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Make These 15 Small Changes If You Want To Become Happier And Healthier

Make These 15 Small Changes If You Want To Become Happier And Healthier

So you want to be happier and healthier. If you want to make  a life change for the better there are several different ways to get you there. It’s not difficult at all once you gain an understanding of your choices and you are willing to take action.

I have no doubt that the items on this list will put a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

1. Volunteer to Help Others

Sometimes we forget that there are others who need our help. When we give to others we come away with a sense of satisfaction that can’t be replicated.

Think of a time you’ve been there for someone and you will remember that feeling. Make this notion of serving others part of your weekly routine. You will be providing a life change for two people – yourself and the recipient of your kindness.

On a smaller scale you could also make ‘giving compliments’ part of your daily routine – this also has a pleasing affect on your mood and it’s a nice thing to do for others.

2. Wake Up Earlier

Getting up just a half an hour earlier than you need to can help you to feel calmer, more in control and generally happier.

Staying ahead of things means your’e avoiding the rush and cutting down on stress. Practise this every day and ultimately you will be happier and healthier.

3. Spend Money on Experiences

Researchers have found that spending money on items isn’t really what makes us happy. It may please us for a short while, but really what makes us happy is to spend our money on experiences.

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So, go and book yourself  a day trip away to somewhere beautiful and cancel that order for the new laptop.

4. Laugh, Cry and Have Sex

Here are three ways to release endorphins (happy hormones) which will lift your mood in no time.

Who would have thought that crying could make you feel good. Well, it makes sense in a way as we know already that holding in tears doesn’t make us feel very good. The relief of letting it all out brings about happy emotions – so don’t hold back the next time you feel like blubbing.

We already know that sex is good for our health as it’s fantastic exercise but now that we know it’s good for our mood there’s no more excuses not to have a good romp.

5. Drink Almond Milk

Almond milk has many fantastic benefits while dairy milk can wreak havoc on the human body. Stay away from dairy and use almond milk as a replacement – your cardiovascular and skeletal system will benefit and you will also have better skin. This is definitely a small life change that will result in a healthier you.

6. Smile

Smiling releases endorphins or happy hormones which enhances mood.

If you put a pen horizontally between your teeth for a few minutes you will be forced to smile and your mood will thank you. This well researched phenomenon is an immediate fix for anyone who’s a bit in need of a lift.

A good tool to use here would be to take out an old photo album (that doesn’t contain upsetting photo’s) and flick through the pages. You will be smiling so much you’ll be feeling happy in no time.

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7. Surround Yourself with Happy Healthy Folk

Our habits and our moods rub off on one another. We are impressionable beings both on an energy and psychological level.

If we are in a group of happy people for the afternoon we will inevitably feel happy as we make our journey home. So choose your company wisely and your mood will escalate steadily.

8. Breathe Properly

People get stressed and their breathing becomes shallow – they forget how to breathe properly.

Anytime you notice your breathing speed up and become shallow, stop what your’e doing and inhale deeply – hold for a second and let it out slowly. Repeat a few times until your breathe naturally slows down on it’s own.

You will feel relaxed and renewed after this exercise. It’s good for your lungs, your digestion, your circulatory system and of course it’s great for managing stress.

9. Expose Yourself To Humour

Just as with your choice of company – be careful about what other things you are exposed to. Watch lots of good comedy on T.V, read humorous books and listen to happy music.

We each have our own taste, but Melissa McCarthy does it for me every time.

10. Write a Pot List

This is like a baby bucket list. It’s a list of the top ten small things you wanna do in the next month. It could be something simple like going sailing or something more lasting like a new tattoo or rescuing a  dog. It’s completely up to you. There are so many adventures out there big and small just waiting to be realised. Now it’s your turn to have a little fun.

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11. Change Your Sleep Routine

For about a year now, I have been going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning. People compliment me and say that I look really well and I’m pretty sure it’s down to my sleep pattern.

I don’t feel tired anymore – I’ m careful to get at least eight hours sleep every night. Of course there will be exceptions to this but as a rule have your set hours for getting up and going to bed.

12. Connect with Something Bigger than Yourself

Connecting with something like a community group, religion, nature or the universe is a surefire way to invite happiness into your life.

Get involved in a spiritual group or maybe something of interest to you in the community. There is always very positive energy in activities involving music and dance.

13. Eat, Drink and be Merry

Now don’t get all excited – I mean in moderation.

Those endorphins are just so easy to manufacture – turns out we can make even more if we drink wine (a glass a day), eat dark chocolate and spicy food (yummy).

Then we have tea – gingseng makes us happy and green and white tea are particularly healthy. Green tea is a great antioxidant. It does a fantastic job of cleansing our systems and it gets to work on those calories too (nice one!).

So throw out the coffee (go on just do it!) and buy yourself a few boxes of herbal tea. You’ll feel so much better.

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14. Lift Weights

Lifting weights is all the rage now. It is thought to be the best way to get in shape and it has tremendous benefits for your posture and your muscle strength. Getting in shape makes us happy and you guessed it – healthy.

15. Be Grateful

Gratitude can be used as a tool for happiness and good health. Take some time every day to write down your messages of gratitude and see what happens. Many experts on the laws of the universe say that when you make a statement of gratitude you get more of what you are grateful for.

So if you state – “I am so grateful for my good health” – you will get more good health. I was very ill for some time and using gratitude everyday was a very big help to me.

Happiness and good health are intertwined – you get one then you have the other within your reach.

Taking action on even one or two of the above could have a dramatic effect on your life – so why not have a try and see how you get on. The effects of each change will be a reward in itself and you will build momentum as you work your way through the list.

Whatever you do – don’t forget to smile.

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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