The Ultimate Guide to Being Happy

One question that I am constantly asked is, “How are you always happy?” My answer is simple: it’s all about perspective. If you have a great perspective on life, it’s so easy to be happy on a daily basis.

Please know that my life is nowhere near perfect. At 23, I currently live with my parents and I’m still on the hunt for my first “big girl” job. Also, I recently started waitressing again because I have about a hundred dollars to my name. I can’t tell you the last time I went shopping or was able to go on vacation, but I am happy. I have a roof over my head, food in my stomach, a lot of people who care about me, I’m doing what I need to move forward with my life, and I have a future that is going to be a billion times better than the present.

Here is some of the best advice I can offer about being happy:

Accept that people are different. People are different in so many ways.  Some people are skinnier than others while some people are bigger. Some people are religious while others are atheists. Same goes to politics, race, gender, the clothes people wear, etc. How people keep forgetting this is beyond me. It makes me want to puke that people hate one another because of their different opinions and beliefs. Accept it and move forward.

For example, I don’t like the color orange. I think it’s a gross color. Does that mean it’s okay to not like someone because orange is their favorite color? No. Should I call them degrading names and tell them they are wrong because I don’t like orange and they do? No. Does their liking of orange have anything to do directly with me? No. If someone likes orange, does that define who that person is? Absolutely not. See what I’m getting at? So stop slut shaming, gender shaming, sexual orientation shaming, fat/skinny shaming, race shaming, you name it. Stop it. Once you accept that people look, think, and believe differently, life becomes a lot easier.

Stop comparing yourself to others. All of my friends are engaged except for me. Some of my friends have already started their dream career. One of my best friends is spending her summer in Hawaii. I used to be extremely jealous that I didn’t have a ring on my finger, the love of my life by my side, land a job, etc. Boo hoo, right? It didn’t take long to realize how ridiculous I sounded. I can have all of that stuff too; when the time comes. Instead of being jealous, how about being happy for my friends?! I suggest you do the same!

Get rid of the negative people in your life. The only thing that a Debbie Downer is good at is bringing people down. You don’t need that in your life. For example, does your Facebook have a lot of daily complainers? Turn off their notifications. Or, say you have a long day at work ahead of you. If you or your co-workers are complaining the entire time, work is going to go even slower. Be the person to lighten things up and inspire them to cheer up. “Time flies when you’re having fun,” so make it a good day!

Do more of what you love and dedicate time to it. Make time for the things you love. Don’t get caught up in working 24/7. Dedicate a small amount of time each day to something you like. If that’s taking away too much time, try once a week. Dedicate Saturday mornings to going kayaking. Or take up a painting class every Thursday night. I’ve started playing the piano again, and let me tell you…it’s amazing! Doing this will make you question why you stopped in the first place!

Become an opti-realist. There is nothing wrong with being optimistic about something. However, you need a good amount of realism in your life to balance being happy. For example, you want to become a graphic designer but you have never created anything. That being said, you apply for an open position at your favorite company that you’ve dreamed of working at. It’s great that you have this dream; but, are you really going to get the job? Make sure you are doing what you need to do in order to get where you want to be!

Explore. Try something new. Doesn’t matter if it’s food, a new reading spot, or a new place to travel. By trying new things, it keeps life interesting!

Axel (my fur nephew) and I are happy campers!

Accept who you are and own it! There are some things in this world that you cannot change about yourself. My one eye is slightly smaller than the other. My laugh turns into a cackle if something is really funny. I trip up the steps but never down them. I crack up at my own jokes. Really awkward things happen to me and I can’t do anything but laugh. Five years ago, I was humiliated by these things. Today, I wouldn’t change these things about myself for the world. Know who you are and fall in love with yourself. You’ll sleep in peace at night and wake up on the right side of the bed in the morning!

If you do these things, I promise you will have happier days! Not every day is going to be filled with rainbows and sunshine. Keep an open mind, accept that life happens, and move forward.

