We all know the biggies that keep us feeling our best: eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep...and the list goes on. However, there are also smaller, less obvious things that we can add in that will simply make our lives better and more fulfilling. So if you are missing any of the items below, let the search begin:
- A cheerleader. Some of us have large, widespread networks of friends and family, and know that we have someone to talk to whenever we pick up the phone. Others don't, but if you have at least one person you can whine to, cry to, or get good solid advice from, life will be a whole lot easier.
- A dirty friend. No, I'm not talking about the UPS guy who spends a little extra time at your apartment delivering his package-I'm talking about someone who enjoys sharing double entendres with you. Someone you can tell a raunchy joke to, and be rewarded with guffaws of laughter. We all have a risque side (some of us more than others), and most of the time we need to repress it so that we don't get sued for sexual harassment. Having someone to share that naughty side with will keep you young...and laughter can keep you healthier than any vitamin!
- I've said this before, and I'll say it again: good shoes and a good mattress can literally change your life. I constantly see patients who complain about debilitating back, neck, and hip pain. I can't tell you how many times these poor souls make a miraculous recovery after switching mattresses. And as for the shoes-think of how small your feet are compared to the rest of your body. Those little things have to carry around a lot of luggage. Give them extra support, so that they can continue to support you. Next to having a crappy mattress, I have found that bad shoes are the most common reason for mysterious aches and pains in the back, hips, and knees.
- Perspective. Try to avoid getting worked up over "first world problems." In case you're not following me, a third-world problem would be starvation, disease, or sex trafficking. A first-world problem would be having the delivery of your new iPhone delayed. Or knowing that the Starbucks barista definitely used whole instead of skim, even though you can't prove it. These are not real problems, They are irritations. But when you blow them up into real issues, you (a) demean those who have actual problems, (b) start a slow descent into becoming a pretentious jackass, and most importantly, (c) make a conscious choice to avoid happiness. There are plenty of real issues in life to get worked up about; you don't need to create reasons to be miserable.