15 ways to love yourself and the world around you

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Lately, I feel as if we are in an era of comparing – a non-stop, constant competition with each other. What happened to self-love and pure happiness? We must have more compassion for ourselves so we can appreciate and do considerate deeds for others.

We must find our happiness and let go of what we think our life is supposed to look like and celebrate it for everything that it is. Let go of what’s gone, be grateful for what remains and look forward to what is coming.

Along my path, I’ve discovered several major truths that resonate with me and support my personal effort to become a happier and more self-loving being. I am a constant work in progress, as most of us are.

To help you gain more perspective and have a foundation on which to begin your journey of self-love and happiness, here are 15 truths to remember:

1. There are two things that prevent us from happiness: living in the past and comparing yourself to others. Never compare and never let the sadness of your past and the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present.

2. Find something at which you excel. Maybe you are really amazing at working with kids or writing or painting and you just don’t know it yet.

3. Spend time alone. It’s OK if you want to stay home on a Friday night, marathon Netflix and eat pizza because you’ve had an exhausting workweek.

4. Read that book you’ve been meaning to read. In fact, read as many books as possible. Reading expands the imagination and sharpens the mind.

5. Exercise because it is good for your soul and not solely for your outward experience. Spend time outside. Discover a new trail or a mountain to hike. Soak up the sun. Appreciate your body and all the things it can do. Stop picking it apart — you will never achieve perfection.

6. Call your friends and family more often; don’t just follow them on social media. Remember when we used to have to call or meet up with people to hear their voices? That experience is so much richer.

7. Resolve the issues you might have with your family. Tell them you love them. Show up to family events and don’t have something better to do.

8. Always remember that you can’t fall in love with beauty or looks. When you get to know someone, all their physical characteristics start to disappear. You begin to dwell in their energy, recognize the scent of their skin. You see only the essence of the person, not the shell. That’s why when you really connect with a person, any physical imperfections disappear and become irrelevant.

9. Save up money and travel somewhere you’ve never been before. Step out of your comfort zone, do something different.

10. Laugh at yourself. If you realize you have two different shoes on, don’t worry about it and make it a joke. Just live. Love yourself. Enjoy the life you have been given and embrace each day with open arms as the best version of you.

11. Realize you will never be able to please everyone. Not everyone will like you. You won’t like everyone you meet. That’s perfectly fine also.

12. Be less judgmental and smile more. The more you smile, the happier you will feel. It makes others happier, too. Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.

13. Do favors. Don’t expect anything in return for the kindness in your heart.

14. Guard your heart, but be open. Don’t let people take advantage of you.

15. Look up at the sky. Realize that the stars are gorgeous. Look down at the grass. Appreciate how beautiful our surroundings are. Understand how lucky we are to live in such an amazing world.

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