How To Be Positive Without Feeling Fake

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The “fake it ’til you make it” technique when it comes to positivity is total BS. Plastering on a smile when your lips want to naturally curve downward. Posting an overly uplifting quote on Facebook when you don’t fully believe it. Telling yourself that everything is great, when in reality, everything is falling apart.

All of these things are only temporary solutions to long-term issues. You’re not going to become a genuinely happy and upbeat person if you do these things. You’re going to feel like a fraud.

However, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to become positive. There are many things you can do to transform yourself and your thoughts without feeling fake. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Create realistic goals. Have a list of both short-term and long-term goals that you know are achievable. Make sure your goals are things that will help you grow as a person. Personalize your goals as much as possible to assure that you’re not copying general goals that people have. Having things to work towards will help you build up your mental strength and it will change your whole perspective on life. Additionally, once you reach a goal, the feeling of euphoria is a feeling that no fake smile can obtain.
  2. Have full awareness of your problems. Many people believe that ignoring a problem will make it go away, or it will make it seem like the problem just isn’t there. Ignorance is not bliss at all. If you are constantly lying to yourself and claiming that nothing is wrong, you’re doing yourself more harm than good. Sit down and take a moment to identify anything on your mind that is bothering you. You can either write everything down on paper or just sit there and think. Sorting out everything that is wrong will help you to add to your list of goals and it will help you figure out productive solutions.
  3. Remove negative people from your life. If a friend is having a negative impact on you because of his/her attitude, you should reconsider having that person in your life. It’s pointless to have a person in your life who just provides drama and stress, rather than comfort and happiness. It can be difficult to cut a friend out of your life, but in this case, you need to put yourself first. You need to truly think about the negativity this person is bringing to your life and how much it’s affecting you. In the end, it’s not worth it to stay friends with someone for his/her sake. Only keep those in your life who lift you up.
  4. Engage in “feel good” activities. You have to figure out exactly what activities make you feel happy. Exercising can naturally make everyone feel happier because of those awesome endorphins. Engaging in your favorite hobby is important because doing what you love will give instant gratification. It’s also fun to explore new hobbies and activities in order to maintain personal growth. Search the Internet for a new, unique hobby that looks interesting to you. You can even find something new to do with a significant other or a friend. It can feel great to be doing things you want to do outside of things that you have to do. Live your life the way you want to and you’ll be a lot happier.
  5. Accept failure. It’s easy to feel down after something doesn’t go the way you wanted it to. While it’s perfectly OK to let yourself feel sad about it, don’t let that feeling last forever. You have to realize that no one is perfect, and that things will not always work out. Sometimes you’re going to fail at a goal, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Obviously we all crave success over failure; however, if we never accept failure, we will never accept ourselves. The good thing about failure is that it will force you to work harder. It will make you want to change the way you do things because you don’t want to see failure again. Once you are able to accept failure, you’ll be able to have more faith in yourself to keep persevering.
  6. Allow yourself to feel every emotion freely. If you’re only forcing yourself to feel happy, all of your other emotions are going to be trapped inside you. If you never let those other emotions out, you’re going to feel even worse. It’s OK to feel negative emotions. If human beings were only capable of feeling happiness, we’d be really boring and stagnant creatures. Just imagine you’re watching a movie and the characters were always smiling and nothing ever seemed wrong. Do you know how lame that would be? Allow yourself to fully embrace every emotion that you feel, even if you aren’t used to it. If you are able to adapt to expressing all of your emotions, it’ll help you become a stronger person in the end.
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How To Be Yourself (It’s Simple)

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Why are we so afraid of being authentic? Is it because we fear judgment from others? Is it because we don’t think we’re good enough?

You need to stop caring what others think of you. First impressions are made out to be overly important, when, in reality, you should never have to try so hard to impress someone. Being 100% yourself is impressing as it is. In such a harsh society, a person who is unabashedly herself should be viewed as a role model for everyone else out there.

