12 Things To Remember That You Control To Live A Happier Life Each Day

12 Things To Remember That You Control To Live A Happier Life Each Day

A lot of the time you are your biggest enemy, these are just some reminders that you truly do control how you feel every day.

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I know that I am not always the most positive or optimistic when it comes to trying new things or meeting new people, but I have come up with a short list to remind me that I can change the way I see certain situations. I can control who I surround myself with on a daily basis and what I eat or how much I work out. Remembering these simple things help me live a happier life each day and I hope they can do the same for you.

1. How seriously you take life

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Personally, I am the worst at this. I take life way too seriously, but they do say the first step is admitting it. You really only get one chance at it, so don't miss out on opportunities or experiences because it's out of character for you. Try new things and laugh at yourself every once in a while.

2. Who you hang out with

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Cannot stress this enough. You control who you hang out with, so if they're not good for you or your health then don't hang out with them. I promise they are not worth your happiness.

3. Your effort

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If you're not satisfied with something in your life, take a step back and ask yourself if there is anything more that you can do to make it better. If you believe there is no more effort to possibly be given by you, then remove that situation from your life if possible, or at least put it on the back burner and focus on more important things.

4. How personally you take things

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There is nothing wrong with being sensitive, but when it's effecting your mental health, it's a problem. Not every rude or snide comment made towards you needs a reaction. Growing a thicker skin and not letting the little things get to you is totally in your control and might be one the best things you can do for yourself.

5. What you believe

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You control your beliefs and while others may not agree with them, you hold strong. Don't let the opposing belief get into your head and act as fuel to a fire. There is no need to argue your belief and get yourself worked up and angry if nothing is going to be solved in the end.

6. Your priorities

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You choose what is most important to you. Make sure whatever you choose to prioritize, you're actually putting first. Saying you're going to do something versus actually doing something are very different things.

7. How kind you are

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Karma is real. If you're spreading kindness, it will find its way back to you. Just don't forget that you control how kind you are to others and how you treat them will be a direct reflection of how they treat you.

8. What you eat

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This is huge. If you're not happy with your appearance or you just don't feel good after eating, then change your diet. You control what you put into your body, so choose wisely and healthy.

9. What you talk about

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You're the only one who keeps bringing up that break up from four years ago for everyone to remember and it still makes you feel bad about yourself. Control yourself and talk about more positive times in your life.

10. What you think about

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This one is tough because sometimes your mind wanders and you find yourself way over thinking a situation that would never even happen. The only way to really get control of your thoughts is making the positive ones just a little more over whelming than the negative ones.

11. How open minded you are

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Seriously, the more open minded you the more experienced and cultured and educated you are. There are some things you just have to try in life and letting go and being a little optimistic could change your life. You control how open minded you are and what you're willing to try, don't miss out on something because you were too afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

12. Your happiness

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At the end of the day, it's your happiness that matters. If you're not happy, start thinking of ways to change small things in your life to achieve happiness. You are the only one who can truly control the way you feel, don't forget that.

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All The Gods, All the Heavens, All The Hells Are Within You

No one can break you.
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In "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi", Tyrone "Rone" Woods asks David "Boon" Benton to "enlighten" him. Being the lovable "scout sniper, zen master" that he is, Boon reads aloud "All the gods, all the Heavens, all the Hells are within you," from Joseph Campbell's book "The Power of Myth."

This quote pops up a couple more times in the film, and the men who face insurmountable odds, mainly six ex-military operators against a group of possibly hundreds of terrorist punks, show the power behind this quote as they battle throughout the night for survival in Benghazi. After several viewings ("13 Hours" is one of my favorite films) and hour upon hour of mauling it over in my head, I think I figured out what Campbell is saying.

My college career has been a bit of a roller coaster. Along with the chores and chaos that every college student experiences, I encountered several personal issues and trying situations that only added to that burden. I felt isolated and depressed, almost cut off from the rest of the world, and that feeling continued into this past spring and almost drove me to the brink mentally. Thankfully, I was able to get myself from going over, and after some months am finally back on my feet.

Campbell's quote means that you control your emotions and your reactions, no one can make you feel one way or another. An ex-friend cannot make me feel isolated and depressed- only I have that power. I should not feel ashamed of my political beliefs just because some liberal on television tells me I am wrong- I know that my beliefs have been made because of the love I have for our great country. I should not feel embarrassed for not knowing what to do with the rest of my life: I would much rather not know for awhile than go into a career that I will end up despising years down the road. I get to decide how I feel, that is as much of my God-given right as it is to live or breathe.

Did you decide to have a good day? Awesome! That, my friend, is your Heaven. Are you having a bit of a shitty day? That is totally fine, everyone has them. That day is your Hell. You (before anyone calls me a blasphemer, calm down and hear me out) are your own god, in the sense that you decide your emotions, your reactions, and the type of day you are going to have. No one can take that from you, and if they try to: fight them.

To end today, I want to leave you with this message. You control you, no one else can break you. You are strong, and if you have read through the entire article, then you can probably make it through anything (fingers crossed). Do not let anyone get to you, if they say something against you or something you believe in, do what you think is right. But hey, if you're having a shitty day and you need to talk to someone, my ears are always open and my phone is usually on.

"All the gods, all the Heavens, all the Hells are within you."- Joseph Campbell

God bless you, and I hope for nothing but the best- DB

Cover Image Credit: Dan Bennington

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I Stopped Maintaining My Hair Because I Could Barely Maintain My Life

Mental health and natural hair matter.

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When I big chopped my hair in May of 2018, I thought that I would become what would be comparable to a chia pet. I aspired for my damaged, kinky 4C type hair to depart from me to make way for manageable coiled locks that would grow fuller and healthier at a faster rate. That day in the salon was one I will never forget. Looking in the mirror at my new tapered cut made me feel genuinely beautiful. I could see me and not the hair that I tried to hide my identity with. With the knowledge of new hair products and routines, I felt confidence in beginning my hair growth journey.

The first few months after, I noticed that my hair was thicker and had become more manageable. My new routines were paying off. Diligently applying oils and masks had helped me see results. Having shorter hair was a different but liberating experience. It was going all smooth until I got to the awkward phase. I spent hours watching YouTube videos to attempt various styles but the influencer's hair was either too long or short and never awkwardly in between as my hair was.

Later on in the year, my journey came to a halt. I was in between jobs, could barely afford to pay rent and would skip class to go to work because I needed to pay bills and rent. I was a mess and so was my hair. I stopped doing weekly conditioning routines and would let my hair matt up and not detangle properly because I was often in a rush. My anxiety caused me to twist pieces of my hair at high points of stress. I would wear wigs and attempt protective styles to prevent this but still neglected to treat the hair that was underneath. I stopped maintaining my hair because I could barely maintain myself in this hectic period of my life.


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Seeing the film Nappily Ever After made me resonate with the fact that this is a common occurrence in the natural hair community. Saana Lathan portrayed a woman, Violet who used her hair as her sole identity. She displayed how she hid the damage to her natural hair to live a life for others and not herself. It wasn't until she cut her dry, damaged hair that she had she had truly blossomed into the graceful women she truly is.

Natural hair and mental health go hand in hand. Growth can be inhibited by mental health and that goes for many aspects; hair is just one of them. If one takes care of their mental health, they feel more inclined to nourish their roots as well. This is why self-care matters in the black community.

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