20 Easy, Everyday Things You Can Do to Improve Your Life in 2016

20 Easy, Everyday Things You Can Do to Improve Your Life in 2016

via the Huffington Post by Paige Smith

Happiness made easy – 20 Easy, Everyday Things You Can Do to Improve Your Life in 2016

1. Write down three things you're grateful for every day. Taking the time to thoughtfully consider what you're thankful for reminds you that you already have many of the things you want — and that's worth celebrating.

2. Gossip less. Frequent gossiping can be detrimental to your relationships and mental health. When you feel yourself on the brink of sharing something unkind or participating in unnecessary negative chatter, pause and switch the subject to a lighter topic or ask someone an easy-to-answer personal question.

3. Do five-minute phone calls with friends and loved ones. Don't stress out about setting aside an hour of your day to catch up with your sister or best friend. Instead, opt for a quick five-minute call to say hi, ask what's going on, or wish them luck for an important project or event. A few minutes of casual conversation with someone you care about lifts your spirits without sucking up your time.

4. Only complain when you can offer a solution to the problem. Sometimes you need to vent to let off steam, but complaining for complaining's sake is counter-productive and can make you feel angry or upset in the process. If you have something to gripe about, follow it up with a solution that will minimize future complaining.

Your Internet connection is too slow? Can you make a quick phone call to your provider and try to get that straightened out? The traffic on the way to work is terrible? Can you leave earlier or take a different route? There's always a way to remedy a problem, and if you can't find one, then the situation is likely out of your control and complaining won't help, anyway.

5. Look people in the eye when you speak. Maintaining eye contact is easy to do when you're listening to someone, but try doing it when you speak as well. Looking someone in the eye builds confidence and helps foster connection between you and the person you're talking to. It also makes you appear more trustworthy, self-aware, and self-assured.

6. Spend five minutes cleaning every day. In just five minutes, you can hang clothes, throw away trash, clean counters, sweep, and put your stuff in its proper place. Cleaning just a little bit every day is easier than spending several hours doing a massive clean-up every week. Having a tidy, organized space at home can make all the difference between feeling stressed and unsettled or peaceful and in control.

7. Plan a trip somewhere you've never been. Even if you're a creature of habit or a total homebody, making the effort to get out of your element is so worth it. Whether you're visiting the neighboring city you've never seen or hiking Machu Picchu for the first time, experiencing the unfamiliar leads to renewed energy and creativity, newfound perspectives, fun memories, and — at the very least — an interesting story…

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