#1: Stop Comparing – Everyone has a unique set of circumstances, issues, ways of perceiving, genes, and the list goes on and on. To compare yourself to another person is like putting oil in water—it doesn’t work precisely because the oil is different. You are like the oil, and the ways in which other people seem the same to you is like water because you can never know all of the molecules, chemicals, particles and other things floating around in the water that makes them different too. Whether you’re talking about your next door neighbor’s new car or that air-brushed model’s body on the cover of a magazine, comparing yourself to others often creates negative thought patterns. For every negative emotion that you have, examine the ways in which they relate to negative thoughts, and you just might find that underneath the surface is an unhealthy comparison to a set of criteria that is meaningless—so life hack them! Remember, you are the only one who is responsible for who and how you are, and if you’re positive, the best you aspire to be has nothing to do with who or how anyone else is.
#2: Love Yourself – Sure, you’ve heard this before, but it’s one of the best ways to life hack your emotions, yet it goes far beyond emotions. “Love yourself” isn’t lip-service: it includes your body, cells, thoughts, and everything about you. You are who are at this exact moment due to an incomprehensible and dynamically intertwined amount of causes and effects, yet the very make-up of who you are is constantly changing, with skin cells shedding and new internal processes occurring all of the time. If you’re not sure how to love yourself, start with your body. Massage yourself, nurture the hairs and veins, feel the amazing energy flowing throughout your body, and connect with the ways in which you feel the world. You are receptive to love and positive touch, and every time you feed your mind and body uplifting thoughts and touches, your entire being soars into new states of being.
#3: Live Now – You’ve heard this one before too, but let’s life hack this old phrase! Forget about the dogmatic vision of “live now” that says you shouldn’t plan for the future because of some divine plan or impending doom. Then, forget about the hippie version of “live now” that somehow equates getting high and screwing around as a method for world peace. Now that’s out of the way, let’s look at living now as a way of being emotionally present in the moment (where living in the moment isn’t a Nike commercial and doesn’t mean embracing extreme sports). We often go through life keeping parts of ourselves blocked-off to experience and emotion because we are afraid of being hurt, abandoned, ridiculed. Yet, if we open ourselves by opening our senses, we become more aware, not only of how we are experiencing, but also to how we are connecting to others and that experience. In the post-modern world, we tend to live inside screens and media, which removes us from our physical environments and interactions. If you’re too busy collecting coins on your mobile phone, you’ll miss the smiles, the smells, and the sights of what’s around you, which creates emotional distance. Reclaim your feelings and life hack every moment by truly being present!