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20 Fabulous Ideas To Start And End Your Day With Joy

20 Fabulous Ideas To Start And End Your Day With Joy

You never know how many days you have left, so it’s crucial to make sure you experience happiness during each one of them. Here are twenty ways to find joy at the beginning and end of your day. There’s no better time to feel happy!

1. Practice gratitude.

Do you ever feel upset about something stupid? For example, a snide comment someone said to you at work, or your social life isn’t what you see on social media? Start being thankful that you have a job, be thankful you have friends, and those nasty thoughts will be banished away.

2. Eat breakfast.

Don’t try to find happiness while your stomach is empty. Eat a healthy breakfast, and you’ll instantly be more joyful. Don’t forget the protein, to keep you full longer.

3. Get dressed.

The first step in finding joy is to put on some pants. Really. Get out of bed and get ready for the day.

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4. Journal.

Find joy by taking a second to unwind. A great way to do this is by journaling. You can process your thoughts, and practice gratitude. Win-win!

5. Get creative.

Creativity is Joy’s fun little sister. So, find a way to make something you’ve been thinking about. Even if it’s just drawing on a scrap piece of paper, you’ll feel a spark.

6. Listen to music.

There’s nothing better than getting ready for the day while listening to an upbeat song. You will instantly be uplifted.

7. Read.

Diving into a good book can take your day from blah to bla-mazing. There’s nothing more joyful than letting your imagination run wild.

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8. Help someone.

Even if it’s just holding the door open for a stranger, doing something nice for someone else is the epitome of happiness.

9. Make a nourishing nightcap.

Tea anyone? Whatever your drink of choice ending your day with something that is good for you will establish a routine that will be beneficial for you health and set you up for having a joy-filled day tomorrow.

10. Memorize a meaningful quote.

Want to find a mantra for your day? Find an inspirational quote to repeat to yourself in the morning and at night. All actions start off as thoughts, so if you can think about something that inspires you, you will act on it.

11. Make a to-feel list.

We all try to think about what we have to get done: the to-do list. But, instead make a to-feel list. Include “gratitude, joy, happiness” and you’ll have to find these feelings in your day.

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12. Exercise.

There’s nothing that will make you feel better than getting your endorphins going. Go ahead: move!

13. Go outside.

There’s a reason almost every song about joy includes sunshine.

14. Talk to someone you love.

Hearing your loved one’s voice at the beginning or end of the day is a great way to remember what’s really important.

15. Treat yourself.

If you’re feeling really down, don’t be afraid to do something nice for yourself. Sometime buying that expensive cup of coffee is just what you need to get pumped about your day.

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16. Put on comfy clothes.

Slipping into your stretchy pants will make you relax after your hard day at work.

17. Cook.

Finding a new recipe will make you feel creative, and cooking for yourself will help you stay healthy. Pull out your pots and pans and have some fun.

18. Work on something new.

Starting a new project will give you energy. Plus, a fresh start is the one of the best ways to feel like you’re accomplishing a new goal. The accomplishment you feel will instantly turn to joy.

19. Dream.

Finding time to dream about who you want to be or what you want to do is essential to making sure you live a joyful life.

20. Laugh.

Laughter can lighten the mood of the most intense situation. Find something to laugh about, and you’ll instantly feel happier.

Featured photo credit: Free Spirit/Mandolin via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

“A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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What are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

“That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

Don’t overlook introspection.

While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

“Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

The Bottom Line

You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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