1. Do not let anyone make you feel like you don’t have worth.
Regardless of where you come from, what your background is, or what decisions you have made in the past, you have worth. You deserve to be happy and you deserve to be treated with dignity. There are a lot of good people out there, but there are also a lot of people out there who are going to try to bring you down. They don’t want you to succeed and they don’t want you to be happy, unless you are less successful and less happy than them. Never allow these people to have a moment of your time. Instead, surround yourself with the people who are going to build you up, add goodness to your life, and want nothing but the best for you.
2. Remember that most of the time, when people are cruel to you, they’re usually just projecting things that they don’t like about themselves.
Don’t be afraid of criticism. It’s important to be self-aware, and it’s important to listen to those you trust when they’re trying to help you make yourself and your life better. But that does not mean that you also have to listen to the people who are merely trying to tear you apart for their own selfish reasons. If someone is making you feel worthless or ashamed or insecure, it’s usually because they’re focusing on a part of themselves that they wish they could change, and they’re taking it out on you. You’ll usually be able to tell the difference, so if someone is merely ripping you apart just for the sake of ripping you apart, distance yourself as much as possible from them, and find someone who’s actually worth your time.
3. Find just one thing to be thankful for every day.
Jot it down in a notebook. Write it down on a piece of paper and put it in a jar. Keep a list on your phone. Or just say it in your head. It doesn’t matter, as long as you’re doing it one way or another. Doing this regularly will help you build up a state of mind that is thankful, grateful, and appreciative. Even on your hardest days, it’s hard to be completely miserable when you remember all of the things that you can be thankful for.
4. Remove unnecessary things out of your life.
Whether that’s negative people or unneeded clutter or stress that you could easily avoid, you will be so much better off if you cut the cord. Stop trying to adapt your life to things that aren’t making it any better and just get rid of them. It will make your life a hell of a lot easier.
5. Stop making decisions according to what other people will think. Decide what you want and go for it.
Keep in mind that most of the time, people are too wrapped up in their own lives to dwell on yours. Even if they do judge you, it will be brief and fast and then they will go back to thinking about themselves. This is not meant to sound judgmental or preachy – it’s just a fact. People have so much going on and so much to worry about that they really don’t have that much time to think about you. It just seems that way. So quit wasting your time worrying about the opinions of people who aren’t even thinking about you, and make the decisions that you actually want to make.
6. Allow yourself some quiet time. Every day.
Walk. Or sit by the window. Light a candle and stare at it for a while. Or just lay in your bed at night before you fall asleep, and think of nothing. Do it all without looking at your phone. It’s difficult to do something like this in a world where we feel like we have to be productive every second of our day. But even if you don’t realize it, giving yourself quiet time is being productive. You’re allowing your mind and your body a chance to unwind, to decompress, to go over the day, to rest, to breathe. It’s worth the effort and even if it’s difficult at first, you’ll get better with practice.
7. Get as much sunlight as possible.
Keep all the shades up when you’re in your apartment. Go outside as much as you can. When it’s warm out, sit on the patio if you’re at a restaurant that allows for it. Never underestimate how much good sunlight can do for your mood and your state of mind.
8. Force yourself to smile, even when you don’t feel like it.
I’m not saying you need to walk around smiling like a creep every minute of your life. Actually, definitely don’t do that. But when you catch yourself frowning or looking upset, think about something that makes you happy, and allow a smile, even the smallest one, to form on your face. You’d be surprised at how easily you can trick your brain into feeling happier this way.
9. Do what you want to do, not what you feel like you should do.
If you want to stay in all weekend and relax, do it. Don’t go out just because you are young and you feel like going out is what young people are supposed to do. On the other hand, if you want to go out and blow off some steam but you feel like you should be responsible, follow your instincts. Do what you need to do to keep yourself happy, and stop trying to live up to some arbitrary standards.
10. Avoid badmouthing other people as much as possible.
Saying bad things about someone else can feel really good in the moment. It’s an instant high. Why? Because you’re putting someone else down and temporarily allowing yourself to forget about the things in your life that you’re upset about. But the high always ends, and you’re still left with the things you’re unhappy about in your life. Instead of wasting time worrying about other people, focus on your own life and the things you have the power to change. An additional bonus is that when you avoid being shady, you also avoid keeping less negativity in your life.