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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The Monster That Lives Under Your Bed Is An Illusion

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When you were younger, you would lie in bed at night, afraid to put your legs over the edge because the monster underneath your bed would grab them and pull you under. But as you got older, you realized that your paranoia was all for nothing, because the monster only lived in your mind. But even though your childhood fears have left you a long time ago, you might still have different monsters in your mind.

We, as people, tend to overthink situations all the time. We hope for the best, but usually anticipate the worst. This is because we create different scenarios in our heads of all the terrible things that could go wrong. We do this so often, that we begin to believe that these bad things will actually occur to us. But like the monster under your bed, these bad things are usually illusions. They are counterparts of each of your worries put together into one giant monster that takes over your brain.

As adults, we lie in bed at night, stressing out about life. We lie there wondering when life is going to stop attacking us, and when we will finally get what we want. We constantly have all these thoughts spinning around in our heads, that we don’t know how to just put our minds to rest. Sometimes it’s so overwhelming, that we don’t even remember how to think about something in a positive light.

The cool thing about humans is that we have such vivid imaginations. We can direct a whole movie in our heads that no one else can see because it’s personalized. But why give every mind movie a tragic ending? What if we decided to put positive twists onto every negative vision? Most pessimistic thoughts that run through our brains aren’t even realistic. This is because we worry too much about things that haven’t happened to us yet, and might not ever happen.

Sure, technically your brain controls everything you do, but you can’t let it take over your soul and your heart. You shouldn’t let these illusions take over your feelings and emotions. You’ll feel silly when you realize that you’re overanalyzing a situation in your life. Even though the monster is so vivid in your mind, you’re always going to find emptiness underneath your bed.

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Taylor Swift Songs That Will Put You In A Good Mood

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Taylor Swift is the queen of angry and sad breakup songs, but she is also wonderful at releasing songs dealing with new beginnings and positivity. I decided to look through all the Taylor songs that I own (a lot of songs….like over 100!) and post the ones that I feel best give off an upbeat/positive vibe. Whether you’re a fan of hers or not, at least take a listen to some of these:

Begin Again:

Begin Again is all about starting a new relationship after you’ve been trying to move on from your ex. It reflects the wonderful feelings you can get once you let go and try something new with someone else.

Hey Stephen:

Hey Stephen is a song that you would totally sing to that cute boy you have a crush on. He may have all these girls pining after him but hey, you’re totally positive that you’re the one for him.

Change:

Change is a great song because you can relate it to almost anything you’re going through. If you’re going through a rough time just know that “these things will change” and times will get better.

Fearless:

Fearless is another song about starting new with someone. Being “fearless” with someone means to let go and dive in and see how wonderful it can be.

Jump Then Fall:

Jump Then Fall reflects a song about liking a guy and telling him that he doesn’t have to be afraid of any consequences of falling for you. This can also reflect the idea that you shouldn’t be afraid of falling for someone just because you’re afraid of getting hurt. You just go for it and see what happens!

22:

22 is a great song to dance to with your friends because it’s all about having fun and not having a care in the world. This song is especially awesome to jam out to if you’re a single lady because it’ll make you just want to appreciate your life and not worry about anything.

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together:

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together is a wonderful song for someone who has recently gone through a breakup and is like, soo done. Not only is it a fun song to dance to, but it’s one of those breakup songs that doesn’t make you want to cry, but instead makes you smile and sing a long.

Everything Has Changed:

Everything Has Changed not only features the beautiful voice of Ed Sheeran, but it also contains lyrics about finding someone new. It marks those first feelings you have when you start to fall for someone and how amazing it truly is.

Mean:

Mean is a song you can jam out to when you want to tell the haters what’s up. It reflects the fact that there are going to be people out there who may not like you or appreciate you, but you shouldn’t care because you are going to do great things in life, while those people waste their time putting you down.

Long Live:

Long Live can be interpreted in many different ways, but I feel like it has an overall vibe to it. Taylor wrote it specifically about her fans, and how grateful she is for all the experiences she has had going on tour and becoming successful with her music. It just has a great feel to it and can instantly brighten your mood.

Sweeter Than Fiction:

Sweeter Than Fiction was a song that Taylor wrote for a movie, and isn’t very well known by everyone, but I still think it’s an amazing song. It’s about someone who struggles to find someone to believe in them, and keeps on failing at what they’re trying to pursue, but should keep on trying, because eventually they’ll make it. It’s a great motivational song for anyone who is trying to work hard towards something.

Shake It Off:

Shake It Off is not only a fun song to dance around your room to, but it also just makes you feel good in general. It’s basically about not caring what the haters (or anyone) thinks of you because you know you’re awesome. Just shake it off!

