Think of a feeling you would really, really like to feel, and intend to feel that way. Think of the warmest, coziest, happiest feeling you’ve ever felt and simply exist in that state of mind by making the choice to do so. Regardless of the situation you are in, you are free to choose to see the good or bad in a person, to dwell or not dwell on something out of your control, and to realize or ignore the good things happening in your life. Understand the power of those choices.
Express your appreciation. Wake up in the morning and be thankful that you are alive, breathing, and capable of doing literally anything you choose to do. Say thank you to someone you love just for being who they are. Say thank you to your parents for loving you unconditionally. Say thank you to the stranger that holds the door open for you. Express gratitude as much as possible. See Blessings and Coffee.
Do something nice for someone anonymously.The purest form of selflessness is giving without a need or expectation for something in return because it shows that your acting from the heart. Put flowers on a random person’s doorstep. Donate to a cause you believe in without a trace to your name. Leave extra change in a vending machine for someone else to use.
Commit an act of selflessness.Sometimes without realizing, we do things for people because we know we will somehow benefit from the outcome. We all do this – whether we mean to or not – which is why it is important to remind ourselves the real motive behind what we’re doing. It’s surprising how nice it feels to wholeheartedly be there for someone with your undivided attention, even when you have a million other time-sensitive/important things to do. Try the 40 Day Random Acts of Kindness Experiment.
Exercise Intensely. It’s no secret that physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins and feel-good neurotransmitters. This doesn’t have to mean going on a ten mile run. The more intense the workout, the less time you need to put in. Put on your sexiest workout attire and do some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)for a quick pick-me-up.
Look in the mirror. Write down ten things – in specific detail – that you love about yourself. Look past the physical too. Our most attractive attributes lie deep within us, all you have to do is really look at yourself.
Call your best friend and tell them how much you love them, just because. Let someone you deeply care about know how much you love everything about him or her. If they ask why you’re being so nice out of nowhere (hopefully this isn’t tooout of character for you), tell them you just felt like letting them know how special they are. Just because.
Go swimming.Swimming laps is not only excellent cardio and a full body workout, but also it has a serious calming effect in the same way yoga works on your body. Listen to the sound of your breathing and the splashing of the water to “drown out” all of the other sounds. Focus on the rhythmic motions of your body gliding through the water. But first, read Anna Hunt’s story about how she discovered the meditative powers of swimming.
Take a step toward a goal.The obstacles we might meet along the way often intimidate us, however, we must remember that those obstacles live in the future that doesn’t yet exist. Taking the first step to achieving a goal, no matter how big or small the step, allows us to begin the journey to achieving what we thought would be impossible. Don’t let the mountain scare you from beginning the climb; the view from the top is incredible. See How to Achieve Anything You Want in Three Simple Steps.
Close your eyes and visualize the most peaceful scenario your mind can wander to. As you slowly and purposefully inhale and exhale, pay attention to how your breath feels going in and out of your nose and chest. Concentrate on that. We all know that filling your body up with yummy oxygen has enormous benefits, but taking the time to pause and reflect in a quiet moment all to yourself in the midst of this crazy life is unbelievably rewarding.
Step outside of your comfort zone. The comfort zone is a set of behaviors and activities that guarantee mental security, a low level of risk and anxiety, and usually provide a predictable outcome. Aka boring. Ditch your comfort zone right now and say yes to something you would normally say no to. Take a risk. Tell the truth. Face a fear. Learning to live outside of your comfort zone when you choose to, according to The Science of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone (and Why You Should), can prepare you for life situations that force you out of it.
Do something outside that you normally do inside.Workout at the park or the beach instead of in the gym. Take your lunch break outdoors today. Choose outdoor seating at a restaurant. Do your work at an outdoor cafe instead of at your desk or in an office. Make a phone call outside instead of on your couch. Our world is such an unfathomably beautiful place to be alive in. Let the suns rays fill you with warmth and life while you do your everyday tasks.
Set yourself free from an attachment. First, make yourself aware of your attachments. Be totally honest with yourself in this exploration of things you depend on such as habits, addictions, uncontrolled desires, emotional attachments, materialistic needs, and cravings. Let one of them go right now. One of my favorite books, Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices to Awaken Heart and Mindby Roger Walsh, states in Chapter 7 that “our attachments are unnecessary psychological and spiritual baggage, yet many people worry that relinquishing their attachments will leave them apathetic and joyless. This utterly false fear assumes we need attachments in order to motivate ourselves; for example, we must be attached to money in order to work, or we need to crave fame in order to practice a sport or art.”
Forgive someone. Whether someone is genuinely sorry for what they’ve done to you or not, the weight of a grudge lies on YOU- not them. Do yourself a favor and let go of that negative energy built up inside of you. Sometimes it feels so good to just be angry with someone, nevertheless, understand that you will be the one losing in the end. By forgiving someone who has done you wrong, you are opening up the curtains to your soul and letting light in. Let yourself love again. Let yourself trust again. Don’t think you’re capable? Read this.
Have sex. We all know about the scientific evidence that says sex makes you euphorically happy. Strip down as soon as possible and get steamy with your partner. The more the better. Not only do we get physical and mental benefits from having sex regularly, but also we strengthen the bond we have with our partner every time we get intimate. Can’t go wrong.
Let it out. Everyone has a confession to make. If you can’t keep it in any longer, write it down on the back of a postcard. PostSecretis an ongoing community art project where people anonymously mail in their deepest, darkest secrets written on one side of a post card.
Clean your space.Be it your closet, your desk, or your car; choose an area that needs some serious tidying up. You’d be surprised how much mental clarity you can get from simply decluttering an area that you spend a lot of time at. A cluttered environment is a strong indicator of a cluttered mind… so get to it.
Inhale a calming scent. Light some candles or incense with a lavender, coconut, or jasmine scent. Breathe deeply. These scents will instantly fill you with serenity and lower your anxiety levels.
Sing (out loud!) Put on your favorite playlist and sing at the top of your lungs in the shower, your car, anywhere! Dance too- the more ridiculous the better. Be your crazy self without fear of losing control. I promise, you will feel 100x better, even if your singing voice could kill a flock of cattle.
Be yourself, unapologetically. I saved the best one for last. You will always be the most beautiful version of yourself, not of anyone else. Just for right now, don’t apologize for your flaws, imperfections, attitude, weirdness, tendencies, vulnerability, or emotions. In a society that has made us believe we need to be perfect, dare to be you – without apologizes or explanations.