“I think that, for most of us, there are times in life when it all just feels like Too Much.” – Therapist, Annie Wright
Life isn’t always easy. There may be times when you stumble and struggle through the day; times when you feel like you’ve had enough. Circumstances where you feel totally overwhelmed. Occasions when you feel sad, depressed, angry or even unloved.
Sometimes, there maybe no apparent reason for these feelings. Other times, they may stem from obvious reasons such as being heartbroken, suffering from anxiety or even a mental illness. It’s okay! We are only human after all. We feel. It’s a part of who we are.
When you feel that life is tough, here are 100 ways to calm yourself, restore the inner peace and make yourself happy. It’s often the simple things in life, that make all the difference.
#1 Be Generous. Give something to a total stranger. Acts of giving make us feel warm and fuzzy inside.
#2 Sit in a coffee shop or a busy street and soak up your surroundings. You don’t have to talk to people.
#3 On the flip side, if being around people is feeling too much for you. Go home. Relax.
#4 Practice self-love. Each day remind yourself that you are a strong, beautiful person, with a lot to offer.
#5 Educate yourself: research what it is you are experiencing. Arm yourself with knowledge and the resources to tackle the problems head on.
#6 Preparation: Write the day’s to-do list the evening before.
#7 Create a dream sanctuary; surround yourself with inspirational quotes and positivity. You can use your laptop and create a folder dedicated to this.
#8 Strengths: Write down a list of 20 of your strengths. [ good communicator, empathetic etc.]
#9 Keep going forward. Keep taking small steps, no matter what. Being stagnant doesn’t serve you. Are you looking to start a business? What steps can you take each day to make that dream a reality.
#10 Walk: Walking helps clear your mind. It offers you a different perspective.
#11 Indulge. Take a day off to spend a whole day doing exactly what you want. Eat what you want. Watch series. Go wild.
#12 Cry: Release all that emotion. You will feel better.
#13 Talk: Call or meet someone in person to chat about problems.
#14 Re-visit an old hobby. If you don’t have one, create one. Paint. Read. Sculpt. Gardening.
#15 Prioritize: Decide what’s important right now. Say no to extra obligations.
#16 Alleviate pressure: Reduce expectations of yourself and others.
#17 Sleep: Get enough rest. Sleep 7-9 hours each night.
#18 Nap: Give yourself a break. Afternoon naps have been shown to increase creativity.
#19 Help: Don’t be afraid to ask someone for help; friend, colleagues or a therapist. Maybe you are struggling emotionally. Maybe you need help with launching a business. Often we get caught up in what we are doing, we forget that help is just a phone call away.
#20 Be silly: Do something that you did as a child. Don’t take life too seriously.
#21 Surround yourself with beauty: Visit an art gallery. Re-instill beauty in your life.
#22 Restore your faith in humanity: Search the internet for inspiring stories.
#23 Surround yourself with positive people who can support you.
#24 Let your hair down: A night out in town might help you blow off some steam.
#25 Meditate: Learn to calm yourself.
#26 Hydrate: Don’t forget to drink enough water.
#27 Check your self-talk. Negative self-talk does not serve you.
#28 Change your self-talk to positive self-talk.
#29 Eat: Make sure you eat healthy foods; if possible,smaller portions.
#30 Watch a silly movie: This can be a welcome distraction.
#31 When you wake up, stretch like you did when you were young.
#32 Shower: A nice warm shower makes you feel good.
#33 If you feel something is wrong physiologically, schedule a meeting with your doctor.
#34 Cuddle: whether it’s your dog, cat, friend or partner. We are human. We require touch.
#35 Intense Exercise: running or even swimming. This will increase energy levels.
#36 Journal: Develop a habit of journaling. This will help free your mind.
#37 Small steps: If you feel overwhelmed by everything, break it all up into small actionable steps.
#38 Gratitude list: Write down a list of 20 things you can be grateful for.
#39 Accomplishments: Write down a list of 20 things you have accomplished so far.Advertising
#40 Remind yourself of the value you have to offer. We are often so good at something, that it becomes second nature. We don’t recognize that it’s something other people can’t easily do. Recognize that value.
#41 Write down the two most important things you want to complete each day.
#42 Wake up. Complete the two most important things. Then do other tasks.
#43 Clean your bedroom. De-cluttering your environment is magical.
#44 Relax: Lie in an open field and stare at the clouds.
#45 Read a good book. Get lost in another world.
#46 Take a break from social media, if it all feels too much.