You need to stop overthinking before speaking. Be mindful of what you say, but don’t rack through too many negative side effect of sharing your thoughts. You shouldn’t hold back from stating your unique opinions because you deserve a voice in this world. If you went your whole life without speaking up because you were too worried, you would be left with many regrets and your brain would reach its full capacity of trapped thoughts. You wouldn’t want to be trapped in a small room all alone, so why would you allow your thoughts to be locked away without coming out for air?

You need to stop questioning why you are so weird, and instead, embrace your quirks. It might be hard to believe, but everyone out there has at least one wacky quality that stands out from the norms of society. If you realized how crucial this quality is to yourself and to life in general, then you would go run outside and let your freak flag fly without any second thoughts. If there is someone who doesn’t appreciate your weirdness, that just means that they are having a difficult time appreciating their own differences.

You need to stop being so self-conscious about your physical appearance. Contrary to popular belief, beauty and attractiveness don’t come with a specific set of guidelines. Fashion doesn’t have its boundaries; you should express who you are through your own personal fashion choices. Hair and makeup are forms of personal art that are created for your own interpretations. You shouldn’t be worried about how others will perceive you through your appearance, but instead, you should own how you look. Put yourself together based on your own expectations and walk out that door knowing exactly who YOU are.

It doesn’t make sense that being authentic has become a crime in society, but sometimes you just have to push society’s “rules” aside and make your own. This is the story of your life, and you don’t want to write in any false information or embellishments. It’s a straight-forward nonfiction story about you, and it deserves to be a bestseller.

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There’s Always Room For Improvement

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Imagine yourself climbing up a mountain: wind gently tousling your hair, using every muscle in your body to lift yourself up, sweating along the way. Suddenly, you stumble, due to wrong footing or feelings of weakness. But if you fall, you’re able to redeem yourself by clinging on to a lower area of the mountain. You continue your climb, but the reality of it all is that you will never reach the top of the mountain.

This is not meant to sound pessimistic, but rather, it’s a metaphoric visualization of realism. We have all heard of the typical saying, “life is like a rollercoaster, it has it’s ups and downs…” blah blah blah. While this statement is a true cliche, it’s never incorrect.

We all have bad days. We all have times where we feel down or make some kind of mistake. But this doesn’t mean that we are done for, or that there is no hope for us. It simply means that in order to get back on your feet, you have to push yourself and believe in yourself. You can overcome anything and everything as long as you try to do so.

Once you overcome your biggest struggles, you may feel as if you are a stronger person than you have ever been in your entire life. These feelings of euphoria are amazing, and should never be questioned, but you have to realize that you are not done growing. I’m not talking about physical growth necessarily, but mental and emotional growth. The human species, in itself, has evolved over time, and as individuals, it is our personal duty to evolve in our own unique ways. You shouldn’t be seeking out every flaw that you want to change about yourself, but you should take every single day as a challenge and a way to learn more about yourself.

Going back to the lovely mountain metaphor, the reason why you will never reach the top is because you will probably keep stumbling along the way, or even if you do keep climbing without interruptions, the mountain will keep getting taller. This is because you have new goals to reach, and nothing worth reaching is easy to get to. Climbing makes you stronger but there is always more strength to be found.

You won’t reach the top of the mountain, but that doesn’t mean you should think that you never will. Yes, I know, this statement is very contradictory. But it simply means that if you keep a positive attitude in life and if you always focus on being a better version of yourself, you can find your own hack on this thing we call life.

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Why You Shouldn’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

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So every year, you make a pact to yourself to do everything on your list of resolutions, and then at the end of the year you realize that you have barely accomplished anything on that list. So why do you keep continuing that cycle? New Year’s resolutions are so overrated. You don’t need to make a list of things like “lose weight” or “use my phone less” because you know that you’re more than likely not going to get things done that way. Instead, you should cherish every single thing you DO get done during the year of 2015.

It was on a BuzzFeed article that I saw this great idea of decorating a mason jar, and filling it with notes of every great thing that happens during 2015. I decorated a mason jar myself, and I can’t wait for 2015 to begin so I can start filling it up. The idea is to write down all the wonderful things you do or feel during the year and put them in the jar, and then by the end of the year you can look at everything you’ve done, and ultimately feel accomplished.

