Lately I've noticed that there are certain habits and patterns I have that make me feel different ways. Some of them make me feel full and outward facing and happier. Others make me feel empty and closed and well, less happy. I wanted to share a few thoughts I've had on the subject in case you can identify with those feelings as well. Read on for five ways to feel happier and love everyday life more.
1. Stop comparing and wasting time. Step away from your phone. This is a hard one for everyone. It's hard to spend less time on your phone, but it's sure easy to spend more of it! Lately I've been doing more and more work from my phone, which means being on my phone more often, and that always leads to wasting more time on my phone as well. Every time I hop on my phone I feel compelled to check every app for new comments, new engagement, or new messages. And it doesn't feel good. Mentally it doesn't feel good, but it's also literally straining my left forearm. So that's a bad indicator, right?
Anyways, I think what I want most is more time back—less time wasted. And less autopilot consumption of other people's lives. No matter what we think we are doing online, the more we consume there, the less full we feel.
2. Stop complaining. Think about the invisible things that make your life great. The stuff you take for granted. I was listening to this podcast the other day, and it really hit home. I have always been a fan of gratitude journals and counting your blessings, but it was interesting to hear the research behind it. Basically the podcast was pointing out how easily we forget all of the good things around us. Even new good things almost instantly become our new norm if we aren't consciously looking to be grateful. It made me want to look for more things around me to be thankful for—things like well-functioning Internet and a safe school to send my kids to every day. I like the idea of really considering all the things we feel entitled to and working on reversing that feeling into one of thankfulness.
3. Stop weighing yourself. I think I said this in my last "5 Things" post, but it's still true. Weighing yourself could mean on a scale, but there are lots of numbers that we ought not use to measure ourselves. We can weigh our worth with our number of friends, our number of followers, or even with how much money we have or make. Last week I had an interesting moment where I had to look up my blog views to send to a brand. And I haven't looked at that number in a long time because I knew it would be much lower than it used to be. I don't blog as often anymore, so my numbers have gone way down. And I was right. They were even lower than I would have guessed. And it hurt. But I had to realize that my worth is not attached to that number. It shouldn't change how I feel about myself or my life. It was hard to swallow, but I pushed it out of my head and told myself five things that do reflect how I'm doing as a blogger or as an influencer. And I disassociated that number from myself.
4. Quit waiting. Dip your toe into doing something that you wish you could do. This is something that I think I can speak authoritatively on. If you want or wish for something, start today. Don't make the fear of failure into something bigger than it needs to be. Ignore it and start something. When I started blogging five years ago, I felt like there was no room for any more successful bloggers. There were already plenty of them, so how would I make any kind of splash? But I somehow pushed past that, and look how far things have come! Time will pass anyway, and the sooner you start something, the closer you are to having it realized. I have been able to find my niche in blogging and in business, but what I've gained was actually the fun and interesting life that comes with growing something. I started a hobby that allowed me to reach for things and to constantly be learning new things. And that has made such a difference in who I am as a person and a mom. So if you want to learn something, be great at something, or grow something, start now. You'll enjoy the process even more than the results, and lucky you—the process comes first!
5. Stop making your to-do list about you. Put one or two things near the top of the list that would make someone else's day. Especially if it's something that would interrupt your own plans. This one is a challenge for me. I never have enough time in the day, and I am certainly always doing something for someone else. But usually I'm helping someone or serving someone at my house because that is what life or little people demand. Rarely am I thinking of being thoughtful to my little boys or to Soren, and rarely is that the motivation behind my kindness and service. However, when I stop trying to just squeeze in one more thing for my list and purposefully spend time on someone else's, I notice a big difference in how I feel. I feel brighter, happier, more open, and more generous.
I know these aren't all new ideas, but maybe they'll spark something in you that makes you think about what you can change or modify in your daily life to feel more joy. I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments below or on social media!