Blank Space:

Blank Space is a fun song because in it, Taylor is essentially making fun of herself for being known as a serial dater, and she is telling the next guy that she’ll add his name to her list of ex lovers. Whether you relate to this insanity or not, it’s a great song to listen to when you want to just sing and be in a better mood.

Quote Of The Day:

20 Kind Things You Can Do For Others

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1. Pay for someone else’s meal/drink.

Whether you’re in a Starbucks drive-thru or a sit-down restaurant, tell the staff that you want to pay for another person’s order. The term “pay it forward” can come into play here :).

2. Volunteer. 

Volunteer at a soup kitchen, or a children’s hospital, or any other organization that gives back. Not only will you make others feel better, but you’ll feel pretty great doing it!

3. Hide some money somewhere in a store. 

It doesn’t have to be hundreds of dollars, especially if you’re short on money these days. Even leaving just a few dollars somewhere can bring some excitement and joy to someone’s day.

4. Attach money to a vending machine with a kind note. 

Leave enough money for someone to make a purchase and attach a short note saying something like, “Buy something sweet, on me!” Again, this small gesture can make someone’s day.

5. Pay someone with a compliment. 

If you really need to save money, you can pay someone in a different way: with a compliment! Let’s say you’re waiting in line at a store. Say something nice to the person in front of you or behind you. Even the smallest compliment can make someone feel amazing.

6. Donate to an organization. 

There are so many great organizations out there, so pick one that’s close to your heart and donate! Even just a small donation still makes a difference.

7. Help an elderly person (or anyone) carry groceries to his/her car. 

If you see someone struggling to get groceries to his/her car, offer to help them out! As long as you don’t ask in a creepy way, chances are, they’ll be grateful for your help!

8. Give coffee to a homeless person. 

Unfortunately, these days it’s sometimes hard to trust a homeless person with your money because there are some scammers out there. It’s a sad fact, but we know that it’s true. So instead, go to the nearest coffee shop and buy a coffee or hot chocolate for them. It’s an especially nice gesture for a cold winter day.

9. Write a nice note and leave it in a random book at the library. 

It could be a random book, or maybe it could be your favorite book. Come up with something wonderful to write and stick it in a random page. Chances are, you won’t get to see a person’s reaction to it, but just the thought of it will bring you joy.

10. Leave a sweet note on a random person’s car. 

Again, you might not get to see the person’s reaction to it, but it’s something incredibly kind and unexpected.

11. Make conversation with a store clerk (if it’s a slow day!). 

It doesn’t even have to be a full-length conversation, just ask them how their day is going, or how long they’ve been working there. Friendliness is easily passed around :).

12. Resolve a past conflict. 

This sounds like a large task but it doesn’t have to be that difficult. It’s not worth it going through life with enemies. Figure out a way to solve a past conflict with someone, and you’ll feel so much better. You don’t have to become friends with that person, but at least just agree to be civil. You’ll feel a whole lot of satisfaction!

13. Give out free hugs. 

This one sounds silly, but I always thought it was a cute idea. I’ve seen YouTube videos of people who wear a shirt or hold a sign that says “Free Hugs”, and they stand in the middle of their campus, or somewhere else in their town. I think it’s a great idea because let’s face it, everyone needs a hug! A hug a day keeps the negativity away!

14. Have a free lemonade and/or cookie stand (or hot chocolate in the winter). 

I know you like to make profit, but if you give out free food and drinks, it can make people have a better day! This simple task can bring a smile to at least one person’s face.

15. Offer to help tutor a classmate for free. 

Let’s face it, college kids are notoriously broke, yet they also want to do well in school. If you have time, and you would consider yourself well-rounded in that class, offer assistance to a struggling classmate. It will make them feel more confident, and hey, maybe you’ll make a new friend in the process!

16. Make a purchase at Goodwill/Salvation Army/another resale shop. 

Make sure you understand the cause before you go to the store, so that way you know what your money is going towards.

17. Go around your campus or around your town telling people genuine compliments. 

Again, I got this idea from YouTube, and it’s a bit more time-consuming than other things on this list, but the reactions you’ll get from others is priceless.

18. Donate old clothes/other items. 

Instead of just throwing out clothes that don’t fit anymore, donate them to an organization that gives them to people in need. It’s a much better option knowing that someone else will get use out of your unwanted things.

19. Gather up some friends and clean up your favorite local park (or other areas!). 

Being kind to the environment ultimately helps you be kind to others because a clean environment = healthier, happier people.

