Our decisions determine the outcome of our day. Ultimately, they affect our attitude and our ability to experience joy. Here are five decisions we can all make for a healthier, happier day.
1. Decide to smile. Let go of your gadgets when you’re waiting in line, walking, or surrounded by other people, strangers or not. Take the opportunity to smile, make eye contact, and show that you’re aware of another person’s presence. Better yet, go the extra mile and engage them in conversation. You’d be surprised how everyday interactions can have a positive impact on our day. They keep us connected to the world around us through simple, yet powerful communication.
2. Decide to be present. Wayne Dyer, a renowned author and speaker known for his work in positive psychology, said that much of our stress and anxiety is caused by our inability to live in the present. We’re often consumed with guilt over the past or worry about the future rather than living in the here and now. The truth is, we cannot change what is behind us nor control what is ahead of us, but we can learn to experience life as it is happening now. We can embrace the joy that today brings and be mindful of the opportunities that surround us.
3. Decide to control your emotions. Remember that people who can’t control their emotions control other people with them. Life is unpredictable and things happen everyday that trigger our defenses and give us reason to be frustrated and angry. We can surrender to those emotions or we can manage the only thing we do have control over, our attitude. We’re much more likely to let the small stuff go if we have a healthy outlet for all of life’s demands. It may be exercise, journaling, talking to friends, reading, or even a glass of wine and some reflection time before we go to bed. Whatever it is, if it helps us keep our emotions in check it’s all good.
4. Decide to be grateful. For all of the things that don’t turn out the way we planned, for all of the unpredictable things that happen in our lives, from small disappointments to devastating losses, there are always reasons to be grateful. It’s these reasons that get us out of bed every morning. The key is to focus on these reasons and to build our sense of purpose around that which is most meaningful to us. List what is most meaningful to you. Write down your reasons to be grateful. Let them wake you up in the morning and put you to sleep at night. Let them inspire you to achieve great things and to live life to your highest potential.
5. Decide to exercise so you can feel better, not look better. Forget about the skinny jeans and six pack abs. The bottom line is that we feel the way we think, and the best way to adjust our thinking is to exercise. Exercise clears away the clutter and gives us healthy perspective. It’s a proven mood elevator. When our thoughts are positive we feel good about who we are and how we look. Confidence comes from within and it transfers to everything we do.