When people speak of being unhappy they often talk about being weighed down or feel like they’re carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. They’re burdened and feel overwhelmed, they need to offload some unnecessary extras. Here are seven ideas for instant unburdening:
Start with you you.
1. Get a haircut
That big haystack on your head annoys you every time you catch a glimpse in the mirror but you haven’t got around to getting the professional attention it desperately needed well over three weeks ago. You’ll feel sleek and sharp and maybe a few ounces lighter once you’ve had it cropped. You’ll look great, feel more confident and be more self-assured.
2. Floss your teeth
Be truthful, you don’t do this nearly as often as you should and you’re weighed down by all the decaying food you’re carrying between your teeth. OK so I’m exaggerating, but you’ll feel better for doing it and you might be more likely to smile, and therefore feel happier.
Move on to your immediate physical surroundings.
3. De-clutter your cell phone
Start modestly by deleting all your ‘read’ text messages including the dirty jokes you keep but are too frightened to forward. You’ve been meaning to do it for a while, so do it now, it’ll take you less than a minute. Save the one or two messages that you really need to another folder and then delete the rest en-masse. If you’re feeling brave, get rid of all the sent messages too.
You’ve taken a ton of pictures on your phone camera. 60% of them are likely to be blurred, mistimed, badly framed, full of red-eye, too dark, taken by mistake. Get rid of the dud ones, you’ll feel better and have more storage space for the good photos of your friends caught in compromising positions.
4. De-clutter you purse/wallet/pockets
Remove five items from your purse/wallet/pockets, you don’t need half of what you keep in there.
Get rid of the old receipts you’re keeping for no reason other than to pad out your wallet to give the illusion of wealth.
Remove the rarely used store cards or credit cards. You don’t need all of them all the time and if you lost them it’s a pain to phone around so many card companies – be selective about what you take out with you.
Dump the ton of business cards you’ve collected. Be honest you have no intention of following up on them anyway, you only took them to avoid causing offense.
Move on to your home, and deal with just one place or you probably won’t do it at all.
5. Tidy your wardrobe
Start by getting rid of just 7 items, one for each day of the week.
Ditch the t-shirt with the armpit stains, I don’t care if you wear it every day, it’s rancid, dump it.
Donate the two pairs of Simpsons socks you got for Christmas. Men: the disgusting novelty ties hanging on you wardrobe door have to go, preferably to the incinerator. Ladies: get rid of the gray bras that should be white, you’ll feel much more confident that you can deal with any emergency involving your blouse falling off. There’s a coat you haven’t worn for three years, I know you paid 300 dollars for it but if you never use it, it might as well be worth 5 – donate it or junk it. There’s also an expensive pair of shoes that cut the feet off you whenever you wear them because they’re too small. When you bought them you told the assistant you were a size smaller than you are because you were too ashamed to admit you have the feet of a Sasquatch. Donate them so someone with normal sized feet can get the benefit.
Move on to your life.
6. Deal with the personal stuff.
They churn you up inside and tackling them can be unpleasant, no wonder we put off dealing with these burdens.
You owe someone an apology. You forgot their birthday. You called their husband a slob. You kicked their dog. You kicked their husband. You borrowed a DVD and never gave it back. Whatever it is, it’s been playing on your mind for too long. Do it. Do it now. Today. Don’t let it run on even for one more day.
Move on to your mind.
7. Empty your head.
You can’t make sense of everything that’s going on, it’s all too much! Slow down. Stop. Get a pen and paper, spend 15 minutes getting the contents of your mind onto the paper. But not everything, some of the dark stuff is best kept in there – you put it on paper and suddenly it becomes evidence!
Look at what you’ve come up with and see whether there’s anything there that’s truly important. The rest you can forget. Screw up the paper and throw it away (or recycle it responsibly because you care passionately about the planet).
Try it out!
Doing some or all of these things needn’t take very long at all and when you’re done you’ll feel less burdened. Your unconscious mind will breath a sigh of relief and you won’t experience quite so many nagging thoughts that occur at the most inconvenient times, like when you’re spying on your neighbors (I’m kidding!).
I hope I’ve made you smile with this short list of ideas to unburden and feel happier.