I suggest you read this beautiful and inspiring post at the blog Purpose Fairy, entitled 15 Things You Should Give Up to be Happy. I decided to make my own list, but with a twist – ten things you should NEVER give up to stay happy :) We’re all looking for a get-happy quick approach to life, but we forget to accept that life is truly a rollercoaster (pardon my cliche), full of shitstorms and beautiful days and tearjerkers, and there’s no right or wrong way to deal with the things in your life. Every person comes from a different, unique background with varied experiences – who says that giving up one thing will instantly make you happy? I say live with no regrets and no looking back. If you’re looking for the easiest way to approach life, I’ve boiled it down for you into just ten things to never, ever give up on, no matter what. These may be obvious to you, but remember they’re just reminders for staying happy.
Pardon my cheese, if you will, but you should really never lose your sense of adventure! Never give up on that nagging pull of your heart telling you to travel, to risk, to try, to explore – that is the essence of life itself, and if you just surrender to it JUST ONCE, I guarantee you won’t hold any regrets. Your heart and soul will thank you.
BIG TIP: Got a free weekend? Go to the airport and buy the next flight out of there. Enjoy where you go, no matter where it is.
Go out and play! Playing isn’t just for kids – grown-ups should retain that imagination, too. Never, ever lose that, or you’ve lost something very vital to happiness. Look up some adult coloring pages or color-you-own mandalas and color outside the lines (or inside, if you’re anal like that). Play with your children, build a fort out of blankets, write a story, act out a play – do anything to keep your mind whirring!
BIG TIP: Play dress up, and give yourself a different identity just for one night. Go out on your own. Be mysterious.
NEVER FORGET TO SMILE. Smile when you’re sad and I guarantee you’ll feel just a little happier. Smile at strangers, at your family, your friends, your loved ones, and you’ll not only brighten your own day, but theirs too!
BIG TIP: Make a vow that one day a week, you’ll try to make someone smile through just your own smile.
There is no excuse to stop your education – and I don’t mean college or university or high school, I mean in general – you should ALWAYS strive to learn more. There is so much that you DON’T know – so go out there and discover something. Learn how to do something new. Watch a documentary. Take a class on something you know absolutely nothing about. Whatever you do, never give up on learning, and your brain will thank you!
BIG TIP: Embrace the inner nerd – go to the library, open up an encyclopedia to a random page, and research something from that page until you’re an expert. Brag about your new-found knowledge, or teach someone what you know!
No matter what, you were born into that beautiful brood, and their your blood and bones forever. Try your best to love unconditionally, no matter what may happen. Fights happen, and so do splits and divorces and marriages and resentments – but try to steer clear of all of that, and be the one that brings your family together. Be the one that keeps your family standing strong, even through the worst of times. Love them for who they are, instead of resent them for what they might have done.
BIG TIP: Start a family tradition or annual reunion and keep it going. Remind everyone at these family occasions of your love for each other and continue to build mutual respect and friendship between everyone you’re related too.
They accept you, completely and plainly, for the weirdo that you truly are, inside and out. They’ve been with you through the bad and the REALLY bad, and still stuck with you to the end. So never, ever give up on those friendships. I know how hard it is to keep up long distance friendships, but if you really care about them and want them in your life, don’t give up. Promise to email every week, or send snail mail. Stay connected. Don’t give up on those friendships!
BIG TIP: Come up with a silly holiday for just you and your friends to celebrate – a weird national holiday, an annual sports event, etc – and make it an entire weekend of festivities. Keep those friendships strong!
Remember that childhood dream of yours? You wanted to be a singer; a fireman; a ballerina? Don’t vicariously live through anyone else – live your own dream! No matter what age you are, your inner child will celebrate you following your dream, even in the smallest of ways. Try out for American Idol, just to say that you did, or put a video of you singing on YouTube. Volunteer as a fireman. Take a ballet or dance class and OWN your recitals. Don’t give up on them, or dismiss them as too “childish”!
BIG TIP: Chase your dream and document it through pictures – take a community college class that has to do with your dream and celebrate your inner child’s dream coming true!
You’ve got a hobby, I know you do – you might not think it’s a “real” hobby, but whatever it might be, it is so instrumental in your continuing happiness. Your hobbies offer you an escape – a way to release the stress from your everyday life and switch up your everyday routine. Whether it’s painting, or writing, or collecting, or exercising – make time everyday to enjoy your hobbies.
BIG TIP: Schedule your hobby into your week – give it a special time of the day and ask your family to please give you space to enjoy your hobby. Sometimes you need something of your very own to stay sane!
Your health and well-being is sort of a no-brainer, but sometimes in our busy lives we forget that we need to take care of our bodies. Exercise regularly, drink enough water, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” – whatever you need to do to keep yourself feeling well, confident, and awesome, do it – NO excuses! If you need help, go seek it. There are so many options out there to keep you on track, whether it be a personal trainer, a nutritionist, or a therapist to help you mentally, get over your fears and do what’s best for you. If you take care of your body, it’ll take care of you – and your mood will lift instantly!
BIG TIP: Break one of your unhealthy habits, and replace it with another one. For example, for one year, you could vow to not drink any soda and drink more water- you’ll be amazed how great you’ll feel :)
and lastly –
Don’t ever give up on yourself. (Here comes the cheese again…) But in all seriousness, believing in and having confidence in yourself is so key to your happiness. You truly are the only you out there. You are unique and beautiful and wonderful in every single way, and never, ever forget that.