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Life can be hard. Some days aren’t as good as you might like them to be.
The not-so-well-kept secret to improving your days is that most of the time, the quality of your day has a lot to do with the mindset you take into it.
Your brain has a habit of turning your thoughts into reality. People who tell themselves they will have a bad day will find their minds constantly looking for those circumstances to confirm that they were right.
The opposite is also true. A person who focuses their thoughts on looking for a good day is much more likely to find it.
There are many different ways to cultivate your mind to help you have a good day. These tips should move you in the right direction.
1. Choose happiness.
What kind of trite, BS advice is “choose happiness?” It undermines the pain and difficulty of life! It undermines my experience with depression or whatever other problems I have to face that threaten to undermine and destroy my life! And worst yet, it implies that I am choosing to be miserable and unhappy! Like this is fun or something!
Choosing happiness is about not feeding that dark beast that wants to swallow everything. It’s unwinding catastrophic thought spirals and not making them worse. It’s looking for the humanity in other people when they do unkind or ignorant things. It’s reminding yourself that the world is not out to get you when it feels like nothing is going right. That these things aren’t personal.
It’s acknowledging that there is a choice to be made, although it’s a hard one. It is so very easy to sit in the spiral of negativity, throw more ugliness into it, and make yourself spiral harder. It’s much harder to say, “You know what? Things are pretty bad right now, but they’ll change sooner or later. I just have to hold on and keep moving forward until I hit better times again.”
It does not mean that you choose happiness and poof! Now you’re magically happy, and all your problems are solved! No. What it actually means is that you choose to find hope and optimism even when things are dark. It’s not toxic positivity because it doesn’t ignore those negative things. It just acknowledges that things are bad right now, but they won’t stay that way forever.
Given time and practice, choosing happiness is one of the most powerful tools you can use to completely flip how your day goes. It’s all about reframing your thoughts, starving that negative beast, and cultivating something beautiful in its place. And that is something that can make every single one of your days much brighter.
2. Get the right amount of sleep.
The optimal sleep time for a human adult is about 7-9 hours. Sleep runs in cycles, and the brain needs to complete so many cycles of that sleep to fully replenish and regenerate itself from the previous day.
Getting enough sleep is important for having a good day because you need those mood-balancing chemicals that your brain produces in the deepest sleep cycles.
To get better sleep, you can work to improve your sleep hygiene. That is, the environment and way in which you sleep.
Do you have a comfortable bed? If not, buying a new mattress or bed could be one of the best investments you ever make in your general well-being.
Try to sleep at a comfortable temperature whenever possible by using appropriate heating and cooling so that you feel relaxed.
Avoid caffeine or other stimulants before bed. These will mess with your brain’s ability to go through the stages of sleep correctly.
Avoid using screens for an hour or so before bed. If you do use screens, use blue-light filters or apps to help tone down the brightness.
Stay off social media, where you may be exposed to extreme emotions through the content that you see in your feed.
Set a time to go to bed at night and wake up in the morning. This will help train your brain to prefer sleeping within those hours, making it easier for you to fall asleep and wake up when it’s time.
3. Plan out your days.
A plan for your days can help reduce stress and avoid unexpected surprises.
A good way to go about it is to sit down at the end of the week and roughly plan out what you need to do in the coming week. Do you have doctor’s appointments? Need to go grocery shopping? Do the kids need to go to their extracurricular activities?
Get all of those activities lined up and planned out, so you’re not spending your days falling over yourself to figure out how to get it all done. Knowing when you’ve got to take care of a certain thing from your list avoids unnecessary stress.
4. Practice mindfulness.
To be mindful is to be in the present moment, not preoccupied with a past that is already gone or a future that isn’t here yet. It’s easy to spend your time in pain over past mistakes that no longer really matter. Anxiety looms in the future when you spend your time worrying about what may or may not come to pass.
The truth of the matter is that you are a competent, capable person who can handle what life will throw at you. Even if you don’t know all of the answers, which no one does, there are so many different ways to find answers to the various problems you’ll experience. Worrying really does nothing to help you and only drags you down in the present.
Mindfulness starts by choosing where to focus your mental energy. Put it in the here and now, whatever it is you’re doing at the present moment. That’s what’s important. That’s what matters. That’s how you keep the ugliness of the world from dragging your mood down.
Choosing to keep your mind on the present moment is important for navigating the inevitable bumps in the road that you face each day. When something doesn’t go your way or when another person takes their bad mood out on you, mindfulness can help you move on swiftly and return your mindset to one of peace.
5. Do more meaningful things.
So you’ve got your list of things that you need to do. But wait! What’s that little word in there? Need? Look at that list again. How many of those things do you need to do? Chances are pretty good there’s some busywork packed into that list alongside all of your other responsibilities.
Meeting your responsibilities is important, but so is taking some time to yourself. You can’t schedule something for every minute of every day and expect to maintain your sanity for long. That’s how you earn yourself a nervous breakdown.
What can you prune from that list? Are there things that you don’t particularly need or want to do? Things that no longer serve you in a way that makes sense for your life?
Are there boundaries you need to erect to keep other people from stealing your time and peace of mind? There are plenty of people who have no problem barging their way into your time and schedule if you let them.
If you do have to maintain that busy schedule, be sure to pencil in time for exercise and recreation.
6. Do one thing that makes you happy.
This one seems like an obvious tip, but it’s surprising how many people don’t do it. After all, they have things to do. People to see. Responsibilities to fulfill.
But what makes you happy? What brings you joy? Can you fit more of those things into your regular day? Even if it’s just for a little while to help balance out your responsibilities and work?
And what if you haven’t felt happy in a long time? Well, one thing you can try is to dip your toes back into activities that previously made you happy. The stress of life can cause you to become disconnected from what brings you joy and happiness if you stop connecting with those brighter parts of life.
7. Get out and walk.
A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. Exercise is a powerful way to help boost your mood, keep your body in good working order, and improve your mental health.
Taking a brief walk in the sunshine gives you valuable Vitamin D and helps to boost serotonin production. Serotonin is neurotransmitter that helps to foster and improve your happiness.
It doesn’t have to be hard or extensive exercise. Just getting up and moving for as little as 20 minutes of vigorous exercise can be enough to get things moving for you. Plus, you have the added benefit of getting a moment to enjoy what the majesty and beauty of nature have to offer you.
Humans aren’t built to be sedentary, even though that is a significant part of life for many of us.
8. Limit your exposure to social media, media, and negativity.
Once upon a time, we had news shows that were on for about an hour a night. They would keep us informed of what was going on in the world, for better or worse.
Now, we have that same loop constantly being broadcast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You get no breaks from the constant negativity and awful things happening in the world unless you pull yourself away from it.
Constantly being exposed to that negativity most definitely affects the way you perceive the world.
It’s valuable to know what’s going on in the world, but you can’t drench your brain in a constant stream of negativity and not expect it to drown you.
If you feel you want to keep up with what’s going on in the world, set aside some specific time to check out the news, and move on to something else when you’re done.
After all, most of what you see and hear on the news and social media are things that are far outside of your control. Worrying about them won’t fix them. Being aware of them won’t fix them.
Still not sure how to make every day a god day? Speak to a life coach today who can walk you through the process. Simply click here to connect with one.
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- When You’re Having A Bad Day, Remind Yourself Of These 20 Things
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- How To Change Your Outlook On Life: 7 Highly Effective Tips
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