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20 Small Things You Can Do Every Day To Lead A Joyful Life

20 Small Things You Can Do Every Day To Lead A Joyful Life

To be joyful is to be happy, jubilant and elated. Who doesn’t want more of that in their life! Here are 20 small things you can adopt into your everyday life that will do just that…bring you joy!

1. Eat Breakfast

Make sure to eat a healthy breakfast, as it will help you concentrate and maintain your weight. Besides breakfast, be mindful of what you are putting in your body. You get out what you put in!

2. Smile

It’s amazing what happens when you smile. In today’s busy world, many of us walk around with our heads buried in our phones. Take a break from your busy day and smile, it will naturally put you in a good mood!

3. Be Present

Be mindful by paying attention to the moment. Throughout the day, just stop what you are doing and realize what is going on around you. It’s so easy to run around in auto-pilot and fall back on our bad habits. If we can consciously take ourselves out of that state a few times a day, it makes a big difference!

4. Slow Down

We all have “so much” to do every day! The problem with being “busy” is we actually end up getting less done, and our work suffers. We like to “multi-task” which is actually counterproductive. Pick one thing at a time and do it mindfully. You will produce a better end result and experience less stress throughout the day.

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5. Drink Water

The more water you drink, the cleaner your body and mind become. Start substituting water for what you normally drink. If you drink soda, stop! You will be amazed at how much better you will feel and think!

6. Take Breaks

No matter what your day entails, make sure to take frequent breaks. A recent study shows that your brain works at a high level for about an hour and then slows for 15-20 minutes. So, work for an hour and take a 15-minute break. This will help your productivity, and your peace of mind!

7. Move

When you do take those breaks, move! If you sit at a desk all day, make sure to schedule times to get up and walk around, or at least stand up and stretch. It will help you stay energized throughout the day!

8. Write it Down

Writing things down during the day is a great way to remember things and enforce goals you are trying to accomplish. Whether it is a pen and a pad of paper, or an app on your phone, get in the habit of writing things down. You will be amazed at how much more you remember, and how organized your life becomes.

9. Listen

Start listening to people. No, really listen. Instead of thinking about what you’re going to say next while they are talking, cut out the chatter in your head. Just sit there and attentively listen to what the other person is saying. You will be amazed at what you learn from what is being said, as well as who is saying it.

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10. Take Action

We say we are going to do this and do that, but rarely do this or that! Pick something each day that you want to accomplish, and do it! It’s amazing how good it feels to finally start doing things you’ve been wanting to accomplish, even if they are small ones.

11. Small Wins

It can sometimes seem like we haven’t had a “win” in a long time. This can be because we often work on large goals or projects. If you don’t already, break down your larger goals and projects into smaller ones. Each time you finish your daily goal, feel good and enjoy your win. Small wins add up to big ones!

12. Me Time

You should be taking small “me times” during the course of your day. Me Time can be anything you enjoy, and is something that takes you away from the clutter of information we are bombarded with. Taking me time lowers your stress levels, and allows you to live a longer and healthier life.

13 Be Positive

This is easier said than done. Beginning your day with a positive mindset is very important. During the course of a day your mindset will be tested. If you can mindfully keep a positive mindset throughout your day, you will have a happier and more successful life.

14, Limit Worry/Anxiety

Stop worrying about what happened yesterday and what is going to happen tomorrow. Be present and think about today! There is nothing you can do about yesterday and tomorrow hasn’t happened, so enjoy today!

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15. Breathe

Yes, if we stop breathing we die…I get it. I’m talking about mindful breathing. If you start to feel anxiety or overwhelmed, stop and take a deep breath! There is also a form of breathing called “box breathing” which helps you relax and strengthens your brain.

16. Listen To A Song

This is actually a mindfulness exercise that is easy and fun. Be in your own space, relaxed, put your earbuds in and put on a random song. It works better with a song you don’t know very well. Sit or lay there for the 3-5 minutes (length of the song) with your eyes closed and just listen. Don’t think about anything but what the music brings. Listen to the different sounds and just observe the power of the music.

17. Avoid Negativity

Don’t surround yourself with negative people! Limit the amount of time and energy you spend with negative people, it will have an immediate positive effect on you.

18. Laugh

Just as smiling has a natural effect on your mood, so does laughing. As you avoid negative people, gravitate towards funny ones. Watch a funny show or movie, anything to get those endorphins pumping.

19. Plan Your Next Day

At the end of your day, sit down and write what you want to accomplish the next day. This transfers your thoughts of tomorrow and puts them down on paper. You will sleep better, as you won’t lie in bed worrying about what is going on tomorrow. When you wake up, all you have to do is look at what you have written down and follow the plan.

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20. Sleep

Make sure you are getting enough sleep. We are supposed to get 7.5 to 9 hours a night, and the average American gets 6.8. Start scheduling your sleep and start getting the correct amount. You will be amazed at how easy life becomes when you get enough rest. It has an impact on your energy, mental capacity, mood, emotional intelligence, and overall short and long term health.

So, write down what you will be doing tomorrow, get a good nights sleep, wake up, start adopting these little things into your day and begin to live a happier, more joyful life!

Featured photo credit: aaaaannnnddd JUMP…! by Grego via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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