When we feel good psychologically, it is as if the stars would align in the universe. We feel a pleasant sense of empowerment and we are happy. Unfortunately, for most people those moments are rare, or at least not as usual as they would like.
The problem is that we do not worry enough about our emotional well-being, we usually leave it to chance. We worry and take care of our physical health, but we usually think of our mental health as a secondary actor. However, to feel good about ourselves it is sometimes enough to apply small changes in our daily routine.
How to feel good about yourself by changing little habits
1. Keep a gratitude diary. It won’t take you more than 10 minutes each day and will allow you to go to bed with a good taste in your mouth. It is simply a matter of writing down, each night, three or five things that have happened throughout the day for which you can feel grateful. At the beginning, it will cost you a little bit, because we are more accustomed to look at problems and negative things, but with a little practice, you will discover that you have many reasons to feel grateful. And gratitude is precisely one of the emotions that bring us more happiness and well-being.
2. Start a conversation with a stranger. In the technological era, where everyone sticks their noses at the mobile phone, this mission can be complicated but it is worth trying, as an experiment conducted at the University of Chicago revealed that people who engage in conversation with someone while on public transport going to work or back home, they feel much happier than those who stay apart in solitude. After all, we need human contact and connection, so these results should not surprise us. It is curious that in same study it was appreciated that we overestimate the desire of the others to be alone.
3. Plan something funny for tomorrow. Happiness and joy do not fall from heaven, we can also go out to meet them. Research has shown that being obsessed with happiness is counterproductive and makes us unhappy, but psychologists at the University of California discovered that the key lies in organizing the daily life so that we can find small spaces of joy and satisfaction. Therefore, make sure to spend at least one hour a day doing something that you really like.
4. Take a picture a day. It may seem silly, but taking a picture a day is an excellent strategy to stay relaxed and attentive to all the wonders that happen around you. When you set this goal, you will get out a little of your negative thoughts and worries to look a bit more at the world. Little by little you will rediscover those areas that you apparently knew very well and you will recover the ability to marvel, like when you were a child. It is a small habit that makes a big difference.
5. Break your nighttime routine. The monotony not only bores us but also makes us sad. Therefore, one of the keys to feel mentally good is to dare to change, even if it is about small habits. An excellent strategy is to change your night plan. Instead of wasting many hours in front of the television, plan something different, anything you like: from staying with your friends to going for a night walk or reading a good book. The simple feeling of doing something different is enough to fill you with a positive energy.
6. Do something every day with a Mindful attitude. Different studies have proven that Mindfulness generates positive emotions, reduces negative recurrent thoughts and decreases tension. The good news is that you do not even have to sit down to meditate, it is enough to develop any daily activity with a Mindful attitude, it can be from a small walk in the park to a dinner, you just need to be alert with all the senses, in the here and now, emptying the mind of concerns, thoughts and value judgments. When you return from that state, you will notice that you are much more relaxed and balanced.
7. Immerse yourself in an artistic activity. To take advantage of the benefits of art you don’t need to have great skills. The simple fact of imbuing ourselves in a creative activity is usually enough to make us feel happier. A study conducted at the University of London revealed that the simple act of seeing art increases our level of dopamine and activates the frontal cortex regions, which generates both pleasure and positive sensations such as love.