I’ve been around the block a time or two and I’ve been through my fair share of ups and downs. During this time I’ve noticed I mostly tend to keep my equilibrium and come through things pretty positively. Not always – because sometimes things are really, really tough – but most of the time I will find my way through and stay optimistic. Also, ever observant, I’ve noticed that not everyone handles situations in ways that ease them through.

I decided to share what I do in this blog post. I know some people will learn something new, some people will remember something they had forgotten, and some people will nod their heads knowingly.

Without further preamble, here are the 10 Things That Make Anything Better:

  1. Smile – to yourself, to others, with your dog…it doesn’t matter, just put your face in a different position and you’ll feel better.

  2. Laugh – pull up some YouTube video’s of cats, or my favourite outtakes from The Carol Burnett Show…whatever it takes, but laugh! Hopefully until you cry. You’ll feel better for sure.

  3. Fern frondNatural Beauty – notice it, really stop and let it in. A flower, the curl of a fern frond, the contrast of clouds against the blue of the sky, the green of the mountains, the brown rocks, snow…look at it, really see it. You’ll feel better.

  4. Fur-Babies – the purr of your cat held against your chest, the pressure of your dog leaning against your leg, the irrepressible bouncy delight of a puppy when you mention walk/park/beach/hike. Let that through, you’ll feel better.

  5. Counting Your Blessings – this is commonly spoken of these days, AND it bears repeating. Write out everything, EVERYTHING you’re grateful for and don’t stop writing until you feel better.

  6. Stretch – Feel your body, go inside, close your eyes as you move, track each muscle sliding, moving, holding, resisting, releasing. Luxuriate in your physical body, you’ll feel better.

  7. Connect – have tea, coffee, or your beverage of choice with someone. Savor the moment, have a deep conversation or sit in the quiet together, pour your heart out or talk about the weather, meet on Google+ or in person. Connect – absolutely you will feel better.

    Ophoff, Ray. Crocus 2014 (Painting). East Van Culture Crawl http://culturecrawl.ca/artists/ray-ophoff

  8. Art – make art or immerse yourself in the art and creativity of others. Paint or wander a gallery, listen to beautiful music or play it, dance with abandon…it doesn’t matter just let loose and sink into creativity. You’ll definitely feel better.

  9. Cry – male or female, we all feel deeply and sometimes all that emotion needs to come out. Let it. It may be overwhelming joy or sorrow. Doesn’t matter. It might be a sobbing messy cry, a quiet still cry, or tears that leak out while doubled over snorting with laughter. Don’t hold it in. You aren’t here to be tidy or perfect, you’re here to live…let it fly. You’ll feel better.

  10. Curiosity – have a conversation with someone; find out what they care about. Ask more about that – listen…really listen. Let your respect and regard be heard in your voice. Notice the wonder and awe that curiosity can bring to you. You will feel better.

That’s it. 10 things.

Most importantly, notice this is a recipe for feeling better…anytime. NOT just when you’re feeling badly. This is magnificent when you are happy or when life is wonderful; one, many, or all of these 10 things will amplify great times just as they can ease hard ones. These 10 things answer a question a dear friend asks often “How does it get any better than this?”

Hold onto your hat because it certainly does!

Try these out and report back in the comments below, and if you have more to add – share those in the comments as well!