In our quest for finding effective self help remedies, we come across thousands of articles depicting simple and easy solutions for daily care, but I feel there aren’t enough that extract the emotional explanation of why we do these things. I’ve written this article here to help consider more deeply a few comfort activities that we like to do, but explaining why they are so fundamental to our self help and growth. Behind the simple titles here we have strong reasoning and evaluation. I hope you enjoy reading the behind the scenes depth of what could be some very simple habits to make your life feel simpler and more enriching.
1. Pack your lunch for tomorrow
The title is misleading because what I am trying to say is representing many things in daily life. Packing your lunch for tomorrow represents a lifestyle – the lifestyle to think ahead, to enjoy planning, to be prepared – fail to plan, plan to fail. It’s a great way to start a planning lifestyle – after all, who doesn’t like food? Start by packing your lunch for today. If you can get up a couple minutes early to get your lunch ready (and avert eating at the food court), then you’re on the right track. Then, cook ahead. Make meals for two days, buy some cheap tupperware, and pack your lunch for the next day, and the one after.
Habits like this configure your brain to usurp our early reptilian brain and let us abstract towards forward thinking patterns. When you think about tomorrow and plan your lunch you are considering your eating habits, your diet, your health; you are anticipating the weather tomorrow, your plans, etc. Everything becomes a bit more streamlined and give you the upper advantage socially and emotionally. Look forward to tomorrow – pack a lunch.
2. Turn off your wifi for one hour every day
Thank God for the internet, for it gives us so much; it makes news readily available, financial information, brings us closer to our family by letting us communicate with them at any time, assists world health services…the list is endless really! We are gifted to be living in such a technologically advanced time of the world, and it’s important not to take that for granted. After all, only eighty some years ago we didn’t have air conditioning, good phones, available flight…etc!
But as much as we should embrace our gratuitous technology, we need to object to it every now and then. We need to unplug our brain from constantly waiting to hear a notification sound or feel a vibration in our pocket. We go through the day anticipating our next reply or email, and it puts stress on our mind; it doesn’t let us fully be ourselves.
Use an opportunity every day to turn it all off and just enjoy the stillness or motion of life. Start with 20 minutes or more and go up to how you feel. You don’t have to prove yourself to everybody – just try it and see how it feels.
3. Act on your feelings
Every time you do not follow your gut instinct, you are deterring yourself from your true path. You are making a decision that is guided by other opinions, articles, excuses or filler – and you know the feeling. You know the feeling of that moment after, when you think, oh, I should have done this instead, or, ah, I should have trusted myself. You are faced with a few more moments of all the following emotions of regret, denial or mistrust as you go through this new path, and learn to deal with the consequences.
Sometimes following your gut instinct, your emotions, is very difficult. There is no rule book to life and you never know if you are making the right decision, or the best decision for you or anyone else. You just have to practice and see. Never be afraid to trust yourself and accept the consequences. You should trust your opinion and be confident in it. It is your life. Enjoy your emotions.
4. What are you grateful for?
There’s a ton of articles anywhere online that talk about writing down what you are grateful for. If you haven’t started a gratitude list, it’s never too late to start. But it goes much more than that, I think.
You can write down everything but what you must do is truly feel it throughout the day. You can be grateful for a hundred things throughout every day, or more, and there is such rare time to think about it all. It should be no problem then, to spend a few seconds everyday to recount your gratitude and feel it. A few seconds at the mirror in the bathroom, a few seconds in the car. Make it a daily ritual throughout the day, and live through it.
5. Read a small book
The world of literature has adapted to our seemingly decreasing attention span. Writers are producing pieces that are easy to read and get the point across quickly. Put down the kindle or smartphone and feel the power of paper though your fingertips. If you can spend a few minutes each day reading some valuable anecdotes through a couple of pages, you will be better for it than not. Book stores are still open for a reason – literature is powerful and the history of it is immense. Pick through the local popular options in self help, comedy, or anything you like, and learn more about the world and how you see it.
6. Call your best friend
In a world thick of texting, the fantasy of rolling around in bed laughing on the phone with your best friend is something of an era past. It’s not though. Try to make a motion with your friends to pick a sporadic time to dedicate to calling each other and have a good laugh on the phone – surely it will feel like some kind of new experience! Remember when we used to stay up all night chatting with our friends in high school? Gossip like old times and don’t worry about talking for too long. It’s a soul enriching experience.