“Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart.
How to Feel Better About Life!A fact of life is that it gets us down. But another fact is that we don’t have to stay down. Sure, they bring war to our doorstep, scream doom in our ears, slide bills through our letterboxes and tell us our ‘performance is not satisfactory,’ but we don’t have to listen.
So, for now – we won’t. We’re going to take a brief moment to step back, peel back the layers, and look at life through fresh eyes. No, I’m not asking you to find your inner child. Nor am I asking you to let those bills pile up. No, I’m just asking that you come on a short journey with me that may or may not help you to feel better about life – bon voyage to us!
All arms and legs inside the vehicle, please!
To get things started on the right foot, we’re going to take on a little feel-good exercise for the noggin’.
Step 1. Hold a pleasant thought in mind
It doesn’t have to be personal. Maybe a lovely bouquet of flowers, a funny joke, or whatever your dream destination looks like. Perhaps even the face of your favorite person will do (completely understandable if you need to look in a mirror for this.)
If your mind is withholding positive thoughts – don’t worry – it happens (more often than we’d like!) But, for you, I have one of the most potent considerations: everything in you wants you to live. Each minuscule cell, intricate organ, and powerful system work in unison 24/7, against all odds, to keep you kicking. In other words, this life wants you here.
Step 2. Think of who you could be
They say time flies, but really, those hands on the clock seem to take their time sometimes. And with that, we end up feeling stagnant, stuck, and entirely ordinary. When this happens, you may be told to look backward. “Think of what you’ve achieved and how far you’ve come!” To that, I say, “Think about where you’re going.” Picture who you want to be and believe, even if just for a moment, that you’ll be them someday.
Which brings us to our first stop …
Try something new
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
– Walt Disney.
Alright, I know it’s harder than that. Easier said than done, and all that. But keep in mind that transforming your perspective on life is often subject to the ‘snowball effect.’ It’s the first step that’s the hardest. And the first hurdle isn’t easy either. But, after that, you’ll find your stride, and as your snowball hurtles down the side of the mountain, it’ll grow and grow – just like your love for life!
So, that yoga class you’ve been considering, or that language you’ve been promising yourself you’d learn for the last decade – now’s the time. Why not even try a new meal or a different route to work. The world is full of wonders if you just look.
It’s really not that serious
A quick question: “Will it matter in 5 years?” No? Well, then it doesn’t matter too much now either. So, if it’s taken up the majority of real estate in your brain/life and proving bothersome, you know what to do – bin it. Or, if it’s not quite recyclable yet, at least take a lighter view of it.
We all fall victim of our negative thinking patterns – not a single person is exempt. However, what separates the ruminators from those who seemingly breeze through life is simple: the latter have identified and routed out their harmful thoughts.
For example, you’ve been almost pulling your hair out all day at work. Then, 5pm rolls around, and dinner calls. Suddenly, preparing a meal is akin to climbing Mount Everest. But it doesn’t have to be. Take a moment after those more ‘serious moments’ to remind yourself that there’s more to life than this. It’ll make the rest of your day much more easy-breezy, allowing you to enjoy the little things that shouldn’t put us on edge.
In a nutshell, a serious mentality can cloud your vision and block the sunshine the world sends your way.
Comparison will get you nowhere
Now, more than ever, we’re encouraged to line our lives up against others and compare and contrast. And my use of the word encouraged isn’t without reason. You see, brands, corporations, and everything in-between want us to purchase their products. That’s fine; that’s business.
Unfortunately, an increasingly popular tactic is to make us feel like we’re lacking something that only their product can fix. They say,” You have an our-product-shaped hole within you – so purchase now for only $5.99!”
So they flood our phones, feeds, billboards, ads, and the media at large with perfect images, videos, and promises of better. But this ideal doesn’t exist. Whenever you catch yourself weighing your life, appearance, or personality up against someone else – stop. Research has shown that by repetition and regular positive reinforcement, we can regain control of our thoughts and direct them in a more healthy direction.
You are your greatest asset
A quick fact: you are the same species as William Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, and Beyoncé. In other words, you have everything you need to be great within. And the best part? While you have all that natural power, yours is unique. So, I ask of you, don’t keep it to yourself! Believe in yourself and tap into your potential. And, even if you don’t feel like it right now, take solace in that it’s still there for when you’re ready to share.
Focus on others
You may not know it yet, but the world needs you. By focusing your energy and attention out rather than in, you may just find that you can not only make life easier on yourself, but on other’ as well – a win-win situation!
Some more practical steps you can take to feel better about life
Getting your blood pumping leads to an explosion of feel-good hormones in your brain. What follows is a reduction in depression/anxiety symptoms, a mood boost, and an undeniably fresh feeling that prepares you to take on whatever life may throw your way!
The importance of sleep is underestimated, and alarmingly, we’re getting less of it than ever. Even just an hour under our recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night can lead to higher stress levels, poorer physical health, and incidents of mental health issues. However, there is a possible solution to any of your night-time woes. The 10-3-2-1 method is gaining popularity and proving immensely helpful as a day-long lullaby.
The 10-3-2-1 method is as follows:
- 10 hours before bed: No more caffeine.
- 3 hours before bed: No more food/alcohol.
- 2 hours before bed: No more work or study.
- 1 hour before bed: No more screen time (shut off all phones, computers, and TVS).
- 0: Hopefully how many times you’ll need to hit snooze in the AM.
The Bottom Line …
Life isn’t perfect and that’s the beauty of it. But, it is what we make of it. And, by changing our outlook on life from negative to positive while making a few small changes, we stand to squeeze every last drop out of the life we’ve been dealt. And our journey stops here but your new journey is just starting – good luck!