Best friends. We all have them, they could be your dog, your roommate, your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister, or literally anybody. I’m no doctor, I’m not a best friend specialist, I’m just a 21-year-old girl, but I think that’s wrong. You should be your own best friend and here’s why.

Healthy thoughts equal a happy mind, I don’t think I ever quite grasped that concept until recently. I’ve likely had anxiety for my entire life, but for the majority of that time I didn’t think of it as anxiety, I thought of it as the normal way that people thought, I believed that everybody else’s minds worked the same way as mine did. My mind has consistently been flooded with super negative and super anxious thoughts for the past 21 years. You may be thinking ‘damn she sounds like a bummer to hang out, with no wonder she’s her own best friend’ but really, I’m not a super negative person on the outside, it all stays inside my mind!

These thoughts don’t take vacations, they come and go whenever they please and happen in all different shapes and sizes.  It’s as if one minute I’ll be happy and comfortable, and the next I’ll convince myself that everybody hates me, that I’m ugly, that I have a life-threatening disease, that something happened to a family member… the list goes on and on.

In the past few years, I reached a point in my life where I began to realize that I was wrong, not everybody constantly has all these negative thoughts flooding through their minds, trying to convince them that the worst possible thing is going to happen. What I’ve learned from this entire process is that I was born this way, it’s not my fault that I feel this way, but if I want to enjoy my life to the fullest I need to do whatever I can to alter my thoughts.

As much as medication and therapy really can help, what I’ve learned is that I really need to talk to myself in my mind as I would talk to my friend. We spend the majority of our time with ourselves, we should be our own best friends! With the internet and constant connectivity, I think it’s easy to forget that we have to be our own friend too, we have to treat ourselves with the kindness, love, and respect that we would treat the other friends who we put so much time into.

Go on a walk by yourself, go sit in a coffee shop by yourself, go see a movie by yourself, do anything you would do with a friend by yourself. You may feel uncomfy doing these things, but I think it’s nearly impossible to get to know who you are as a person and truly understand your likes and dislikes unless you are able to enjoy your own company.

We spend so much of our lives trying to please others, why not shift some of that time and energy into pleasing yourself! Doing things that truly make you happy and feel good should come before anything else. I’m just a 21-year-old girl, I don’t know much, I haven’t experienced everything, and maybe some of you came to this conclusion much earlier than me! But if you’re ever feeling lost, lonely, or anxious just remember that you have yourself, and you should always come first.