Don’t forget, “Today’s a good day to have a great day!”

-T

Advertisements

Single? 14 Reasons You Should Be Enjoying It

Let’s face it, it’s not easy being single when you’re twenty-three and all of your friends are engaged except for you. It’s also difficult when people question you as to why you’re not in a relationship. However, there is something that you have that they don’t; complete freedom! You can do whatever your heart desires without upsetting someone else.

There’s no reason to be moping around because you don’t have a special someone right now.

1. Treat yourself! Think of all the money you will be saving during the holidays, when you go to dinner, to the movies, amusement parks, etc. Instead of spending it on another person, treat yourself! Get that tattoo you’ve been dying to get! Save up for that new truck! Need a new wardrobe? Go buy it!

2. Keep plans with your friends! If hanging out with your best friend was torture for your ex and (s)he made you cancel plans multiple times; worry no more! Hang out with your friends everyday! They will appreciate it!

3. Dress for yourself! Don’t feel like dressing nice today and putting makeup on? Then don’t! You can dress however you want.

4. Shave? Nah! Have stubble on your chin or your legs? Okay. Don’t feel like shaving? Don’t! As long as you’re comfortable with yourself, I support you!

5. Shop ’til you drop! Yes, this falls under treating yourself. But… you no longer have to worry about avoiding your favorite stores because your partner doesn’t want to spend hours in there. Let that sink in for a second.

6. Movies. Remember that rom-com that you wanted to see months ago in theaters, but your ex refused to go see it? Buy it on DVD! Watch it over and over again! Send a Snapchat to your ex saying how great your movie is! Okay, maybe you shouldn’t send the Snapchat…

7. Story time! Remember that John Green book you purchased months ago? The one that is sitting on your night stand? The book you never opened that now has a layer of dust coating it? Yeah, that one. You now have all the time in the world to read! Make some tea, grab your book and enjoy it!

8. Don’t feel like going out? Great! Admit it, you went to the bars every single weekend just to please your ex. (Or to let other girls know your man is taken.) Stay in for a relaxing night. Have your own movie night, drink some wine, and get cozy with no pants on!

9. Sing loud and proud. I dare you to sing every song that comes on the radio! You’re going to have so much fun doing it! Why? Because no one else is there to tell you to shut up, that your voice is horrible, or that you are giving them a headache.

10. Food. Remember when you used to eat salads every time your partner took you out for dinner? Remember how you hated salads but you ate them to make yourself look good? Stop it. Instead of starving yourself and munching on rabbit food, get that steak. And if you’re still hungry afterwards, get desert.

11. Enjoy that empty bed! Sleep spread-eagle, diagonally, in a ball, or however you want. That space is all yours, baby! Get comfy!

12. Sweet dreams! You can sleep in peace knowing that you don’t have to worry about someone and question everything. Going to bed happy is all you need to sleep like an angel at night.

13. Travel. Go somewhere new. Make new memories and learn new things. Sometimes you need to get away to clear your mind. Save up some money, get your passport, throw a dart on a map and wherever it lands, go there! Or hop in the car one weekend and go for a road trip. It will be good for you!

14. Do what makes you happy! Go spend a day at the gulf course, you need it. Teach yourself a new song on the piano. Sign up for an art class. Grab your friends and go hit up the new micro-brewery in town. You deserve it.

This list can go on forever. The point is, you need to be happy. There’s no reason to be upset about being single. Give it time and I’m sure you will find someone. But for right now, why don’t you enjoy the ride?!

-T

Eight Ways to be Happily Successful

Ever cross paths with somebody who seems like their life is nothing short of perfection? The answer to that is yes. We all know that one person whose life is full of unicorns and rainbows and they are just so chipper 24/7 that we cannot stand them as a human being. Yes, those people. Why do we hate them? Because they are motivated individuals who actually strive and accomplish their goals. They have every reason in the book to be that happy. So instead of wasting time on hating these successful people, what we should be doing instead is working on ourselves. The goal is to better yourself, as best as you can.

