Life can get stressful; school, work, relationships, money, and almost everything in between can sometimes suck the life out of you. Something that I’ve learned over the past year is that recognizing what stresses you out is the first step at moving forward to be happy. Moving on from those things is the next step I’ve also learned that there is nothing to be ashamed about for doing whatever you need to do in order to be happy. It’s your life and you can make your own choices. I’m going to share with you some tips that I’ve come up with that have helped me become a happier person.
1. Put Yourself First
I always thought that putting myself above others was selfish. I have always been the type of person to care and worry about somebody else’s needs and well being before my own, but I have also always been the person who comforted others and didn’t always receive the same comfort back. Being nice and caring towards others is a wonderful attribute to possess and helping others through rough times can be such a rewarding experience, but losing focus on yourself is not rewarding at all. Getting caught up in other people’s lives takes you away from getting caught up in your own. Your life is important too. Taking time to focus on yourself and have some “you time” is perfectly acceptable. Be there for others, but don’t make their lives yours too. You have your own life to live- focus on your health, your schoolwork, your job, or your hobbies.
2. Focus on the Rewards at School
Being a college student can be extremely stressful practically all the time. Professors expect your full attention and effort for everything you do from papers to projects and even to finals. At some points in the semester, it is common to want to give up and not care about the work you’re supposed to do. Don’t make skipping class a habit even though you’re tired; skipping one class will lead to skipping five and then ten, and soon enough, your professor thinks something horrific must’ve happened to you and asks if anyone has seen you as he/she is taking attendance before each class. Some work seems pointless or irrelevant to what you really want to focus on at school. Always think that your GPA deserves better. You’ll get tired and bored and lazy, but continue to work your butt off. Once the semester is over, your GPA will thank you for working so hard, and you will thank yourself for staying determined to finish out strong. Open your mind and expand your knowledge because you will thank yourself down the road.
3. Quit Your Job
Before I go further with this one, DO NOT quit your job if you thoroughly enjoy it! Loving your job is crucial; therefore, if you don’t love what you are doing, why waste your time doing it? Maybe you put up with it because of the money or even your coworkers, but if your job is not benefiting you positively and you dread every second of it before you even show up, please quit. Working for people who do not appreciate all that you put into your job and are not willing to help you when help is extremely needed, quit. If you have the workload of multiple people all by yourself and your employer expects you to do even more, quit. If you ask for and receive help and then have that thrown back in your face, definitely quit. There is nothing worse than feeling like you do so much for your job and then get nothing out of it other than an offer for a coffee from Dunkin’ but never actually getting the coffee. And there is absolutely nothing worse than feeling alone in your job. A job is not worth losing sleep or losing weight over because of how stressful it is.
4. Take Note of the People you Associate With
We often forget that some people come with a lot of baggage. Hanging out with someone you genuinely get along great with can lead to some of your favorite memories, but if something starts to rub you the wrong way, do not hesitate to distance yourself from that person. If your friend starts to hang out with people who have a bad reputation or people who make you feel uncomfortable because of the things they do, back off and spend time with people who make you feel less on edge. You don’t want to associate yourself with people who have really bad habits because you don’t want others to think you take part in those bad habits. Backing away from people for yourself is NOT selfish either, especially if the other people aren’t benefiting you in a positive way. If you express this to your friend and he/she does not take it into consideration, distance yourself from him/her as well. Drifting away from people is just a way of life and it happens all of the time. Don’t feel as though you owe people answers if you drift away from them. You are who you surround yourself with, so choose wisely.
5. Save Up and Be Content
Being young, it’s so easy to want to spend every penny you own. Most young people work so that they can buy new clothes, new shoes, new accessories and new gadgets, but saving your money can go a long way. There will be times where you do need to splurge and spend some money on yourself; I’m a huge advocate of treating yourself. However, spending money on things that you don’t necessarily need can be such a waste. Before you go to purchase something, ask yourself what you need that specific product for. If you can’t come up with at least 3 reasons as to why you need that product, don’t spend the money. Of course it’s nice to have more stuff to show off to others and to make you feel good about yourself, but it’s also a great feeling when you realize that you are completely okay and content with what you already have and can make the best of it. As you get older, you realize that spending less money is more fun than swiping your debit card at every store you walk into. Once you feel more financially sound, you worry less about money and how much or how little of it you have.
6. Think Positively and Be Grateful
When there is so much stressing you out, it’s easy to have a negative mindset towards everything. You might notice that you’re constantly in a bad mood or taking your stress and frustration out on others around you. Thinking positively is easier said than done, but it does go a long way. Even if downloading an app or buying a little book full of quotes based on positivity can shape how you look at certain situations. Listening to upbeat music with positive lyrics rather than listening to slow and sad songs can also change your outlook on the adversities you are facing. Lastly, take a few minutes out of every day and think about all of the good things that you have in your life. Think of the funniest and happiest moments of your life, think of the people around you who make your days brighter, think of your family or your support system, and think of your future. Remind yourself that everything you are facing now will only make you stronger and wiser for the future.
Living for yourself and your own happiness is essential to leading a complete life. At the end of the day, your longest relationship is the one you have with yourself, so why not make it a strong, healthy, and positive one? It’s your life so live it as you want. Do what makes you happy and don’t look back. You will change for the better; you will be grateful for the happiness that you have found and the person you have become.