How to Embrace a Happy Lifestyle:

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Happiness is not a destination you can reach, it’s a lifestyle you have to live.

Once you realize that no matter what you achieve you always find yourself saying “I’ll be happy when…” you start to shift your perspective on what happiness actually is. No matter what our dreams tell us, we all know that there isn’t going to be a magic point and time where we are completely happy. The reason we hang onto this hope is because looking back at our past we can point out years when we were. Our memory tends to throw out the bad days sprinkled in our good months, and it’s a good thing, looking back we can say that that was what happiness feels like, but you need to have the perspective on those times. Even your best times had nights you cried yourself to sleep.

So, if we can’t all of a sudden make it to happiness how to we become happier? Happy is a lifestyle, and it’s not one anyone can maintain 24/7. What all does this lifestyle entail?

Happiness is hard work, especially when your life isn’t making it easy. I’ve always been amazed by loved ones who are happy while going through hell on earth. You always marvel and ask them how they are doing it. The answer you normally get is along the lines of “I just decided to be happy.”

It isn’t that easy, but it is that simple. Here are some ways to embrace the happy lifestyle:

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The Act of Reinventing Oneself

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I hear people talk all the time about reinventing themselves, about what their lives would be like and what all they would do. And I’ve known people who have done it quickly and drastically. A girl I went to school with completely morphed into a new person over one summer break.

When it comes to reinventing oneself I think most people try and do it to quickly, they jump at it and try to change every aspect of their lives, then are disappointed because it doesn’t work quite like they planned. You can’t change most of your life in a split instant, it takes time to add friends and clothes, to find a new job, to create new habits, and a lot of people get so impatient that they give up and say “I would reinvent myself if I had the time or the money.” Things turn into dreams quickly and who we want to be fades into a figment of our own imagination.

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Four Easy Ways to Be a Better Friend

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I’m considering this a sister post to my Four Signs it Might Be Time to End Your Friendship  post from last month. There are some really clear signs that you should end a friendship, but there are also a few things that we need to do to be a better friends to those we want to keep. I think we all have a way of saying ‘I’m a good friend’ and brushing it off. I know I do it, but there are a ton of ways I can be a better friend, and they aren’t big ones, some of them are little and easy. (Maybe I’ll make another post about the big things, the ones that mean you take people into your house for weeks at a time, but lets start small)

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Blogging Advice & Why You Shouldn’t Follow All of It:

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The internet is a wonderful place and social media has become a huge part of that wonderment. The accounts we follow are visually pleasing and on point with our aesthetic, they’re enjoyable, but they are also full of motivation and little bits of insight. A big trend in social media lately is instagraming instagram tips and blogging about blogging.

I work in social media and a ton of the tips are amazing. They’re useful and they help you grow. When I’m doing work for companies I focus strictly on growing the audience, driving traffic, and interaction. All  of these things highlighted in these blogger tips posts.

But if they are so great why am I saying you should ignore some of them?

Social media is tricky because there are so many different uses for it. If you’re running a company your social media probably should be a little different then if you’re not. As bloggers we are a little stuck in the middle, some of us are selling services and have shops, some of us are doing promoted posts, and some of us are just blogging for us. If you’re strictly doing social media for a service or a shop, this might not apply to you, but if you fall into the other two, it probably does.

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Easier Wake Ups: Tips from the Least Morning Person ever.

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So you can ask anyone in my family, or any of my college roommates. I don’t get up. It’s not even I don’t get up easy, it’s just I don’t get up. I turn off alarms in my sleep. I crawl back in bed after getting dressed. I just don’t get up. So this summer that has been my main goal. To get up and to get up at a reasonable hour. So here is what I’ve learned a month in.

  • Set Two Kinds of Alarms: Set one normal alarm for when you want to get up, then set a second alarm, one for the last possible minute you can get out of bed. I’m talking rushing and barely making it on time. After one or two times rushing and panicking you’ll start making more of an effort to make that first alarm.
  • No Snoozes: With that being said, that first alarm and that second alarm is all that you get. Wake up call and last call.
  • Put your Alarm Across the Room: I told you I turn off alarms in my sleep? This keeps me from it. It also gets me out of bed. Win-Win.
  • Pull your Blankets All the Way Down: Let the heat out of them! It makes the bed less easy to crawl into again, less comforting, less likely for you to pretend you’re just “warming up for a second”.
  • Open Your Curtains: The moment you are out of bed open the curtains turn on all the lights. It helps wake you up and it helps cut the urge to crawl back in bed.
  • Stay Vertical: Don’t sit down to pull on your pants, don’t sit on the side of your bed, once your up you don’t go back down.
  • Cold Water: Splash your face, before you put on clothes or brush your teeth. It’ll help clear the fog.

