Something crazy happens when you start to get older. You start to get out of bed and think, “Wow, I should actually accomplish something interesting and fulfilling today.”
Now, maybe you already feel like this or are frustrated at how you can’t seem to shake yourself out of those ugly moods you’ve been having periodically since you embarked on the journey of adult life. With all of the responsibilities and stresses life throws our way, we could all use some new habits and methods that promote ways to make us feel good instantly. Here are just a few:
1. Get off the internet.
Oh yes, that’s the first one. Just make sure you keep reading this article before you hold the power button down and run off into the fields.
It seems like a given that we spend far too much time on the Internet. I doubt anyone will combat me there. But we find it difficult to actually change this habit of tapping into the other world of fun and freedom that we call the worldwide web. And why would we want to? There are no limits or barriers within the Internet, and it allows you to live the life that reality bars you from at every turn.
Of course, the downside is that nothing is good outside of moderation. Eventually, the pearls of the Internet fade away as we naturally crave something with substance and true gratification. Depression or even Generalized Anxiety Disorders may set in as we discover that the things we are putting our time and value into – virtual reality – don’t give us tangible returns in exchange.
So get off the Internet. Budget your time and your sanity wisely.
2. Take a day off from work.
One of the funniest comedians I’ve listened to in a while is John Mulaney. He said in a recent bit that cancelling plans gives you the same instantly good feeling as an illegal drug I won’t point out here or encourage use of, but you get the point. The reason we love to bail is because it feels fantastic.
That’s why you should responsibly take a day off from work by asking for a personal day. The one downside is that you’ll probably be tempted to take another day off not long after that (psychology is funny like that), so try to take a day off on Friday to extend your weekend. Otherwise, you’re just setting yourself up for a troublesome work week.
3. Wear your best clothes.
For me, this would be a button down shirt tucked nicely into my best khakis with my swing dancing shoes laced in a double knot (we all have our things). We can be great judges of what makes us look good, which is why we sometimes save our best clothes for the best occasions.
Other times, we fall out of bed and just put on whatever is “comfortable.” Please. Take the mental effort to dress yourself nicely today, and you’ll notice how great you feel throughout the entire day. If your ego is really loving it, you may even find yourself wanting to do errands.
You probably saw this coming when I dropped that line about swing dancing, but hear me out. Dancing has been proven to boost your mood and mental health. It doesn’t even matter if you’re good at it or not (great news for a lot of us). The act of exercising to music, in general, is an activity that refreshes most people, and the physical reward we get from that exercise just adds to the benefits.
5. Do something you’ve been putting off.
This can relate to all sorts of things, such as paying bills, errands, finding the love of your life, etc. But what you can do right now to feel great instantly is overcome your procrastinating ways and accomplish something. You’ll feel great about it because that’s one less thing weighing on your subconscious, especially if this is a task that really needed to be done.
6. Practice smiling.
A friend once recommended to me that practicing your “charm” in front of a mirror is a great way of actually showing it in real life. I’m 99% sure he got this idea from The Sims, but I am unable to say that the idea is an incorrect phenomenon.
For whatever reason, finding ways to better ourselves and high self-esteem make us feel good, so get in front of your mirror and start practicing your smile (or recite a speech) to adjust how you come across. I won’t say that this activity is free from vanity, but your ego should be all right as long as this doesn’t devolve into a slew of bathroom selfies.
7. Clean your phone up.
In a way, this can be something you’ve been putting off (see #5), but we don’t usually think about organizing our phones. As a result, the chaos of miscellaneous apps we don’t use and pictures from that party that should no longer exist add up and make your phone a chore to navigate.
Playing the delete game is a great way to feel like you’ve simplified your life, getting rid of the redundancies on your phone that are clogging up space and setting you up for embarrassing moments when your family starts looking through your photo albums.
8. Turn your phone off.
I’m not saying everyone should do this (I’m looking at you on-call doctors without pagers), but it’s a simple pleasure to be off the grid for a few hours. In fact, you may just want to boycott screens for an entire evening and go read a book or catch up with friends. And yes, if you’re out with your friends, turning your phone off is a great habit to get into that they will appreciate you for, even if they end up tapping away at their own phones the entire night.
9. Call your parents (or someone you love).
You don’t have to have the world’s longest conversation, but calling your parents, siblings, close friends and other loved ones can be a real mood changer, especially if this contrasts with your normal personality. I like to do this when I go grocery shopping so that I can talk to the siblings I never see anymore.
Another great practice is thanking someone you haven’t talked to in a while for all of the good they’ve done for you. Just prepare yourself if you do this with your mother and expect some tears to start leaking through your phone’s speakers.
Whether you’re in the shower, your car, or somewhere else where human beings can’t reasonably hear you, belt out those off-key notes you’ve been keeping inside all day. Just don’t record it because that’s a way to feel bad instantly.
You may also want to read: 10 Things Happy People Do Differently.
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