Do you feel lost in life? Are you tired of the same old 9-5, only for it to happen again the following week?
Sometimes, life can feel like a blur. You wake up early, go to school or work, rest, and repeat. Day in and day out.
If you’re looking to take back some control over your life, here are five small habits that can change your life forever.
1) Make a gratefulness list
Do you feel like you forget things easily? And that the moment you try to remember them – it just escapes your memory?
Your memory cannot store every moment of your waking life. Time can lead you to forget about some of the things that you had once cared about. Maybe a stranger complimented your hair one week ago. Or your teacher commended you for submitting a great project. But despite these praises, weeks afterward, it could all fall in the recesses of your brain and forgotten about.
University of California psychologists conducted research that showed people who write about things they’re grateful for are more optimistic and felt better about their lives. It even led the participants to take action more, like exercising, which further improved their mental health and wellbeing.
2) Try out a Social Media detox
Are you aware of how much time you’ve been spending on social media platforms daily?
In the face of the pandemic, more people than ever look into their phone screens and social media for their social fix. But alongside it, many negative aspects derived from social media can arise. These include feelings of inadequacy, FOMO, feelings of isolation, and self-absorption.
A 2018 UPenn study found that reducing social media to 30 minutes a day can significantly reduce feelings of anxiety, depression, and sleep problems. You don’t have to cut back on it all at once – but even just a slight time reduction can already bring great benefits.
3) Clean Your Room Daily
Have you tidied up your room recently? Does your workspace look neatly organized, or are there things sprawled all over?
Working in a clean room can give both your mind and body a whole host of benefits. These benefits include improved sleep quality, increased productivity, and a sense of accomplishment. If your room is messier than you would like, try dividing your tasks into more manageable chunks to make it feel less daunting. A little bit of effort can go a long way.
4) Implement the 80/20 Principle
Have you ever heard of the 80/20 Principle?
Wilfredo Pareto first introduced the 80/20 principle, which laid out the idea that 20% of homeowners own 80% of the land.
These same principles apply in your daily life. Only 20% of the work that you do contribute to 80% of your success. This means that a big chunk of what you do is not relevant to your success.
To identify the 20%, list down a priority list of about 20 things with the more important tasks at the top. Recognize the top 20% and focus on those tasks. With that, you’ll improve your efficiency and push your efforts in things that truly matter most to you.
Did you know that meditation existed for thousands of years? Do you ever wonder if it actually improves anything?
To answer the question, meditation or spending a few minutes practicing mindfulness does help you. Its primary purpose is to give you a sense of calm and restore your inner peace. It doesn’t require anything more but you and a nice and quiet environment.
When you meditate, you bring your stress levels down and give yourself some space to be alone with yourself and your thoughts. Meditation is the ultimate detoxifier – it can increase your self-awareness, help you focus on the present, and reduce negative emotions. Not only that, but there are multiple ways to meditate too, such as Tai chi or yoga.
Have you ever stepped foot on a treadmill before? Or ran around your local park? How did it make you feel?
When you exercise, you’re not just working your muscles and other physical aspects of your body, you improve your mental state too. Exercising releases “endorphins”, which is a feel-good chemical that can boost your energy throughout the day. By building up the habit of exercise, you can boost both your physical and mental wellbeing, which in turn increases your confidence, optimism, and decreases stress levels.
Habits are not one-time escapades. They are consistent routinary acts that can be fostered with the right mindset and determination. Strive to cut down bad habits and build up good ones, even if you feel like your progress is slow. You will be the better version of yourself by the end of it, and come out all the better.
That’s all for now, Psych2Goers!
- Dr. Emmons, R. et al (2011) Retrieved at https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier
- Help Guide. September 2020. Social Media and Mental Health. Retrieved at https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/social-media-and-mental-health.htm
- Mackey, E. Mar 5, 2018 5 Benefits of a Clean
- MayoClinic. April 22, 2020. Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress. Retrieved at https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-200458
- 8 Room on Your Body and Mind. Retrieved at https://www.erinmackeyauthor.com/cleaning-health-and-wellness-5-benefits-of-a-clean-room-on-your-body-and-mind/