End Your Day With Something That Makes You Happy

I’ve been using the Exist app to track my activities and rate my moods for over half a year now, and one of my biggest unexpected takeaways was that the way I feel about my day often depends on how I spent the last hour of it.

In other words: if I devoted the last hour of my day to something that made me feel both relaxed and happy, that feeling filtered back through the rest of my day. When I wrote about my day and rated my mood on Exist, I consistently gave the day higher ratings if I’d enjoyed the end of it—even if the rest of the day had been stressful.

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Yes, part of this could be because I was providing this mood rating right after I had done something fun. But the fact that doing something both relaxing and enjoyable at the end of the day made me reflect upon the entire day more positively was an interesting discovery.

The idea that you should wind down before bed is fairly common knowledge, of course; read any article about sleep and it’s going to suggest taking some time to relax before your actual bedtime. (I also know that many of us are so time-strapped that finding an extra hour just to relax might feel impossible.)

But there was a difference, at least for me, between relaxing by doing something calming and relaxing by doing something that made me smile—like playing puzzle games on Steam or watching funny videos on YouTube, which I know is the exact opposite of what we’re supposed to be doing before bed. (Yes, I have my blue light filter on.) The data proves that I have a better day when I end it with something both relaxing and fun—and if I could find something that made me laugh out loud, I’d often give the entire day a 5-star rating no matter what else had happened.

Then I’d close my laptop, brush my teeth, spend twenty minutes either meditating or reading, and go to sleep happy.

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