Over the years, when the world around me feels out of control, or when I find myself submerged in feelings of despair, I try to grab hold of just a few things. These things are simple activities that not only ground me, but also get me moving on a better path.

The first activity is EATING. As I can, I make at least some of my meals oases of wonder, respect, listening, and joyfulness.

The second is RANTING. I gather with some friends and have some “rant time.” After a few minutes of this, we can all laugh, feel better, and get on to better things.

The third is LAUGHING. I have learned to laugh from my innards. When we laugh from deep within, we put something good into society and give the world a joyous edge.

The fourth is HEALING. Human beings have an unbelievable capacity for healing. I want to be “with” others in a way that is healing.

And, finally, the fifth activity is THANKING. “To think is to thank.” Thankfulness eases strain and releases something rich both within and without. I find that it creates a better world.

Making these five simple activities—Eating, Ranting, Laughing, Healing, and Thanking—central during challenging times may seem too simple to make any real difference. But I have found that they have helped me to maintain a rich, deep, and joyous humanity. Perhaps they can do that for you as well.