You know what’s fantastic about doing something for five minutes, every day? That’s the way you build a habit. Do that for a week, then challenge yourself to do it for a month. Then six months. Little changes can quickly build up into big lifestyle shifts that see you feeling better, happier, and really achieving your goals, whether that’s happiness, weight loss, mental acuity, whatever. Little five minute shifts are all it takes at first.
Even if you don’t plan on doing it long-term though, all these things are great for you in the short-term. Even if you just try them out for a couple of days, you will feel better and notice shifts in your mood, creativity and productivity. Try downloading a mindfulness app like Analyze.Life too, you might get a lot from it! You don’t have to try all of them either, but instead, just the ones that pique your curiosity.Here’s twelve super-quick five-minute lifestyle changes that you can do to foster happiness, fitness, productivity and creativity in your life. Click To Tweet
If you’ve done any amount of research on the subject of happiness, and becoming happier, you’ll have seen meditation basically everywhere. Meditation this, meditation that. Everyone loves meditation.
Why is that? Some crazy hippie new-age thing? It’s because it really works. It’s touted by so many industry leaders, pioneering artists, athletes and normal people as being the best way to properly centre, de-stress and optimise your mind. A key side-effect of all that is you end up feeling wildly happier after doing it consistently for a little while. All it takes is a little research, and five minutes in the morning, every morning.
If you’re a little miserable and tired, chances are, everyone’s been telling you that you just need to go out there and get after it. Go for a jog, do some squats, knock out a couple push-ups. A typical response in this mind-set would be ‘ugh, why? I want to lie around eating ice cream’.
That’s because the ugly, unproductive nature of being in a rut forms a negative feedback cycle, with you feeling bad, so not doing very much, and then repeating. You need to break that cycle by getting out there and going for a jog. You’ll feel better, and after doing just five minutes every day for a week or so, you’ll start to look better. Then if you want, it can develop into the habit that sees you into great shape.
Too often, people feel overwhelmed by their lives. They’re spinning altogether too many plates, and they’re trying to get too many different things done at a time. That can quickly become intense, mentally and physically, and once you drop one of those plates, the others seem to spin ever wilder.
That’s why anyone who’s feeling even a little overwhelmed or lost in their life needs to start using checklists. To-do lists are the only way you can be sure you’re getting everything you need to get done. Write one out before bed, you’ll sleep better.
Easier said than done, right? However, eating right is really just a series of good decisions, and refusing to cave into your desire for sugar or junk food. Both of which will inevitably see you feeling rubbish a couple hours after enjoying them. By all means, have an occasional cheat day, but you need a diet that supports what you’re trying to achieve in your life, and if your current diet undermines that, then you need to change it.
Things like packing a healthy lunch instead of buying one while you’re out and about, or simply replacing snack foods with stuff like fruit or nuts. A big one is to simply stop drinking your calories in the form of sodas. Coming off caffeine can help. Just do some research, play with your diet a bit. You’ll feel better, and it doesn’t need to take up much time at all.
This might be difficult for people who regularly struggle to sleep, but for a lot of people, sleep simply isn’t prioritised in the way it should be. Sleep is the bodies healing time, for both mind and body, and when you make it run on four hours of sleep regularly, you’re going to be miserable, tired, groggy and achy.
As I previously mentioned, caffeine isn’t really an ideal alternative to going without sleep. You can come to depend on it, making it even harder to get up and get moving in the mornings, and even a little bit in your system can upset your sleep cycle.
Make a point of having no coffee after twelve, and staying away from screens an hour before bed. Try reading or listening to a podcast, or meditating. You’ll sleep tons better, but only if you make a habit of it.
One of the worst feelings in our lives can be simply feeling like we’re treading water, out of control and without direction in life. That is easily the quickest path to feeling miserable, without agency and burying your head in the sand.
What’s the solution? Make plans to do big things. Whether that’s changing your job, going on a trip of a lifetime, or training for a marathon. Give yourself something to both look forward to and train for. Everyone needs to feel like they’re working towards something to feel useful in life, and if you’re not currently getting that, you need to make some plans.
continue to part 2