“Act the way you want to feel.”
I touched on this in an earlier Instagram post, but my emotions have an outsized effect on my relationships and productivity.
One of the biggest things I’ve caught myself saying a lot is “I just don’t feel like…”
The sentence that follows can be anything from the benign: “…watching that show instead of this show.” To the harmful: “Going for a walk,” (after being at my desk for 8+ hours.) Or putting in the effort to call a friend.
But if our emotions often follow our actions, instead of the other way around, how often are we just reinforcing a cycle of negativity? While I’m not the sort of person who says every moment has to be a ray of sunshine- we all have a right to our feelings- it got me wondering how many of my moments of misery have been self-induced?
Do I really have the power to make myself a lot happier than I’ve been before this point? I’ve been putting this into practice and there does seem to be some validity to this.
So here are 8 simple ways that I make myself a little bit happier (there are many others.)
- Pet a cat. Or a dog. I have 5 pets to choose from, but the key is to get up and walk across the room to do it. Seeing their little faces light up makes it worth it.
- Make a cup of tea. A hot, tasty beverage can cure a world of ills. Or at least stave off a threatening foul mood.
- Get outside and pull some weeds in the garden. Not only is yanking weeds wonderful exercise, it’s therapeutic if something is nagging me.
- Go for a walk. Like weed-pulling, walking helps shake loose worrisome thoughts and can get ideas flowing. And not going to lie, I kinda like seeing what my neighbors are up to as I walk around.
- Dress up. I’m not a “fashion” kind of girl, but I get dressed in the morning. At least I put on real pants. It signals that my day has started and I’m here to do work, setting the frame of mind I need to be in.
- Dress down. Conversely, if I want to put on sweatpants at nights, I put on sweatpants. Having a transition from work to relaxing, lets my body… relax.
- Eat breakfast. This is a big win for me. Since beginning to work from home, being able to eat breakfast in a laid-back manner and enjoy a full cup of coffee AND glass of water (instead of rushing out the door while choking on a granola bar) has worked wonders for my attitude.
- Skincare. I’ve started making a point of taking 5 extra minutes at night to cleanse my face and put on a lovely, cold moisturizer. I love the moment of “girly” pampering I give myself at the end of the day.
What would these look like for you? And how can we begin to act the way we want to feel? The key for me has been looking for the areas where I say “I don’t feel like…” If what follows is something negative, I have been trying to act how I want to feel through that situation. Even tiny actions can have big results towards my happiness.