I think that this is a great idea because it will make you realize how much you have actually done instead of things that you haven’t done. I believe that this is a great way to stay positive and feel good about yourself. Just imagine how much all the little things can add up over the year. It doesn’t even matter if you write down something small like, “got an ‘A’ on a paper” or something big like, “went on a trip to Australia”. Big or small, anything that feels like an accomplishment to you personally, is amazing.

You need to let yourself see that you are amazing, and everything you do is amazing. Sure, you’re going to make mistakes, and you’re going to have your ups and downs, because after all, you’re human. But, despite these rough times, you’re also going to have exciting things happen to you. Like I said, it doesn’t even matter how small these positive things are, just write it down each time something awesome happens. You’ll feel stronger and happier if you do so.

Let 2015 be your year. Let it be the year of breaking out of old habits of any negativity, or any sense of doubt. 2015 will be better than 2014 simply because you will let it be better. So instead of making those resolutions, take 2015 day by day, and make sure you let things happen as they are meant to happen. I promise you that it will be a lot more satisfying that way.

Here’s to a Happy New Year!

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30 Ways To Change Your Life in 2015

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This is the last month of 2014, which means a new year is coming soon. While some people create lists of resolutions that they never even end up looking at ever again, I decided to reflect upon the different ways that anyone can change their life for the better in 2015. While this isn’t necessarily a list of specific resolutions, this is instead a list of actions that you can take and apply to your own life. So make it a goal to achieve some of these things (or maybe all of them!) in the upcoming year, and see how much your life shifts towards positivity.

1. Leave the past behind you. If you’re constantly living in the past, how are you ever going to reach the future? It’s okay to reference the past once in awhile, but never ever let it hold you back. Keep looking forward.

2. Turn all negative thoughts into positive ones. “I can’t do this” is never an option. Once you start thinking positively, you will soon start to feel like a more positive person. In turn, you will find yourself accomplishing more than you could have ever imagined.

3. Think outside the box. Stop being stuck in your old ways of thinking. Think about things from a different perspective and your life will become a lot more interesting.

4. Do something that scares you. If you never face your fears, how will you ever grow? Start off with something small, like maybe talking to that boy or girl that you like. Eventually you can face a bigger fear, like going bungee jumping, or something totally insane and out there.

5. Don’t put up with people who don’t treat you well. If you’re in a relationship with someone who isn’t treating you with the respect you deserve, either leave them, or talk to them about it. If they aren’t going to change their ways, you need to get yourself out of this situation because you’re better than that.

6. Treat others with kindness. We all know the saying, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. We all need to live by this saying because the world would be such a better place. Be nice to everyone, even to those people who might not be your best friends. It’s better to greet an enemy with a friendly, “Hello”, than to throw a bunch of hateful comments at them.

7. Do good deeds. Volunteer your time to someone in need. Whether it be a charity, or a family member, it’s important to help those who are less fortunate, or who are struggling with something. Not only will you feel good doing it, but you’ll make the other person feel amazing as well.

8. Believe in yourself. Stop telling yourself that you’ll never amount to anything. Stop telling yourself that you’re not good enough. You are the first person who needs to believe in you, so you better get on it. You will have a bright future if you do so.

9. Stand up for what you believe in. Stop letting others lead you in directions in which you don’t want to go. You don’t have to agree with everyone just to be on their good side. Don’t be afraid to go on your own path with your own thoughts. You have your own mind, use it the way you want to use it!

10. Actually work towards your goals. Don’t make a list of goals and cringe each time you look at them. You can achieve any goal as long as you keep working hard. Don’t try to take the easy route. Work harder than you ever have in your entire life and you’ll be surprised by how far you will go.

11. Dream big. The difference between incredibly big dreams and realistic dreams is that if you go with the latter, you’ll be playing it safe. No dream is outside of your reach as long as you believe in it.

12. Be grateful for the people who have stayed in your life. When all is lost in life, take time to think about everyone who has stuck by you through everything. Those people are your true friends/family, and they care about you a whole lot. Be grateful for them, because you’re incredibly lucky to have them.

