As we grow, we naturally become more in tune with the things and people that facilitate a safe, comfortable and empowered environment. Our experiences and interactions with people and situations give us the ability to further surround ourselves with positive influences and to also avoid potentially harmful or damaging circumstances. While every day is a continuous learning opportunity for how I live my own life in a more positive manner, there are a few things I’m certain facilitate a positive attitude and outlook.

1. Don’t avoid or ignore negativity. In order to conquer and overcome, it must be acknowledged. This can include people in your life who may be bringing you down, a hostile workplace environment or even a personal stressor that you haven’t conquered quite yet. Think about the moments in your day that bring you anxiety or that you don’t look forward to. How can you turn that experience into something positive that fulfills you? Sometimes, these are small and easy to implement changes. Other times, they are more serious and drastic changes that need to take place. Either way, ignoring it will not move you in the direction of positivity. Remember, you are in control of your environment and if these negative situations keep making an appearance, it’s up to you to handle them.

2. Take care of yourself and your needs. In order to feel compelled to live a powerful and meaningful life, you must love you. It’s crucial to take care of not only your physical health, but your mental health as well. It’s a continuous circle: take care of your thoughts and your emotional well being, and it will be reflected in your day-to-day. Take care of your actions and how you live each day, and this will be reflected in your thoughts and emotional state of mind. Love yourself fully in order to love others fully.

3. Mend what’s broken or get rid of it. Determining what is worth your time and effort and what is not can be challenging. This is especially true when it comes to people we have history with or love dearly. Only you are responsible for yourself and only you are in control of your happiness. If situations are toxic and beyond repair, it’s time to let go. Are there relationships or friendships that remain damaged but you know are worth the time? Fix them and find peace. Do what you can to find love in situations where it may have be absent in the past.

4. Give back. This one is so important to me and personally close to my heart. Giving our time, energy, love, mentorship and sometimes money is what life is about. Everything we put out into the world comes back to us. Imagine if everyone took some time out of each week to give back to people without expecting anything in return. What a whirlwind of positive energy we would create! There are countless ways to give back and unfortunately, so many people and animals who are in dire need. My mom taught me a quote she learned in Mexico that stuck with me forever, “donde comen uno, comen dos.” Translation: where one can eat, two can eat. It moves me every time I say it out loud. At the end of the day, no matter what you have (or don’t have) you are likely in a position to give something small to someone else who needs it. Don’t hesitate. Just give back.

5. Things that make us smile, laugh and feel good are just awesome. This one is pretty simple…Just do MORE of it. Do more of what makes you happy! Sounds like common sense doesn’t it? I truly believe that in the super fast paced world we live in, happiness may not come as easily as we wish. In order to navigate through work and responsibilities that seem monotonous, we have to actively pursue and engage in beautiful acts of love and kindness. So get to it!

Living a positive life is a must. Focus on the times in your life where you felt most worry-free and motivated.

Think about where you were with your loved ones, where you were in your career, your health and how you were making an impact in the lives of other people. Achieving a positive lifestyle is an ongoing effort that should always fall high on your list of priorities. I encourage you to take a step towards more love, more happiness and more togetherness.

This article originally appeared on The Huffington Post