1. Start off by looking at yourself - Not in comparison to anyone else, but just look at yourself. Ask yourself these questions.
- Who am I?
- Where do I currently stand in my life?
- What role do I play in others lives? (Sister, mother, friend, role model, teacher, partner, etc..)
- Am I living to my fullest potential?
- Am I happy? Fulfilled? At peace?
- Why, or why not?
2. One huge mistake people make in their lives is sheltering themselves from pain - Hiding from the truth. Denying reality. DEATH exists. Become at peace with that. MURDERS and RAPE and DISEASES happen. Accept it. Once you face the facts that life isn't all rainbows and butterflies, you will be more prepared to handle tough situations, and you won't take disappointment as such a shock.
3. Determine which people in your life are actually worth your care - Eliminate all the fake friends and the users from your list, and list only those who make you feel happy when you're around them. Now make an effort to spend more time around those people, and less time around the people who do no good for you or your life. It's okay to be a little selfish in this sense every once in a while. Just be sure you give back an equal amount to what you take (and that doesn't only mean physical things, but emotional needs, as well).
4. Look on the dark side - Yes, this isn't a typo, the DARK side. Because often times, when dealing with personal relationships, looking on the bright side just leads to disappointment when we are let down from what we expect or wish to happen. As the cliche' goes, hope for the best, expect the worst. Did you know the formula for happiness is reality divided by expectations? What it means is don't think you are going to get what you want.
5. Find something you love to do, and do it - Do it often. Simple as that.
6. Often, change is a good thing - Welcome something new into your life, whether it be a new friend, a new interest (separate from the one from the step above), or a new favorite show you watch religiously. Change up your routine a little.
7. Think back to something you loved in your childhood - Was it your passion for doing hair? Your love of Barney? Maybe playing make-believe with your friends? Revisit one of those things, and you will most likely recreate the joy it used to bring. Play Barbies with a young child, or do a little girls hair. Let a child bring you into their carefree world for a few hours. It could be your little cousin, your own children, or you could babysit.
8. Always try to see every situation from each person's perspective - Don't just see things your way, actually take the time to try to see things through the eyes of another. You'll gain insight, which can be enlightening.
9. Blast some music and just dance your heart out - Lose it in the music. Either alone or with friends. Just dance for hours. You'll get a good workout and release endorphins, which make you happy.
10. Try something you've never tried before - Take up a class, or use directions and try to figure it out for yourself. Cooking, painting, whatever. And if you screw up, laugh it off. It was all in the name of the experience.
11. Smile. As often as possible - When you don't even feel like it. Just do it. All the time. It will eventually rub off.
12. Stop hiding from your misery - Realize the cause of your negative feelings and attempt to fix the problem. If you simply cannot fix it, screw it. Anything that is out of your control is a waste of your time. No longer let it faze you.
13. In the end it comes down to you - Only YOU have the power to allow yourself to be happy.