people on social media that stress you out.
Of all the things in life to stress about, social media should be last your list. If there’s a Facebook friend whose lies, political ignorance, humblebragging, or selfie posts routinely inspire feelings of rage, you need to cut them loose. Social media may be built upon the premise of superficiality and carefully-orchestrated embellishments, but that doesn’t mean it can’t bring real negatively into your life. It may seem passive aggressive to delete, hide, or mute people, but your peace of mind is worth it.
2. Comparing your life to anyone else’s.
A lot of us are at that age where we’ve been adults for a while, but there are still a lot of intimidating things on the horizon. Comparing where you’re at in life with other people your age never results in anything positive. More often than not, you probably come away denigrating your accomplishments and questioning your choices. No one but you has lived your life, and quite frankly, it doesn’t matter if so-and-so was more privileged or struggled more than you did. Don’t let so-and-sos be the yardstick to which you measure your success or failure.
3. Mourning all the things you haven’t done yet.
When you’re ambitious and your dreams feel bigger than what your hands can grasp most days, it can feel like nothing you do is ever enough. For every one, small victory you tally, you count ten more failures that make you feel as though you’re always going ten steps back trying to keep up with yourself. You can’t fail at something until you’ve attempted it. Do yourself the favor and remember that just because something hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean it never will.
4. Not giving your parents the benefit of the doubt.
Sometimes your parents say things that seem hurtful, judgmental, or particularly harsh. Once in a while, they actually are, but a lot of the time we’re too quick to hold our parents accountable for intentions they didn’t actually have. Remember, their lives were very different from ours, and the world we live in today isn’t the same one they remember at our age. They perceive things differently, and even though I can make from some bumpy tough love moments, their experiences—though different—benefit us. Good intentions sometimes have a way of getting lost in translation between generations.
5. Choosing petulance over patience.
We all want things our way, on our terms, and sometimes we’re entirely too quick to sulk when we should be taking a breath and accepting that sometimes things take time. At the end of the day, isn’t it better to remember all the moments you calmly accepted life’s little inconveniences rather than boxing yourself into a bad mood thanks to traffic, a stain on your shirt, a coworker’s boring story, or a long line at Starbucks?