This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Special K. All opinions are 100% mine.
It’s all too easy to let the stresses of everyday life get the better of you. A few bad days can easily bring out your inner pessimist, but thankfully, you have the choice to make each new day a little bit better. Instead of blaming the world for your temporary bad luck, I challenge you to take charge of your own happiness this week. In my opinion, a large part of happiness and fulfillment is born out of positive habits and routines. If you spend your days actively trying to think and behave in a positive manner, I guarantee that life will suddenly seem a lot more satisfying and enjoyable.
If you’d like to start tomorrow off on the right foot, today’s post is just what you need. I’ve put together a list of 50 easy ways to have a better day, so you’ll never run out of ideas for bringing a little bit of sunshine and positivity to your day. Instead of blabbering on about all 50 items on the list, I’ve decided to dig deep into my top ten positive actions. They’re quick and easy to accomplish, and practicing each item will get you one step closer to taking ownership of your life and your happiness!
1. Write down five things that you’re grateful for.I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Choosing an attitude of gratitude will change your life forever. Even on your worst days, you have something to be grateful for. No matter what you’re going through at this very moment, you are alive and breathing. That means you have the chance to start over and build the life you’ve always imagined. I made this task my #1 way to have a better day because it’s the most important thing that you’ll do.
When you practice gratitude, it becomes a habit, which means that your brain will be trained to see the positive in any situation. This skill is more powerful than you can ever imagine because it helps you remember the good things in your life, and it helps make the bad parts a lot more bearable. It may seem like a simple and silly task to write down what you’re grateful for, but it’s a quick and easy way to focus on the positive things in your life. Try it for a week, and you’ll be hooked!
2. Prepare everything you need for the day the night before.Stressful days usually begin first thing in the morning. You sleep through your alarm, and then you can’t find your shoes or your purse or your keys. Oh, your phone is also dead, and the jacket you wanted to wear to your interview is still at the cleaners. It’s a situation that everyone’s been in before, and it’s horrible. When you start off your day in a frenzy of chaos, your day tends to continue down the same path.
Instead of beginning your morning stressed and frazzled, take 30 minutes before you go to bed to sort out everything you’ll need for the next morning. Get together the outfit that you’ll wear, documents that you’ll need, and food that you’ll eat. This small amount of time will your mornings run smoothly, and you can solve any potential problems in advance. When your mornings are calm, your day will be too.
3. Call your friends and family.When you’re sitting alone at home or when you’re not surrounded by people who have your best interest at heart, it’s easy to let your negative thoughts spiral out of control. Instead of drowning in circular reasoning, do yourself a favor and connect with your loved ones at least once a day. Spend fifteen minutes talking to your mom or catching up with your best friend, and I guarantee you’ll start to feel more like yourself. Your family and friends know how to get you out of a funk better than anyone else, so let them help you. Plus, they will be thrilled to hear from you, and you’ll make their day better too!
4. Question any stress or anxiety response and replace it with kindness and gratitude.This step can be a little bit tricky, but if you can master this skill, your days will become a lot happier. Whenever you start to feel stressed or anxious, ask yourself what’s going wrong. Once you find out the root of the problem, replace that negative and illogical thought with a positive one. Are you jealous of a co-worker’s success and feel like your talents aren’t appreciated? Let’s try to reframe those thoughts in a positive way.
First of all, try to be happy for your co-worker. After all, they’re a human too, and you’re not sure what they may be going through at home. Secondly, if you are truly just as talented or more talented as your co-worker, that means that you have just as good of a chance of achieving the same level of success. Think about what you can do to showcase your talents. Maybe you could collaborate with them on a project to show your boss your skills, or perhaps you could schedule a private meeting with your boss and talk about your goals with the company and the ideas you have.
Choose to be kind to your co-worker. Choose to be grateful to have a job that makes you feel so ambitious. Reframe the jealousy, stress, and anxiety around the situation into a positive. If you really didn’t care about the job, you wouldn’t be anxious about the situation at all. Choose to be grateful to have a job that you care so much about. Be thankful that you have the skills, vision, and creativity to rise in the company on your own time and in your own way.