13. Never doubt your abilities. Stop comparing yourself to others, and realize that you are actually amazing at what you do. You’re the only you that exists in this world, so with that in mind, do what you do best. You are talented in your own way.

14. Stop procrastinating. Whether it be work for school or your job, or starting a fitness goal, you need to stop saying “oh, I’ll do it later”. DO IT NOW. If you wait until later, you’re just wasting more time. You’ll feel a lot more proud of yourself if you start everything right now, instead of holding off.

15. Fix broken friendships. Are you and your best friend falling apart? Instead of letting it happen, try to communicate with each other about what has gone wrong. If you are meant to be in each other’s lives forever, you will find a way to work things out. Don’t let yourself lose the people who are most important to you.

16. Fall in love with the world. With all the terrible things that occur in this world, some may find it nearly impossible to have positive thoughts about the world. But if you find at least one thing you love about this world, or even just your country, it will make living life that much better.

17. Let things happen on their own. Stop trying to control every little thing. You cannot always make things happen or prevent things from happening, sometimes they just have to happen on their own. Almost everything happens for a reason, which is why you need to just let things be.

18. Appreciate your family more. Even if you’re not very close with your family, you should be incredibly grateful that they are in your life. You’re connected to them in a way that is different from everyone else, which is a special bond that no one can take away. They will always be there for you no matter what.

19. Don’t stress out too much. If you spend all your time stressing out about every tiny thing, then you’re missing out on life big time. Relax. You are capable of anything and everything. If you take some deep breaths, and try to calm down, you will actually have better success. So try not to freak out.

20. Acknowledge your strengths. How often do you sit down and think about everything you’re good at? Probably not very often. This is important to do because it will ultimately give you a lot more motivation. Everyone is good at something, so it’s important to take the time to realize your abilities.

21. Also acknowledge your weaknesses. It’s also important to think about things that you need to work on. It’s okay to have weaknesses; that’s what makes us human. But it’s always possible to work on turning those weaknesses into strengths. You can always become a better version of yourself.

22. Smile more. A lot more. Smile the moment you wake up in the morning because you have so much to smile about. Even if you’re going through a rough time, you can find a positive in the sea of negatives. Smiling is important because this simple gesture makes you feel better mentally, emotionally, and physically, and it’s very contagious in public. 🙂

23. Go on adventures. Stop sitting in your living room watching movies with your friends or going to the same mall every weekend. Go on a road trip, go to a different town, or even just go  to a different mall. If you change things up, life will be a lot more exciting and fulfilling.

24. Sing in the shower. This may seem like a goofy one, but trust me, it’s crucial to sing in the shower. It’s been proven that singing in the shower releases stress! Plus, everyone is a superstar in the shower, so go ahead and give yourself your own personal concert. You sound amazing!

25. Get more sleep. Going to bed at a reasonable hour might not sound fun, but it’s important in order to be healthy. If you get a good amount of sleep every night, you’ll feel a whole lot better, and you might not even need to chug all that coffee in the morning.

26. Eat healthier and exercise. I know that most times, chocolate sounds a lot better than carrots, but you have to take care of yourself. It’s okay, to indulge every once in awhile (hey, you can’t deprive yourself!), but remember that every healthy choice you make leads you to feeling better overall. You also don’t need to have a gym membership in order to exercise, so don’t make that an excuse. Exercise in your room, or the park, or wherever you feel comfortable, and again, you’ll feel a whole lot better.

27. Stop being lazy. This one sort of goes along with exercise. Long story short, stop being a couch potato. While it’s important to let yourself rest sometimes, try not to make it a habit. Go out and do something instead of laying in bed and watching TV all day.

28. Don’t give your time to someone who doesn’t deserve it. Stop wasting your time trying to make someone see the good in you. If they don’t already see it, then they’re either blind, or lying to themselves. Only associate yourself with the people who want to be in your life because you are you. Authentic people are the best kind of people.

