We snap on a friend or coworker out of frustration. We scan social media or the news for hours when we have a laundry list of work to do. We find ourselves continually being negative when at our core we’re a positive person. In its’ simplest form, we’re being a version of ourselves that we don’t want to be.

The good news for us is that there’s ways to minimize putting ourselves in these positions. Our success begins and ends with the control we have over our mind, and the approach we take to life. The above scenarios are nothing more than losing control over our mindset, and letting lower versions of ourselves win. These 7 tricks are things you can do every day to help beat the burden of the lower self, and be at your best today.

Every morning when you wake up think of 3 things that you’re thankful for, and 3 things you’re looking forward to that day.

Take it a step further and write them in a notebook to help turn it into a habit. Thinking of 3 things you’re thankful for sets a mental tone of gratitude for the day, and helps you appreciate the people and things in your life. Thinking of 3 things you’re looking forward to that day helps you embrace your day instead of dread it.

Take a cold shower.

There are several reasons to take cold showers. I swear by them. One of the best reasons to take one in the morning is it wakes you up mentally for the day. There is nothing worse than sleep walking through the first half of your morning, only to come to an hour before lunch. Morning hours are vital for creativity and productivity. Make the most of them.

Use your commute time as an opportunity to learn.

Instead of listening to the same pop radio or morning talk show, listen to a podcast or book on tape that teaches you something. From personal development, to business, to learning a new skill like a language, the options are endless. Even if your commute is only 30 minutes each way, that’s 5 hours of creating a better version of you every single week. Work from home or have a short commute? Not a problem. Set aside that same 30 minutes in the morning and at night for your “commute time” to learn.

Filter the negative news by limiting or removing media.

Our brains are information highways receiving millions and millions of bits of information every single day. If the majority of that information is negative, how do you think that affects our outward mentality for the day? 5 people stabbed in a bar fight last night. 25 dead from a landslide. Millions of dollars lost in local ponzi scheme. The negativity in media is endless. It’s your choice whether or not to listen to it. Worried you won’t be up on the important news? Anything of importance always bubbles to the top of the water cooler throughout the day. If it’s important, you’ll know about it.

Find someone throughout your day to give a positive nudge to.

A coworker is frustrated after a meeting. Your spouse is exhausted from a long day. A friend is bummed from a recent break up. If you look close enough, there is always someone you can give a positive nudge to. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Listening to your coworkers frustrations and letting them know you understand where they’re coming from. Pouring your spouse a glass of wine and rubbing their back. Picking your friend up for a spontaneous beer to get their mind off things. They are nudges that may be small in effort to you, but can turn someone else’s entire day or week around.

Practice empathy throughout your day.

Everyone is fighting their own battle, and we never know what those battles are. When the girl at work forgets to refill the copier paper, or the guy at Chipotle steps in front of you in line, remember that you don’t know their story. She didn’t fill the copier because her mind is aloof from problems at home. He cut you in line because he didn’t see you in his mental frenzy thinking about where his next mortgage payment is going to come from.

Take “you time” every night to unwind.

Going from hectic day, to sleep, and back to hectic day isn’t sustainable. Eventually you hit a wall, and it’s not a good wall to hit. Set aside 30 minutes every night to take you time. Read a book. Sit and ponder. Write down your to-do list for the next day so you don’t have a thousand things running through your head while trying to fall asleep. Taking you time leads to better sleep which leads to a better next day.

Taking back control of our minds and using that to create a better version of ourselves is not difficult. But it does take awareness and practice. If you put these things in place, eventually they become habits. You’ll find that snapping out of frustration, wasting time when we’re busy, and being negative throughout the day are no longer the norm, but the exception. They become few and far between, and we can focus on more important things like being at our best today.

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