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Everyday we make decisions that directly have impacts on the people surrounding us. With this being said, we have the power within ourselves to make those impacts positive or negative. The beauty of making positive impacts on others is that it helps you make a positive impact on the way you feel about yourself as well. So here is my challenge to you: Complete these small actions on a regular basis, and see if they don’t help you see the world as a more positive place.

1) Smile Genuinely and Often at others.

It’s almost impossible to smile and not feel even a little happy. In fact, smiles have a way of being contagious. Spread the happiness by smiling genuinely at others you see throughout the day. Your friends, your teachers, your barista, and even people you walk past on the street. It’s a small action that can make a big difference around you.

2) Do something you’re passionate about for at least thirty minutes a day.

Whether it is cooking, playing guitar, or writing…take time this day (and all the days that follow) to allow yourself to do something simply because you really feel like doing it. Even with busy schedules it is important to allow yourself to leave some room for things you truly enjoy doing, even if only a half hour is all you can spare. This will help you stay focused and refreshed as you continue to meet deadlines, work on assignments, and all the other responsibilities you’re facing.

3) Get some sleep.

Getting eight hours of sleep each night isn’t always attainable, but it is always a good idea. Getting enough rest has really positive impacts not only on your body, but on your mood as well. Try it.

4) Actually listen to others.

Take the time to really listen to what others are saying to you. Do your best not to day-dream or zone out, and really allow yourself to be there for someone else. This action will help strengthen the relationships you currently have, and will allow yourself to forge new friendships going forward.

5) Spend time outside.

Explore your surroundings. Stop and smell the roses. Feel the sunshine. Take a short walk (yes, even if it’s cold). Just allow yourself to be completely absorbed in the moment. Oftentimes, fresh air and some sunshine are exactly what the doctor ordered.

6) Thank your parents.

Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in the stress of our daily lives that we can forget that this life is a gift. As my senior seminar professor explained to my class last night “you are the living, breathing, heart and soul of your parents.” Too often we fail to realize that precious point, and we don’t realize just how grateful we should be for this wonderful, maddening, and overwhelming experience that is life. Even if it’s been years, contact your parents and thank them for this gift…small steps lead to great strides, never forget that.

7) Create some non-negotiable time for yourself.

Create a list of a couple of things you need to do in order to be happy each day. These can range from starting the day with a cup of coffee, or going to the gym for an hour. Then, hold yourself accountable to achieving these small acts that make you happy each day. You owe yourself that small bit of happiness (and sanity).

8) Vow to complete (at least) one act of kindness each day.

Hold the door for the person behind you; give out a random compliment to a stranger, or even pay for the coffee of the person behind you in the drive-thru. These acts do not require much time, or money, from us but they can leave long-lasting impacts on the people we interact with. Plus, when you spread kindness, it has a wonderful way of coming back to you.

9) Laugh: wholeheartedly, and a lot.

10) Tell your loved-ones just how much you care.

When you spread the love, you can’t help but feel the love.

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