No one gets through the teen years without some angst, but for some those transitional years are particularly difficult. Who among us hasn't wished she could go back in time and impart some well-earned wisdom to her younger self? Below are a few pieces of advice from which you probably would have benefitted; why not offer them today to a teen in your life?

1. Don't believe the voices in your head. These are the voices that insist you are unattractive, unintelligent, and generally unlovable. Remember, it's called self-esteem for a reason—it's how you feel about yourself. It's not necessarily how other people feel about you. Go ahead—participate in a conversation and watch people respond positively to your ideas. Smile and notice how people smile back. Those bad thoughts about you are yours and yours alone.

2. Your imperfections may be the very things someone else loves about you. Of course, you're not perfect. But who says perfection equals love? Amy Przeworski, PhD, discovered that her clumsy, awkward style really appeals to her husband. "He somehow thinks it's cute that I could trip over my own feet (while standing still), and that I never quite grew into my tall, lanky body," says the assistant professor of psychology at Case Western University in Cleveland. "He likes that I am one of the biggest dorks alive, and we bond in our nerdiness." Whatever your idiosyncrasies are, revel in your uniqueness, and remember that flaws are interesting.

3. You control whether your emotions control you. What's the best way to control your emotions? Allow yourself to feel them. Everyone has positive and negative emotions at times, so don't bottle them up. If you do, eventually they may escape forcefully in the form of a big blowup. Letting them out and thinking about why you're having them allows you a measure of control.

4. It gets better. It really does. The motto—originally invoked to support lesbian, gay, and transgender teens—applies to all adolescents, Przeworski says, because these years can be universally rough. However, "I learned to have hope that things could improve and to accept things for what they were at the time," she says. "I learned to enjoy life. So when you feel that you are in the depths of despair, just wait a little and things will get better." Remember when you were 15 and wanted to die of shame about something that happened? You can probably think about it now without flinching.

5. Look for the good in things. Some people are just natural pessimists, but anyone can make a concerted effort to appreciate the positives in life. If you have trouble seeing silver linings, seek out people who can. Their happy outlook may rub off on you and lift your spirits.

Amy Przeworski, PhD, reviewed this article.