If life seems stagnant or out of your control, it's time to take action. Despite belief to the contrary, small changes can make a major impact, and adopting even the most straightforward habits can transform your life. While subtle improvements might appear insignificant at first, the long-term results are well worth it. Minimal daily returns stack up to larger successes, and these particular practices are easy to work into your everyday. Over time, you might just experience life-changing results.
While social media consumes a large part of our lives, remember that Facebook and Instagram are not real life. People you interact with online can impact your mindset in more ways than you realize, hindering feelings of happiness, confidence, and control while simultaneously boosting jealousy, depression, and FOMO (that is, a fear of missing out). If an account isn't making you feel good, then it's time to mute or unfollow; silencing those downer accounts and friends means we're more likely to see the posts that boost our brainpower, inspire us, or make us laugh. Everyone's life moves at its own pace, and an influencer's Instagram posts should never make you feel bad about where you are in yours.
Not everyone's a morning person, but it's easier to adjust when you have time to relax and enjoy your wake-up routine. Rather than rushing against the clock, set it for 10 to 20 minutes earlier than usual, and you'll enjoy much-needed minutes to roll out your mat, brew a cup of coffee, get ready without worry, or read a chapter or two of your latest novel. Life should never feel like a race, so start the day refreshed and ready for whatever it has in store.
Exercise doesn't have to mean intense morning yoga or hour-long strength-training sessions; it can be as simple as taking the stairs. Regardless of what your day looks like, make it a goal to add 30 extra minutes of movement each day. This could include a brisk walk during your lunch break, parking further away, or taking the long route around the building. The more you move, the more you're boosting your metabolism and helping improve your overall health, body and mind.
Adult relationships are difficult to maintain. Friends and family members are scattered across the country with variant schedules, and that makes playing catch-up a trying task. Get into the habit of reaching out to one friend or family member each day, whether its via text message, video call, or an old-fashioned phone session. This simple step fosters a deeper sense of connection and a stronger social network over time.
Everyone can reap the benefits of extra silence, even if it's for two minutes a day. Find a quiet spot to sit, relax for a few minutes, and simply be. When your mind is moving a thousand miles a minute, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Embracing the silence helps you get out of your own head and puts you in touch with your inner self; your mind and body deserve a break, so give them one.
We all know the pre-vacation excitement that springs up before a big trip, or that energy we enjoy before a big date. Truth is, that elated excitement is achievable every day. When you're working toward something enjoyable, life's little nuisances seem like less of a big deal. Plan what makes you happy, and savor that "looking forward to it" feeling. Whatever your interests, there should always be excitement to look forward to on your calendar — whether it's a delicious dinner every weekend, a concert once a month, or a big trip a year away.
If you find yourself frequently saying "yes" to things you don't really want to do, it's time to take back control. Were you invited to a party you have no interest in? Turn down the invitation. Does the one friend need a favor, yet again? Tell her you're not available this time. Stay true to your own needs and wants, and you'll find yourself feeling much happier. People-pleasers can easily get taken advantage of, but when you tune in to your own desires, others will too. Sometimes we have no choice but to do things we don't really want to, so when saying no won't negatively affect your job, your relationships, or your health — give it a try.
At the end of the day, take a few minutes to jot down your most poignant thoughts and emotions. You might just realize that the coworker who offended you earlier was simply stressed over the same project you were, or that you've achieved more than you've given yourself credit for. Getting your thoughts out enhances perspective, and research suggests that journaling helps ease anxiety and depression as well.
Your paycheck is an exchange of your time for resources, and those resources should go to what you love. After necessities, be mindful of what you really want, need, and enjoy. Whether you savor food, travel, or fashion, there's no harm in dedicating extra funds toward the things that spark joy, and there's no need to apologize for treating yourself. A good way to decide whether something is worth the splurge? Break it down into how many hours of your time it will cost you.
In addition to practicing saying no, consider how you can do some small acts of kindness for others. Helping a friend or stranger in need can do almost as much for you as it does for them, boosting your happiness, confidence, and well-being. Wave or say "hi" to your neighbors and coworkers, do a good deed without expecting anything in return, smile more, and give compliments as they come. You can never give too much love, so engage this sense of warmth with others a little more every day.