Hi everyone! I’m still in list making mode, wanting to build on the concept of a personal checklist that was my blog for the beginning of the year. Why lists? Well, they are easy to make and easy to track. Most importantly, we get a dose of the feel-good neurotransmitter, dopamine, when we check something off our list. It should surprise no one that I’m in the mood to help you feel good. After all, that’s one of my very favorite aspects to my incredible job: helping people to feel better about themselves, their worlds and their place in the community of humans spinning round on this lovely planet of ours. One of the best ways to feel better about yourself (and the world) is to behave from the place of your best self — not from your lower version of yourself.
Some of my favorite ways to function from your best self:
1) Start with the foundational building blocks to good health:
- Sleep enough, typically between 7-8 hours per night, most days of the week
- Exercise, at least 30 minutes, at least 4-5 days per week
- Eat well…yes that means a balanced diet, and eating everything in moderation — including junk food.
2) Address the next level up in foundational behaviors that help us feel good:
- Be mindful of your general approach to the world. Feeling pessimistic? Things will feel more and more negative. Challenge negative thinking and allow yourself to notice small positives throughout the day. The more you notice what IS working, the more there will appear to be that works!
- Be wary of adding in endless tasks, should’s and to do’s. Add in blank space in your calendar.
- Actually relax at the end of a day. Not numb out and collapse! Relax and rest.
3) Focus on your habits. Boost the positive ones, minimize the negative ones:
- Remember, everything in moderation, for example, alcohol and other mind-altering substances. Make sure you’re not dependent on anything, including: marijuana, TV, sugar, social media or other drugs. Except chocolate…only kidding!
- Deliberately take care of yourself.
- If you find yourself often mindlessly indulging in time wasters (hello social media!), set a time limit.
4) Add a connection between joy and adventure. This is the stuff that makes us feel alive!
- Let yourself really love the people and animals and things in your life that you love. Imagine if you treated your loved ones the same way a dog greets you when your get home: with excitement, undivided attention for a few minutes and true delight? I think the whole world would feel better if we felt and demonstrated our delight at engaging with those we love.
- Do the activities you really enjoy on a regular basis.
- Go on some sort of adventure. It can be as simple as trying a new restaurant, or as exotic as going on vacation to a totally new place. It doesn’t have to be hard or far away, just something different.
- Use the power of gratitude to enjoy your life as it is right this minute, rather than constantly striving for more, better or different all the time.