Maybe it's been a while since you felt like you've had your mojo. Maybe you remember times in the past where you actually felt incredible, more than you do now. I feel like all of us, at some point in our lives, have had little checkpoints where we remember feeling incredible. Either we were in a flow state where we were uninhibited by our social anxiety, or maybe we felt more energetic, enthusiastic about life, and motivated to take constructive action. In my life, I feel like I have finally entered a period where I feel good. Most days I feel quite good, and that's sort of foreign to me. As you might know, I can be very prone to negative emotions; depression runs in my family and I can get inside my head a lot. So I pay special attention to the actions I do throughout the day and how they affect my mental health. Recently I've started doing a few things that have really helped me feel better. Now I live life with more energy, and I feel more enthusiastic toward work and my personal life.
If you are going through a rough time and you want to enter into a period of your life where you are more enthusiastic to wake up in the morning, then hopefully some of the things that I've started doing can help you as well. Feel free to experiment – take these things, leave them or alter them for yourself.
Number One is very simple. Every single morning, I wake up at the same time, and immediately walk outside to smell the fresh air. And if I wanna take this one step further, I'll actually go for a walk around the block before I have my coffee. While this practice may sound overly simple, it was a game changer for me because I actually felt the endorphins rushing through my body. My brain is getting flushed with positive neurochemicals. It also gives me a little window of time to not look at my phone and start thinking of the things that I can accomplish that day. I can think of the people in my life who I want to spend time with. I can think of the person that I want to be. I can be grateful for a fresh start and new opportunity to contribute to the world and make a difference. This might sound super cheesy to you. I mean, it would for me too, if I didn't start going on these morning walks. When you're cooped up in your house all day and you immediately go online for the rest of the day, it's hard to have cheesy and wholesome thoughts like this. And when someone says something like this to you, you might think, "being thankful for a fresh start…that sounds overly ‘Disney’.” But honestly, stepping outside of your house and getting off the internet will do that to you. You will actually start to have positive thoughts again. So first thing to do in the morning: walk out your front door and fill your lungs with fresh, clean air. Just take a few seconds to be thankful for a fresh start and a new day. That will set the tone for the entire rest of the day, and you will never regret doing that.
Number Two is intentionally doing things and going places that will elevate my mood. This one sounds really obvious, but I actually don't think it is because we often do the same things every single day. We'll go to work, we'll come home, we'll sit on the computer. We tend to do the same things that we've always done, and slowly this can make us become more cynical and we may even start to think that there's no point to living a monotonous life. But every once in a while, your sister might text you and say, "Hey, do you wanna go for a walk on the beach?" And you would usually say “no” because you're super busy, but this one time, you're like, "Okay, sure.” So you go for a walk on the beach and you look around and you think, holy smokes, the world isn't so bad. The sounds of the seagulls, people walking their dogs, the attractive couple on a very awkward first date. And you're moving, the blood is flowing, and all of a sudden this new experience gives you a fresh perspective and your mood is elevated. But it's so funny because everyone can relate to this story of doing the same thing over again until a breaking point is reached and you go for a walk on the beach so to speak. But why not regularly implement things that make you feel good into your life? Why not schedule a weekly walk on the beach with your sister? Why not actually go to that book group on Friday filled with smiling faces and attractive people your age? And this is going to look very different for everybody–what makes me feel good might not necessarily make you feel good. But you know the things that break up the pattern and make you kind of excited to be alive again. So make an effort to implement it as a regular part of your life, because those things are the types of things that make life worth living. Ask yourself what are the things that make you feel inspired, invigorated, refreshed, and optimistic.
Number Three is putting more effort into my appearance, which is probably gonna be the most controversial one on this list. I feel like a lot of self improvement advice out there, including some I've probably given as well, has really emphasized the point that external circumstances won't necessarily make you happier. If you buy a new car, a fancy house, or a cool dog, people will compliment you. But this won't make you a better person; especially if the desire to attain these material possessions comes from a place of insecurity. If you have low self-worth and low self-esteem, then buying a new shirt and spending a bunch of money on a new iPhone probably isn't gonna help you. It'll just distract you for a day.
