With a social media dominated society, it’s easy to start to feel down about your own life while looking through the eyes of everyone else through their posts and pictures. One friend may be running a marathon while another just got a promotion at work. And what have you gotten? A free cookie at a gas station. Wooooo. What you have to remember, however, is that most people only post the things they feel most proud of, not the things happening in their lives that make them feel lazy or embarrassed. It’s only natural! They want people to view them in a positive light. And you know what? They may be on to something. It’s been shown that people that talk about their accomplishments rather than their failures are truly happier. There’s a reason that those pessimistic Negative-Nancies are just that – negative and miserable.
Here are 10 tips to feel more accomplished and most importantly, HAPPY in your day-to-day life.
1. Remember that everyone has different goals
It’s important not to compare your life to those of others because everyone is in different places in life with different end goals. I want you to sit down and ask yourself what makes you happy and what would make you feel accomplished and proud of your life. This can be something that makes you feel accomplished daily or it can be a life goal. It may be finishing a special race or walking to raise money for a cause that you deeply care about. It may be starting your own blog or business selling crafts or personal training. It may be simply making time for relaxation or spending time alone in the woods. It may be finally sitting down to write that book you’ve been dreaming about for years or taking a piano lesson. It could be traveling to a different part of the world, volunteering for a charity that matters to you, or finally reconnecting with an old friend. It may be getting down to that ideal weight finally. It may be all of the above! These are your goals, so they can be however big or small you would like them to be.
Some people are content with glorifying the idea of busy – constantly being on the go and working non-stop. That’s just what works for them, and they may feel unaccomplished if they aren’t filling their days with activities. Others may feel more accomplished when they aren’t constantly on the go. They enjoy having the weekends off to relax, taking time to focus on their hobbies, going on vacations and just having time to de-stress and think about things other than work. Everyone values different things, and it’s important to remember that when you may be comparing yourself to others on social media. It’s only natural, but do your best to not compare yourself or your goals to those of your friends. Focus on you and your dreams, and you will be happier with your life.
2. Set a goal and work towards it
Now that we talked about having different goals, define what your goals are. Make a list daily, weekly, or monthly and check it off as you reach each goal. Like I said, they can be as little or big as you would like, so the ideas are endless! Ask yourself where you want to be in 5 years, 10 years, 30 years. Are you on that path? What actions could you take today to get you closer to that end goal. Think long and hard. Do your research. How can you make this happen for you? Then, GO FOR IT! Why wait? The future is happening now! Take a deep breath and dive on in!
As Nelson Mandela said:
Vision without action is just a dream, action without vision just passes the time, and vision with action can change the world.
3. Take time to meditate and breathe deeply
It has been proven that just 5 – 10 minutes of deep breathing a day can have significant positive impacts on your stress and happiness levels. Taking deep breaths allows you to relax your mind and become better aware of your body and surroundings. It forces you to slow down and focus on resting and healing. Work and family life can get stressful sometimes, which is why it’s important to take time for yourself and recharge. This can be as simple as just sitting alone in your room or office for 10 minutes with the lights off and focusing on deep breathing, or it may be shutting off all electronic devices, grabbing a yoga mat, and getting your zen on for half an hour or more. Whatever works for you!
4. Shut down and get between 7-8 hours of sleep a night, or whatever your body needs
Turn off those computers, cell phones, ipads, and television! The National Sleep Foundation found that almost 90% of adults and a whopping 75% of children have some form of electronic device in their bedrooms, often multiple devices. The artificial blue light emitted from these devices can suppress your melatonin, affecting your ability to fall asleep at night. Aim to shut down at least an hour before bed to recharge and get your mind ready for sleep. Do some light yoga, read a book, snuggle with your pet. Just give yourself a break.
Good sleep is essential for productivity, health, and functioning at your prime. People that get the recommended amount of sleep a night are more likely to make healthier food choices during the day than those that don’t. Not only are they less likely to give in to unhealthy food temptations, but they are also more likely to make other healthy choices such as exercising.
5. Give yourself and others compliments
Giving other people genuine compliments makes both of you feel good. I’m not just talking about complimenting superficial things like their cute scarf or leggings. I’m talking about those heart-felt compliments about how much you love their passion or energy or the way they interact with their children. Or why and how they may inspire you to be a better person. We’re all just struggling through life, and it’s nice to get a confidence boost every now and then. And feel free to spread out those compliments! Don’t be afraid to compliment a stranger when you see them do something awesome. Happiness is contageous, so make their day and they will pay it forward (hopefully)!
Giving youself compliments is also helpful for boosting your self-esteem! If we are constantly beating up on ourselves for every little thing, that shows in our happiness and productivity levels (I’m definitely guilty of this). So give yourself a break because YOU ARE AWESOME.
6. Get a fluffy, cuddly, adorable pet
Pets can help reduce stress and anxiety, get you moving, and activate that ‘happiness factor.’ There’s nothing better than snuggling into your pet at the end of a long day with their big loveable eyes and adoring features. Pet owners tend to have decreased blood pressure and cholesterol than their non-pet owning buddies. This may be because pets normally just have a comforting relaxation factor about them. Plus, they are more likely to keep you moving since they need their exercise too! Go for a walk or hike, play with their toys with them, or do some agility training with them (or even doga – dog yoga)! Not to mention that they are great listeners and have unconditional love for you! After all, you are the hand that feeds them so they kind of have to be nice to you!
My babies! (Well, technically my parent’s babies)
7. Eat real, whole foods
When you eat real, whole foods, you are getting those foods in their natural state, without the added sodium, fillers, or artificial flavors. You are also getting all of the vitamins, minerals, and other bountiful nutrients that those foods contain. Fast foods and other processed foods can wreak havoc on your waistline. When you cut out these foods, you may notice your energy levels increasing, your weight dropping, and your overall health improving! This in turn boosts your productivity and happiness levels! You will notice that you have more energy to do the things you were always too sluggish to do before. Don’t forget, real food can be convenience food too! Is it any quicker or easier to eat fast food fries over an apple or carrot? No, in fact it’s harder because you are getting all that nasty grease and salt on your fingers (and probably your blouse as well).
8. Declutter your life
Constantly being surrounded by clutter can get overwhelming. How are you supposed to get anything done with all that junk piling up in your face?! Decluttering your life of unneeded things gives you more time, money, and space for yourself. This in turn can lead to less stress and more room for activities! We spend our whole lives accumulating belongings that aren’t really necessary. Going through everything and keeping only the necessities can feel freeing!
9. Stop complaining, stop making excuses, and stop procrastinating!
Here’s the Negative-Nancy coming back again. You probably all know someone that is constantly complaining about their life, making excuses for why nothing ever works out for them. If you have a negative mindset, you will have a negative life! Simple as that. Surround yourself with positive people that inspire you and have the same willpower as you. Build each other up! Stop making excuses for why you can’t lose weight or why you can’t accomplish your goals. Go after what you want, stop putting things off. Because if you keep putting things off until tomorrow, tomorrow may never come.
10. Exercise regularly
Ah yes, exercise. That thing that everyone talks about, but yet no one wants to do. Exercise can be so invigorating and awesome for you! If you find exercising to be boring and a struggle to convince yourself to do, you aren’t doing the right exercises! Find something that you get excited about! Is it boxing? Zumba? Crossfit? Running? Experiment with different things to figure out what you like. Research shows that if you are doing something that you find enjoyable, you are more likely to stick with it. No matter what you pick, just make sure it gets your blood pumping! Feel that burn because that means you are making progress! And if you hate exercising alone, find a buddy. Then you can at least get that extra cardiovascular boost from laughing as you sweat!
A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.
– Zen Shin