#47 Avoid the comparison game. If you find yourself comparing yourself to others remind yourself (daily) that it’s not healthy.
#48 Pamper yourself. Go to the spa.
#49 Ask for reassurance from family and friends. Hearing ‘all will be fine’ is often all that is needed.
#50 Listen to your favorite music (not a love song, if you are heartbroken).
#51 Volunteer and give back to your community. Maybe a pet shelter?
#52 Find a safe place to scream and let it all out. Keeping emotions bottled up is not healthy. It creates stress and can cause anxiety.
#53 Eat foods that make you feel comfortable.
#54 Embrace silence. Go somewhere to be alone.
#55 Think about your dreams. Allow yourself to dream. Write down your dreams.
#56 Do simple coloring in books. Be like a child.
#57 Take a walk on the beach. The ocean is soothing.
#58 Mountains are strong and secure. Find them. Absorb them.
#59 If Self-help books overwhelm you. Read fiction instead.
#60 Get inspired. Watch inspiring videos on Youtube.
#61 Find those that have overcome what you are going through to restore inner strength.
#62 Get expert help (psychologist, doctor etc) if required. Ask family for help with this.
#63 You have won the lottery. Just being alive and being able to breathe is a privilege. Remind yourself of this each morning when you wake-up.
#64 Routines: When life is chaotic, establishing a routine provides stability.
#65 Embrace the sun. Soak it up. Go outdoors.
#66 10 min alignment exercise. Set a deep meaningful goal (e.g. being self-employed). Write down all the skills and abilities you have to achieve it now. Sit with those thoughts until you feel excited.
#67 Sit in silence and just breathe. In and out. Nice deep breaths.
#68 Seek out happy memories: go through photos of loved ones or even postcards from friends.
#69 Relax. Have a warm bath. Clear your mind.
#70 Invest in a miniature Zen Garden. Start by searching on the internet.
#71 Walk barefoot in the grass. This can be therapeutic.
#72 Bake bread. Enjoy the process. Absorb the comforting smells of your creation.
#73 Watch the sunrise, whilst sipping your favorite coffee. Get excited about the day that lies ahead.
#74 Watch the sunset, with a glass of wine. Recap on the day.
#75 Decorate your room or house. Make it look beautiful.
#76 Call your boss. Tell him you’re sick. Just take the day off to unwind from all the stress.
#77 Create a morning ritual that provides the needed support.
#78 Or (because everyone is different) you can develop an evening ritual instead.
#79 Switch off all devices an hour before you sleep for a good night’s rest.
#80 Help someone else with their problems. This can often be the best self-care.Advertising
#81 Watch a comedy show (live or on T.V.). Get yourself to laugh. Laughter, as they say, is often the best medicine.
#82 Dance. Dance on your own. Dance in your house. Dance wildly.
#83 Walk your dog and get exercise.
#84 Walk someone else’s dog and do them a favor in the process.
#85 Seek out new experiences. Do something you haven’t done before.
#86 Ideas. Start writing down all your ideas. Carry a notepad with you.
#87 Be spontaneous. Instill excitement into your life. For example, take a drive on the spur of the moment. If a friend calls you to do something, do it.
#88 Sign-up for the gym. Exercise helps clear your mind.
#89 Or exercise in the comfort of your home – you don’t have to spend lots of money to stay fit.
#90 Plan a short road trip with a friend to get away.
#91 Speak to a nutritionist to develop a food plan that can support you.
#92 Try yoga. It’s great for the body and the mind.
#93 Get rid of limiting beliefs that do not serve you. You may believe that you cannot do something, but is this really true? Consider what you can do right now to make it happen. Maybe you can ask for a friend’s advice to start?
#94 Use your senses. Buy some incense for your house.
#95 Love. Call someone (instead of texting). Tell them you love them.
#96 Listen to classical music. Get relaxed and improve your intelligence.
#97 Spoil yourself. Buy yourself presents – flowers or even a new dress.
#98 Sketch. Take out a notepad and start sketching. This can be therapeutic.
#99 Wake up and listen to inspirational podcasts to get you motivated.
#100 Remind yourself that life is a journey. Remember that what you are going through is temporary, It will pass.
Last Updated on April 11, 2019
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.
Table of Contents
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
- Conflict Management Styles for Effective Communication at Work
- How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home
- How to Work with Different Communication Styles in the Office
- 13 Best Communication Books for Stronger Social Skills & Relationships
Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com