1. A Cold Shower
Yes, start the day off with a cold shower. It’s a fantastic shock to the system that may completely replace your need for at least that first cup of coffee. I know what you’re thinking: That sucks and there’s no way I want to do this. Rest assured, it’s not nearly as difficult as you think. To see what I mean, ease yourself into it. If you take a morning shower, turn the faucet to cold temps for the last 30 seconds.
2. Clap Your Hands
Dumb as it sounds, the feeling of giving a brief round of applause for a coworker or loved one can wake you up when your physiology is running on autopilot.
3. High-Five Somebody
This energy-charged connection with another person can make you feel amped up, goofy, silly or like a badass. 10 Bonus points if you offer a high five to someone who would never expect it from you, like a crabby coworker or a total stranger.
4. Read one post on BrainPickings
If you’re not familiar with the labor of love created by Maria Popova known as Brain Pickings, you’re welcome. Ms Popova is an avid reader, specializing in some of the lesser-known works of history’s greatest artists and minds. You’ll quickly gain an appreciation for common thoughts, worries and joys as seen through the eyes of great men and women. Each entry is a treasure trove of summaries and analysis centered around a theme, and the links to related works alone are worth the price of admission. The price of admission is free, by the way, though I’d highly recommend making a donation.
5. Do Ten Jumping Jacks
Most people spend their days sedentary, chained to a desk, figuratively speaking (or at least I hope). Standing up and taking breaks alone can make you feel better, but raising your heart rate just 10–20 beats per minute is enough to feel a real change for the better
6. Perform Five Push-ups
They can be girl push-ups, don’t worry. The point is, physical activity has a positive impact on your emotional state.
7. Laugh at Something Stupid
This can be something you see walking down the street, a memory of a goofy awkward moment, or your questionable fashion sense in the 80s. The ability to find joy and humor in situations you normally don’t find funny is a highly valuable skill.
8. Watch or listen to a TED Talk
Obviously, I’m not trying to be a TED Talk brand ambassador. The point here is to consume a new perspective or creative idea, and thanks to the Interwebz, there’s no shortage of educational ideas at your fingertips. You might start with Brene Brown’s presentation on the power of vulnerability or Kevin Kelley describing how Artificial Intelligence can lead a new Industrial Revolution.
9. Participate in Micro-Lending / Micro-Giving
Whether it’s at the grocery store checkout or through a site like DonorsChoose, giving a small amount (say $2–20) to a worthy cause can provide a pretty badass rush of endorphins. There’s nothing selfish about feeling better about how you spend your hard-earned shekels.
10. Make Somebody Smile
Despite the popular belief of some, the reason we are on this earth is to enrich the lives of others. The simple act of putting a smile on someone else’s face through a joke, practicing humility, a kind gesture, pure empathy or compassion will warm your heart so easily, you’ll wonder why you aren’t actively trying to do so on a moment-to-moment basis. So open your heart a little, you frigid bastard.
Many of these actions are obvious, but we often forget about the little things that light up ourselves and others. I truly hope you take just one idea from this and make it a daily habit.
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What other little things do you do to jumpstart your mood? Leave thoughts in the comments.