20 Life Tips That Will Spare You Unnecessary Heart and Headaches

There are many hard lessons to learn in life, but some have been discovered for you if you’re willing to learn and accept them without experiencing their truth the hard way. Here are several pro-life tips that will save you many headaches and heartache.

1. Pay Your Credit Cards in Full

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Minimum payments are a sucker’s bet. Please don’t do it! Always pay your credit cards in full. Carrying a monthly credit card balance can cost you interest and increase your credit utilization rate, a factor used to calculate your credit score.

It’s also much easier to get stuck in the cycle of making minimum payments, ensuring that you’ll always be paying interest and maybe never be able to pay it off entirely. On-time payments and zero credit card utilization will also significantly improve your credit score.

2. Pay Your Bills Immediately

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Whether you pay them upon receiving them in the mail or set them up on autopsy, ensure you pay them immediately. Otherwise, you’ll likely not pay them on time, which can accrue late fees and is entirely irresponsible. Late payments, or missing payments altogether, can negatively impact your credit score.

3. Learn How to Say “No”

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Stop being a people pleaser by learning how to establish boundaries and how to say “No.” Be confident in your no, understanding that you don’t owe anyone an explanation. “No” is a complete sentence.

4. Prioritize Self-Care

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Do not neglect your mental health, in part, by prioritizing self-care. If you do not make caring for yourself a priority, you are setting yourself up to experience a mental breakdown. It could be hours, days, months, or years before it hits you.

So take care of your basic hygiene needs and responsibilities and do things that bring you joy. For example, get your hair or nails done. My personal favorite is getting a massage or taking an hour to listen to instrumental music. What does self-care look like to you?

5. Never Take Anything Personally

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Don’t ever take anything personally. Sometimes, people will be angry for personal reasons and take it out on anyone and everyone. Taking in their emotional poison is a choice. Don’t do it.

In Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements, one of the agreements is, “Do not take anything personally.” Ruiz argues that you shouldn’t even take a compliment personally.

6. Don’t Worry About What People Think of You

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Don’t get caught up in the spotlight effect. You’re not the star taking center stage in anyone else’s life. Do you know all the people you worry about what they are thinking of you? They’re not. They’re too busy worrying what you think about them to care. Focus on “You” and stop worrying about “Them.”

7. Take Safety Measures

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Put your safety first. That makes sense, right? It does, but it’s something that many people neglect to the detriment of protecting others but not taking the same measures for themselves.

For example, protect your skin, floss your teeth, wear earplugs when recommended, listen to things at reasonable volumes, wear goggles when operating tools, wear blue-light glasses with excessive screen use, and use condoms.

8. Trying to Avoid Suffering Causes More Suffering

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Pain and suffering are an inevitable part of life. Did you know that by trying to avoid suffering, you create more suffering? Many people numb and run with substance abuse. Others distract themselves with gaming and gambling. 

I appreciate what author Thomas Merton says in The Seven Storey Mountain:

Indeed, the truth that many people never understand until it is too late is that the more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you in proportion to your fear of being hurt. The one who does most to avoid suffering is, in the end, the one who suffers the most, and his suffering comes to him from things so little and so trivial that one can say that it is no longer objective at all. It is his own existence, his own being, that is at once the subject and the source of his pain, and his very existence and consciousness is his greatest torture.

9. Wash Your Hands

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Wash your hands. People say this, but too many people aren’t correctly doing it. When you get home from anywhere, make washing your hands your first priority. It drastically cuts down on illnesses brought into the home for your family to get ill. Always wash your hands after going to the bathroom and before you eat.

10. Not Everyone Is Going to Like You

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One of the most challenging lessons I’ve learned in life is that not everyone will like you, and that is perfectly acceptable. I exhausted myself fighting this life pro tip. There are a million reasons people will come up with not to like somebody, and you can’t control their perception of you. Be yourself, and you’ll find your people. A smaller circle is better.

11. Know When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up

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Are you a talker? I wasted so many years of my life obsessively filling the silence with my ramblings that I wasn’t listening enough and, at times, sounded like a complete idiot. Some conversations where my ignorance showed through haunt me, but never as much as the times in my life when I didn’t speak up.

“It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool than to talk and remove all doubt of it.” — Maurice Switzer.

