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10 unusual steps towards happiness: What needs to be done daily

10 unusual steps towards happiness: What needs to be done daily 10 steps that will help you become happy (photo: freepik.com)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

We make promises to ourselves to start doing something important and useful on Monday, from the new year, from the beginning of the month. But we fail. Partly because we set the bar too high or try to change our whole life too abruptly. But there are small steps you can take that will work, according to Daily Mail.

According to Ryan Hopkins, a former Future of Wellbeing executive who speaks on mental health, improving your well-being doesn't have to involve radical and time-consuming life changes.

Accept your flaws

It's time to change the way we look at flaws. They are not something to be ashamed of, but rather gifts to be embraced and worked with.

The Japanese have a great way of coming to terms with flaws and imperfections: kintsugi.

Kintsugi, which roughly translates to "golden joinery," is a philosophy that an object's value lies not in its beauty but in its imperfections, and that these imperfections should be celebrated rather than hidden.

The art of kintsugi is a technique in which broken ceramic pieces are repaired with gold, creating an even stronger and more beautiful work of art. Each breakage is unique, and instead of repairing an object to make it as good as new, the 400-year-old art form emphasizes scars as part of the design.

Using this metaphor for self-healing teaches us an important lesson: in the process of repairing things that are broken, we are creating something even more unique, beautiful, and strong.

The first step to accepting your flaws is to admit them. You are not perfect, but no one is. Your flaws are what make you special.

Instead of seeing your flaws as a weakness, see them as a source of strength. The challenges you have faced in your life have made you stronger and more resilient.

Increase your willpower

We make about 35,000 decisions every day - and as we make more and more choices throughout the day, our willpower decreases.

That's because willpower, like any other muscle, gets tired as it's used over and over again. It's not something you have or lack, but something that goes up and down.

Many people experience this feeling, also known as ego exhaustion. The theory behind this is that willpower is linked to a limited supply of mental energy. Once you use up this energy, you are likely to lose self-control.

Those who are best at this know this and take steps to set up their day so that it works in their favor.

So start by trying to minimize the number of decisions you have to make. Simple things like planning your outfit the night before will help you maintain your willpower. And, most importantly, tackle the biggest problems first thing in the morning when your willpower is at its peak.

Take break from old routine

As adults, we often get stuck in routines and follow the same patterns day in and day out. The same commute, the same desk, the same break times; the monotony continues until we retire.

Yes, routine provides us with structure and efficiency, but it can also weaken and virtually eliminate any remaining spontaneity and curiosity. Break free from the monotony by trying something new and unexpected.

Choose a different route to work, cook Eritrean food for dinner, or try a new hobby. By breaking away from the predictable, you open yourself up to new experiences and opportunities.

Get rid of stream of incoming messages

If sitting is the new smoking, then emails are the new sitting. Have you ever spent hours reading emails and felt stressed, anxious, and unable to relax? Or do you notice that even when you stop working, your mind keeps working?

Most of us suffer from what psychologist Linda Stone calls "email apnea," characterized by shallow breathing or holding your breath while working on email or sitting in front of a screen. According to Stone, it affects more than 80 percent of us.

While we can't completely avoid email, we can minimize our exposure to it. Use tools like email filters or priority labels to manage your inbox more efficiently, prioritizing the most important messages and letting others wait until you have more time.

Unsubscribe from incessant emails that you're not interested in turn off all notifications and check your email when it's convenient for you.

I call it "time boxing" - setting aside clearly defined windows of the day when you check your email. You can use out-of-office messages to let senders know that they won't get an immediate response.

Email is essentially someone's to-do list. Just because the message is instant doesn't mean your response has to be.

Forget about multitasking

Most of the time, when we think we're multitasking, we're only doing one task, and that's not good. Switching between tasks leads to errors, increased lead times, and decreased productivity, which means we're less productive. Constant multitasking also leads to stress, anxiety, and burnout in the worst cases.

Instead, create an environment where you can focus: turn off notifications, close your email, and leave your phone in another room. When you're tempted to interrupt yourself-say, with a quick scroll through Instagram-stop and ask: "Do I really need to do this right now?" Maybe not.

But remember that it's impossible to be fully focused all the time. So, when your attention starts to wane, do simple tasks like going for a walk, washing the dishes, making coffee, or even cleaning to give your mind a break and regain your ability to concentrate.

Learn to say no

Too many of us say yes to things - whether it's taking on extra work, attending events, or joining groups or committees - because we feel we have to, but it's wise to think things through before making any commitments.

Try to avoid making impulsive decisions because your time, energy, and resources are at stake. Consider defaulting to a "no" answer and only agreeing when you have had sufficient opportunity to carefully evaluate the situation and make an informed and wise decision. If your answer is not a clear "yes," it should be "no."

Never say "maybe" or "maybe not" - it only postpones the decision. A polite "no, thank you" leaves room in your life for personal meetings, self-care, and other opportunities.

Invite those you admire to lunch

It's no secret that the people we surround ourselves with can influence our lives. The company we hang out with can either drive us to success or hold us back, from shaping our habits to influencing our decisions.

The good news is that you don't have to know your role models personally to benefit from their wisdom and guidance.

While we may not be able to have breakfast with our role models, we can still surround ourselves with their ideas and perspectives.

Start by identifying the areas you want to improve. Whether it's your career, relationships, health, or personal growth, there are sure to be role models who have achieved what you want. Look for podcasts, books, videos, and blogs that focus on the areas you want to grow in and surround yourself with them.

Remember that you are not important

You are completely and utterly unimportant - and that's a great thing. The general belief is that to have a worthwhile life, we must achieve impressive accomplishments or influence future generations. But remembering how little we matter on a cosmic scale can help put things in perspective.

For example, when you feel overwhelmed, ask yourself: "Will this matter in one, two, five, ten years?" What about 1,000? It is also helpful to seek out experiences that remind you of the vastness of the cosmos - looking at a starry night sky, sitting by a river and watching the water flow, or walking through the woods.

Finally, look for the beauty in everyday life - the small moments of joy and satisfaction that add up to a life well lived - getting on the elevator when the doors close, putting on your T-shirt when it comes out of the dryer, receiving a message from a colleague you haven't spoken to in years, and so on.

Look for positive in everything

We all know someone who could find an A and complain that it's not a 20, but imagine how much happier they would be if they could only see the positive side of everyday disappointments. Yes, terrible things do happen, but most of them are not as bad as we imagine.

An elastic band can help you change the way you look at life's troubles. Put it on your wrist and every time you complain, take it off and put it on the other wrist. Repeat until the bracelet remains on the same wrist for 28 days. When you complain, you start from day one. No "ifs", "buts", or "maybes".

A complaint is defined as "describing an event or person negatively without indicating next steps to fix the problem." We all need to blow off steam sometimes, but if you're not going to do anything about it, is complaining going to help you or the situation?

Schedule time specifically for yourself

You wouldn't miss a meeting with your boss or a visit to the dentist, but we rarely take the time to prioritize the things that make us happier and healthier. Whether it's a coffee break, lunch away from the workplace, a gym session, or a walk with a friend, write it down in your diary and treat it as a commitment like anything else.

Taking care of yourself I call health care, or prioritizing your physical and mental health, not a selfish act. On the contrary, by making time for personal appointments, you will be better equipped to handle the demands of everyday life and thrive in any environment.