Everyone has those phrases they say at least 12 times a day. For as long as I can remember, my go-to phrase after anything remotely difficult or stressful happened was, "I hate my life". This was always my dramatic way of letting people know something bad happened, whether it was that I failed a test or a boy I liked didn't text me. But the truth is, I have absolutely no reason to hate my life, and those words made me think that there was a possibility that I did.

There are highs and lows every single day, but it's hard to see the positive moments when the smallest negatives are the only things we talk about. When I came to this realization, I decided to write down all of the little things that make me happy. Now, any time I'm not content with the way my day is going, I read my "happy note". Instead of dwelling on the all-nighter I'm gonna pull in the library, I think of how I feel when I'm driving and the sky is changing colors between orange and pink and purple. I picture myself in a cool coffee shop sipping on an iced latte and watching the way people interact with each other. If I get in an argument with one of my friends, I can look through an old Facebook photo album and remember all the dumb things that made us laugh. This new habit helps me handle stressful moments in a more positive way. I'm not saying we can just avoid all of our problems, but the happier we are, the less we "sweat the small stuff".

It's hard to tell people to be optimistic when it may seem to them that everything is gray. There are days when I don't think it's possible for something to go my way. But, we need to take control over our own happiness. We can mourn and we can be sad and we can cry, but we cannot let those feelings poison our days. We need to enjoy every second we spend with our family and friends. How often do we look back to remember all of the crappy days we've had? We don't shouldn't. When we're daydreaming about the past, we think of that one time we laughed until we couldn't breathe, or the night we stayed up with family until 5 AM talking about pretty much everything but absolutely nothing.

I'm not here to dictate your lives-- I'm a big believer in the "you do you" lifestyle-- but when you're having a bad day, or week, don't automatically say you hate your life. Think of one thing that has made you smile from ear to ear when no one was around. If you do this, I promise that your life will feel less toxic and everything you are surrounded by will be a little brighter.