“3 Minutes To Live 1% Happier”

2024.1.23 | #46

Happy Reality Day! Here is your weekly dose of reality to help you live 1% happier↓

Light Improvement: Make Improvements While Chilling

There must have been times when you felt like you were not in a good state today, you had energy, but you really didn’t want to do anything serious, such as your work or study. You also didn’t want to do completely entertaining, because you would feel guilty.

So what would you do at times like this?

In fact, between work and entertainment, there is a third category of activities, which I call “light improvement“.

Chilling, while making improvements.

For example:

  • Read a book. Not the textbook, nor a romance novel, but a book that can be useful to you but is not tiring to read.
  • Read articles from people you like. Just copy and paste parts you like into your notes without any deep thinking.
  • Watch documentaries that you have already saved and want to watch
  • Look up a topic that interests you. For example, I recently looked up a topic: Which cities in China are xenophobic and which are not, and I found something very interesting.
  • Write something. For example, some self-analysis that you have wanted to do for a long time, brainstorming an idea, or just a diary to write down all the thoughts and feelings in your mind.
  • Learn something with videos. Not something like a CPA exam learning that require full concentration, but just topics that interest you.
  • Pick up some hobbies. For example, just doodle at random or play music.

Hold a cup of hot tea, lean on the pillow, huddle up in bed, and watch these “light improvement” contents that require no effort but make you better. This is a good way to turn a bad day into a way to restore energy and make progress.

Finally, the premise of using this method is that you first know the reason why you have low energy, and first make sure it is not caused by a major problem, such as depression, long-term insomnia, lack of nutrition, and long-term inactivity. It should be a short-term minor problem, such as catching a cold or working hard for the past week.

Remember self-boundaries? It doesn’t mean that when the body doesn’t want to move, we should listen to the body and start lying down watching TV or sleeping. For example, many depressed people will become less and less willing to move as they lie down all the time until finally they cannot even get out of bed. Because humans are born to pursue the lowest state of energy, and pursuing the lowest state of energy is a law of the entire nature. And many times the way to generate energy is to exercise when you don’t want to exercise. Why? Because exercise generates energy. This is a scientific method called behavioral activation.

PS: Progress update: In the last newsletter, I wrote about my recent low-energy problem. After analysis, I found that it was caused by long-term inactivity. After exercising every day for a week and a half, I no longer feel tired or want to sleep all day long, and my condition is getting better in the process. I can say this was a successful little experiment. I will continue to exercise every day.

Do you find this issue of Reality helpful? Leave a reply to this email, I check every reply in my inbox.

Until next week,

Ted Wild

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