Thus far 2019 has been a very insightful, eventful and — not to jinx it — wonderful year for me! I have learned a lot about myself and my aspirations and I am at the happiest point of my life so far. June 1st, 2019, I turned 21 years old and have since been told repeatedly, “It’s all downhill from here.” However, I would consider myself a glass half-full kind of gal; I remain optimistic that the future I’m seeding will allow my love for life and vivacious spirit to flourish as the years pass. The new year opened a door introducing whirlwinds of change to my life — some good, some bad…
Over the past six months or so, I have worked on identifying and correcting flaws in my ways of thinking, allowing myself to understand the world from a perspective other than my own. As humans we are often too caught up in ourselves and our individual worlds to pause for a moment and observe life from another’s view. And although it may sound like I’ve got this thing figured out pretty well — I don’t. However, I have learned how to better control my emotional responses which impact day-to-day life. Each and every moment is a learning experience. It is up to you to use your skills to learn from it.
I used to allow myself to become overwhelmed with emotion – typically anger – and
sometimes ..often.. times acted irrationally. Again, not to jinx the good luck but since devoting effort to five steps my life has taken an upward trend! I am thrilled to see what future opportunities are ahead of me. (omg, so cheesy, I know.) But hey, sometimes you’ve just got to be your own hype-woman!
Anyway, getting to the point — these behaviors are behind me and I’m thrilled to say I have changed… A LOT. I’ve since moved, followed the steps (duuuh, that’s why we’re here), traveled, transferred colleges AND got a haircut! Ya girl rebranded — ALEX SWANSON®
This is not at all me telling you what you must do to be happier — I am just sharing what has been working for me. 🙂
- GET TO KNOW YOURSELF.
Spend time thinking.
Anyone who has taken a psychology class has heard of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This pyramid-shaped model breaks down the five needs which must be satisfied in order to be our truest, happiest self. Within the five needs there are subcategories of needs — it is up to you to identify YOUR specific needs. When it comes to my personal needs I feel most happy, secure and confident in myself when my needs of power, sex appeal, love and belonging are met. Once you’ve realized your needs, work towards achieving them!
I’m a CHAMELEON, dawg!
Express yourself unapologetically — do what makes you happy without worrying about the opinions or critiques of others. Fashion was also something I was reserved about. I never wanted to stray too far from the trends for fear of being “too different” (which is so silly looking back). I’ve since learned to stop caring about what others like and wear what I like.
Preppy, punk, goth, sporty, tomboy… all potential answers for defining fashion sense. I’ve always struggled placing myself into just one category. Anyone who knows me knows I can go from a dress and heels to athletic gear and sneakers to bathing suit and flip flops… all in one day (shrug).
Fortunately, I am one of those lucky people who are able to seamlessly interchange styles (or so I have been told). 😬 That being said I have self-titled my fashion as “chameleon”. (More on this in later posts, I promise!)
Basically what I’m saying is DO WHAT YOU’RE AFRAID TO DO and stop allowing fear to hold you back. I mean, I’ve wanted to blog for years now but I let the fear of what my peers might think stop me. Allowing the fear to be present prevented me from becoming my truest, happiest self — ALEX SWANSON®
2. FIGURE OUT WHO YOU ARE HAPPIEST AROUND AND EVALUATE WHY YOU’RE HAPPY.
Cut out toxic people.
Life is too short — and my time is too precious — to be spent with people who don’t have my best intentions in mind. Nowadays I surround myself with people who encourage me to be my best self and have a positive impact on my life. Although it’s common sense that toxic people do not have a good impact on your life, they are often the hardest people to disassociate from.
What makes you happy?
Evaluating the moment of bliss will help you to identify what is making you happy. The sense of smell is often associated with memories, making it a common trigger for emotional responses. Understanding what about the situation is making you happy will help for later controlling your emotions.
3. SPEND TIME BUILDING AND STRENGTHENING RELATIONSHIPS WITH THOSE WHO ENCOURAGE YOU TO BE YOUR BEST SELF.
“Ain’t nobody f**king with my clique, clique, clique, clique.”
Some of the most admirable people in my life are those which drive me to be the most authentic version of myself. Working towards building bonds with other individuals will help you throughout life whether it be business networking, friendships or romantic relationships! You will encounter people with mindsets which differ from yours. Just remember… there is always a silver lining.
4. BE SELFISH.
It’s okay to say no to hangouts. Spend time alone.
While it’s important to spend time with other people, it’s just as important to spend time alone. I very much enjoy walking, especially around the city, so often times you will find me wandering around Philadelphia pondering whatever is currently on my mind. Another way I like to spend my alone time is with music playing softly in the background. Allow yourself to think freely… let your mind wander — you might be surprised where the thoughts take you. Chances are during these periods of thinking you are going to be faced with viewing the realities of yourself. Although this can be incredibly daunting, we must first come to terms with our true selves before we are able to explore further.
5. WELCOME CHANGE INTO YOUR LIFE.
Switch it up!
Branch out of your comfort zone, meet new people, go to a coffee shop alone — do something you wouldn’t normally see yourself doing and see how it goes! I used to be nervous about speaking to people I wasn’t familiar with. However, since giving people the opportunity to share themselves with me I have gained a lot of knowledge and been introduced to many different perspectives of life. I often use the opportunity to listen to and best relate myself to the individual. Understanding someone else’s perspective is key to understanding the inner-workings of their mind. Whatever the change may be for you, welcome it with open arms! The first time is always the worst. 😉
Well that was a super long first post but hey, I finally did it!! If you stuck around until the end, congrats to you!
Thanks for reading!
Talk to ya’ll soon,