Everyone experiences negativity in their daily lives to some extent. Here are some tips to help you minimize the amount of negativity in your life and lead an overall more peaceful life. You’ll be surprised by how much these simple habits can change you!
#1. Quiet time.
Plan 15 minutes every day that you turn your phone off and sit alone. This is a great time to journal or read a book (one that you choose, not for school!). The only rules: you’re not allowed to use technology or sleep. If you find yourself struggling to stick to the rules for a full 15 minutes, start with 5 minutes a day and work your way up. If you stick with it, you may want to try working up to 30 minutes. This is a time for you to compose your thoughts and escape from the fast-pace, loud world we live in. Allow yourself to slow down and just be a person for a few minutes. If you want to start journaling but the empty page makes you unsure of how to start, check out this board on Pinterest for inspiration.
#2. Do something you love every day.
Devote an hour a day to your goals. Want to learn how to play guitar? Make it a priority to spend an hour every day playing. You can work up to an hour with this one, too. Start with 15 minutes a day. If you want to be better at drawing, this is the perfect, easiest way to get you farther than you can imagine within a few months!
Sweat out the negativity. When you feel stressed and overwhelmed with work, take a break from studying and hit the gym. Despite being a break, exercise is still productive. Don’t get bogged down by feeling like you need to be there for two hours like the heavy weightlifters are – if you need to give your mind a rest from work but you still have a lot of studying to do, go to the gym for 20 minutes. Go on a quick run. Even if it’s short, it’s always better than nothing!
#4. Set boundaries with people.
Minimize toxic relationships. If you have a friend who makes you feel bad about yourself, or if you just feel like you’re trying to be someone you’re not when you’re with them, it’s okay to remove them from your life. If someone close to you is struggling, it’s great to be there for them, but it’s not okay for their problems to become your own. You don’t need anyone else’s problems on top of your own! Check in with them every once in awhile to make sure they’re doing okay and to let them know you care about them, but give yourself some space. Make sure they know you love them but that you need to put yourself first and take care of yourself. Hear what they’re saying. Listen. But don’t commit to fixing them. Don’t be their therapist.
#5. “To do for me” and “To do for you” lists.
Give back to your community – volunteering, or even just doing something nice for someone daily can really give you a positive vibe. Though it’s extremely important to give yourself time every day to do things for yourself, it can also be helpful to do things for other people. Make a list of things you want to do for yourself – these things can be the other tips, like working out, quiet time, or pursuing your hobby. Then, make a list of things you want to do for other people, or things you’ve committed to do for someone else. Go back and forth between the lists. Do something for yourself, then do something for someone else. Don’t cheat and do something for someone else before you do something for yourself!
#6. Quit something.
Find one thing that you’ve committed to doing on a consistent schedule – your least favorite of all of your commitments. Quit it. Don’t quit all of your commitments, just quit one. Pick one thing that feels like a burden but that you’ve stuck to because you made the commitment. Quit it! You’re not “a quitter” for un-committing to one thing!
#7. Clean up social networks.
Unfollow the people that give you a negative vibe. If you’re only following someone because they follow you, unfollow them! If you’re following someone who you only pretend to like, unfollow them! Clean up your social media feeds until they’re nothing but positive.
#8. Don’t look at your phone for the first and last 30 minutes of your day.
After you turn off your alarm in the morning, put your phone in a drawer. Get ready for the day without your phone. Get out of the habit of laying in your bed scrolling through your phone for the first 30 minutes that you’re awake. Before you go to sleep, do the same thing. Set your alarm and put it in a drawer – get ready for sleep without allowing your phone to be the last thing you look at every night.
These are options. Don’t try to start all of these at once. If you can get into the habit of doing all of these eventually, that would be awesome! But for now, pick one that sounds doable to you and try it every day for a week. If it works for you, add another one on. If the one you choose doesn’t seem to be helping, try another one. Each one of these tips will get you one step closer to living a happier, calmer, more peaceful life, but everyone’s different – some of these will work better for you than others. I encourage you to push yourself to try them all at some point, but they only work if you’re in the habit of doing them daily! It may be tough to get yourself into the habit – trust me, it’s hard for me, too – but once you’re in the habit of doing these daily, they can make a world of a difference.
By Abby Rose Sugnet