20. Bake something tasty for your neighbors. 

Whether you are best friends with your neighbors, or complete strangers, surprising them with baked goods is a great way to brighten their day! Maybe they’ll even invite you over to eat some of your treats with them!

Quote Of The Day:

Why Soulmates Don’t Exist

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I was watching an episode of Friends last night (as I typically do), the episode where Phoebe finds Monica’s “soulmate”, even though Monica and Chandler are married. Despite Chandler’s nervousness about the situation, Monica told him that she doesn’t believe in soulmates. She said that her and Chandler aren’t soulmates; they fell in love by choice, and they work hard at their relationship. Many might agree with the idea of soulmates, but I personally fall into the disbelief of such a concept.

It’s hard to believe that there is a person out there who is perfectly made to be your “other half”. You would spend your whole life searching for this specific person, if that were true. I believe that there are people out there with whom you can connect with or have a lot of things in common with. I think that’s the closest you can get to the idea of a soulmate. But despite similarities to another person, you are still very different from each other, which is why falling in love can be such a wonderful thing. You can pick up on each other’s imperfections, and you can help each other get through tough times. Relationships take a lot of hard work, just as Monica stated.

If the idea of soulmates was true, then people wouldn’t necessarily have to work as hard in relationships. The word “soulmate” reflects the idea that the other person was made just for you. If this was real, then, if you found that person, they would fit into your life with no complications because they would have everything that you have ever dreamed about. What’s the point of getting what you want if you can’t work for it? There’s no passion there whatsoever.

So stop spending so much time trying to find your perfect match. Chances are, that person doesn’t necessarily exist. Now, this isn’t a negative statement, but rather a declaration of reality. If you meet someone whom you become fond of, don’t hold back just because they’re different than your dream partner. Don’t hold back just because you have a gut feeling that they’re not your “soulmate”. If you work hard enough at a relationship with that person, it will soon feel like they’re that person you’ve been “searching for” this whole time.

Relationships are complex and frustrating, but giving up is not an option. Let things happen naturally, and life will be a lot more satisfying. Whoever you fall in love with is the person that you worked hard to be with. Never forget that.

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Why Everyone Should Listen To Taylor Swift’s Song “Clean”

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Taylor Swift is known for writing songs about relationships and breakups, and many of her lyrics are extremely relatable. Some people aren’t fans of Swift simply because of the topics of her songs, but her song “Clean” from her latest album “1989” is a song that I believe everyone needs to listen to at least once.

“Clean”, which was co-written by Imogen Heap, can be interpreted in many different ways depending on your personal situations. I believe that its original meaning has to do with getting over a breakup. It reflects losing someone, yet finding yourself through it all.

This song has beautiful lyrics and metaphors throughout which create strong visual images in the mind and a whole string of emotions. I want to go through some of the lyrics just to show you how on point this song can be with anyone’s life.

The song starts out like most breakups do: “You’re still all over me like a wine-stained dress I can’t wear anymore; Hung my head as I lost the war; And the sky turned black like a perfect storm.” Using the beautiful metaphor of a “wine-stained dress”, Swift sings about the moment after a breakup where you cannot stop thinking about your ex/you can’t seem to get over him/her. In these lines, she explains the feeling of a breakup as being very dark and empty.

The chorus is a basic summary of the whole process of getting through a breakup: “Rain came pouring down; When I was drowning, that’s when I could finally breathe; And by morning, gone was any trace of you; I think I am finally clean.” Swift uses the metaphor of rain as the emotional breakdown that one goes through during a breakup. “When I was drowning, that’s when I could finally breathe”, is an ironic statement that reflects finding oneself when all hope is lost. The second half of the chorus emulates the moment when you’re finally over a breakup and you feel like a new person.

Another line that stands out is: “So I punched a hole in the roof; Let the flood carry away all my pictures of you.” This is a metaphorical representation of letting go all of the memories of your ex that are haunting you and holding you back. This could also be a literal interpretation of getting rid of photos of your ex.

In another part of the song, she sings, “10 months sober, I must admit; Just because you’re clean, don’t mean you don’t miss it; 10  months older, I won’t give in; Now that I’m clean, I’m never gonna risk it.” These lines are a common feeling amongst anyone who has gone through a breakup; you miss your ex sometimes but you know that it’s best to not go down that road again because you’re better off without him/her.

As I said, you can interpret this song in different ways to relate it to your own life, but I believe that this song shows the positive after effects of a breakup or a hard time, which is something we can all learn from. It’s important to realize that you can find the light even in the darkest times.

Here is a link to all of the lyrics: http://www.metrolyrics.com/clean-lyrics-taylor-swift.html And you can buy the song on iTunes!

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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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