I also think there is something to be said about dressing in a way and presenting yourself to the world that reflects your inherent dignity and worth as a person. Your clothing choices and the fact that you cut your hair and trim your nails doesn’t give you value as a person, but it sure as hell reflects it. Your subconscious is very perceptive; it's constantly evaluating other people and making judgment calls about them, but it's also doing the same thing to yourself. Your subconscious picks up on when you wear clothes that don't fit, not showering, and not trimming your beard or cutting your hair. It is evaluating your appearance and making a judgment call of your self-worth, so there's almost no avoiding it. It's an automatic mechanism.
It's similar to the chicken or the egg concept; by getting a fresh haircut, buying nice clothes that fit, and taking care of yourself, your subconscious does notice and you will feel a higher self-worth. Obviously this isn't a permanent solution, but it all contributes to your dignity. Man, it really sounds like I'm just rationalizing the fact that I got some new drip recently. You don’t need to think this much before buying new clothes, but hopefully you understand where I am coming from.
Number Four is to keep a list to restore order. In my notes app, I keep this list called "Things in Order," which is a giant inventory of all of the main domains of my life that I could be restoring order to. It starts with my physical surroundings. Is my bedroom and office clean? The top floor, the main floor, the basement? Where am I at with my finances? How are my habits? And my social life, my spiritual life, etc. This might seem kind of obsessive, and I feel like there's a self-improvement philosophy that is making its way through the internet that might tempt you to think, “that's self-obsessive and you're setting yourself up for misery, because that's conditional happiness.” You may have a big criteria of things and achievements that you have to hit before you can feel totally satisfied in life. But I think that's complete BS, because the world is always and constantly in a state of decay. If you leave something alone, it will get worse and disintegrate rather than stay the same. Some might call it entropy, and some may call it the destructive nature of time. For example, if you neglect taking care of your teeth, your teeth will rot right out of your skull. If you're not constantly maintaining order, or living a life that is constructive, then time will naturally destruct. But there's a silver lining to all of this–it actually feels good to restore order in your life. So when you have a long list of things in your life that need order restored, it will feel good to restore them. When you put your head on your pillow at night, you can say, "I put my time to good use today." Without that direction of what you're doing in the present moment and what you're working towards, then by definition, you're directionless. One of the most optimistic things that I've done recently was to make this thorough list, and try to check a box every day. The ironic thing is I'm actually kind of tired. I didn't get a lot of sleep last night. So that kind of totally goes against this whole message. But I truly feel great.
Number Five is paying more attention to my health. There's absolutely no getting around the fact that when you start exercising, you feel like a Greek god. When you drink enough water, you feel like Poseidon. The monotonous things in life start to not feel so drab and agonizing to get through and that’s because you actually have the mental energy to get through them. So on average, I've been getting way more sleep, drinking more water, taking my very specific supplement stack, and working out. Taking care of my physical health has become the cornerstone of my mental health. As you know, your physical health and your mental health are so intimately linked in ways that are beyond our understanding.
So let's talk about my supplement stack. That's what everyone's probably dying to know. I am not advocating or prescribing anything to you, I'm just telling you what I take. Always consult your medical professional of choice, your favorite one, on what you should be putting into your body. And I'm not a doctor, I'm just a dude. But this is what I have every single morning, and it makes me feel great. All right, so my current supplement stack is Vitamin D, which I have in oil form with a olive oil carrier, so it's Vitamin D3 and K2. I have 500 milligrams of Vitamin C, which keeps me healthy during these viral times. I take five milligrams of creatine with water, and that is actually one of the only proven nootropics that apparently contributes to short-term memory, which is actually really interesting, 'cause usually it's just used for body building and going to the gym and for athletes. But not only does it help with your physical energy, but also your mental energy and short-term memory, which is crazy. I also am a big fan of Maca. I personally find that it gives me more energy. Apparently it boosts libido too.