The next question is: how do you get there?

1. Write a list of things you want to accomplish. What are your goals? Do you dream of working for a publishing house? Do you want to become a famous author or country singer? Whatever it is that ignites flames in your soul, that is your goal. Write it down and put it somewhere where you can see it every day.

2. Research & take baby steps. Now that you know what your goals are, do you know what is involved in moving towards those goals? Where can you get experience in the publish industry? Have you taken writing courses? Are you throwing yourself out there and volunteering to sing at local events? By making these little steps towards your goals, you are building experience and are getting closer to your goals.

3. Eat breakfast. You’re probably thinking, “How is eating breakfast making me closer to achieving my goals?” You know the song and dance, but you never participate. We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even though you don’t eat it. It revs up your metabolism, it gives you energy for the day, it curbs your appetite, etc. Start eating it. You’ll be happier as the day goes on. Besides, breakfast foods are delicious. There is nothing to regret.

4. Exercise. Again, you already know all of the benefits of exercising. However, this is huge in dealing with reaching goals and happiness. Picture this: you just graduated college. You’re sitting at your computer trying to find new places to apply for jobs. You find a job that wants to interview you. They want you to tell them how motivated you are in the work place. If you don’t look great, you probably don’t feel great either. Which means that while you’re trying to persuade this company into hiring you because you’re “so motivated,”, you most likely don’t look convincing. Think about “Misses My Life is Sunshine,” she probably takes care of herself. And if she’s exercising, she definitely feels great. Do the same. Do yourself a favor and get in the habit of exercising.

5. Get organized. Carry around a planner and make sure you include all of the important information. Nothing is more disappointing than wanting to be able to do something but calling and canceling your interview/ internship/ really important meeting that you should have went to because you couldn’t. This will save yourself from making ridiculous excuses as to why you missed an incredible opportunity.

6. Make time for your hobbies. Remember that piano that has been sitting in your living room with three years of dust coating it? Remember those blank canvases that are hiding somewhere in your house that you never painted? Or what about that basketball hoop that you make sure not to hit as you pull out of the driveway? One thing successful people do is make time for everything. Yes, they might be in college while working a job and an internship; however, at the end of the day, they are still happy because they still find a way to incorporate their hobbies over the course of a long day. If they can do it, why can’t you?

7. Sleep. While there are so many different things to do in the course of the day, sleep is one thing you do not want to miss out on. Make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep each night. You will wake up refreshed and with a positive attitude. Anything is possible with a positive attitude. How else can you get through the rest of your long day with a smile still on your face? Sleep!

And lastly,

8. Focus on yourself. Though Facebook is the first thing you check as soon as you unlock your phone, is it really that important? You do not need to be comparing yourself to what other people are doing. Who cares if Sandy just landed her dream job a week after college? Who cares if Tommy is now dating Morgan and they are living an unrealistic love life? What’s most important is what you are doing and if you are in the process of achieving your goals. The only person you should be comparing yourself to is the person you were the day before.

Overall, as long as you set goals for yourself and are trying to achieve them, that is all that matters. Know what you need to do and push yourself there. But don’t forget to do what makes you passionate. Make yourself a schedule and stick to it. Find the balance between work, social, private life and sleep, and you are golden. One day, you will be that person driving pessimists nuts because of how happy and successful you are. What are you waiting for?!

-T

How To Get Back in the Dating Field

So many times after a relationship ends, you or your lover (usually your lover) ends up with someone else immediately when the relationship is over. Whether they cheated or not, you can’t help but think of why and how they are in a brand new relationship already. It leaves you indulging in bottomless cartons of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. It also leaves you wasting an astronomical amount of tears and makes you question your existence. Instead, you should be throwing yourself out there getting the chance to meet someone new. Why? Because life is short and you’re wasting time. Besides, they moved on. So why can’t you?

