Emphasize Activities That Promote Social Connection: The question to ask yourself is: What types of interactions, with what people, promote feelings of connection? This is important to identify, especially if you're experiencing depression. Feeling isolated and thinking no one gets you can make you feel more stuck and overwhelmed, potentially more helpless to change things, and more hopeless that things will ever be different. Social connection can be one of the most powerful interventions. Who are the people who uplift you when you are down? Who do you want to go out of your way to spend time with, email, call, or text? Then single out the people who deplete your energy or disrupt you. Keep these folks in mind so that you don't inadvertently waylay a great activity, when you could have felt uplifted, by doing it with the wrong person. All of the participants who received flowers smiled upon the delivery. Furthermore, researchers found during the follow-up interviews that participants who had received the flowers tended to put them in areas where they could be enjoyed by others, and reported more positive social interactions throughout the day in comparison to the groups who had received a different gift. So get to a florist already! Numerous studies have found evidence of the happiness-boosting benefits of spending time outdoors and looking at natural surroundings. But if you don't have time for a hike, simply looking at trees can help reduce stress. A study of prisoners found that those who had views from their cells of the surrounding landscape suffered stress-related illnesses less frequently than prisoners who did not have these views. Another study of patients recovering from gall bladder surgery showed that those who could view trees from their beds improved more rapidly than those who could not. In addition to helping overcome stress, viewing trees helps to sharpen people's attention. In a comparison of college students, those who had views of nature from their dorms felt less mental fatigue than those who only saw parking lots and sidewalks. Try to find a place with a view of trees and nature. Take a minute or two each day to appreciate the view. You're more sensitive to touch when in a bad mood.

Through a series of five separate experiments, a pair of marketing researchers demonstrated that those in "negative affective states" (bad moods) were especially sensitive to the feel of a product (skin lotion, in the case of the experiment), describing it in tactile terms, rather than the visual terms they used to describe it when in a positive mood. The heightened sensitivity led participants to feel "a more positive hedonic response from the enhanced tactile stimulation," as the researchers put it. In other words, the worse you feel, the more sensitive your touch. The researchers suggested that this grows out of our evolutionary biological functioning: When we are injured, hurt, or vulnerable, there is a biological need to find protection, warmth, and security. If 99% of the world's money is in 1% of the population's hands, is it possible the 1% with 99% of the money knows or is doing something different and/or better? Is it really a coincidence only 3% of us actually have our act together? It's not a massive conspiracy. It's not a conglomerate of rich families controlling the world. It's simply human behavior and mass psychology - the larger the group, the lower the IQ. "The masses" don't produce. They don't have lists of goals. They don't get results. They only want entertainment and pleasure. They flock to mediocrity. They don't resonate with the idea that time is passing by and they're doing NOTHING with it. They have their hands out and want to play now and avoid work as much as they can. Is it a coincidence the world's elite consciously avoid the habits of the masses like social media, TV and the news, gossip and drama websites and shows, destructive music, destructive people, playing games on phones, and constantly going out to drink with friends? Is it a coincidence most of the world's elite don't have "entertainment" and "fun" at the top of their lists? The 1% who are choosing to do things differently are getting 99% of the results. Separate yourself from the masses.

Whatever you notice society is doing in droves, avoid it. There's ALWAYS something wrong with it. Sit back, watch, and, with enough time, you'll usually see it producing very negative and destructive results. Avoid getting sucked into the "fads" and "trends". Avoid getting sucked into the things "everyone is doing". It will only move you backwards. Attention is the new drug and it helps us maintain our fake and over-inflated sense of self. It's cheap, feels good, and the high only lasts a short while. The more of it we get, the more unhappy we are, and the more we need to experience that high again. We go to great lengths and do ridiculous things to get attention, "likes", and comments. We go to bed feeling drained even though we haven't done anything physically exhausting. If the attention gets taken away, we get angry, upset, and display classic addiction behavior and reactions. When we need to give OURSELVES attention, our brain sends a signal to our dopamine receptors but they're so fried, used up, and worn out from selfies, twitter, social media, and external attention that they're worthless and can't respond to such a normal command. They only respond to people on a little phone screen giving us fake approval. This is our new "normal". Social media gives us the power to seek as much attention as we want. Anytime we need a dose of attention, we pull our $1000+ computer out of our pocket, snap a selfie or type something clever, and we get our "hit" so we don't have withdrawals. What makes it, even more, messed up is we "post" about how others need to get their act together and yet the only reason we're "posting" in the first place is for attention! A 2015 study revealed that men and women spend 5 HOURS + a week taking selfies and young adults are expected to take up to 25,000 selfies in their lifetime. This is why we don't have our act together.

