Hey, Psych2Goers! Before we get started, this is a disclaimer that this article isn’t intended to shame, single out, or criticize anyone. It contains general rules that have been known to improve your life, but they do not apply to everyone, nor should you try to force anything. If you or anyone you know needs specific, personal guidance, please seek professional help from a licensed health care worker or another trusted professional.
With that said, do you ever feel like your life just isn’t going the way you want? Are you unmotivated or burnt out from everyday living? Nowadays, it can be so hard to set healthy habits and goals for yourself when things seem to be going a million miles an hour. Between social media and job or school obligations, it can be difficult to figure out what to prioritize. However, there are some general rules that if you stick to, will greatly improve your mindset and habits. This will help you become more motivated and an overall more balanced person! Curious to know how this could be you? Here are 6 life-changing rules you should follow every day!
1. If possible, sleep early
Pop quiz! Which one will help you do better on a test, going to sleep early or cramming the night before? If you said going to sleep early, you would be correct! What most people don’t know is how important sleep is. For example, according to a UCLA study, sacrificing sleep for extra review time is counterproductive. Students from several Los Angeles-area high schools reported in diaries how long they studied, how long they slept, and whether or not they experienced academic problems in the form of struggling to understand concepts and lower test scores. They found that diminishing sleep in order to study was actually associated with doing more poorly on a test, quiz, or homework, which was the opposite of the students’ intent. What this means is that skipping sleep harms your performance, health, and so much more in the long run. In order to live every day happily, you should try to prioritize sleep!
2. Avoid social media in the mornings
Picture this: It’s a bright spring day, and your alarm clock just went off. What’s the first thing you do? Lay in bed browsing social media or get up and open the blinds to a beautiful morning? While social media is a fun way to stay connected, using it too often can end up doing more harm than good. For example, you may start to compare yourself with various influencers and celebrities. You could also start fixating on the number of likes you get, and if it doesn’t seem like a lot, you might get caught up in a negative thought spiral. These harmful mindsets are especially damaging in the morning because that’s what sets the tone of your day. Are you going to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to seize the moment or let social media bring you down?
3. Believe in yourself while being aware of your limitations
Has anyone ever told you, “Anything is possible?” This phrase can be uplifting and encouraging, but it doesn’t apply all the time. Sometimes, it can be better to accept your losses than force something not meant to be. For example, if a relationship gets to the point where it causes you constant stress, fear, and exhaustion, consider whether it’s still worth pursuing it. Similarly, if chasing your dream job makes you feel drained and anxious all the time, ask yourself whether it’s really worth sacrificing your emotional and social well-being for. The bottom line is that while having faith in yourself is important, it shouldn’t be blind; instead, it should be balanced with your limitations.
4. Make time for learning
Do you have any hobbies? If so, what are they? Feel free to comment down below! Hobbies are a great way to stay mentally stimulated. As you grow up, it’s important to find things outside of work that you’re passionate about. That way, you can lead a more balanced, engaging life. It could be anything from playing an instrument to cooking as long as you enjoy it!
5. Treat others how they want to be treated
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Treat other’s the way you want to be treated?” While it makes sense in some scenarios, it can make more sense to treat others how they want to be treated. What may work with you likely isn’t the same as what works for others. For example, you could enjoy being told things straightforward, but that could be too direct and harsh when talking to a friend. You have to take their feelings into account too and adjust accordingly. After all, no two people are alike, so why treat everyone exactly the same?
6. Stay positive
When things go wrong, is it your first instinct to imagine worst-case scenarios? Our brains have the tendency to make situations seem a lot worse than they are, and many times, we only realize this long after the fact. So, while it may be hard, try to stop your gut instinct of immediately jumping into a negative thought spiral. That way, you stress yourself out less and are much more likely to make calm, rational decisions. After all, in the famous words of Dalai Lama, “Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”
The bottom line for living a happy life is everything in moderation. You don’t need to worry about a restrictive diet or having the most prestigious job. All you really need is a positive mindset, healthy habits, and loving people in your life!
Do you think these rules will help you through your everyday living? If so, which ones and how? Feel free to comment down below with your thoughts, suggestions, or experiences!
- Los Angeles, U. (2012, August 21). Sacrificing sleep to study can lead to academic problems. ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120821094350.htm.
- McCloud, R. (2019, February 9). Association of Social Media Use With Social Well-Being, Negative Mental Health, and Self-Rated Health . SAGE Journals. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1090198119863768.
- Slade, M. (2010, January 26). Mental illness and Well-Being: The Central Importance of Positive Psychology and Recovery Approaches. BMC Health Services Research. https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6963-10-26.