Love, Self

10 Things Exceptionally Happy People Do EVERY. DAMN. DAY.

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The key to happiness — as cliché as it sounds — can't be found in other people. Happiness begins and ends with you. So take some time to go out and create your own bliss. Happiness is right around the corner!

Here are 10 ways to be the HAPPIEST. PERSON. EVER:

1. Choose yourself. Even if it may upset others.

This may mean setting better boundaries with friends — or even your boss. This may help you sleep better and feel better about yourself. It's easy to put ourselves last. Many things get in the way, like work or family. Start to put yourself first on the list.

It really is true: we can't take care of anyone else unless we take care of ourselves.

2. Allow yourself to make mistakes. 

Give yourself permission to slip up every once in a while. No one is perfect, we are human and we all make mistakes. This is giving yourself a pass, just like you would to a friend or family member. It's easy to give others a second chance but hard to do it for ourselves. Stop putting the expectation of being perfect on yourself.

3. Allow yourself to dream BIG.

Remember when you were a child and you had so many dreams? What happened to them? Don't focus on whether or not they come true, just allow them to happen. This will do wonders for your emotional state.

4. End ALL toxic relationships

Don't stay with anyone that makes you feel bad or hurts you. This can actually be harmful to your health. Recognize when you're in a toxic relationship, and give yourself permission to walk away from it. There are a lot of really good people out there that can't wait to meet you, so go and find them! You deserve it. 

5. Stop beating yourself up with negative self talk. 

This is something we have all done and it really is a waste of time. We tell ourselves things that aren't true. Maybe these are things you heard growing up, or that were shouted at you in a prior relationship. Replace each negative thought with a positive thought. It can be as simple as, "Today will be a fresh start."

6. Take time out to calm your mind everyday. 

Another one of those simple things that many people think they don't have time for. Five minutes of deep breathing or meditation can do wonders for the brain and the body. You are totally worth at least five minutes!  

7. Let go of the past. 

Stop blaming your parents or previous partners for current issues. They aren't perfect either, so this is a great time to start practicing gratitude. What do you appreciate about yourself and the people who've influenced you? Write a list and keep it close by. This will help when you are feeling down.

8. Be realistic. 

Nobody is happy all the time, and a real friend doesn't expect you to be that way. You feel both good and bad emotions, and that is all right. Allow yourself to be human.

9. Have fun. 

Do the things that really light your fire! Having fun is good for your health. Make it a priority. Make sure to plan time to have fun with the people who treat you right and that you most enjoy being with. 

10. And lastly, don't stop believing in yourself

Don't give up on you. Don't let other's opinions bring you down. Remember, it's only their opinion and it can always change. Start everyday with a positive affirmation and focus on it during the day. Especially when that critical voice pops inside your head.

Start with just one of these steps today. You will begin to love and accept yourself more. Just imagine what it will be like when you practice all ten of these steps.

Lianne Avila is a Marriage and Family Therapist. She has been helping others for fourteen years and absolutely loves her work. Please visit her website for more help.

This article was originally published at Lessons For Love. Reprinted with permission from the author.