Improving your quality of life is perhaps one of the easiest things to put off. If only we had enough time, we think, or enough money, or enough friends, or enough courage, we would finally stop our bad habits and then live our best quality of life from now until forever. Yet scheduling conflicts, the practicalities of life and sometimes, bad habits we have yet to look at can drag us down and leave us feeling rather blue where this is concerned.
This can be a bad state of affairs. Luckily, it needn’t be a permanent sentence. Unlocking the doors to your best inner self is hardly a practice you can only find in some dusty tome, nestled within an old English castle. In fact, we hope to explore this topic below, and find some practical, worthwhile measures in which, with a little effort, you can see just how much potential you can really have.
If nothing else, that should feel inspirational. You can take that feeling and start building practical steps with it, and from there learn who you are and how you would like to be:
Optimize Your Health
It’s quite easy to use your physical health as a marker of your mental health, self-care and self-respect. Of course, this is not a perfect formula. There are many physical ailments that you can experience through no fault of your own, and someone struggling with their weight isn’t necessarily ‘mentally ill’, or any marker that purists may use in an offensive manner.
That being said, if your personal maintenance doesn’t extend to your health, then it’s important to reconsider this approach. We’re not going to give you any strange calls-to-action in which to make you shallowly inspired or to subtly judge you for failing in this regard until now – we’ll only warmly say that you can enjoy your life much more when caring for your health to a reasonable degree. This might be through visiting optimal health services, focused on improving your sleep hygiene or figuring out what exercise is worthwhile for your own personal needs – for instance.
If you focus on these goals, odds are you’ll come to a much better sense of yourself, you’ll also learn how to learn something outside of your comfort zone. That in itself can be an appropriate goal to manage.
There’s something that can immediately improve your quality of life, and it needn’t be found on a treadmill, or through a bank balance, or through an impromptu romantic tryst. It’s a simple change of attitude. This may seem outlandish, but stoic philosophy and a range of other forms of intellectual discourse have been expressing this truth for ages – the moment you become grateful for your surroundings and circumstances rather than pitying yourself for them, you’ll immediately feel better.
This may sound difficult in some situations. It’s hard to feel grateful if your parent is struggling with Alzheimer’s, or you’re in the midst of a nasty flu, or if you’ve recently experienced an injury at work. That being said, things could always be worse. Perhaps being grateful for the lucid moments in which your parent recognizes you with warmth, or being able to take a few days off work and watch Netflix to recover from your flu, or the fact that workers insurance allows you to claim against the workplace neglect you have faced offers at least some reason to smile.
The more you can tune into that wavelength, the more you can start to feel more grateful for the positive in your life. Remember, there’s a fine line between being grateful and using this attitude to completely shield yourself from feeling bad about things. Sometimes, feeling grateful that you can express your sadness, or cry, or feel unhappy as part of a healthy emotional response. This is not a ‘fix all’ for everything. But for most situations, exercising a little gratitude can certainly be a worthwhile approach.
Brush That Dirt Off Your Shoulder
Don’t be afraid to let bygones be bygones. This might seem similar to the gratitude example, but in delivery and felt experience it’s anything but. Many of us hold at least some kind of negative energy for those we dislike, or disagree with, or have gone through bad experiences with in the past. Perhaps our mother isn’t as attentive as she could be, or was narcissistic in her raising of you and your siblings. Maybe your ex-husband or wife raked you through the goals during the divorce process.
Sometimes, the residual energy of these harmful experiences can stay with us, and direct our confidence for some time. That’s never a positive experience. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is to forgive. This can seem somewhat laughable, especially if someone has done everything to us while we were vulnerable. Forgiving them for that can seem absolutely improbable, and not only that, unhealthy.
But of course, in many cases (yet not all) forgiveness is something you do for yourself, not for someone else. When you forgive, you can feel all of that negative energy leaving you, as you have no reason to hold onto it anymore. Does this mean that you need to contact that person, or tell them they are forgiven, or reconnect in any way at all? Absolutely not. Forgiving but never forgetting can be a good way of going about things.
However, when you have the chance to brush off those harmful issues from your shoulder, you can stop them from having power over you. Working with a therapist or mental health professional can help you finalize this process. More than that, partaking in this approach shows you have overcome that person, that you are stronger than them, and that you’ve had the last word in the entire affair. This, in itself, can be a worthwhile approach.
Read, Read, Read (If You Enjoy Doing So)
If you enjoy reading (we are willing to assume this due to how far in this post you have made it), keeping on top of this hobby can be a great idea. But reading for a greater quality of life can seem like an odd idea. Surely, just like sitting down to watch Netflix, it’s an act of escapism? Would we recommend playing video games to someone in search of upgrading their lifestyle? Not likely.
However, reading is different. When you read, you connect with the external world in a very peculiar way. The act of reading helps you cut through the particular circumstances of the moment, bringing the entirety of yourself and the entirety of the external world, through the page, into a dialogue. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not when you’re reading. When you read you cease to be a function of identity, be that a young woman, an old man, a child, a worker, whatever. At that moment, the artwork you’re absorbing, or the story you’re reading, or the event you’re learning about allows you to imagine, see and consider an experience with depth.
It can reduce stress. It can train your brain. It can help you stave off Alzheimer’s disease. When you’re delving into a good book, true unhappiness becomes impossible, because you’re always open to something new. Does this mean we recommend diving into a book for eight hours a day? Of course not. But always try to have a good book on the go, even if you can only manage three fifteen-minute sessions a week. The tremendous effect this can have on your life is phenomenal. Too rarely is this spoken of in the modern world, but too easily is it experienced.
Spend On The Things That Really Matter
Spend on the things that truly matter. For instance, might it be that investing in a beautiful home coffee machine can help you curate your own coffee blends, try new imported coffees, and generally save money compared to visiting Starbucks every day? Additionally, might it be that when entertaining guests, you can impress them with your coffee knowledge?
This example may seem very slight and even inefficient, but it’s important to consider it on its own terms. We all have a choice as to where we’d like to spend our time and money. Sometimes, focusing that on increasing our own autonomy, or giving ourself more reliable options, could help us feel more responsible and connected to ourselves. Does this mean you can never walk into a Starbucks again? Of course not. But instead of relying on others, finding your own passion through the many interests in life you can curate will help you adopt a healthier attitude in this light, no matter what your interests or the specific example may be.
To that extent, you will find further confidence in yourself, and this can increase your quality of life like no other.
With this advice, we hope spending the time to improve your quality of life can be a practical, personal and rewarding journey for you to follow. We hope that this information can be personal to you, and that your inward journey can help improve almost every aspect of how you plan your life.