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Get Rid of Some Stuff

I’m feeling inspired to get rid of some stuff. Even though I’m pretty good at decluttering, I still get that feeling every year when I come back from our summer cottage. We don’t feel the weight of all our possessions in our everyday lives. But when we have been away on vacation and have been getting on just fine with only what we could have in a suitcase or backpack, we notice the difference.

We can get some of that holiday feeling by having fewer things. Find some stuff you no longer need and recycle or donate it.

Borrow Success

All of Denmark celebrated yesterday when Jonas Vingegaard from Denmark won the Tour de France. Soccer fans in England, Sweden, Germany, and France are similarly proud that their women’s teams are in the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 semi-finals.

Only one Dane was first on Col du Granon, but the rest of us are borrowing his success. That is a technique you can use even when you don’t have a countryman or national team to cheer. When you don’t feel you have any of your own achievements to celebrate, be happy for other people’s success. When a team at work reaches a milestone, completes a project, or wins a large order, you can congratulate them and share in the feeling of success. It will lift your mood and inspire you to work towards your own successes.

Create Your Own Soundtrack

Movies manipulate your feelings. You can also use the techniques of the movie industry to change how you feel. One of their tricks is the soundtrack. You just know that the romantic couple is about to meet again after a long separation – the music tells you.

Think about the soundtrack you want for your life. You might create several playlists for different moods. You can have one for starting work, one for winding down after your workday, one for getting ready for bed, one to get in a romantic mood with your partner, and an extra energetic one for doing boring work around the house.

Your rational mind cannot directly affect your feelings. It doesn’t work to simply tell yourself to cheer up. But your rational self can select the right tunes and let the music do the magic.

Spend Your Money Well

You can’t buy happiness. Yet there are some ways to spend money that makes you happier than others. Research shows that the happiness from buying things wears off very quickly. Especially today. It will take no more than six months before there is a new and better model of the television or phone you buy today. But the happiness you get from buying experiences lasts longer. Many of your memories will last a lifetime. Save a little on things today and spend a little more on your holiday this summer. It will make your happier in the long run.

Unchecked Power?

Does your boss at work have unchecked power? Over the centuries, we have learned that every power needs to be balanced by some other power. That’s why successful societies have split power between legislature, executive, and judiciary. That’s why companies have HR departments and maybe even whistleblower procedures.

Take a moment to think about how you would report bullying in your workplace. Are your anti-bullying measures effective, or do they exist only on paper? Do you believe somebody would take action? If you are not confident anybody would react, that is a red flag. It doesn’t mean there is bullying in your organization. But it means you cannot feel safe. That will affect your health and wellbeing. You might want to consider changing to another department or another company.

Dress for Success

Are you wearing the right clothes today? What you wear affects your mood. You can set your day on a good track when you stand in front of your closet in the morning.

Some people claim that specific colors affect our confidence and mood in predictable ways, but it’s not that simple. What matters is how you personally feel about the clothes you wear. While one person might feel great in bright, colorful clothes, another might feel best in solid earth tones.

When you pick up an item of clothing in the morning, close your eyes and spend a few seconds to experience the feeling this item gives you today. If it matches your goals and schedule for the day – energetic, creative, or relaxed – wear that piece. If it doesn’t, pick up another one. You can reach your goals easier with the right clothes.

Keep a Journal

If I asked you, could you find out what you did last Thursday? People who are feeling stuck and unhappy with their lives often complain that each day looks like the previous one. That is not correct. Each day is different, but you just don’t notice.

Like your phone and your computer, our brains do not have unlimited memory. That is why your brain doesn’t store every detail of every day. Similar days get lumped together in your memory, which is why last Thursday might have ended up the bucket of “normal workday” without any details.

To overcome this feeling, keep a journal. Every day write down something good that happened, or something you learned. When you feel stuck, page through your journal and recollect all the things that did happen, and all the learning and growth you did experience.

I talk a lot more about journaling in my book “Life after Bullying.” Read more about my book here.

Winter is Over. Get Outside

Winter is over. At least according to the calendar, which claims March as the first month of Spring. If you have been staying in your cave like a sleeping bear, now is the time to get out.

Fresh air, daylight and exercise are crucial elements of your physical and mental well-being. You have to get outside. No matter how much you sweat in aerobics class or how fast you run on a treadmill, your body needs to see daylight and breath fresh air. Take out your calendar and add an appointment with yourself to take a walk outside tomorrow.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today every flower shop is helping you remember to show your appreciation for your partner. But what about tomorrow? Think of a way to incorporate some closeness and appreciation into your daily routines. 

You Have to Touch

When you have lived with the same partner for a long time, it can feel like something is missing. One of the most important things you can do for your relationship is to make sure you physically touch several time each day. It does not have to be a bear hug or anything sexual. Any simple touch trigger oxytocin in the body, and that strengthens trust and connection between you. Find a way to touch the shoulder, arm, or hand of your partner every day and feel the difference.