{Or at least, things that have made a difference to me when naps and tasty sandwiches weren’t quite cutting it.}

Scattering sunny words. It doesn’t matter so much when, where, or how; it’s a boost just putting positive energy into the world using such a powerful medium {though obviously cute kitten photos are never a bad idea, either}. On a recent whim at work, I took to the employee bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker and jotted YOU ARE EXTREMELY GOOD-LOOKING, and hid notes with cheerful declarations about co-workers. It was a blast, and everyone thought it was so weird. I highly recommend anonymous word bursts as a balm for the blues, the Mondays, or gout.

Learning to accept compliments and believe good and true things about yourself. This one is hard. For the longest time, when anyone paid me a compliment my automatic mental response was, “He/she is just being nice.” Or I would get embarrassed and gracelessly deflect the words. And while it is nice for people to express kind things, more than that, refusing to accept a heartfelt compliment is the equivalent of saying, “Your opinion of me is stupid. And so is your face.”

Isn’t it exhausting to invest in people who dissolve sincerity? So I have tried to accept compliments as an extension of someone’s genuine perception: “Tom Hanks likes that I am tall, therefore he is generously expressing this belief.” Others’ opinions are not something we can change, and it doesn’t serve anyone to reject positivity, right?

So what would happen if I let the {totally realistic} words of Tom Hanks put a daring glow in my rib cage instead? What would happen if I learned to own my height and declare myself a tall, hot cup of woman? If I expressed gratitude for such a positive perception from someone I admire? Most importantly, why would someone EVER disagree with Tom Hanks?

Imagining someone ridiculous cheering you on. During a recent stressful week, it was Mr. Bean. At my most desperate I pictured his thick eyebrows peaked in delight and an emphatic nod of commendation. It was perfectly insane and surprisingly helpful, like previous efforts to imagine someone making me angry as the bumbling Swedish Chef. It’s simply impossible not to feel cheered when Mr. Bean’s cavernous nostrils affirm, “I approve of your life choices; you’re doing the best you can. Carry on.”

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