9 Things We Need To Stop Stressing Over To Make Room For Success & Happiness

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School is tough. And sometimes, caught up in the chaos of it all, we take the little things in our lives we’re unhappy about and turn them into major stresses. We have enough things to think about without the added pressure we put on ourselves to live the perfect life. So, if any of the following already happened, here’s what to do:

Skipping the gym. Those “problem areas” on your inner thighs and the “gains” you didn’t make will just have to sit tight until tomorrow, because what’s done is done. And while it’s true that exercise releases happiness-inducing hormones and is really good for you, it’s not like you can change the fact that you already skipped the gym. So, resolve to go tomorrow, maybe improvise a workout in your room, and accept that guilt won’t get you anywhere healthy.
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Not getting 90% on that quiz. So you got one bad grade. There was a beautiful piece in The Huffington Post recently stating that your mental health is more important than your grades, and I have to agree. A grade is a grade, it does not define you. Just study more and get some help for the next evaluation.
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Indulging via snooze button. If you wake up a half hour later than anticipated, just go with it. Take your cup of coffee with a lively jog to class and expedite your shower. Being five minutes late to class once in a while probably isn’t worth worth the headache you give yourself over it. For next time, set your alarm earlier or challenge yourself not to snooze for an entire week.
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Destroying that box of cookies last night. That wasn’t the wisest move on the planet, nutritionally speaking, but your stomach is punishing you enough for it. And don’t even think about feeling guilty over it, because studies show that people who associate guilt with food eat more, which is the opposite of what you want. Just drink lots of water and maybe stop keeping cookies in the house.
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Not looking perfect that time you ran into your prof. Professors are people too. They have late nights just the same and come to class with stains on their shirts sometimes (true personal story). Just stand up straight and act confidently, and your professor won’t know the difference. People don’t notice half as much about you as you think they do.
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Spending $6 on a latte. You realized mid-extra-whip-extra-caramel-drizzle-salted-caramel-mocha that you shouldn’t have spent all that money on a flavoured cup of milk. Too late now! Letting money guilt spoil your expensive drink sipping experience will only give the buyer’s remorse more power, so just savour it and DIY your coffee for the rest of the week to compensate.
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Not having a boyfriend/girlfriend. Repeat this five times fast: I am enough. I am enough. I am enough. I am enough. I am enough. And don’t let Instagram, romantic movies or your popular best friend tell you otherwise.
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Staying home alone six of the seven nights in a week. Let me put it this way: does anybody post picture after picture on social media of how much fun they’re having alone at home? No? Shocker. So the idea you have in your head of everybody’s happening social lives is at least a little misinformed. Focus on enjoying yourself (and maybe inviting a friend over?), not on counting how many nights out you’ve documented on Instagram.
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Having accidentally consumed 8 hours of Netflix in one sitting. Sometimes doing that hits the spot, and others leaves you feeling empty and dazed. When you feel the latter, stop and evaluate what you just happened. Were you looking to Netflix to fill an emotional void? Did you use it to distract yourself from nerves or anxiety? What controls can you put in place to stop it from accidentally happening again? What happened has already happened, so don’t beat yourself up about it.
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I hope this doesn’t come across as too airy-fairy (an actual term used in one of my law readings!) because the way I approach problems actually isn’t. Think of these examples as a practical, rational way of looking at what has already happened. [This is where I insert one of those cheesy “the past is in the past, no use trying to change it now” quotes.] It isn’t to stop you from trying to better yourself (by all means, try not using the snooze button ever again if that’s what you want), but I care about you guys and hope you aren’t needlessly beating yourselves up over things that, on the macro, aren’t life-or-death matters.
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Have something to add? Comment below!
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With love,
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Dana

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