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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An Interpretation Of One Republic’s “I Lived”

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“I Lived” not only consists of a catchy beat and beautiful vocals, but it also has incredible lyrics that are stated simply, yet contain a lot of meaning. This song can speak to anyone of any age, because it reflects the importance of going through the hardships in life, and growing stronger as a person. Here are my interpretations of a majority of the lines in the song:

“Hope when you take that jump, you don’t fear the fall”

You shouldn’t be afraid to take chances/risks in life; you should just go for it.

“Hope when the water rises, you built a wall”

When life gets hard, you should be able to find a way to protect yourself and get through it.

“Hope when the crowd screams out, they’re screaming your name”

Do something that will make a difference in the world and that you’ll be admired for.

“Hope if everybody runs, you choose to stay”

Never follow the crowd no matter what; always do your own thing.

“Hope that you fall in love, and it hurts so bad”

Experience heartbreak at least once in life because it will help you grow stronger in order to prepare for a better love.

“The only way you can know is give it all you have”

Always try your hardest in any given situation.

“And I hope that you don’t suffer but take the pain”

Don’t let your hardships bring you down completely, but accept the obstacles that come your way.

CHORUS:

“I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived”

I lived life to the fullest, and even though I had to deal with difficult times in life, I still survived and made it through. I had to go through these hard times in order to live.

“Hope that you spend your days, but they all add up”

Make the most out of each day so you can look back and see how much you have done.

“And when that sun goes down, hope you raise your cup”

At the end of each day, be grateful for what you have accomplished and celebrate everything you have done. Also celebrate life, itself, because it’s worth acknowledging.

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10 Things You Learn In College Outside The Classroom

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College is first seen as a time of studying hard and working towards a career. While this is accurate, the overall college experience gives people the opportunity to learn more than just what they read in textbooks. College students learn all these extra little things without even realizing it. Here are some of the things that they learn:

1. How to find true friends. This lesson usually doesn’t come right off the bat because when you’re starting out as a freshman, everyone is new and everyone wants to hang out. But over the years, you come to find who is truly your friend and who is not. College allows you to differentiate between a true friend and a fake friend, which is something that develops with time.

2. How to have a stable relationship. College relationships are way more serious than they are in high school. If you go through some crappy relationships during college, you are able to learn what you can do differently in future relationships in order to make them more stable. If you have secured yourself in a serious relationship in college, you learn how to maintain it, and throughout the relationship, you learn how to make it better. College is a time for maturing, and understanding how to resolve conflict with others.

3. How to have fun. Even though you have to be serious when it comes to classwork, college is a time for going out and doing fun things. You learn that it’s perfectly okay to give yourself a break once in awhile, because having fun is a crucial part of life.

4. How to take care of yourself. This refers to many different aspects of taking care of yourself, from learning how to essentially live on your own, to eating well and exercising. Usually freshman year, you don’t care much about eating healthy and getting enough sleep, but over the years you realize how important these things are.

5. How to be responsible. Responsibility is a huge part of college because not only are you responsible for getting your homework done in time, but you also have outside responsibilities that come along with your independence. As more responsibilities get thrown on you throughout the years, you learn how to be a more organized individual.

6. How to work with others. You’ve been taught at a young age how to work with others, but it really sinks in during college. This is mainly because you get stuck doing group projects and working with people who you might not get along with. Being put in situations like these allow you to become more mature, and learn how to work with people who are different from you.

7. How to try new things. College is a time where new opportunities fly at you from every angle. Being in a new place on your own allows you to branch out a bit more than you’re used to. This is a good thing because it opens you up to new interests and new things that you might have never even tried before.

8. How to ask for help. During your college years, you come to realize that it’s perfectly okay to ask for help when you’re lost or confused. This can range from getting help on schoolwork to getting help with personal problems. This is something you learn because you’re maturing and realizing that getting help isn’t a bad thing, it’s only another thing that contributes to your growth.

9. How to be involved. Colleges have so many different organizations that you’re bound to have found at least one that you belong to. This involvement gives you some experiences that you might not have had without college. It also helps you meet new people who are interested in similar things to you, and sometimes these people can become your life-long friends.

10. How to find yourself. Essentially, college is the time in your life where you find out what you want to do in your future. With that, comes finding yourself. During college, you’ll sometimes lose yourself during your journey, and you might not have even completely found yourself by the time you graduate. But this doesn’t mean that you will never find yourself. You can take everything you’ve learned in college and apply it to your life, while continuing on your journey after graduation.

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30 Reasons Why Being Single In Your 20’s Is A Great Privilege

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Being single is vastly underrated because of the way society emphasizes the glory of relationships and love. But being single can have incredible advantages that you may be overlooking. So listen up all my single ladies (and guys!):

1. You have more time to hang out with your friends.

2. You have more time to yourself.

3. You can flirt with anyone you want.

4. You can try new things because you have all the time in the world.

5. You can travel without worrying about bringing that special person along with you.

6. You can focus on bettering and improving yourself to your own standards.

7. You can save money and not worry about buying anniversary gifts/birthday gifts/holiday gifts.

8. You can be lazy whenever you want to be.

9. You have way less drama in your life.

10. You can plan your future the way that you want it to be.

11. You’re not required to be attached to your phone.

12. You can freely be friends with anyone of the opposite sex.

13. You don’t have to suffer through movies that you don’t want to watch.

14. You can make your own plans of your own choice on your own time.

15. You aren’t tied down to a scary commitment.

16. You don’t have to worry about heartbreak because you own your heart, no one else does.

17. You have time to reflect on your past relationships and realize why they didn’t work out.

18. You don’t have to have the stress of meeting and impressing family members.

19. You are free to go out and party whenever you feel like it.

20. You don’t have to wait on anyone.

21. You get to control the remote and watch whatever you want!

22. You can buy yourself gifts, which is great, because you know exactly what you want!

23. You can listen to the music you like without being judged for it.

24. You don’t have to be questioned about where you’re going, when you’re going somewhere, who you’re going with, and when you’ll be back.

25. You have more time to focus on school and/or work.

26. You don’t have to hang out with someone else’s friends whom you don’t get along with.

27. You have a lot more privacy when it comes to basically everything.

28. You can be as spontaneous as you want without anyone there to stop you.

29. You can do activities/hobbies that you enjoy without being bothered.

30. You don’t have to share food.

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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 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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