We humans are a product of our habits. Everything we do in life makes us the people we are, from the way we treat ourselves to how we go to bed at night.
Just like some habits keep us down, other habits lift us up, in more ways than one.
With the right routines and mindset shifts, we can change the way we think, feel, and act in daily life – for the better.
Let’s take a look at these 9 daily habits that are bound to make your life better!
1) Leave the house every day, even if only for a short while
Studies have found that when people spend time outside, they get a better night’s sleep. They’ve also found that time outdoors helps people feel more creative, productive, and mentally better.
With remote working being a normal part of life for many of us, it’s so easy to just stay indoors all day, every day, until you have plans come up on the weekend.
But, even if it’s just for a short while, leaving the house at least once every day can change the way you live your life. It can make you feel better, sleep better, and work better throughout the day.
You get the most benefits from visiting loved ones, taking part in a hobby, or doing something that stimulates your brain.
But even smaller things can make a difference. Like going for a quick walk around the block before or after work to simulate a commute.
Or breaking up your errands into daily tasks, like grocery shopping one day, posting a package the next, getting gas another, etc., etc.
And if you can squeeze in a trip to somewhere with lots of greenery, that’s even better, as the next section shows!
2) Spend time in or around nature
Spending time in nature is, well, natural. As humans, it’s in our bones to want to be in and around the wilderness.
Many studies (including the American Psychological Association) have tackled the effects of spending time in nature. Time and time again, the benefits are abundantly clear.
From short walks in a park to spending an entire day in the woods, you can enjoy better focus, reduced stress levels, and an increased mood.
You can even improve your empathy and lower your risk of developing psychiatric disorders.
If you can’t get outside for any reason, bring the greenery indoors instead.
Studies have also found that spending just 5 minutes in a room with houseplants can make you feel happier than being in a room with no greenery.
3) Have alone time, even if it’s just 10 minutes
To feel happier in life, it’s important to have at least some alone time every day. It doesn’t have to be for long, particularly if finding time alone is a struggle for you.
But taking even the smallest of moments to yourself every day can be life-changing.
According to Psych Central, time alone lends itself to having moments of self-reflection and self-discovery, even if you aren’t intentionally thinking about it.
Such moments can regulate your emotions and relax your body, making you feel less tense, anxious, or stressed. It also helps you give back to others better, thereby improving your relationships.
Whenever you can, try to find at least 10 to 30 minutes of alone time every day, and see how much your life changes.
4) Lay out your clothes the night before
To be successful in life, relationships, and your career, you need to be focused and decisive (among many other things).
There’s a reason so many successful business owners lay out their clothes the night before. Or stick to the most basic type of wardrobe (Mark Zuckerberg being the best example, with his jeans and plain gray tee).
Studies have alerted us to a phenomenon called decision fatigue. It essentially means that every decision you make throughout the day gets harder and harder.
But by deciding what to wear the night before, you remove one decision from the morning.
So, by the time you get to work and start your day, you’re even more alert and decisive than you would otherwise be.
If you’re a person who finds it particularly difficult to decide what to wear, this habit is particularly beneficial.
Plus, having your clothes ready the night before makes mornings way more efficient. It helps you wake up faster, get out of bed quicker, and get ready earlier.
5) Look after your skin
Having clearer skin makes you feel more beautiful and confident in yourself (according to a community survey by Skin and Me).
A good daily habit to start building to make you feel better about life is to look after your skin.
That includes taking off your makeup, washing your face, and using the right skincare products for your skin type every day.
Aside from that…
6) Look after your body
Looking after yourself and your body is one of the best things you can do to feel better in everyday life.
Exercising, drinking enough water, eating healthily, and getting enough sleep make a huge difference in how alive, happy, and healthy you feel.
Countless studies tell us that when you feel fitter and healthier, your stress levels go down, your mental alertness goes up, your cognitive function improves, and you feel all-around happier in yourself.
So, try building little routines to help you incorporate healthy choices into your days.
Like parking slightly away from the store so you get the extra steps in. Or going down a floor in your office building every time you want to use the restroom.
To ensure you’re drinking enough, get an app that reminds you to drink every hour. Or use a water bottle that tells you how much you should drink by certain points in the day.
In the store, buy yourself healthy snacks only, so you have no choice but to eat healthy. Start meal prepping so you aren’t tempted to grab fast food or takeout.
7) Learn something new
Just as taking care of your body is important, so is taking care of your mind! It doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small, learning something new every day can change the way you think, feel, and approach daily life.
Because your brain is malleable at all ages, it can keep changing throughout your life. Every time you learn a new skill, your brain can reshape itself and your prefrontal cortex can thicken. This keeps your brain active.
Ideally, it’s best to find a skill you can develop over time. Like learning a new language, starting a hobby, trying new recipes, reading, or studying academically.
But you can also do small things to make incorporating daily learning easier.
Like downloading an app that sends you a word of the day to improve your vocabulary. Or using a brain training app with daily puzzles or riddles to solve.
8) Be realistic about times
Stop overpromising and underdelivering if you want to live a better life. All it does is cause you stress, worry, and disappointment.
For example, don’t tell your friends or colleagues you’ll get it done tomorrow if you actually need another day.
And don’t say you’ll be at the restaurant at 6 pm if you know it’ll be tight and you’re unlikely to make it on time.
Start being realistic with your times and be honest with people. Otherwise, you’re always letting people down.
When you let people down, you feel an undeniable sense of disappointment in yourself.
But being honest with others about how much time you need isn’t going to upset anyone. And, let’s be honest, if it does, are they really people you want in your life?
That said, it’s also good to balance being realistic with a healthy dose of romanticism…
9) Romanticize your life
What exactly does romanticizing the everyday mean? Simply this: it’s about paying attention to the little things around you and seeing how interesting they are.
Whether that’s getting a morning coffee, reading on the subway on your way to work, or opening your blinds to let the sunshine in.
Pay attention to life and imagine you’re the main character in a movie wherever you go. It can help you appreciate the little things in life, and feel better for it.
It’s easy to get caught up in everyday life that we forget to do the most important thing of all – live.
Going through the motions of the day-to-day is one way to live.
But why live that way when there are so many other possibilities? And so many other ways to feel alive, just by doing the smallest of things throughout your days?
Making changes to your life and building new habits isn’t always easy.
But, when you break things down into small steps, and focus on achievable goals at a time, you can transform your life and start living for the better.