Obviously, this situation is just one small example of this method, but I’m telling you, it can work miracles on your thought processes. When you choose to look at life through a positive, realistic, and productive lens, you’ll notice that you start doing more and feeling better!
5. Do something nice for someone else that will not benefit you.Putting good energy out into the world never hurts. You’ll make someone else’s day a little bit brighter, and you’ll get into the habit of practicing positive and kind behavior. Diane Von Furstenberg begins each day by sending an email that benefits someone else. Whether she’s sending a compliment to a friend or connecting colleagues together, the world-famous designer is starting her day by helping someone else. I have absolutely no doubt that these small and unsolicited acts of kindness give her day more meaning and lift her spirits just as much as the recipient’s. Whether you give up your seat on the subway, buy coffee for the person in line behind you, or talk to someone who looks like they’re having a bad day, your generosity will not go unnoticed. Plus, you will instantly feel better for brightening someone else’s day.
6. Wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual.This one can be tricky because it requires advance planning. Since you’re going to get up earlier, you’ll need to go to bed earlier. It may be tough for the first few days, but this small lifestyle change can have a huge impact on your mood. Instead of rushing through your morning routine and frantically running out the door, try to wake up 30 minutes earlier and leisurely ease into your morning. With the extra time, you can enjoy a healthy breakfast, drink an extra cup of coffee, take a relaxing shower, or even catch up on your favorite TV show, podcast, or news column.
However you decide to use your extra time, you’ve chosen to own your morning instead of being at the mercy of the day’s deadlines. You’ve started the day with a positive decision that will benefit your stress levels and health, and I truly believe it will help you begin your day with a feeling of peace and contentment.
7. Spend an hour doing something you used to love do but don’t do routinely anymore.We’re all overbooked these days, which means that our former hobbies and interests can easily fall by the wayside. When you’re rushing through work, errands, and the responsibilities of every day life, it’s easy to just want to fall on the couch the second that you get home and play with your phone all evening. While there is nothing wrong with taking the rest that you need to refresh your mind, sometimes what we really need is to be re-energized by something that we love. Binging on TV shows that I’ve already watching 100x might seem tempting, but I am always happier if I choose to take a dance class or read a good book.
I’ve always been an avid reader, and dance was basically my life for almost two decades. Unfortunately, I don’t make the time to practice either of these activities on a regular basis anymore. Notice that I used the words “I don’t make the time” instead of “I don’t have the time.” I can easily waste a few hours scrolling through Instagram, so I definitely have extra time that I’m not using to my advantage. Even if I just take thirty minutes or an hour to re-engage with my former interests, I feel so happy, alive, and most importantly – I feel more like myself.
This week, I challenge you to replace a few hours of your normal “relaxation” activities and replace them with former hobbies. I truly believe that you’ll gain new inspiration and be reminded of what’s truly important in your life.
8. Start off your day with a healthy and delicious breakfast.You may have noticed a trend with these tips. They’re all about choosing positive actions for your day. With each positive choice that we make, we’re one step closer to developing a healthy habit that will lead to improvements in our physical, emotional, and mental health. One of these easiest ways to make your day better is to choose to eat a healthy breakfast. You’ll start off your day by taking charge of your health and well-being, and you’ll give your body the fuel it needs to run efficiently.
Lately, I’ve been eating a bowl of Special K Red Berries with skim milk along with a small cup of yogurt with fresh berries. The mix of protein, fresh fruit, and whole grains gives me tons of energy in the morning and keeps me full for hours. And while it may be healthy, it still satisfies my pregnancy cravings for all things sweet. Making the small choice to eat a balanced breakfast instead of binging on a dozen donuts always makes me feel better throughout my morning, and it makes it easier to choose healthy options for lunch and dinner as well.
While we’re on the topic of food, I have to also mention the Special K Nourish Bites. I keep a bag of the Blueberry Almond Quinoa flavor by my desk along with a bottle of water, and I snack on one or two of the bites every few hours. The combination of rolled oats, nuts, quinoa, dried fruit, and almond butter is so tasty, and it helps me stay alert and energized throughout my work day. it also has the added benefit of keeping me satisfied enough that I don’t binge on a huge meal in the evening. If you’re looking for delicious and healthy morning meal options, definitely check out these two winners from Special K!