Seeking attention wastes time, moves you mentally and emotionally backwards, and the more you get, the more of a problem it becomes. Keep soft objects on hand and create tactile comfort. After a hard day, you will be extra sensitive to them and they may even turn your bad mood around. When feeling stressed or anxious, turning on calming music can be as relaxing as a massage. Researchers studied a group of sixty-eight participants who suffered from feelings of anxiety. They randomly assigned them to three treatment conditions: therapeutic massage, thermotherapy control group (in which warm heating pads and towels were placed on various parts of the body), and relaxing room control group (where they listened to relaxing music through a CD player). Participants attended weekly one-hour sessions a total of ten times within twelve weeks. All three groups showed significant improvements on anxiety tests following treatments, but researchers did not find that massage or thermotherapy was more effective than simply relaxing and enjoying music. They hypothesized that the common elements to the three groups--a safe environment, the opportunity to take time out from life, and encouragement to practice deep breathing--may have been responsible for the improvements. Skip the $200 massage and just download an album of relaxing music. Create a relaxation room in your home that can serve as a refuge from the rest of your busy life and household--even if it's just for half an hour. Identify Who Might Benefit from Your Support: Do you want to do something thoughtful for someone or for people facing life challenges? You might feel passionate about reducing homelessness, raising awareness for specific diseases, or helping out family, friends, or community members who could use a home cooked meal. What acts of loving-kindness might you practice toward others? Contemplate this and then research any groups or organizations you might join to improve the lives of others. You may have already generated ideas for this as you worked with your values in Principle 1. Now you can see that activities like this bring the additional benefit of increasing your sense of connectedness. Once you have gathered these additional ideas for what you'd like to see yourself accomplish, it's time to prioritize a few that you can add to your daily schedule. Which ones are best to prioritize? When in doubt, note which activities are most consistent with your values that you are prioritizing in the next 6 to 12 months.

Also, an activity may have surfaced that supports your well-being in several different ways. For example, if calling your sister more often arose as a way to enjoy your commute, connect with others, and give support to someone, that is a solid indication that the activity would be great to prioritize. When you practice catering to their sex language, their ability to show you more love, attention, devotion and romance will go to a whole new level. If you've ever wondered how to bring a greater sense of connection to your relationship (or perhaps you've recently tried everything you can think of to ignite the passion) face-to-face time is key. It's a perfect little technique for sparking the connection that the two of you used to feel, but thanks to your busy lives, haven't made a priority. All you have to do in order to make this technique work is set aside about twenty minutes, and turn off all distractions. If you have kids, do this on a night where you've hired a babysitter. If your phone and other technological devises are normally on, turn them off. When you do the face-to-face technique, nothing is more important than you and your partner. The key to this exercise is allowing the two of you to be together, without anything else getting in your way. All you have to do is sit across from one another (sit with your legs crossed on the floor) and hold each other's hands. Your knees can touch, but nothing else. Don't kiss. Don't talk. Just look at one another for as long as you can (up to 20 minutes). Now, the first few times you do this exercise, looking at one another may feel awkward, or uncomfortable even. You don't have to be comfortable with it--you can even laugh if the exercise makes you laugh. The whole point is to learn how to feel connected once again, and this exercise makes it easy. The eyes are the pathway for the soul, and if you have long abandoned the habit of looking your partner in the eyes when speaking to him, this technique will be a deeply powerful exercise you'll want to continue bringing into your relationship. Be honest--when was the last time you asked your partner, "What can I do for you?" If you can't remember, it's been too long.