By Jillian Leedy
1. Disconnect from social media.
Put down the phone. Step away from the computer.
The Internet can be a beautiful place with a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. But, social media can be a bombarding source of constant negativity. Facebook rants. Endless gossip. Twitter takedowns. Constant criticism.
People get brave when they get behind their computer screens and often say things that they would not normally say in public or to someone’s face. Exposure to this negativity everyday, multiple times a day, can really affect your mental health.
Use the Internet to read about the news of the day and what’s going on in the world. Learn about new scientific and archeological discoveries. Stream space launches and missions. Browse book and movie reviews. Check out documentaries or Netflix shows. Listen to new songs. Watch dog and cat videos. Explore the interwebs to your heart’s content. But, limit your social media time to once or twice a day for a short time. It will make a world of difference in improving your mood.
Detach from the day’s chaos. Quiet your mind. Relax your body. Breathe. Focus only on what you can smell, hear, and feel.
Just fifteen minutes a day of closing your eyes and shutting out the world can calm your brain, increase mindfulness, and reduce stress and depression.
Doing good things for others actually benefits you. Helping others teaches you compassion and gives you a sense of purpose. The social connections you make with others and the warm feelings you gain from doing charity work can even benefit your health and well-being. By enriching and bettering your community, you improve your sense of altruism and feed your soul.
Pick a cause you are passionate about and get to work.
4. Get in touch with nature.
Find a local park or forest and go for a walk. Find your nearest mountain and take a hike. Find a stream or river, take your shoes off, and dip your feet in.
Nature grounds you and gives you a connected feeling to the Earth around you.
Breathe in the fresh air. Glance up at the beautiful blue sky. Watch the trees and clouds move in the wind.
Observe a stunning sunrise or sunset. Look up at the stars and moon and planets.
Nothing can put things in perspective better than looking out at the Earth from a mountaintop or staring up at the sky. It reminds you just how small and insignificant our lives and problems are compared to the vast universe.
Also, the endorphins that you get from the exercise are a surefire way to boost your mood.
5. Go into every experience for the day with a positive attitude.
Even if you’re having a bad day or you don’t want to do something, try to go into an event or meeting or presentation with an open mind and a positive attitude. If you feel good going in, you’ll get more coming out.
By telling yourself that it will go well, you are changing your perspective and reframing your mindset. It’s kind of like the principle “fake it until you make it.” Experiences that once were a hassle or an obligation will eventually bring you excitement and joy.
6. Set basic goals for yourself each day.
Make your bed. Follow a daily chore calendar. Have a laundry schedule. Plan and fix yourself homemade meals and baked goods. Tend to a plant. Allot yourself so much time per day for journaling or creative endeavors.
By establishing goals each day that are simple and realistic, you can achieve them easily. This will make you feel more productive and empowered, giving you the confidence to attack the day and accomplish greater goals.
7. Recognize and appreciate the beauty in simple everyday things.
We’ve all heard the phrase “stop and smell the roses.” And there’s a lot of truth in it.
Notice the person helping the elderly cross the street. Notice the people who hold doors open for others. Notice the smile and laughter of children. Notice the helpers and the Good Samaritans.
Savor a delicious meal. Enjoy a good cup of tea. Take a bath. Watch your favorite film.
Do things that make you happy and be observant enough to recognize the good happening all around you.
8. Get sleep.
Getting seven to eight hours each night is no joke. Lack of sleep slows your reaction time, impairs your decision-making skills, and hinders your awareness. No shut-eye can throw off your hormones and blood levels leading to anxiety and grumpiness.
Not only this, but not getting your rest can cause countless health problems over time from heart disease to obesity to diabetes.
9. Be grateful.
Take time to pause at the end of each day and write down one thing you are grateful for from that day.
Relishing in good experiences and happy memories cultivates emotional maturity and positivity.
10. Don’t worry about things that have yet to happen or things that you can’t control.
Worrying about the future causes unnecessary stress in the moment. Just focus on one day at a time and realize that you are capable of handling much more than you think.
Try this exercise in your mind. Think about the things that worry or scare you. Consider the worst possible scenario. Now find a solution for that scenario. By playing out your worst thoughts in your mind, you are able to conquer those fears, ease your mind, and re-focus on living life in the present.