You might find yourself saying things such as “I don’t want to be in a relationship right now,” “I’m never going to find anyone else,” or “I shouldn’t be focused on dating right now.” If you are, stop. Stop making excuses for yourself. You know very well that at the end of the day, you’re going to be thinking about how you wish you had someone to cuddle with while you’re lying in bed. You should be taking advantage of every second you have on this earth. You hear stories all the time about how two people randomly met while shopping or sitting in the waiting room while waiting for a doctor’s appointment. That could be you!

This leads to the million dollar question: how do you date? Unfortunately, you cannot just walk up to someone you think is attractive and tell them, “Hey, I think you’re cute. Let’s date!” Here are four tips from someone who recently just re-entered the dating field and is loving it.

1. Online Dating. Before you even have time to roll your eyes or completely dismiss it, give it a shot. First, we live in a world where people cannot breathe unless their cell phone is in their hand. And there are a lot of people out there on these sites, you are sure to find someone. Second, these websites let you showcase what you have to offer through pictures and answering questions. Who doesn’t like to talk about their self? Third, it is thrilling to see who you match up with. Nothing feels better than seeing someone who looks like they have their life together, is attractive and has an interesting profile, seems like you don’t have a shot with them, and then all of a sudden you get a notification saying you matched. It feels like Christmas, but instead of presents, you get boys/girls. And lastly, you never know who you are going to meet. You could easily meet the love of your life. If things go well between the two of you but you aren’t interested, at least you’ve made a friend.

One of the main fears with online dating that people have is that “what if they are a serial killer.” Easy solution. If you do decide to go on a date, make sure that you have a backup way to get home and always have friends nearby. If the first date is at his or her apartment, don’t go. If they are picking you up, make them pick you up at a different location that is not your house. Besides, it is not all that often that the whole serial killer thing happens, but it doesn’t hurt to have a backup plan.

  1. Have a friend set you up on a blind date. Who knows yourself just as good as you do? Your friends! Guaranteed they have attractive, single friends who have a great personality and similar interests. Even if your friends do set you up and you aren’t feeling 110% about the person, at least you have made another friend. At the same time, you never know if it is going to work out. This mutual friend could be your future husband or wife. At the other end of the stick, if it doesn’t turn out so well, at least you will have a good story to tell. It might not be funny the day of the date, but you will be able to look back later on it and have some laughs over the horrific date that never should have happened. And heck, you might even get a free dinner out of it! So why not?

 

  1. Go to your favorite place more often. Is that coffee shop downtown your favorite chill spot? So many people walk in and out during the course of the day. And if there isn’t many coffee shops in town, chances are the regulars will be there all the time. Introduce yourself and buy that cute girl her vanilla latte that she usually gets. Or that guy in the corner who works on his artwork daily, ask him to see his latest piece. Whether it is the gym, a bookstore, a gaming event, you name it, put yourself out there. You’re not going to meet new people if you sit in your bedroom every night with your cat.
  1. Say hi and smile to not so strange strangers. It doesn’t sound like much advice, but it will definitely help you along. If you see the same people at the same place every day, these strangers aren’t totally strangers. You recognize them. Instead of glaring down your “heart throb,” actually smile and say hi. It will show that you noticed them, shows that you are friendly, and proves that you are interested. Sounds a lot better than just making awkward eye contact and never getting anywhere with it. The best part of it is that it is completely painless. If you’re friendly and confident in it, you are going to get noticed and it would be difficult for them not to say hi back. Next time you see them, both of you will feel inclined to say more than hi.

Overall, dating is something that sound be exciting and fun. The best part about it is the fact that if it doesn’t go well, you don’t ever have to see that person again. You are not committed and it won’t be too late to back out. You will meet people of all kinds, and it truly is an awesome experience. With these four tips, it won’t be long until you are forgetting what your ex put you through. Forest Gump’s mother said it best, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” There is a chance you can find you future lover. There is a chance you might go on the worst date of your life, but in the end, all of it makes for a great story. Get out there and date!

-T