1. Remember gratitude.
This requires some alone and silent time. I know that it can sometimes be hard to come by, but my time to remember gratitude is when I drive by myself. Pick a short drive (to school, work, lessons, etc.), and take the entire time to list things you’re grateful for. I do this driving home from ballet (about a 5-7 minute car ride.) No radio, and no wishing, complaining, or worrying. Just make a mental note of everything in your life you are grateful for. Try it! It’s easier than you’d expect.
2. Use less “I” language.
“I” language is when you speak about yourself. Example: “I’m hungry. I tried that. I like it. I think…” and so on. Of course it’s sometimes needed, but a majority of people use it too frequently. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone (including myself) say, “I’m tired” at school, I would be rich. It is also accompanied by a groan preceding or following the statement. High school makes you tired. So does college, raising a family, and working. So let’s get out of the habit of using this “filler sentence” and fill it instead with a positive thought, compliment, or question. So, just try to think less about yourself and more about others. If someone strikes up a conversation, try to avoid saying “I” and instead ask how THEY feel, and be genuine. Using less “I” language will help you be a better listener, friend, and family member
3. Keep your room clean.
This seems like a strange thing to say, and I admit it’s not the ultimate key to happiness, but I promise it helps! There is something about walking into a room with a nicely made bed and a Bath & Body Works plug-in in the wall. A clean room also helps you stay organized, and is a place where the Spirit can be. My room is important to me because I say my prayers, read my scriptures, do homework, and relax in it everyday. It’s my own little piece of my house, and with 7 siblings it’s so nice to have my own space. Even if you share a room, keep it clean. For young women, remember that someday you’ll have a whole house to clean! Make sure your room is a place you and the Spirit feel welcome and comfortable.
4. Be serendipitous
This is an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. So go on a journey to find one little thing that brings you joy. I’m sure you already have one, but find a new one! Change is exciting, stimulating, and fun! My newest “serendipity discovery” is rocking out to music. I’m a ballet dancer, so dancing to music is a daily occurrence, but I put on an upbeat pop song and rock out in my room. I try to be spontaneous about it and I get out dance moves that are too embarrassing to do anywhere but alone in my room. 😉 It usually happens after doing two hours of AP English homework. 🙂
5. Be wholly healthy
This means being healthy spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Drink more water, get more sleep, and eat less processed sugar and more greens. Read scriptures; attend church and seminary cheerfully. Pray often, forgive, repent, and learn. Write in your journal, and do your best at school. Memorize a scripture or hymn just for fun. Work on expressing your emotions. Something I just started working on is realizing that saying something like, “I feel like I want to go out” is not an emotion. We substitute real emotion words for the word “feel,” but it doesn’t describe our real mood. Even saying, “I am overwhelmed,” instead of “I feel overwhelmed” is empowering and more clear.
I hope these tips give you some insight and inspiration to make a bad day into a beautiful day and a sad mood into a joyful one!
Golda Dopp- Guest Writer
I’m the oldest of seven kids, a senior in high school and I live in Utah. I love to travel! I’ve been to nine countries and collect snow globes from the places I’ve been. I love to dance, write and play the flute. I plan on serving a mission when I turn 19. 🙂