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30 Small Things I Do Every Day That Improves The Quality Of My Life

30 Small Things I Do Every Day That Improves The Quality Of My Life

Would you like to be happier? Many people struggle with stress on a daily basis, but simply changing a few of your daily habits can improve your overall mood.

Check out 30 small things you can do every day to improve the overall quality of your life.

1. Drink a cup of coffee or tea. The caffeine will help to give you a much-needed boost – and it is pretty delicious too!

2. Wake up earlier. Set your alarm to go off quarter of an hour before you normally get up. This extra 15 minutes will help make your morning less stressful, and you will able to have a more organized and productive day.

3. Clean out your email. Delete all of your spam emails and the ones you don’t need. Decluttering will make you more organized while helping you to keep on top of work.

4. Make a friend smile. Send them a funny video online, or text them to see how they are doing. Making someone else’s day is a sure-fire way to guarantee your day being great too.

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5. Read the newspaper. Keeping up with world events will stimulate your mind and help you to gain new perspectives.

6. Hug someone you are close to. From your child to your partner to your sister, having a good old hug will improve your mood and mental state. This is also a great way to keep your relationships healthy and happy, too!

7. Have a quick tidy up if you have a few spare minutes. It will barely feel like tidying, but your mind will thank you for making the environment tidier and more pleasant.

8. Write a diary entry or a blog post. Many people find writing cathartic, and it can help you to process your own emotions and feelings. This is also a great way to keep your brain sharp!

9. Smile at the first stranger you see. This will put a smile on their face and leave you feeling warm inside!

10. Raise your heart rate. From a brisk walk to a session in the gym, exercise stimulates your body and mind, leaving you feeling generally more energetic and improving your mood.

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11. Take a walk. Being outside will raise your mood and it can calm you down if you are feeling stressed or worried.

12. Carry a bottle of water with you. Water is one of the best drinks for your body, and it will improve your health, your skin and your mind – perfect!

13. Look through old photographs. Reliving old memories will put a smile on your face, and you will feel grateful for the wonderful people in your life.

14. Write down three things you are thankful for each day. This will help you to appreciate all of the brilliant people and things you have in your life.

15. Put some laundry on. No-one likes doing laundry, but the feeling of accomplishment afterwards is much better for your mind than the negative feeling of putting it off.

16. Read a chapter of a book you love, or a new book. This will help to both lift your mood and relax you – a twofer!

17. Have a meaningful conversation. After a day of work and chores, it is important to feel like your day was important and meaningful – and one of the easiest ways to do this is to sit down with someone interesting and chew the fat.

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18. Listen to music. Put on an upbeat album you love, and after a few tracks you will notice yourself humming, smiling and dancing – all indicators of a great mood.

19. Light a candle when you get home from work. The appearance and smell of a candle will help you to relax and wind down.

20. Eat at least one healthy meal, with fruit and vegetables. The healthy food will give both your body and your mind energy – and you’ll feel great for choosing the healthy option.

21. Listen to something that makes you think. From the radio on the way home to a podcast you like, this will stimulate your brain and get your mind thinking about different things.

22. Do something nice for someone else. Mentally fulfilled people think about other’s needs as often as their own, and simply offering a co-worker a word of encouragement will help you to feel more positive.

23. Spend some time with the people you live with. From family to housemates, this will make you feel more connected to the people you share your life with – and it is a really fun way to wind down!

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24. Have a drink you love with your lunch. Lunch can feel like a hurried affair, so make the effort to bring a drink you love to savour, whether that is a comforting latte or a healthy berry smoothie.

25. Do the washing up before you go to bed. The next morning will be much more pleasant and relaxed if you don’t have to start the day with yesterday’s chores.

26. Put on an outfit you love. If you feel great on the outside, you will start to feel pretty good on the inside too – trust me!

27. Speak to someone who lives far away. From your parents to a friend who moved away, this will make you feel proactive – and no doubt they will really appreciate you calling them!

28. Spend five minutes alone. If you feel life starting to get on top of you take a break and spend a minutes alone. After this reflection time you will feel noticeably calmer and more relaxed.

29. Take a long bath or shower before you sleep. You will go to bed feeling clean and relaxed, helping you to get a great night’s sleep.

30. Make sure you get eight hours sleep. Everything is more difficult and stressful when you’re tired – get a head start on this and make sure you are refreshed for a productive and fun day!

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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