Who wants easy ways to make your day a little more special?
Not me, you might say; my days are pretty fine.
Well, you’d better click off right now, or else your days will get better whether you want them to or not.
And the best bit is that you don’t have to do much.
You don’t have to spend hours in the gym, put a complicated recipe together or pretend you believe the affirmations you repeat when you look in the mirror.
Just do one of the things in this list, and I guarantee, no money-back guarantee as no money has changed hands,
but you get my meaning that you will feel better and your day just got an upgrade.
1. Tell someone they said something that changed your life
I was at a conference years ago when someone I’d never met came up to me and told me that my no diet-diet book had changed their life.
People have said things about my coaching work before, she says with a slight blush, but this time I was blown away.
I was so grateful and buzzed that someone took the time to tell me this that I decided to pass the feeling on whenever possible.
If talking about changing your life is going a bit far, telling someone what they mean to you is as good. If you have a friend that you don’t get to see or speak to often, but you care about them, tell them.
Research proves that people underestimate how good telling someone how you feel about them makes the receiver feel.
The receiver feels happier than the giver imagines.
And the best bit is that the giver is in a better mood after saying something nice, so it’s a winner-winner chicken dinner type of day — and this is from a vegan.
2. Think of something you especially like about the way you look
It’s common for us crazy humans to immediately focus on what we don’t like about ourselves when we look in the mirror.
If you think you have thunder thighs, that’s what you’ll focus on. If you think you look old or tired, your eyes will immediately go to the real or imagined bags under your eyes.
When I worked with the hypnotist Paul McKenna, one of his exercises was to ask people to look in the mirror through the eyes of love. This meant that you imagine looking at yourself in the mirror through the eyes of a loving partner, parent, grandparent or dog.
You see what they see.
Most people focus on what they don’t like about themselves and then wonder why they feel like shit. But when you think about something you like about yourself, you’ll immediately feel better and start your day feeling good.
3. Find jokes that make you laugh
When the first lockdown happened in the UK, my social feed was full of doom and gloom, so I posted a corny dad-type joke daily. Ones like these:
When does a joke become a “dad joke?” When it becomes apparent.
5/4 of people admit they’re bad at fractions.
You’re American when you go into a bathroom and when you come out, but what are you while you’re in the bathroom? European.
It takes guts to be an organ donor.
Ok, I’ll stop. You get the picture.
Of course, I had no idea the lockdown would go on for so long, but I kept it up, posting a joke every day, and people still tell me how much it made them smile and how they looked forward to that day’s joke.
You don’t have to become a dinner party bore reeling off one-liners but looking up sites that post these puns and reading a few can lift your day.
4. Drink a glass of water
Why would you buy the most expensive moisturiser or submit to the knife to look younger when you have the easiest and most effective solution to hand?
A glass of water.
Remember, your skin is your largest organ and requires good hydration to work well.
The muscles that move your body are 75 per cent water. Your blood, responsible for transporting nutrients throughout your body, is 82 per cent water. Your lungs, which take oxygen from the air to provide your body with oxygen, are 90 per cent water, while your brain is 76 per cent water. Even your bones are 25 per cent water.
Drinking water can energise you more than a cup of coffee, but dehydration can make you tired, confused and angry.
If you’re feeling anxious and upset and have trouble focusing, you might need water.
And once you’ve had a glass of water, drink another one.
5.Buy a small bunch of flowers for an elderly neighbour
I’m talking daffodils or tulips, nothing to break the bank. Some elderly people don’t see many people during their day, and receiving a small bunch of flowers will make their day and yours.
Research tells us that being kind helps our mental health, and those who do a kind act experience better well-being.
Acts of kindness are also responsible for releasing dopamine, which can give you a ‘helper’s high’. And in addition to boosting oxytocin and dopamine, kindness can also increase serotonin, one neurotransmitter that regulates mood.
Showing kindness to others can also help you reduce your own stress.
Scientists have found that kind people have 23% less cortisol, the stress hormone, and age slower than their less kind contemporaries.
So being kind boosts others and makes your day feel more special.
Write a list of ways you can upgrade your day. Think about this before you go to sleep, and make the ways one of the first things you think about when you wake up.
I don’t know about you, but when I wake up, my mind flits immediately to what I have to do that day, and if I’m not aware of what thoughts I’m running, I can feel overwhelmed before I’ve swung my legs out of bed.
But thinking about at least one way to upgrade my day sets a positive intention without spending time chanting.
Upgrading your day in these ways is like adding extra sprinkles to your ice cream — it just makes everything better, and you don’t put on weight.