How old are you? How did you get to be this old ? I am sure you didn’t time travel from the day you were born to today. Most people have to live through seconds, minutes and hours, consciously or unconsciously making decisions and acting in ways that provides direction to life(the rest have a time machine). Your past has very little to do with your future, if your present is spent sensibly. Your past can sometimes be a burden but can never have the capacity to direct you to a future, however what you do today can either make or break your future. You can worry about the future or look forward to your future ! But you can’t live in it. You can worry about your past or carry it around everywhere, but you cannot travel back in time and change it.
This makes “today” the most important day in your life, the only day you can actually be alive, and experience the awesomeness of the world around you. Today, you have the power to decide where you want to be tomorrow. I am no suggesting that being “happy” everyday is even possible, but that’s for another article all together.
Now that we have gotten the deep mystical philosophies out of the way. Let’s jump right into it !
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” – Oogway
Here are seven steps to have a great day everyday !
Step one – Rise and shine.
The best start you can have is an early start. Besides adding a few productive hours to your day it is also the time when your brain is free from the collective worry of the day ahead . Multiple scientific studies have proven time and again that the early riser is far more productive, has a lot more energy and is often obtains a better satisfaction from life when compared to a late riser. Waking up early is also proven to help you sleep better at night.
Try to get your exercise in during the start of the day, this will give you a definite boost in energy and motivation, that can carry you through the rest of the day.
Try this – For just one day, wake up at 6 am, drink some water, eat some fruit and head out for a 30 minute walk. The benefits will be instant and easy to appreciate.
Step two – the breakfast.
People who make breakfast their largest meal are less likely to be overweight or obese compared to those who eat their largest meal at lunch or dinner. And those who eat breakfast are more likely to be a healthy weight than those who skipped breakfast. Eating a balanced breakfast (on time) cuts the risk of depression, anxiety, heart attacks, strokes and umpteen ailments. 50% carbohydrates, 30 % protein and the rest as fat to provide a great start to your day !
Step three – the Ikigai – The most important part !
Ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced “ick-ee-guy”) is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being.” Wake up for a reason. Always make sure you have something to look forward to. Try not to float through the day without purpose.
- What You are passionate about.
- What you are good at.
- What you do for work.
- What you love.
- And what you think the world needs.
Make a to do list, make sure you do something everyday for yourself, something that you truly love and care for.
Holding an “Ikigai” increases the chances that you go through life stress free, you have more time to get some work done. Residents of Okinawa, Japan put down Ikigai as one of the reasons why they live longer than people from other regions of the world.
Step 4 – The Relaxation.
Learn and practice some relaxation techniques. During the workday,make sure to take some time to slow your thinking. Human brains aren’t designed to take the constant beating that we put them through. Relaxation exercises can help calm your overexcited nervous system. Remember to rest your brain often. You will see your productivity and energy levels soaring within days. If you aren’t the meditating type, try to get in some time to listen to some music or go for a short walk.
Learn something simple, such as a mindful breathing exercise and build your way up to deeper techniques.
You can start with our mindfulness guide.
Step 5 – The Forgiveness and Gratitude.
One who learns to let go, learns to get ahead. Try to cultivate a non judgemental, forgiving attitude toward yourself and those around you. Try to empathize with others. Resolve difficult emotions as they arise and do not let them take up your valuable time. Do not dwell on the past or future. Stay present, use this day to make your future better. Make sure to maintain a gratitude journal, write down the things you are thankful for on a daily basis. Try to let go of grudges as and when they arise. Be kind to yourself, you are allowed to screw up sometimes. It is okay ! It doesn’t have to spoil your entire day !
Turn off that phone when you don’t need it ! This constant access to information about the world is making us fidgety and anxious. Try to stay away from the phone unless it is absolutely necessary. Avoid aimlessly scrolling down page after page of absolute randomness. Try to schedule a few hours away from technology. Switch off your phone an hour before you plan to sleep. Try using a “dumb” phone for a week, you will notice the calmness the disconnect brings.
You need to be in bed early in order for your brain and body to recover and recuperate. Try to avoid late nights, the longer you stay awake, the harder it is for your stress hormones to return to baseline. Sleeping early boosts memory, endurance, physical and mental wellness. It goes a long way in reducing stress and decreasing your odds of developing illnesses, both physical and mental.