Diane Munoz is a counselor, blogger, and hardcore Ravenclaw dedicated to helping teens with anxiety overcome their fears so they can become confident, successful women.

5 Essentials to Happiness That Shouldn’t Be Missing From Your Life

5 Essentials to Happiness That Shouldn’t Be Missing From Your Life

Are you busting your butt to get good grades and get into a great college, but it’s making you miserable? Make sure you have these 5 essentials to happiness in your life and get ready to enjoy your success!

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One thing I love about being a Millennial is that we finally have more smart, successful ladies in movies and on TV for us to look up to. But, I’ve noticed that a lot of those awesome characters actually teach us some pretty terrible lessons about what it takes to be successful.

There are basically two categories of girlboss characters. There are the ones who seem happy and have it all figured out, like Rory from Gilmore Girls or Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation. And then there are the hot mess ladies who seem completely miserable. Think Paris Geller from Gilmore Girls and Liz Lemon from 30 Rock. Sadly, there seems to be a lot more hot mess girls on TV than happy ones.

So how can you become a girl who has it all figured out instead of turning into a hot mess? I’m glad you asked! According to Dr. William Glasser, the secret is in these 5 essentials to happiness:

Essential 1: Basic survival

I see you rolling your eyes! Yes, I know that you know that you need food, water, and sleep to live. But do you really? Like, are you actually making it a priority to make sure you get those things? Yeah, I didn’t think so. So let’s start with the basics, yeah?

  • Make sure you’re eating 3 meals and a snack or two everyday. Bonus points if they include foods that grew in the ground!
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. (Carrying a water bottle really helps.)
  • Make sure that you’re getting 8-9 hours of sleep per night.

I know that you are very busy. I know that you have an ungodly amount of homework to do, and clubs, and practice, and maybe even chores. I know. I really do. But here’s the deal. If you don’t take care of your basic needs, you are ALWAYS going to feel like crap. There are not enough A’s or Starbucks Frappuccinos in the world to make up for exhaustion. Remember, that amazing brain of yours needs your body to get it to class. So make sure to take care of it!

Related: 8 Smart Tips For Busy Teens

Essential 2: Fun!

Did you know that you need to have fun to be happy? It sounds kinda obvious when I say it like that, but how many people actually make fun a priority? Not any overachievers I know! And that’s a shame. Because any definition of success I can think of involves a lot of fun! Like hot air balloon ride in Paris, hang gliding in Rio de Janeiro, camping in a glass-ceilinged igloo under the Northern Lights kind of fun.

But don’t wait until you’ve “made it” to start enjoying your life. Because putting off happiness becomes a bad habit. And the magical day that you actually “have time” for fun might never come. If you want to be happy, start the habit of making time for fun now. Give yourself 15-30 minutes a day. An hour or two a week. You won’t regret it!

Related: 7 Signs You Need More Fun in Your Life

Essential 3: Belonging

People need people. We are social animals. There is a reason that people have gathered into large communities over time instead of just spreading out. Even the most hardcore introverts still need to be around people sometimes. When we feel like we don’t belong, we get lonely and depressed. That’s why breakups, being bullied, and arguing with friends or parents sucks so much. If you don’t feel like you belong, it’s time to make your relationships with friends and family a priority. All of the success in the world won’t bring you happiness if you don’t have anyone to share it with.  

Related: How to Fit in Without Selling Out

Essential 4: Freedom

In order to be happy, you need freedom! You need the ability to make choices for yourself. You need options. You need space. You need opportunities to do things for yourself. To have control over the direction of your life. This need is particularly strong for teenagers. If you don’t feel like you have enough freedom right now, it’s time to have a chat with your parents. (You can even show them this video if it helps!)

Related: How to Speak Up Without Feeling Like a Jerk

Essential 5: Power

Are you picturing a super-villain right now trying to take over the world? That’s not quite the kind of power I had in mind. What I mean is that to be truly happy, you need to feel like you can influence the world around you. You need a sense of achievement. To feel like you’re good at something. And you need other people to recognize your talents and achievements.

Does that sound lame or narcissistic? Oh well! It is what it is. A certain level of recognition is essential to happiness. We need to feel important and know that people value what we do. We just do. So, if you’re feeling a bit powerless at the moment, put more focus on your strengths and doing the things that you love. When you work hard at the things that you’re passionate about, people do eventually take notice.

Related: 7 Mantras for Success Every Ambitious Girl Should Live By


So, don’t believe what you see on TV. Misery is not a requirement for success. If you are unhappy, it’s because you have a need that’s not being met right now. If you make some changes and prioritize the things that are essential to happiness, you'll be able to start enjoying your life again!

For more tips like these, make sure to follow me on Facebook , Twitter, and Pinterest! 

5 Essentials to Happiness that Shouldn't Be Missing From Your Life | dianemunoz.com
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