Do you ever feel stuck in a rut? Looking around yourself, thinking…is this it?!
Well, don’t panic – you’re not alone. We all feel a bit low from time to time. If we didn’t then the multi-billion dollar self-help industry wouldn’t exist, would it? Chicken soup for the soul, anyone? No, me neither.
Now, I don’t have life sorted out – not by a long shot. But what I do know is improving your life is not about earning more money, owning more possessions or even getting more likes on your latest Instagram post.
The key to a better life is about paying more attention to the fundamental things, such as your relationships and your physical and mental health. And while working on these aspects can take some time it needn’t be hard nor costly. Nope, improving your life can be incredibly simple and completely free. Especially if you use these 4 foolproof methods…
- Laugh More
Obviously we all know that sharing a good grin with our friends makes us feel great, but it turns out laughter really is one of the best medicines!
Laughing, it seems, triggers a set of chemical responses from your brain that are as potent as any antidepressant. With laughter, your stress levels are reduced and your body’s immune system is given a welcome boost. Yay!
Research has even shown that laughter is good for your heart. Exactly why is unknown. But it seems that having the tendency to rock out a good belly laugh causes an anti-inflammatory effect in the blood vessels around your heart, which can mitigate the damaging effects of cardiovascular disease.
Handily, even just reminding yourself of happy moments from your past can cause endorphins – your body’s homemade prozac – to be released into your bloodstream. So when you’re feeling a little low and need a bit of a pick-me-up, why not recall that time your show-off Uncle Mike fell off his bike and have a good chuckle to yourself?! Your health will thank you for it.
2. Exercise More
Getting sweaty on a regular basis has huge benefits for both mind and body.
No matter what your age, gender or physical ability, simply getting off the couch or out from behind that desk and moving that beautiful body of yours will have huge benefits on all aspects of your life.
I don’t care how you do it – run, jump, swim, walk to work, wash the car, climb a tree, have gymnastic sex, dance the funky chicken – it doesn’t matter. Just make sure you get up and get a sweat on every single day.
That’s right – I mean every, single, day.
Exercise has infinite physical benefits and what’s more, it triggers your body to release those glorious endorphins – there’s that word again – which actually make you feel happier post-sweat.
- Sleep More
We’ve all heard one of our energetic friends declare as they dance until 5am: “I’ll sleep when I’m dead!” Fine for them, but if you really want just one foolproof way to improve your life – get better sleep.
A lack of sleep can lead to mood swings, depression, forgetfulness, weight gain, aged skin and, the most dreaded thing of all, bags under your eyes!
In fact, messing with your body’s natural circadian rhythms consistently can actually shorten your life. Studies have shown a link between chronic insufficient sleep and a wide variety of conditions – from heart disease to heart attacks, epilepsy to obesity.
There are countless ways to improve the quality and quantity of sleep – see this site for some top tips – but simple things such as cutting out caffeine late in the day, banning screens from your bedroom and getting into a regular pre-bed routine, will work wonders.
- Say thank you more
We’ve all heard the saying ‘manners costs nothing’. Now take it a step further – because simply saying ‘thank you’ more often can actually make us feel better.
Expressing gratitude could come in the form of sending flowers to a friend, or a surprise phone call to your mum. But in fact, saying ‘thank you’ doesn’t have to be to any one individual.
Even taking a few minutes out of each day to list one or two things you’re thankful for can have a profound change on your general positivity.
This process is known as keeping a Gratitude Journal, and it works by retraining your mind to look for positives, rather than negatives, in each situation.
Instead of focusing on how rude one person is to you at work, you will instead start to see how friendly everyone else is.
If this all seems a bit wishy-washy to you, fine. It did to me too, before I started. But why not give it a go? What do you have to lose? Remember, saying ‘thank you’ costs you nothing – but the effect it can have on your positivity is priceless.
So there you have it – four simple, free and foolproof ways to improve you life. And surprise surprise, buying a Ferrari, eating more caviar or getting Botox wasn’t one of them.
Today, I’m thankful you took the time to read my post. And I’m smiling more already. 🙂