The other day I was upset after reading an article about our consumerism and how it is destroying the environment (not to mention the unfair conditions under which most products are being produced). Come to think of it, it is pretty darn crazy, how much stuff we consume. Most of which we don’t even really need. Thinking about the dimensions boggles my mind. Every store is full of stuff and every city is full of stores and every country is full of cities… you get my point. It’s just that there comes a time when this small delicate planet won’t be able to sustain our need for stuff anymore.
But how could we change our shopping behavior? The one big factor I can think of is that we are wired to believe that more stuff will make us happy. Somehow the modern world has tricked humans into this materialistic thinking. This is why expressions like retail therapy, or in german Frustkäufe, exist. When we hit a low point, we think that consuming might cheer us up. But apart from the fact that this behavior is creating environmental problems, it is also not really creating lasting happiness. It’s a big fat myth, created by smart marketing agencies.
Realizing this has helped me a lot to change my own consume behavior in the last few years. It made me rethink, consume less, free myself from stuff, look critically at products and led me to make more sustainable choices. And I’m so excited that more and more people around the world are doing the same thing. Minimalism is becoming the new
So for todays blogpost I wanted to create a list of little life pleasures that can instantly brighten the day without harming the planet or cluttering up our home with more stuff. Often the key is to simply take our minds off of something and exchanging it with a small dose of positivity. Once we change our happiness habits, there is no need for random shopping sprees and filling voids with stuff.
I’m sure there are a million other things to add to this list, so if you have one, please share in the comments. :)
27 Ways To Cheer Yourself Up Without Consuming More Stuff
1. Take a walk or bike ride in nature
Go to a place with nice scenery (like a park, forest, open fields) and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Try to notice details like the sounds, the smells, the way the ground feels under you, your heart beat, the sun on your skin. To me, there is no better instant happiness than spending some time in nature.
2. Put on your happy song and dance
Just do it!
3. Prepare and enjoy a cup of your favorite drink mindfully
Maybe it’s a cup of freshly brewed coffee, a spiced chai latte, a green smoothie or a jasmin tea. Take your time while preparing your favorite drink and then celebrate it, enjoying every single sip.
4. Cuddle with your furry friend
Did I just say that there is nothing better than taking a walk in nature? Well this might be the only thing that could top it (for me). Spending time with animals is so good for the heart and soul. :)
Lay down on the couch, close your eyes and daydream about things that make you happy. You can be the director of any story. Build your dream home, imagine your dream job, travel to places, go on an adventure. Try it! Daydreaming and visualization can be real fun and might even shape your future subconsciously. Your mind is a magical place.
6. Take a shower and pamper yourself
Especially when you feel low, a shower can really help to wash away bad feelings and start over fresh. Imagine all the negativity flushing down the drain! And to make you feel even better, treat yourself with a mani- or pedicure and put on a good smelling lotion/body oil.
7. Random act of kindness
Ah, the joy of giving! Sometimes it can bring more joy than receiving. No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. It’s probably the best investment in happiness, because sincere kindness will always find its way back to you. That’s the magic of karma, baby! So why not share it all the time. Maybe even with a stranger! Give a compliment, write a note to someone you love, pay for the coffee of the person in the line behind you, talk to the old lady next to you on the bus, bake cookies and share them at work, tell a child how beautiful it is, stop by your parents to say hello, take a shelter dog for a walk, smile at a stranger…
8. Do a little meditation or simply breathe
It can feel so good to rest the mind for a moment. Sit down comfortably and let your thoughts drift away for a while. Or simply take 10 long deep breaths for instant relaxation and a bit of inner peace. Now you can continue with new focus.
9. Read a book
Dive into a story. It doesn’t even have to be a new book. Re-reading a favorite can be just as great! And have you tried taking your book to the park or a cafe? It can add a whole new atmosphere and enjoyment to reading.
10. Put fresh bedsheets on your bed and take a nap
Honestly, isn’t it one of the best feelings to lay down in fresh bedsheets? Such a treat!
11. Meet a friend
Even if it’s just for a quick coffee. Talking and laughing with a good friend is one of the best ways to feel happy, instantly.
12. Take part in a guided tour at the museum
Being around creativity and pieces of history can be so inspiring! Especially when you get a chance to connect to the art by learning more about its background-story.
13. Watch your favorite TV Series
I don’t know about you, but I can get seriously excited about certain TV shows. It feels like such a treat to watch them (especially if a new season just came out ;)) and once I’m hooked I forget everything around me.
Because a good kiss is better than any shopping trip.
15. Go pick berries
If you’re lucky enough to live near a farmer with self-picking fruit fields (or even better, a forest with wild berries), this is such a fun thing to do. Grab a friend and stuff your faces with berries!
16. Draw a mandala
I just recently learnt how relaxing and enjoyable it can be to draw mandalas. Look up some shapes online for inspiration and then make up your own design! You’ll totally get into a zone, promise!
17. Declutter, organize, spring clean or re-arrange your room
This is all about the feeling AFTER. While it might not be so fun to tidy out your wardrobe or organize your desk(top), you will feel so good once the mission is accomplished. Now you can breathe again and feel lighter than before. You could also bring fresh wind into your home by re-arranging furniture. A little change can go a long way.
18. Listen to an inspirational audiobook or your favorite podcast
My newest recommendations: “What I know for sure” (audiobook by Oprah Winfrey) and “TED Radio Hour” (podcast).
19. Bake cookies and share them
… unless you’ve already eaten them all, which is totally understandable. ; )
20. Walk barefoot
Walking barefoot is totally underrated! It feels amazing and we should do it much more often. Not only at home on the carpet but also outside on the grass, in the river stream, at the beach or on moss. Holiday for the feet!
21. Work out
A workout is always a good idea and will do your body and soul better than any shopping spree. It’ll help you balance out any bad or stressful feelings. After, you’ll feel so good about yourself.
22. Get a back scratch
Your dog knows it, you know it… it’s just SO good!
23. Skip through old photos and videos
Remembering the good old times will definitely bring a smile on your face and might even be a motivation and inspiration to set your focus back to the good things in your life.
24. Get some DIY action going
Instead of shopping, why not get crafty and creative? There are so many cool DIY project ideas out there in the world wide web. Make your own bracelet, pine cone garland, insect hotel, couch table, wood coaster, tea blend, body butter…
25. Get to know a neighborhood – go for a random stroll
Isn’t it funny how we sometimes don’t know much of the neighborhood or town we live in? Taking a random stroll in your own or another neighborhood will surely open your eyes to new great places. Maybe you’ll even find your new favorite coffee shop or a beautiful little park!
26. Dress up for no reason
Throw yourself in your most flattering outfit and put on your contagious smile. Just because.
27. Write a list of things you are thankful for
In times when we try to fill a void with material things, it’s a good idea to remind ourselves of what we already have. What are you thankful for right now?