We tend to over complicate our lives, overthink and focus on the bad things that happen instead of embracing them and moving forward. I can tell you right now that I used to be an over thinker – in fact I still am an over analyser of all things from what to eat for breakfast to reading into text messages too much, but every day I am trying to change this because frankly it’s not good for my health. A year and a half ago I became really unwell and I decided to make some changes in my life and just become a more positive and happier person.
1. Don’t care about what people think.
This was the hardest one for me. It’s so easy to be manipulated by people’s opinions, but what you’ve got to do is look at yourself and be happy. If you’re happy with yourself other people’s opinions don’t mean sh*t. We live in a world where everyone judges everyone, accept that, but don’t let it limit your life in any way because of others.
2. Skip the news.
I stopped watching the news over a year ago now. I’m a writer so that might not make sense, but I did it regardless. The news bombards us with a negative stream of information, but this doesn’t mean I’m ignorant. If something really bad happens I’ll find out about it via social media or friends, I don’t need to watch the constant overload of negative things happening in the world. There are a lot of bad things happening in the world, but there are a lot of good things too, why don’t people broadcast those things?
3. Turn negatives into positives.
Every time I have a negative thought I take that and turn it into a positive one. I focus on the positive aspect for example: Instead of saying “I don’t like my hair today, it’s so frizzy”, I say, “My eyes look so big with my winged eyeliner today!” < It’s that simple! You won’t change your negative thoughts overnight especially if it’s habitual for you to make them. But studies show that you can actually change your brain – it’s called neuroplasticity. You’ve just got to be persistent to get results.
4. Accept where you are in life right at this moment.
You’re meant to be exactly where you are in your life at this time. Have a vision and set yourself goals, but don’t make a timeline and then disappoint yourself when it doesn’t happen. When I was younger I thought I’d be completely sorted by the time I turned 25. I’d have my dream job, a house, a husband and a kid on the way – the whole shebang. I’m 25 now, I’m still working on getting into my perfect career, my knight in shining armour hasn’t found me yet and I can’t even imagine having a child right now – I can barely take care of myself! And that’s okay. I am meant to be where I am right now and everything will fall into place when it’s supposed to.
5. There’s no perfect.
Okay, so there is no such thing as a perfect partner. That doesn’t meant to say you can’t come close to it, but definitely throw your checklist away because it’s not doing you any favours. In fact, it’s building up a ‘perfect’ image in your head that nobody can even come close to. As long as you find somebody you get on with, laugh with, enjoy your time with, someone who loves you with all their heart and wouldn’t change anything about you, never let them go. That’s love. (And this doesn’t mean settle – NEVER settle for anything in life! Never do anything half-heartedly unless you’re okay with being half happy.)
“He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.” – Bob Marley
6. There’s no magic pill.
There isn’t a magic pill that will make you less stressed or that will sort your life problems out in an instant and you’ve got to stop believing that there is. If you’re stressed, take a step back and incorporate meditation into your life (trust me, it’s scientifically proven to de-clutter your mind. Check out Headspace). If you want to be rich don’t just play the lottery every week and wallow when you don’t win. Do something you love, work hard and put everything you have into it. Not only will you get the pay check, but you’ll also be happier doing what you love. I’d rather do nothing and be happy than spend the rest of my life doing something I don’t love.
7. Be grateful.
We are so fortunate and when we’re wrapped up in our lives we sometimes forget it. Wake up every morning and write down three things you’re grateful for. It might sound cheesy at first, but by doing this you will start your day with a positive mindset. Honestly, you’re going to die, we all are. Don’t let this scare you, let it be your motivation to move forward and drive you through life. I use the Five Minute Journal, but even writing three things down in a plain notebook every morning works!
- I am grateful for the fresh air I breathe
- I am grateful for waking up with a healthy body and mind
- I am grateful for all the love I give and receive
8. Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
Stop being the victim. Stop beating yourself up and stop the excuses. Life’s hard. No sh*t, but if you dwell on the hard times you’ll just be a miserable person that nobody wants to be around. Fit in a gym session before or after work, eat healthy and smile more. Don’t say you’re putting on weight or that you have no friends and that the reasons are because you don’t have time to exercise or socialise. Stop complaining and make things happen.
9. Everybody has baggage.
We all have baggage. We’ve all been hurt by somebody in the past and we’ve all hurt somebody too, but don’t carry all these negative feelings around with you and make that the focus on your new relationship – you’re just setting yourself up for a bad journey ahead. No two people are the same so trust them; believe in them and who knows they might prove you right. Give people a chance.
10. Confidence is sexy.
We all have “fat” days and we all have things we don’t like about ourselves. Maybe it’s our short legs or our bingo wings. If you can change something – for example exercising to tone your butt or build your biceps, do it. If it’s something you can’t change, like your height, just accept it. People are attracted to confident people. Confidence is sexy. Be sexy. Be the best version of you.
11. Be in the present.
It’s easy for us to look into the past and regret things we did or we didn’t do, but why? You’re just making yourself unhappy. Stop wallowing in what you could’ve done better and make your present as good as you can. Focussing too much on the past and even the future will just stop you from enjoying the present. Practice mindfulness; be right here, right now without wanting things to be different in the moment.
12. Have a vision.
Thinking too much about the future will cause anxiety – believe me, I’m speaking from experience, but you do have to have some kind of vision as to where you’re headed in life. Have a few goals, but don’t think things will happen in the exact way you’ve imagined it. Things change, be open to this and if things pan out a little differently, know that it’s the right thing that has happened.
Life is short so enjoy it and do the things you love and spend time with the people you love. Sometimes you’ve got to be okay with not being okay, and that’s okay! Remember, it’s not what you do in life you regret, it’s what you don’t do in life you regret.