12. Educate Yourself About Finances

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If you are or have attended the American public school system, chances are you don’t know anything about how to succeed financially in life. They’re training you to be a worker bee, not how to thrive away from the hive. Learn about saving, investing, management, compound interest, and how to properly use credit cards. Educate yourself about the importance of your credit score.

Saving money and knowing you have it there as a safety net significantly impacts your mental health more than trying to satisfy temporary dopamine fixes with materialistic things and DoorDash.

13. You Can Cut Toxic Family Out

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Have you heard the expression: “Blood is thicker than water?” Many people are convinced they owe their families something simply because they are family members. However, that’s not true. You’re allowed (and encouraged) to cut off contact with toxic members who bring nothing but fear, anger, sadness, hostility, and drama to your life.

14. You’re the Manufacturer of Your Own Misery

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Owning the fact that you are the manufacturer of your own misery is a liberating experience. Stop playing the blame game and eliminate that victim mentality. You become powerful when you hold yourself accountable for your own life rather than blaming circumstances or other people.

15. Most People Don’t Want to See You Doing Better than Them

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Most people don’t want to see you doing better than them, so don’t ask for or care about anyone’s opinions regarding decision-making in your life. Also, refrain from discussing your big plans and success loudly.

Family members and friends are often your biggest haters. Remember, don’t worry about what other people will think, and keep your focus on your goals and life plans.

16. Don’t Force Relationships

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Stop trying to make things work with anyone who shows you the slightest attention. When you realize a relationship isn’t working, move on from it, whether it’s been three months or three years.

If you have tried and it is not working, it’s unhealthy, emotionally draining, and damaging to your mental health, get out. You will both be happier in the end. Also, stop returning to your exes. There is a reason they are an ex. Stop romanticizing the good times. Forgive the bad, but don’t forget it.

“As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” — Proverbs 26:11 NIV.

17. Prioritize Your Health

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As cliche as it seems, nothing is more important than prioritizing your health. I never thought about my health when I was young. I was indulging in a substance use disorder and lived like I was invincible.

Now, it’s more challenging to lose weight, my teeth aren’t attractive, and I have to work to form disciplines midlife that I should have implemented during my formative years so that it never grows to be an issue like this.

Eat healthy foods from the perimeter of the grocery store, get adequate sleep with earlier bedtimes, hydrate, get into nature, soak up some sun, reduce stress, and get daily exercise, even if only walking. Don’t let your life become sedentary.

18. Discipline is the Key to Success

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Inspiration and motivation are fantastic, but discipline is the honest key to success. Don’t waste your time waiting on sparks or butterflies; set goals and put them into action. Successful people aren’t necessarily more motivated than others, but they are certainly more disciplined.

19. Read Books

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Albert Einstein famously said: “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” The minute you stop reading, you stop learning. Reading is a gateway to discovering anything about everything. It helps you learn new things by educating yourself in any area of your interest.

20. Pray Every Day

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Pray every day and about everything. Putting God at the center of your life is the most effective way of staying grounded on your path, achieving the impossible, and making it through the hardships that are coming, whether you have a relationship with him or not. It’s easier when you’re talking to him.

You can pray a single-line prayer or pray for hours on end. There is no wrong way. Prayer journaling is one of my favorite methods of forming a relationship with God.

One of the greatest parts is being able to look back and reflect on the things God has put on my heart, where he has blessed me, and where he has saved me from making terrible mistakes.

Read More: 7 Remarkable Benefits of Prayer Journaling in Recovery

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One of the most significant resources in my recovery toolbox is prayer journaling. It’s a powerful way to spend quiet time with yourself and the Lord. I’ve experienced tremendous success with it and have grown into a better me. I cannot express enough how miraculous it is to see how God answers my requests and to look back on my spiritual growth.

7 Remarkable Benefits of Prayer Journaling in Recovery

15 Easy Ways to Practice Gratitude and Change Your Life

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Did you know that the art of practicing gratitude comes with many life-changing benefits? From verbally expressing it with simple “Thank yous” to practicing it during the day, gratitude is an incredible gift for the giver and receiver.

15 Easy Ways to Practice Gratitude and Change Your Life


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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and Jesus.