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About a week ago, a lady at the laundromat started a conversation with me. This is not unusual, but I typically balk at chit chatting around the laundromat. I’m like Tom Cruise in an action movie. I want to go in, do what I came to do, and leave without a problem.

However, this laundromat client was different. She complimented me in a way that was not creepy and had no look of desperation in her eyes for human contact. A refreshing moment.

“How do you do it?” she asked. “You have smiled the entire time you’re here. How do you stay so happy all the time? You should teach a class!”

Maybe I will teach a class one day, but until then, here’s what you need to know.

  1. Make short lists.
    We all have idiot errands/chores that get in the way of our fun. If you make long to-do lists, you won’t accomplish anything, and you’ll feel like a failure. If you HAVE to do all these things, make a priority list or a week by week goal setting on the calendar.
  2. Sleep through your responsibilities.
    I did this today, and it felt FANTASTIC until I woke up and had to reschedule. Remember what they say in What About Bob? Baby steps.
  3. Reward or praise yourself for small accomplishments.
    Cookie? Dance? Kiss? Just don’t randomly kiss some unsuspecting stranger or person. Unless you know they want you to kiss them (do you know?). Otherwise, that will make you UNhappy (I could write a list about that too).
  4. Write 3 things you’re thankful for each day. 
    It sounds stupid, but I’m totally serious. If you write it, you’ll be like, “Oh yeah, I have some awesome things in my life.” You’ll feel a little George Bailey at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life. What would he write down? Friends, family, BELLS.
  5. It is what it is. 
    If I had a dollar for every time I told my mom this, I probably wouldn’t need a normal job. Maybe I should make her start paying me, because there is some serious undercharging going on here…
  6. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t change things or do your part.
    When I say “little lists” or “baby steps,” don’t shirk what you have to do. Sometimes, even doing hard things feel better once you’re done.
  7. Tell someone how you’re feeling. Get support!
    Beyond belief depression means that you should get support. Don’t keep living a crappy life that keeps getting crappier. I know you think you’re the Simon & Garfunkel song “I am a Rock,” but you are actually the theme song from Scrubs. You CAN’T do this all on your own. You’re no superman. So reach out to people.
  8. Pray! Or ask someone else to. (If this does not apply, skip to number 9.)
    Maybe you just pray for everyone else. If you want to be happy, not only should you be thankful for what you have, but don’t forget about you. Ask others to pray for you.
  9. Get out of the house.
    I am serious. I will chase you.
  10. Do epic shit.
    My friend says this all the time. Recently, one of my friends went to Epic Beer Fest. When she told me, I was like, “Oh that’s the NAME. I thought you were just calling it that.” Get your friends together and go out and do things. Make plans to go places and then go. Shop. Fucking live.
  11. Cry now and then.
    There are some great scenes from movies and tv where people cry. When you cry, you can do that. You can even pretend to be Tobias crying in the shower or in the rain. Just don’t do it all the time or you’ll have to move on to other things on my list.
  12. Dance or work out or make something beautiful while listening to happy stuff. Or do something positive that lifts your mood.
    Listening to music (happy music, guys) can seriously improve moods. In the words of Barry, stop listening to “sad old bastard music.”

    [Dr. Horrible via shitthesignssay.tumblr.com]

  13. Animal Therapy.
    Pets are the best.
  14. Get help.
    People commit suicide all the time. Don’t be a statistic. Someone will TOTALLY miss you. I can guarantee. It will ruin other people’s lives. Get help.
  15. Volunteer.
    Nothing makes us feel better like helping someone less fortunate than us.