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10 Unusual Routines That Will Bring Joy To Your Life

10 Unusual Routines That Will Bring Joy To Your Life

We can’t always travel the world or win a million bucks. The secret is finding the unusual, small routines that will bring you joy every day. Here are 10 that can indeed make a big difference in your overall attitude and enjoyment throughout the day.

1. If you need time for yourself, tell people “I’m busy” – it’s a legitimate excuse.

“In a world of distraction and competing demands, mental focus is a scarce yet precious commodity. If you want more of it, you will have to be intentional about getting it.”
– Michael Hyatt

It’s easy to get so caught up in pleasing people that you forget to take care of yourself. Take the time you need to make sure your health doesn’t suffer on account of others demanding your attention.

2. Once you get off work, stop checking your email – rarely is anything so dire that it can’t be left until the morning.

“BIF stands for “before I forget” and refers to emails sent on evenings or weekends out of fear of forgetting a to-do or follow-up. This sets a mutual expectation of 24/7 work hours and causes a plethora of problems.”
– Tim Ferriss

Unless you own a business, your evenings are your own – this is time for your family, your friends and yourself. Stop letting work interfere with your personal life.

3. Give yourself permission to buy any book you want at any time – it’s an investment in you. Now read them.

“If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
– Benjamin Franklin

Reading might be one of the most important things you can do to better yourself. It’s the wisdom of brilliant minds condensed down to a $20 and 2-day commitment. Give yourself that luxury because ultimately, it’s an investment.

4. Drive with the windows down and the music up. If people look, just smile and start dancing.

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, love like you’ll never be hurt, sing like there’s nobody listening, nd live like it’s heaven on earth.”
– William W. Purkey

How long has it been? Let your hair down, stick your head out and watch yourself break into a smile. There’s nothing quite like it, and it’s the simplest way to feel free and let loose.

5. Leave a note on a napkin with a large tip – you’d be surprised how much that means.

“We are most alive when we are loving and actively giving of ourselves because we were made to do these things.”
– Frances Chan

This may mean paying an extra $10 – that you can afford – for a meal that doesn’t quite warrant that amount of a tip. But you may have just made someone’s night. Let them know that someone cares and appreciates their service.

6. Get plenty of rest each night – it’s crucial to your health, sanity, productivity and attitude.

“A good night’s sleep has immediate effects on our productivity, and, best of all, it can even help us keep our other resolutions.”
– Sendhil Mullainathan, professor at Harvard

Sleep is more important than people give it credit for. It’s your body’s way of cleaning the mind. Anyone who believes sleep is for the weak, is misguided in their understanding of your body’s limits and needs.

7. Write down your thoughts for 10 minutes a day – it helps you formulate cohesive thoughts.

“Once we get those muddy, maddening, confusing thoughts [nebulous worries, jitters, and preoccupations] on the page, we face our day with clearer eyes.”
– Julia Cameron

It’s not much – just 10 minutes – but it trains your mind to put feelings and thoughts into tight little packages that can be better understood by the reader and yourself. You might be surprised what you find out about yourself!

8. Create uninterruptable routines for the first hour of the day.

“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.”
– Lemony Snicket, “The Blank Book”

Mornings are crucial – they dictate your attitude, your perceptions and your energy for the day. Give yourself the gift of a predictable, enjoyable, rejuvenating morning routine. No stress. No screens. No interruptions.

9. Doodle. In meetings, over dinner, during a movie, at the park… just doodle.

“The very act of creating a Doodle necessarily engages the mind. Doodling IS thinking, soldiers, it’s just thinking in disguise.”
– Sunni Brown

Doodles are a great way to visualize your conscious and subconscious thoughts and put your mind in a trance-like state that fosters creativity and innovation. It’s not just for children – whip out that pen in the next board meeting and let your calm creativity take over.

10. Quit whatever doesn’t add value to your life.

“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
– Hans Hofmann, Introduction to the Bootstrap, 1993

Why waste precious hours of your life on activities that don’t add value to your life? Make room for the things that matter by eliminating the things which don’t. Simplicity is a freeing way to live.

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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