For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
      ―Ralph Waldo Emerson

      Happiness is one of the most valuable things this world has to offer. While some say it can be bought, the truth is, one has to earn it through effort and dedication.

      By Roxanne Elhachem

      While some days may be harder, here are 5 simple ways to make all this happen for you this year (and always).

      1. Surround yourself with positive people and eliminate the toxic negative ones.

      Encourage yourself (Photo - kadena.af).

      Encourage yourself (Photo – kadena.af).

      People around us can make a huge impact on us every day of our lives. There’s a difference between a roommate who leaves you cute notes in the morning and a friend who criticizes your every move. You don’t deserve to take negativity from anyone, nor be with people who make you unhappy.

      Take away: Surround yourself with people who are going to push and challenge you to be the best that you can be. It’s easier said than done, but with effort, it can be done!

      2. Wake up every morning and tell yourself something positive.

      Surround yourself with positive poeple (Photo - Moni Mckein, pixabay).

      Surround yourself with positive poeple (Photo – Moni Mckein, pixabay).

      Believe it or not, you can manipulate your mind and become a happier person by just telling yourself you are! Wake up and tell yourself that it’s going to be a good day, and that spark of positivity alone will help you carry on through your day with a brighter spirit. Also, at the end of each day, write down one good thing you did or one strength you have on a list. Add to that list and see where you arrive over time.

      Take away: Keeping a brighter outlook on everything helps your very soul have hope and keep going!

      3. Do NOT live in the past.

      Living in the Past, oil on canvas by John George Brown (Photo - Christie's, wikimedia).

      Living in the Past, oil on canvas by John George Brown (Photo – Christie’s, wikimedia).

      One of the hardest things humans go through is not being able to forgive themselves for the past or forget past obstacles. Every day is a new day, and staining it with something from yesterday or previous events blocks your new day from having a chance to change things for the better and affects your surroundings poorly. Holding long grudges can ruin relationships with people and even your own mental state.

      Take away: We need to learn and let go of the past. It happened, and there’s no way to go back and change it. SO, take a step forward, change your future, and leave yesterday alone.

      4. Get some fresh air!

      Mari Werner: "Poetry is this very refined sort of essence of spiritual connection" (Photo - coloradoboulevard.net/mapping-the-artist-mari-werner).

      Mari Werner: “Poetry is this very refined sort of essence of spiritual connection” (Photo – coloradoboulevard.net/mapping-the-artist-mari-werner).

      We’ve all been there, stressful work days, intense finals week, and an exhausting week. You feel like you’re going to break down if one more person tries to make a comment to you.

      Go outside! Take a walk and just let the breeze run through your hair (as cheesy as that sounds). Let Mother Nature calm you down, go sit on a bench, and just breathe. Look up at the sky and rest a little.

      Take away: You’ll get your mind off your troubles for a second and prevent yourself from self-combusting.

      5. Accept yourself for who you are.

      I love myself (Photo - Tamás Fejes, pixabay).

      I love myself (Photo – Tamás Fejes, pixabay).

      It’s easy to criticize and hate ourselves for our choices and for what’s happening around us or the way we look, but we are only hurting ourselves.

      Self-Acceptance is one of the most powerful forms of medication we can prescribe to our mind, body, and soul.

      Take away: Live life to the best of your abilities, congratulate yourself on all your accomplishments, and yearn to achieve more!

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