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There are lots of sad, depressed, and/or angry people out there, but who says you have to be one of them? Easier said than done, you say? I’ve said that line a thousand times myself.

But it’s been proven that you are healthier if you have a good attitude. So why not do something relatively small, compared to things like marriage, or going to the moon, if it helps your health? (I mean that changing your attitude is small and good.)

Try using humor to lift your spirit. If you want, try a joke book, or a comic book (the ones with comic strips, like Calvin and Hobbes). It works for me. Pie is good too.

If you want to make yourself feel better, just count the things you have to be thankful for. If you don’t have very much, try counting the small things.

For example: I can look out my window and see beautiful greenery, I have a great pet cat, I have friends, I have toys, and I have internet. Think about it: if you have an electronic device to read this with, you almost certainly have other things to be thankful for. Who says you have to wait for Thanksgiving to be thankful?

If you’re the kind who’s go, go, go, try planning in some time where you just relax and do something fun. It’s no problem for me, but it might be for you. But I can tell you one thing, it’s certainly worth it. And I speak from experience.

Are you the kind who “can’t” take time off? Try taking just a moment off of work for fun. Taking time off dosn’t mean taking a whole day off. Think of things you can do in a few minutes to make yourself feel better. If you don’t know what you like, then take a few breaks in order to experiment.

Do you think lowly of yourself? If so, well, that’s not good. Think about what you do. Think about how many things you do on a regular basis. If you can do all these different things, then how can you be worthless?

For those of you who make/have made lots of mistakes, consider this: your body is controlled by your muscles, your muscles are controlled by your brain, and your brain is controlled by you. You are in control, and if so, you are not completely controlled by fate. Don’t feel bad, it just means that you have to be careful and properly use your control.

Also consider this: say you do something you shouldn’t (like be really mean, hurt someone, or whatever it is that you sometimes or “always” do). Think what it would be like if you were on the receiving end. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Try doing this as well: when angry, count to ten before acting; when very angry, count to a hundred. Thomas Jefferson said that. This is something far too few people are doing. I did this once. (That’s “once” because I only discovered the idea recently.)

Don’t get discouraged; even I am still working on making these kinds of things habitual.

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Erik McShirley finished his first book, Tales of Victor Lightning, at the age of nine, while simultaneously completing fifth grade as a homeschooler. He also has a story printed in an anthology of winners from a kid's writing contest. The anthology is titled, The Mysterious Letter, A New Home, and Awakening to Adventure!

He periodically updates his very own webpage, using HTML taught to him by his mother.

Erik enjoys being helpful around the house and garden, as well as in his parents' offices — especially for the money he earns to spend on his favorite toys: Legos®

Erik has many comic strip books which he has read many times over. He enjoys being humorous and often makes his own jokes which keep his parents laughing.

He loves his large white cat, Milky, and his backyard full of wildlife.

For more information, please visit Eric's Website

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