15 Lessons from Year 20

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  1. It’s amazing how one facebook message can launch you into a friendship that’s been dormant for seven years. We play the “I’m just going to stop texting people and see who reaches out to me” and pretend like it tells us who is really in our lives for good. It doesn’t. It tells you who’s busy, or it tells you who is waiting on you to text first to see if you care. Stop being a child. Reach out.
  2. If you aren’t educated in a topic it’s okay to say that. Don’t try to keep up the fight just because you have an opinion.
  3. My body shape doesn’t actually matter that much- how far I can run when the dog takes off and how I sleep at night do. Health and image aren’t the same.
  4. We’re young, things don’t work out. That doesn’t mean that we’re doing anything wrong. Sometimes you have to go on a few dates before you realize what you’re looking for. Sometimes you can just go out to dinner with a guy just to see. It’s okay, the next boy you date doesn’t have to be your future husband.
  5. Taking much needed down time and being lazy are two very different things. When you get older you start to realize you’ve been lying about your days “off”. Don’t you have something you’ve wanted to do but “hadn’t have the time to do”?
  6. Dream big, reach for the stars, but keep in mind that you should also have plans for the time in between dreams, the steps to get there. Transitions should be enjoyed also. A lot of life is spent in transition anyways. 
  7. I look fine when I smile with my teeth, no matter what I’ve spent my life telling myself. And if someone gets a bad picture of me smiling with my teeth? That’s okay too, people on facebook have seen me in person, the people on here and tumblr who haven’t? They don’t actually care if I put out one bad picture for every 20 glossy ones. It’s how I look. Not flawless like Beyonce but damn good looking anyways.
  8. Study the masters. Of anything that you want. Learn everything you can from everything. You never should aim to “finish” your studies.
  9. Buy it in Print. Cook books, magazines, novels. Drip on the cookbook pages, rip out magazine articles, write in margins of novels. You’ll retain more. You’ll love it and won’t “click away”.
  10.  Indulge. They’re only guilty pleasures if you feel bad about them- which you shouldn’t.
  11. I spent years not speaking of my accomplishments because I didn’t want to brag. I thought the line was too thin to walk, but it isn’t. Show your skills or knowledge when on the correct topic for it and only mention it a few times through out the year. People can know you’re great at something without you being annoying about it.
  12. Don’t wait- Don’t put your life on hold. Things can be moved to the back burner, but you should never just be sitting around waiting for a call from him or that call from that dream job you applied to two months ago and never heard from.
  13. Dance alone, in public. Embarrass yourself every now and then. It’s how you have fun and learn that you shouldn’t be embarrassed by that anyways.
  14. Spend time with toddlers and puppies, you’ll understand why when you want to rip you hair out, then again when you see the beauty in it all. It’s something everyone should learn.
  15. Thank them. Do it again. And again. Never forget to say I love you. Never let someone think they aren’t important to you.

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Advice to Take to Heart:

215Someone is going to ask me about my phrasing, but there is just something about being at peace and in complete bliss that makes you feel light, like your soul weighs less. The weight of the world no longer seems so crushing.

My life has been improving consistently in the past three years. You could say adulthood is treating me well, but a big part of it is I’ve learned how to treat myself well. That right there is an under appreciated art form.

Here are my top tips to do just that:

  • Clean Out: Delete friends off social media that you don’t actually enjoy seeing on your main page. Delete old text message conversations. Clean out your contacts on your phone. Go through your desk, vanity, and closet. Get rid of the stuff you haven’t even thought about using in the past few months. Get rid of the weight of the past and make room for the things you actually need.
  • Make the Effort: You know that friend that you love but never see? Those people who you’ve always wanted to get to know but never have? Make the effort for them. Don’t do any of this “they’ll text me first” nonsense. That doesn’t work anyways, if everyone waits for someone to text them first no one would ever talk again. People are busy. You are busy. Make time for one another.
  • Journal: Blog, Photo journal. Do something to release the feelings and the memories. It’s a great way to distress and an even better thing to go through later on. You’ve felt this before, next time you do you can read yourself through how you got through it.
  • Stop Feeding Your Negatives: Stop reading the sad novels every time you pick up a book. Unfollow the depressing blogs. Download happier music.
  • Believe Your Beautiful: Tell it to yourself every time you look in the mirror. Check yourself out. Wear things that look good on you. When struggling, you just have to fake it till you make it.
  • Get Lost in Nature Every Now and Then: It’s easy to forget what being still means in a city. It’s important to emerge yourself in the great outdoors. Talk about distressing and recharging.
  • Engage: If you’re going to be on Facebook, WordPress, Tumblr, Twitter, than comment, send people pm’s. There’s a study that proves that people who interact on social media are happier than those who do not.
  • Wash your Towels and Bedding More Often: This sounds a little silly, but honestly it’s such an underrated pleasure.
  • Do Something New: There is more to life than just living, right?
  • Learn to Laugh it Off: How many posts do you see about “remembering the embarrassing thing you did three years ago”? And how often does something like that ruin your day. Everyone makes mistakes. You looked stupid. It’s okay, it’s all good, and in a movie you would laugh at it. Do it now. Let it go. Force yourself to the next topic.
  • Drink More Fluids: Water is the best, but tea is almost as good. Just rinse out some of those toxins.
  • Get Inspired: Read a book on something you strive for. Read a blog. Listen to a friend of role model. Listen to a tedtalk.
  • Set Realistic Goals: It’s nice to dream big. Hell, you should dream big. But make your goals possible. Nothing is more discouraging than planning for a one in a million chance and not getting it. High hopes, realistic expectations.
  • Let God into your Life: This can mean different things to different people. Figure out what it means for you.
  • Never Stop Creating: It doesn’t matter how good the end result is. It’s good for the soul, and it’s good for the mind.