1. Get out in nature. Just as the people you surround yourself with effect you, so does your physical environment. If you don’t believe me then go for a walk on a beautiful beach on a sunny day and try and feel miserable. You can change the way you feel simply by changing the environment you are in. You don’t have to get fully out in the wilderness, even a walk in a nice city park can really uplift you.
2. Book and plan your next holiday. It doesn’t have to be anywhere exotic or expensive and it doesn’t matter if its not for another 12 months, just start planning it so you have something to look forward to. If you’re stuck for ideas, I recommend Canyoning New Zealand.
3. Meditate – if you don’t know how to then get a book or DVD out of the library and learn. You don’t have to become a monk or convert to any religion to do it. It can be done by absolutely anyone, pretty much anywhere and anytime, and it’s simple to learn.
4. Watch movies that inspire and uplift you like: The Pursuit of Happyness, Dead Poet’s Society, Erin Brokovich, Remember the Titans, Pay it Forward, The World’s Fastest Indian etc.
5. Go out on a special romantic date with your partner. If you haven’t got a partner join an online dating service and find yourself one (don’t be afraid, everyone’s doing it!).
6. Take a close look at the books you read, movies/TV you watch, video games you play, blogs/websites you view etc. Do they leave you feeling uplifted and inspired? Do they give you positive messages about life? If not, find some that do.
7. Exercise! Everyone knows this but it’s the thing we always neglect. Find a sport or physical activity that you enjoy and get active. A healthy physical body really does help to create a healthy mind.
8. Relax. When you relax, do it wholeheartedly and throw yourself into it. Procrastinating in front of the TV isn’t real relaxation. Schedule yourself sometime to properly relax.
9. Spend time with friends and family who make you feel good about yourself.
10. Surround yourself with people who motivate and inspire you. Jim Rohn is quoted as having said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with“. It makes sense that the habits, attitudes and behaviours of the people you spend the most time with can rub off on you, so hang out with good people whom you respect and admire.
11. Remember the birthdays of your friends, family and work colleagues, it’ll improve your relationships with them. With social networking sites it’s getting easier to keep track of these. Depending on how close you are to the friend you could: send them a quick text, email, throw a sheep at them on Facebook, pop around with a gift or organise a party. If you don’t know the actual dates then make it your mission to find them all out and record them. I load them into my mobile with alarms to remind me.
12. Deepen your relationships with your friends and family. This is a pretty broad one I know but have a think about it, you’ll come up with something and it’s worth it.
13. Get a haircut, a new shirt, a new handbag, or something that makes you feel good about yourself. Don’t spend loads of money. Savor the feeling.
14. Do something physical that makes you feel scared or uncomfortable. It doesn’t have to be bungy jumping, it could be jumping off the highest diving board at the pool or learning to ride a bike.
15. Do something socially that makes you feel scared or uncomfortable. Ask someone out on a date, ask for a rise, disagree, apologise, say no to something or someone, do some public speaking.
16. Learn a new skill, properly, not just out of a book. Go to cooking classes, or martial arts, flower arranging, writing, tennis, painting etc.
17. Record your thoughts in a diary or journal over a period of time and see what patterns emerge. Don’t show it to anyone else so that you can be really honest with yourself. You might be surprised what you end up writing (here’s how to write a diary).
18. Create something: plant a vegetable garden, build a bookshelf, knit a scarf, write a poem. Anything to get your creative juices flowing.
19. Get further into your spirituality. If you aren’t naturally a spiritual person then explore the idea. If that sounds too hard then just think about your place in the grand scheme of things – Why are you here? Why is anyone here? Is there a purpose to life? How big is the universe? What happens to people when they pass on?
20. Assess your job. Do you like it? If not, try and find a way to improve it. Be proactive and look for ways to make it more enjoyable. Ask to be involved in new things.
21. If you were going to die tomorrow what would you want to do before then? Write a list of the ten most important things and then start doing them.
22. If you were going to die tomorrow what would you say to your friends and family? Write it down. If it’s positive and constructive then why wait until the day before you die? Say it now!
23. Read about these people who have become successful after failure. Realise that the mistakes and failures you have made in your past do not determine your future. You can be the architect of your future just as the people on that list were. The future is not set in stone, there is always room for you to influence it for the better.
24. Assess your physical health. Are you in good health? Are you fit? Do you eat the right foods? Do you drink too much? Do you exercise? Do you get the right amount of sleep? In the areas where you aren’t performing well think about how you can improve and make the necessary changes.
25. Make an anonymous donation to a charity and don’t tell anyone about it, ever. Make it a regular thing. That way you’re putting good deeds into a spiritual bank account – it’s good for your karma and will pay much better interest than a bank account!
26. Start doing volunteer work on a regular basis. Research has shown that people who do volunteer work actually live longer than those who don’t, so it’s in your interests to do so! You’ll no doubt learn a lot from it and others will benefit from your kindness.
27. Get control of your finances. I recommend reading George Glason’s book ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’ for timeless simple financial advice. The best thing I got from it was – put 10% of your income away for your future.
28. Learn to breathe correctly. You may be surprised to know that most people don’t breathe properly and this can really affect your energy levels and the way you feel. Take a yoga class and learn some pranayama, or breathing exercises. Or just stop reading this right now and do some deep breathing for a few minutes – open the window to let some fresh air in, sit with your spine straight and breathly deeply with equal length in and out breaths.
29. Get up an hour earlier and use that time productively – study, exercise, do some chores, go for a walk, whatever you like. This way you have some free time later you can spend with the kids, relax etc.
30. Get out of bed as soon as your alarm goes off instead of hitting snooze. It’ll make you feel like you’ve achieved something and are in control of the day right from the start.
31. Write a list of goals and put dates that you want to have achieved them by. Then list the steps needed to achieve each one and plan when those steps are going to take place.
32. Write a list of 10 important things you’ve been putting off doing for ages. Do or get started on the first two today and plan a time in the next week to do or get started on the others.
33. Get a massage to relax yourself and make you feel good. Get pampered.
34. Pray! Send out spiritual energy to help heal our world – God knows it needs it desperately!
35. Use an aromatherapy burner when you get home from work to help you relax and let go of the stresses of the day. If that sounds more than you can be bothered then just buy a pre-scented candle. Lavender is great for calming the nerves but there are plenty of others too.
36. Read biographies and autobiographies of people who are positive and have overcome things like:
- “Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela
- “Losing my virginity” by Richard Branson
- “The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr” by Martin Luther King Jr. & Clayborne Carson
37. Schedule time to do chores, then make sure you do them at the scheduled times. This frees you up from having things hanging over you.
38. Go for a swim in the sea or a river or a pool. If its freezing cold where you live, go anyway – if you can’t swim, learn!
39. Use affirmations: Say “Day by day in every way I’m getting better and better” with real feeling and belief for 10 minutes every night before you go to bed for two weeks and you’ll really feel the results. You won’t know how well this works until you try it, even Olympic athletes use affirmations these days!
40. Remember, no matter how you’re feeling right now – even if it’s really bad – this too shall pass.