29. Meet new people. Meet at least one new person every week (or everyday if you’re feeling ambitious!). This new person doesn’t have to become your best friend, or even a friend at all, but it’s always a good idea to communicate with others, especially people whom you may have never thought about talking to. By being a friendly person, you’ll make yourself and others feel better about the world.

30. Do what you love to do. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Even if your talent is something that typically doesn’t give you great money, still do it. It’s better to be poor and doing something you love, than to be rich by doing something you hate. (Yes, I know, we need money to survive, but hey, you can have a side job that makes the money, while you continue to do what you love). You’ll be a happier person if you happily do every single thing that you want to do.

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Why We Should Be Thankful For More Than Just Turkey

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Happy Thanksgiving!

We all (or most of us) love Thanksgiving because of the great food, football games, and lounging around, but it’s important to recognize everyone and everything you’re thankful for, otherwise, you aren’t celebrating Thanksgiving, you’re celebrating Foodgiving.

Be thankful and grateful for the family in your life. Whether a big family, or a small one, you share a connection that you can’t have with anyone else. Even if you’re not close to everyone in your family, you should still be thankful that you have them in your life. After all, you can’t choose your family, and you’re pretty much stuck with them, so accept that ;).

Be gracious for all of your friendships. People come and go from your life all the time, but there are certain people who stick around for a lifetime. Be happy that you have those people in your life because they are the people who would do anything for you and who are always there for you when you need them. It’s amazing how someone who was once a stranger is now so close to you it almost feels like they’re family. That kind of friendship is one to be thankful for.

Be appreciative for your life. Even if you’re going through a tough time, or struggling with something, just be grateful that you’re alive. No matter what you’re going through, it’s important to stay positive, because things can get better. Just be happy that you were born because you were put on this earth for a reason. Don’t you ever forget that!

Have gratification towards yourself. You are the only you that is out there, so you should be pretty darn thankful for that. You’re unique, and you have wonderful qualities and abilities that you should always cherish. Make sure to hold on to that because it’s always crucial to love yourself for who you are. Everyone has flaws, but it’s better to embrace the flaws because that’s what makes you different from everyone else. Standing out is way better than blending in!

So before you take that first bite of turkey, take a moment to think about everything you’re thankful for in life. If you do so, you’ll realize how great life truly is.

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The Importance of Self-Reflection

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As individuals, we have each learned a lot from ourselves and from our own personal experiences. The problem is that we don’t always take the time to think about what we have learned. Each person learns valuable life lessons over a long period of time in their life, and it’s something worth reflecting about.

It’s important to think about everything you’ve gone through in life and see how much you’ve grown. Everyone grows up in their own way and at their own pace, but through this growing process, each person learns from mistakes, and learns from other people. Whenever you make a mistake, you tend to feel terrible about it in the moment, but after awhile, you look back on it and realize that it was a learning experience instead of something to be ashamed about. That is how everyone should view life because otherwise you’ll be sitting there with tons of regrets and you won’t be able to live life to the fullest.

As you get older and more mature, you begin to realize that everything in life happens for a reason. You begin to see what these reasons are and you are able to accept them. You should look back on the past and recognize how much you’ve changed since then. If you don’t take the time to think about it, you won’t get the opportunity to see how much you’ve grown and how much stronger you’ve gotten.

I’m currently a senior in college, so I spend a lot of time thinking about my years in college and how much I’ve changed. When I think about myself from freshman year, I can see a huge different in my maturity level, and the way I handle things that are thrown at me. I’m truly proud of how much I’ve grown since then and I’m proud of the way I’ve gone through my college years. I’ve made mistakes, but instead of feeling poorly about them, I smile, knowing that I won’t make the same mistakes again. I’ve also had people come and go from my life and it’s made me realize that they were never meant to be in my life. It’s interesting to think that during the span of 4 years, you can mature so much.

Self-reflection doesn’t have to take up all of your time. You don’t have to sit down and think about your whole past, but every once in awhile, just take at least five minutes out of your day to think about it. Once you see how far you’ve come, you’ll feel stronger than ever, and you’ll realize that you’re only going to get stronger as time goes on.

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