10 Things to Do For a Better Life – Disconnect Internet, Reconnect Happiness Amayra’s uncle invited the entire family to dinner. After a very long time, Amayra would meet her cousins, uncle-aunts and especially her granddad and grandma. Pretty excited, she reached before time so that she could warm up for dinner. However, the dinner was not the traditional one, as she had thought of. It was spruced up with technology. How so? Almost everyone was busy with their smartphones. The only time they looked up was to click a picture or say selfie. Her uncle’s home that was abuzz with chatter all the time was quite silent that day. She could hardly make a conversation with any of the family members. She returned home with lots of pictures but not many memories. Life has changed so much since the time internet was introduced at cheaper rates. There are so many things that can be done with time on hand. But, many people prefer spending it on social media. If you think that you are not hooked on to the internet, you might be right or you might not be aware of your addiction. However, I am not posting this to crib about technology and internet. This post is to make you do more with your time. Let’s make this a better life – full of real joys, not the forwarded ones. 1. Immerse in Nature Even those who do not prefer nature (yes, there exists such a clan) have experienced peace when they were deliberately made to sit under a tree, with no company at all. Nature soothes your soul in more ways than one. There are so many things you can do to sync your soul with nature. Go out for a morning walk – early in the morning, when many people are still in their bed. The chirping of birds, rising of the sun and the soft morning breeze will transform you. Instead of cribbing about the mess that rains brings in at times, drink a few droplets and dance like no one is watching you. Sit under a huge tree, if you spot one and talk to it. No, you need not utter words – make a conversation without saying something. Soak in the pleasure of the nature and experience a changed life – a happy living! 2. Be Thankful ‘Thank you’ is gradually becoming a phrase sparsely used. For many, it is something that needs to be understood and not said. While many others have a viewpoint – instead of being thankful, we will help the person someday in return. However, being thankful or expressing gratitude brings a positive change in you. When you say ‘thank you’ to a person who helped you in some way, you connect with that person, not through a relation, but through gratitude. The person who helps feels good and even the person who receives the help. You need to express thankfulness not only to human beings but also God, the nature, your surroundings and even your own self. Expressing appreciation introduces energy and enthusiasm in your life. You feel good about yourself. 3. Stay Happy Now, who wants to be sad! Everyone tries to stay happy and charged up all the time. While you say this, you are one of a kind. There are many people who try to find out faults in their lives and be sad about it. I am even aware of such people who are happy otherwise but become sad about others they know of – just because they want to remain sad about at least one thing. Staying happy means not to give much thought to sadness. Instead of looking for sorrows, look for joys. If you spot a person who is not able to walk, do not be sad about him, be happy that you know such a person who strives you to be better. Have you ever observed kids? They chuckle even on simplest of humor. Be like the kids and find reasons to laugh. Laughing will help you beat the stress and even reduce the risks of other lifestyle-related ailments. 4. Work out Yes, I can understand that you are not fat and do not need exercise at all. But, everyone needs exercise of some kind. While those who are overweight need exercise to lose pounds, those who are average weight, need exercise to stay healthy. Exercise release endorphins, a type of chemicals. With this, you beat stress and feel good about yourself. With every drop of sweat that leaves your body, you gain an ounce of health. Exercise on a regular basis to experience the benefits. You will be surprised with the benefits – it makes you smart, happy and confident besides keeping you healthy. 5. Challenge Yourself Most of the people who find that their lives are dull and boring need a challenge in their lives. Did you ever notice that when you are facing a crisis, you crave for a normal life? However, when the crisis is over, you begin hating the normal life again. Not that you want more crisis in your life. But, crisis is something that challenges your brain and stretches it to do something beyond the competence. So, do things that challenge your brain. Learn a new language, indulge in activities, try to make new acquaintances, play a musical instrument, solve Sudoku, etc. All these things induce a form of challenge in your lifestyle. This keeps your brain active and sharp at the same time. With every new thing that you learn, you will be a transformed person. 6. Spend Real Time with People More often than not, we are online – chatting, stalking, viewing, commenting, cribbing, etc. However, you need to disconnect with your virtual identity and add more to the real one. So, next time when you visit the park, go offline. Talk to the person you have been waving to, since past few days – talk about places, events, etc. If there is no one to make a conversation, sit silently and observe everything around you. On weekends, instead of watching Netflix, visit your grandparents. Invite your cousins for tea for a change. Let people be the source of your happiness and not the internet. 7. Sleep More With the advent of technology, people put sleep on a backburner. Watching television, surfing internet, playing video games or things like these have become quite common. People have been delaying the time of sleep just to spend some time on social media. However, lack of sleep has resulted in many ailments, especially lifestyle ones. Sleep plays quite an important role in making you a better and healthy person. A person with regulated sleep habits is more energetic to those who are deprived of sleep. A good night’s sleep spurs creativity and kills anxiety. If you want to reduce weight or increase your focus, you need to ditch checking social media messages and get some sleep instead. 8. Be Kind Have you ever helped a stranger – without expecting anything in return? Take for instance, letting the elevator stay open so that the person does not miss the ride or holding one of the heavy bags for an elderly lady while she returns from grocery shopping. When you instill kindness in your nature, you feel good automatically. Sometimes, we are in a rush and do not want to stop for the person crossing the road. However, if we slow down till he crosses the road, we feel good about ourselves. If you are expecting something in return for kindness, material or spiritual, you will not feel that inner solace you are hunting for. 9. Travel More Many people are of the opinion that traveling requires a huge amount of money. However, I am not asking you to travel in that manner. There are different ways that you can travel. To bring a change in your life – travel to learn and explore more about places, food, culture and heritage. Begin with exploring villages and town that are close to your city. Explore the local cuisine. If possible, instead of staying in a hotel, arrange to stay at homes of the locals. Of course, keep safety in mind. Wake up early during travelling and observe how other people begin their day. There is so much to learn from the environment. Every travel will transform you in one way or the other. You will learn something new about others and even your own self. 10. Indulge in a Hobby Do you have a hobby that you have been postponing due to lack of time? If you say, your work is your only hobby then you need to cultivate another one. Do something other than your routine humdrum. Remember that many people collected stamps in earlier days, before the advent of the internet. While some like painting, other like dancing. Do you know what your hobby is? There must be something that brings a smile on your face. If you are not aware of what it is, then explore things around you and indulge in a hobby. Most of us are on a quest to make our lives better – to do something that makes us feel good and positive. It is easy and simple to brighten our lives and make it happier, one day at a time. let’s stop cribbing and start living. Become your best selves!