7. Stop checking email in the morning.
Seriously cut that garbage out. Your brain actually functions differently when you first wake up, spending that time doing the busy work of email is a terrible waste of neurons. Email has become a job for most people and if someone asked you to clean out their garbage first thing in the am, would you do it?
Things to try when you first wake up:
- Just lie in bed and think about one thing you want to do better today.
- Go for a walk
- Make love. No kidding but sex stimulates more than your lower regions.
- Sketch, visual playtime is great.
- Play with your kids. School can wait.
6. Don’t compare your place in life to others.
It’s hard and almost everyone does it but this is one of the easiest ways to spiral into unhappiness. We are not cookie-cutter material. Each of us has made different choices and arrived at different paths. While jealousy can be a motivator for some people, it’s a trait that never leads to positive outcome.
Things to try to compare yourself to:
- You, 3 months ago. How are you doing since then? What can you improve? What got worse?
- A favorite character or religious story. How would they handle your situation? What can you learn from them?
5. Be grateful.
It’s really simple. What is one thing today you are really grateful for?
What is another? If you can list 3 things a day, you’ll see you have much more going for you than you thought. Soon your list will get so long you’ll be beaming with energy.
Things to be grateful for:
- Your health. You are alive, and sick or not, you are able to enjoy the wonder that is this world.
- Your friends. Whether one friend or a 1,000, which friend of yours makes you smile when you think of them?
- Your family. Crazy or not, in what ways has your family been there for you? Even if it’s not recent, what’s one thing your mom or dad did that you have fond memory of?
- Yourself. You. Are. Awesome. No really, you right there. Your smile, your perseverance, your kindness, what things about yourself are you most grateful for?
4. Go outside.
Ok put down your iThing and step away from the TV. Humans have been blessed with the most beautiful planet this side of Alpha Centauri. We live on a rare and giving world. Go enjoy it.
Things to do outside:
- Take a walk. Even if it’s 5 minutes, walking is the best exercise and head clearer.
- Sit on a bench on a park with a good view. I highly recommend Dolores Park if you are in San Francisco.
- Take photos. It works for me at least and helps me see the beauty around me.
- Meet new people. Say hi to a stranger, you never know what could happen.
3. Give to someone else.
Whether it’s something simple like buying a coffee for a friend or doing charity work, the act of giving opens up your heart. The heart is a muscle and must be exercised. Giving outwards prepares you to give inward. If you can show someone else kindness, their smile will work its magic back to you.
Things to give to people:
- Your time. Lending an ear is the simplest gift.
- A meal. Share food with someone whether you made it or not.
- Compliments! Everyone loves a good compliment. Even if it’s as simple as you have a great smile. Light up the room when you walk in.
2. Write your thoughts down.
This may sound odd but many times we aren’t actually unhappy, but we just have a bazillion thoughts running around in our head. Writing is a simple act that can help clear your mind. You’d be surprised how great you feel once you clean out the cobwebs.
Things to write down:
- Your dreams. A notepad next to your bed will change your life.
- Places you want to go. Where do you want to travel to?
- Stories, songs, poems, whatever. Get emo and creative. Don’t edit yourself, just let it flow.
- Problems you are having. Make a pro/con list. Be analytical and figure out how can you fix that problem.
- Funny quotes or things you hear that strike you. I have a note file, 18 pages long with quotes.
- Great memories.
- The person you want to be. Write down traits you want to have in yourself. Do it everyday.
1. Give to yourself.
Dude, quit hating on yourself. Yes, you eat too much, drink too much, yell too much, whatever. We all make mistakes. We are all human as well and humans are not perfect creatures. When you learn to accept yourself, true happiness quickly arises.
Things to give to yourself:
- Forgiveness. Yes you made a huge mistake, now learn from it and move on.
- Time. Yes you may think you don’t have time, but you actually do.
- Knowledge. Go learn something new. Or improve what you already know.
- Health. Go take a walk. Seriously, put this article down and go take a walk right now.
This article originally appeared on Medium and is republished here with permission.