Our life puts us through a lot – from the small day to day fights to big sufferings or crises that affects us a lot. These tend to put us down, get into some really bag habits and quite often lead us to being chronically unhappy and depressed. Keeping our head clear and balancing our life can be quite a struggle, and everything around us can look dark and gloomy.
But these are in the same time the moments when we need to act and change some of our habits that have the power to make us feel better. One by one, day by day, changing these help our brain stay sharp and healthy. They are not big things to change, therefore they are not difficult to switch around, but changing them can really help brighten your mood, make you feel energized and happier.
Living only to do the things you have to do
Feel like you go to work only because that’s how you earn your money to survive, then come home and eat only because you’re hungry and that everything you do – you do because you have to? Because there’s not really a choice there?
Change these habits: Start doing something for yourself every day. Can be something small like going to a restaurant you love and enjoy your favorite meal. Or go play basketball. Or craft something. Or read. Can be anything as long as you feel it’s for yourself only and that you’re choosing to do it. Can be 10 minutes to as much as you can. But do it daily. Call it a “me time”, but do it so that it becomes a habit.
Having a (way) too sedentary life
From home, you go to work with your car then at work you sit for long hours only to go back to the car and home to rest. No walking, no running, no gym – a total lack of exercise. Which is not healthy: short term you’ll feel like lacking the good mood and the energy; long term your body will suffer alongside your mood.
Change these habits: do a little exercise every day. Start by walking more every day, doing some sports once or twice a week. Anything that pleases you that means moving instead of living a purely sedentary life. You’ll see how this will lift your mood!
Even if it’s a thing that you just hate doing, you’re afraid to do because you might not be good at it or it’s something very boring, keeping it on the to-do list constantly and having it in your mind doesn’t do you well. Dragging it each day feels like you have unfinished business to do, and affects your mood. You’re always worried about doing it and always postponing it – but you know there’s never going to be a good time to do it.
Change this habit: wake up in the morning on a sunny day when you moods are good and do it. Do a big chunk of it if it’s not possible to do it at once. But start doing the things you hate or you’re afraid of, first thing in the morning. The feeling of relief that you’ll have for the rest of the day is priceless, as well as the time you’ve just gained to do what you love – guaranteed invasion of good mood!
Having good sleeping habits
Sleeping helps our brain cells, mind and body to assess and crystallize the events that happened during the day, relax and get ready for the upcoming one. If you don’t have the rest you need, you’re basically going on without a break for days. No wonder then that you can’t face what life puts you through, or that you always feel tired, stressed or unhappy.
Change this habit: there is a set of sleeping habits that you could improve so that you have a good night’s sleep and be able to give your body the rest time it needs. Start with putting yourself to bed early, doing something that relaxes you before bed that is not related to technology, drink water and, in case you have too many thoughts, write them down on a piece of paper so that you can sleep well the whole night.
Lacking meaningful conversations
Another habit that is putting us down is keeping all our problems for ourselves – voluntarily or not. You might have replaced the meaningful conversations you were once having with your friends with conversations via mobile phone or some apps. But those apps don’t leave room for emotional conversation, they don’t offer comfort nor are really helpful for your happiness.
Change these habits: being it a friend, a work colleague, your mom or sibling – go talk it all out, have a meaningful conversation, ask for help. Or just enjoy a real conversation with real feelings involved, like real laughing with your entire body instead of an emoticon.
The real bad habit of multitasking
We all have it: we eat in front of the TV, we scroll our Facebook news feed while talking to our friends on a night out and so on. Besides this being sometimes dangerous (texting while driving), it’s also a very unhealthy habit – you lose connection with the ones around, you eat too much if you don’t pay attention to it, and your focus generally will be split among the task you are trying to do. But you won’t really have a focus on what’s important.
Change this habit: at work and personal life, try doing one thing at a time. You’ll be amazed by the productivity lift as well as your mood, as you start paying attention to the things that really matter.
To help you getting started with one change at a time, read here an article on how to drive this change for yourself step by step and most importantly, without too much effort.