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5 Ways to Make Your Day Better

By Colin Douglas

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Are you having a great day?

What about yesterday, did you have a great day yesterday?

What about tomorrow? Are you going to have a great day tomorrow?

If you answered “No” to any, consider this quote:

“Don’t have a great day, make one”

It’s normal to think that the factors which make a day great or not are well out of our control, but that’s not necessarily the case. It’s true to say that we can’t guarantee a good day, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t at least try and stack the odds in our favour. The more we try, the more we succeed, therefore the more great days we’re going to have – sounds like a plan, right? So, with that in mind, let’s explore some of the things we can do to try make today a great day.

1. Get just the right amount of Z’s

 

Waking up from an inadequate sleep is absolutely NOT going to help you have a great day, but it’s a position that the majority of us find ourselves in all too often. Oversleeping can make us feel groggy, lazy and, ironically, more tired – more sleep does not equal greater rest.

However, more often than not the problem we come across is going to be a case of undersleeping, or sleep deprivation. According to the “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)”, 1 in 3 adults are said to be sleep deprived, an issue which has been linked to high blood pressure, obesity, and a weakened immune system. Arguably, the greatest danger resulting from sleep deprivation is daytime fatigue – CDC estimates that 20% of all car crashes are caused by drowsy driving, sounds avoidable right?

Sleep deprivation can arise when you fall short of your recommended 7-9 hours of sleep time; but it doesn’t have to be by a lot. Just one hour less is all it takes. Sleep is essential in allowing our brains to function at their best, it balances out our hormone levels and allows us to have a steady flow of energy. It also boosts our health by helping us feel more active, have less cravings, and have more active immune systems.

When we are sleep deprived we have trouble making decisions, solving problems, coping with change, and controlling our emotions and behaviour – these will all result in low productivity, low creativity, and increased stress.

The key is to incorporate more routine and self-control into our lives. We should plan our evenings with the next morning in mind, making time for everything that needs to be done whilst also factoring in winding-down time before bed. Limit the amount of blue light and attention-grabbing sources (phones/computers/television) at night and have a set list of things to prepare you for sleep time so that your brain knows what’s happening – maybe wash your face, brush your teeth & read a chapter of your book.

2. H2-Oh my gosh

 

Hydration. It’s the of the most urgent regulatory processes that our body goes through. Second to breathing, but way more important than food. Our bodies need to maintain a certain level of hydration, and anytime we dip below that level we experience thirst.

Thirst should be satisfied by drinking water, but in our modern world many people have inadvertently tricked their brains into associating thirst with sugary drinks instead.

These sugary drinks fill the void of thirst but bring along with them a whole load of other problems, such as unnecessary calories, tooth decay, and hormonal spikes. Aim to drink water more than any other drink, and check up on your hydration progress every time you go to the toilet – clear like lemonade is what you’re after.

3. Are you really listening?

 

Human beings are, by nature, very social creatures. We have a need to interact and connect with others. Now if you’re sitting there thinking “I already do that with lots of people every day, I’m an absolute butterfly”, then my question to you is, rather patronisingly, “Do you really though?”.

We need to make sure we’re not confusing co-existing with real connection. We might think that we have lots of work colleagues that we chat to, a loving spouse at home, perhaps some friends and family that we catch up with each week; but how often are we really bonding with another person in these situations.

Each day we should make an effort to have a real conversation with at least one person, a conversation where you are taking an honest interest in that person’s views, stories or opinions. Be mindful of the time and attention that people are willing to give you, and make sure you give it back.

4. It’s YOU-o’clock

 

Distractions are everywhere. Free time isn’t really free time anymore, there’s so much to do and so much to see. Instagram feeds need refreshed. Family members need visited. Dogs need walked (or at least rubbed and told how good they are). This is why it’s so easy to take the 1,440 minutes we get each day and fill it with… stuff. Surely we need to keep on doing things and try and get as much done as possible in order to have a good day? Well, no.

We need to remember that our busy lives can really clog up our minds and sap our willpower and happiness. It’s very important to prioritise time to yourself every single day. This doesn’t mean sitting on your phone or watching TV. It’s meditating, taking time to empty your mind and focus on your breath. Or exercise, going out running until your body is in survival mode and all your other to-do’s have been, at least momentarily, pushed aside. Or even a relaxing bubble bath with music and candles.

Try different things on different days, but don’t neglect it when you get busy; remember, you are the most important person in your life.

5. Give and you shall receive

 

Do one good deed every single day. Two or three if need be, but at least one. Firstly, these help make someone else’s day great, and that’s awesome. But doing good deeds help make your day great too, studies show that we can make ourselves happier by making other people happier. This is why parents love to spoil their kids as much as they can for Christmas and birthdays.

This isn’t a new idea by any means, but it’s one we should try to live more often. Smile at people on the bus. Give someone a hug. Drive a friend to the airport – only if they’re needing to get there, not just for a surprise roadtrip. Good deeds can – and should – be added in to as many parts of your day as you can find.

These 5 ideas for a better day should increase your chances of having making a great day, but there are many more examples. Think about your own, write them down, and make a conscious effort to incorporate them into your daily life – you deserve it!

 

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