5 free ways to improve your day

Mondays are my day for sitting in the office, writing articles and editing video. Today I didn’t need to be anywhere. So first thing this morning, I threw on my running gear, crossed the road to the forest I’m lucky enough to have on my doorstep and spent 45 minutes navigating the windy, muddy paths. There’s nothing I love more than just going out for a run first thing in the morning. No goals in mind, no agenda, no timetable. Just running because I can. Because It makes me feel good.

Sometimes we’re so focused on our goals or our diary, or the machine of life that we don’t stop to savour the simple little things that make us smile and make us feel alive. Now if that’s not something to do with improving your well being then I don’t know what is. So, aside from running, here are 5 of my favourite simple pleasures. The little everyday things that cost nothing and put a smile on your face. Feel free to add to the list with your own.

1. The straight through parking space

You pull into a parking spot and notice that the space immediately in front of you is free. This means you can pull straight through so when you return to your car you can drive forward out of the spot. I don’t even care if I even have to walk a little further to the shop, there’s nothing quite as pleasing as a pull through. Sometimes there might be a free double space right ahead of me too. that’s extra points. Even if I’m alone in the car I’ll shout out ‘double pull through’. I’m sad like that.


2. A smile or a hug

You pull over to let someone through on a narrow road and they thank you with a ‘genuine’ smile. Not just a pulling up of the cheeks, a genuine smile using the eyes as well as the mouth. It’s the same feeling when your eyes meet a stranger in the supermarket, on the train, anywhere and instead of looking at you like a freak they flash a little smile.

It’s free and makes you feel good. It works the other way around too. Try it today. Smile at the next person you see and mean it. The next time you get some petrol, when you go to pay and say thank you, smile. Nothing makes you feel better, giving or receiving. People should smile more.

Hugs are great too. I love hugs – don’t care who from either and the more the better. But as with a smile there are two types of hugs too. If you’re going to hug someone, mean it. There’s a big difference between a genuine, sincere hug and a polite, pat on the back type hug. It needs to last for at least two seconds to count as well but I don’t recommend doing it with the cashier the next time you fill up with unleaded. 

3. Warm and fuzzy

As soon as the tumble dryer buzzes you take out your clothes and put them straight on. Just little warm and fuzzy moments.

How about this one? You need a spoon to make a drink, all the spoons are in the dishwasher which is mid way through its dry cycle. So you open the door and get that sudden rush of steam, like your own personal free sauna.

Or, you’ve changed the bed and forgotten all about it until you get in after a long day. Now that is a feel good moment. It’s like nobody has ever slept in the bed before. Moments that make you feel warm and fuzzy. 

4. Breaking the seal

I always put a spoonful of Greek yoghurt in my porridge and when I have a new pot there’s nothing better than tearing off the top and licking all the yoghurt off the back of the seal.

It’s the same feeling when you pop the seal on a new jar of coffee. Isn’t that a great smell? In fact the smell of fresh coffee can just go in my happy place all the time … and bread, cookies. Oh I’m on a roll.

5. Endorphins

These are the little drops of happy that your pituitary gland lets off after a good workout. When I’ve finished a good run/spinning class/weights session i’ll head for the showers with the feeling that I could conquer the World. Now, you can’t buy that.

Now it’s your turn. What makes you feel good? Write your favourite in the comments below.

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