We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the advice that changed their lives in 2018. Here's what they shared:
1. Focus on what you can control.
The best mental health advice I've ever received was to only focus on what you can control. Most of my time and energy had been spent desperately trying to control everything around me, and not surprising, my anxiety was out of control. Once I accepted that I can only control myself, it felt as if a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.
2. It's okay to leave a situation if it doesn't feel right.
It is okay to leave a situation if you're not comfortable. You dont have to please everyone or "stick it out".
3. Hindsight is a gift.
"Use your experiences and what you've learned to grow into the kind of person you want to be." –My therapist
4. Timidity creates nothing.
This quote from Circe by Madeline Miller really pushes me every time I feel like I'm not good enough to try something. Can't talk to new people? Well, you won't make new friends! Can't start a story? You'll never finish one! You can be timid, or you can grow.
5. Everyone is winging it.
Everyone is trying to find their way like you are. You got this.
6. This world is full of people waiting for someone else to make the first move.
I had been distant with my dad for years, and both of us are too egotistic to call. We used to be close, and this made me send him a text.
7. People don't do what they do because of you — they do what they do because of them.
Forgive. Move on. Be kind.
8. Don't drink the office Kool-Aid.
That's the best piece of advice I’ve gotten this year, from an ex-boyfriend/ex-coworker. Working in a tech company, literally everything is handed to you (work, money, social groups, food), so whenever your work gets hard, the rest of your life suffers, because now your entire reality is in jeopardy.
9. Live life not by the hour or minute, but by the second.
10. Don’t let anyone play in your head.
My advisor told me this after I admitted that my other professor was ridiculing me and calling me names. Basically, it means you shouldn’t let anyone else tell you who or what you are.
11. If you're struggling, remember that it's okay to focus on the small things.
If you're struggling and need a reason to stay alive, remember that it's okay to focus on small things. Stay alive because you don't want your cat to miss you. Because you really want to see how The Big Bang Theory ends. Whatever it takes to keep you going is okay. It doesn't have to be some big thing, as long as it works.
And if you feel worthless, remember that other people think of you in ways that you will never know about. You give them happiness that you don't realize. Maybe you gave someone a really cool coffee mug a few years ago, and whenever they use it, it brightens up their day. Without you, they wouldn't have that little bit of extra joy. And you have no idea what the future could hold. Even if you aren't hopeful or excited about it, aren't you at least curious? Wondering what's around the next corner can be enough of a reason to keep going.
12. Nothing changes if nothing changes.
This quote can be matched with any situation. Not happy with your job? Boom. Your significant other sucks? Welp. You wanna get healthy? It works. This has impacted me in more ways than one. Who knew so few words could be so powerful!
13. It's not that you're not good enough, it's just that people have different visions.
I’m an actress and my director told me, “It’s not that you’re not good enough, people just have different visions and you might not fit their exact idea and there’s no harm in that. Just be you and know that that’s enough”. That lifted a weight off my shoulders.
14. Your mind is like a garden. Some thoughts are beautiful and healing like flowers, while others clutter and suck the beauty out like weeds. You need to care for what you want to grow.
I've struggled with depression and anxiety over the last few years, and this is one of the best pieces of advice regarding my mental health that I've ever heard. It's made it easier for me to banish negative thinking from my daily life.
15. Be ruthless for your own well-being.
Holly Butcher, who died from cancer at 27, wrote this in a letter that was shared by BuzzFeed just two days after I'd left an abusive relationship. It really hit home for me. For the next six months, I had friends and family who had no idea what I'd been going through for the past three years question most of my decisions and feelings.
The path I wanted, and knew I needed to follow, led me to divorce. I lost so much in the process. But I learned how to say “yes” to myself and to say “fuck it” to other people’s expectations and opinions.
16. Just because someone loves somebody new, doesn't mean they didn't love you.
I was struggling when my ex got into a new relationship and my mom told me that just because he loves her doesn’t mean he loved you any less. That really hit me because I was comparing our relationship to his new one when they had nothing to do with each other
17. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.
I lost a lot of confidence when I decided to explore activities out of my comfort zone, and found that there were people who were naturally talented and excelled easily at things that were so difficult to me. But at the end of the day, hard work is the ultimate difference between the winners and the losers.
18. This situation is not okay, but you will be.
Someone told me that even though the situation I was in was not okay, I would be. That has stuck with me, and I tell everyone that when they are having a rough time.
19. You can only do what you can do.
My supervisor told this to me early on in my (still very new) job working in foster care. It can get discouraging, but it helps to remember that I can’t control everything, and that doing my best is enough.
20. Don't be afraid to change your mind.
I was fortunate enough to be with my 100-year-old grandma as she lay dying in November, and she said: “Never be afraid of changing your mind when you know you’re in the act of making a wrong decision for yourself. The pain of continuing to live with the wrong decision is far greater than admitting you’re wrong and changing your mind.” I miss you, Grandma Lola.
21. Don't let labels complicate your identity when they don't need to.
When questioning my sexuality, a friend really saved me by pointing out that labels are literally just words we made up. They can be useful in communication, but whether or not I need them is up to me. I’m facing a whole new set of labels in a sense and I’m much more at peace.
22. It’s very difficult to be mean to somebody who’s nice.
My little sister went through some bullying recently, mostly due to being around the wrong people, and I heard my dad tell her: “It’s very difficult to be mean to someone who’s nice.” That stuck with me so hard! I always think back on it when interacting with others.
23. Emotional wounds take time to heal, just like physical ones.
Being unable to push away bad feelings always made me feel awful. But now, knowing that emotions take time to recover makes me feel better about feeling bad. I give myself time and space to heal now.
24. It's okay to not be okay.
I heard this during a mid-twenties crisis and it helped me to keep smiling. Eventually life made sense again.