Even the hardest days contain lessons that will help you be a better person. Feeling down? Consider these things to remember when you’re having a bad day.

1. No one promised life would be perfect.

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” -Leo Tolstoy

Don’t condition your happiness on meeting every expectation you set for yourself. It is good to be ambitious, but you’ll never be perfect. If you expect otherwise, your life will be rife with disappointments.

2. Success doesn’t happen overnight.

“Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” -Molière

Don’t kid yourself into thinking success will come quickly. It isn’t easy to be patient, but anything worth doing requires time (often, lots of it!). If you get frustrated, remind yourself why your goal is important.

3. There is a lesson in every struggle.

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
-Haruki Murakami

Don’t complain about how terrible your life is. It is tempting to do, but stressing out won’t make you feel any better. If you search for the lesson in your present struggle, you’ll be able to make positive changes that would prevent similar situations in the future.

4. Without hard times, you wouldn’t appreciate the good ones.

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger

Don’t get sad if you lose. It is hard to find much to smile about when you fail, but how else would you improve yourself? If you look at failure as a part of your evolutionary process, you’ll stay positive and pursue your goals for as long as it takes.

5. It’s okay to cry sometimes.

“Do not apologize for crying. Without this emotion, we are only robots.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

Don’t be afraid of crying. It isn’t a sign of weakness, but rather an acceptable way to let go of your upset feelings. If you let those feelings build up without release, you’ll have a much harder time dealing with them later.

6. It’s not okay to worry forever.

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” -Corrie ten Boom

Don’t worry about everything. It is human nature to obsess with all the things that could go wrong, but this will result in a self-inflicted mental nightmare. If you forget about the things you can’t control, you’ll be empowered to to concentrate on the things you can.

7. No one’s life is as picturesque as it looks.

“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.” -Marcus Aurelius

Don’t compare your life to what another person reflects online. It is okay to interact with your friends online, but don’t believe everything you see. If you feel like your life pales in comparison, realize that you are comparing yourself to a highlight reel of their lives.

8. It takes courage to ask for help.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” -Martin Luther King Jr.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help. It is tough to put yourself in a vulnerable position, but opening up to a friend will help you deal with your troubles. If you feel like a burden, remember that no one would have achieved much if they didn’t ask for support when they needed it.

9. You deserve love and happiness.

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” -Abraham Lincoln

Think of something you are thankful for right now. It could be the cup of coffee you had this morning, the sweet puppy you’ll be going home to tonight, or the healthy set of eyes that allowed you to read this article. It’s so easy to lose sight of these little things when we’re upset. I challenge you to break that trend. The next time you get upset, think about something that makes you happy. Repeat this behavior until it becomes second nature. Your negative thoughts will have no power over you if you learn to stop lingering on them.

Featured photo credit: Mr Newman: The World’s Saddest Dog is Back/Christopher Michel via flickr.com

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