Welcome to our special section, Thrive on Campus, devoted to covering the urgent issue of mental health among college and university students from all angles. If you are a college student, we invite you to apply to be an Editor-at-Large, or to simply contribute (please tag your pieces ThriveOnCampus). We welcome faculty, clinicians, and graduates to contribute as well. Read more here.

Revelations don’t always have to be loud or announced to the world. Sometimes a puzzle piece just fits when it’s meant to. My awakening was something like that analogy.

I’m not here to tell you how I got to that big realization, but more about what I do now to maintain my current state of mind. I’m in the phase of my life where I’m blossoming into my potential and I’m proud of the woman I’ve become. I want to share ways in which I have improved my outlook and performance in life:

1) Wear your experiences with gratitude!

Practicing gratitude daily is the number one catalyst to feeling good. Acknowledge that everything you’ve experienced till date has a purpose. The battles you’ve fought and the struggles you’ve faced are proof of your abilities. When I wake up in the morning, I remind myself how fortunate I am to have a comfortable bed, a healthy body, and mind that allows me to get up each day. We often forget these little privileges that we’re granted, so why not take a moment to appreciate them and begin with a little bit of optimism.

2) Acknowledge your own accomplishments

Do you often brush it off when you’ve done something praiseworthy because you hold yourself to a very unreasonable standard of success? Well, STOP it right now! Don’t wait for anyone else to validate you or congratulate you for doing something you are proud of. Whether it’s completing a task for the day or getting dressed and through the doors, acknowledge that you’re doing something to keep going. The magnitude of strength you have within you is laudable enough. Give yourself credit for it

3) Get to know yourself

This is a broad statement, but essentially what I mean is the more time you spend with yourself being honest, the better you understand your needs. Although we’re all social creatures and crave being around other people’s energy, take some time to really listen to your thoughts. Reflect in the quiet hours, face your fears. You’ll often surprise yourself with what you can uncover. This can look like going on a long drive or making dinner for one, as long as you accept that this act of kindness is to bring you closer to who you are deep within.

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More on Mental Health on Campus:

What Campus Mental Health Centers Are Doing to Keep Up With Student Need

If You’re a Student Who’s Struggling With Mental Health, These 7 Tips Will Help

The Hidden Stress of RAs in the Student Mental Health Crisis