To improve your life, you have to make changes to it. Big or small, it doesn’t matter, so long as you make a change.
To rephrase the words of Albert Einstein, if you want to get a different result, you have to change some things. That way, you veer away from insanity.
Another excellent piece of advice is-
If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree!– Jim Rohn
How to improve your quality of life
As things stand, life does not always go as planned. And living a life filled with constant frustration, anxiety, fear, upset, and worry is not a healthy way to live.
The good news is that, to paraphrase Jim Rohn once again, you are not a tree. Thus, you have the power to change the course of your life right now.
All it takes is for you to make a few minor changes to your daily routines, behavior, and way of thinking.
You need to develop effective habits, as well as sound values, beliefs, and principles. As these can have a significant impact on your improvement and the quality of your life.
30 Simple habits to improve your quality of life
Here are the top habits to help improve the quality of your life in the aspects of physical and mental health, career, relationships, and personal finance.
Habits for physical health improvement
1. Drink water
Drinking water is a recommended daily habit for various health reasons as follows:
- carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells,
- aiding digestion,
- cushioning joints,
- protecting organs and tissues,
- regulating body temperature,
- normalizing blood pressure, and
- maintaining electrolyte balance.
2. Early morning walk
A good morning walk is a great low-impact cardio exercise. But more importantly, developing the habit of taking a walk early in the morning helps:
- improve cognitive functions,
- activate your natural sleep hormone to help you sleep better at night,
- improve your balance and coordination,
- reduce muscle and joint pains, and
- increase your energy levels.
3. Early morning sun
In tandem with an early walk, sunlight exposure is also good for physical health improvement. This is because exposure of your neural retinas sends wake-up signals to the brain which sets biological cascades down the right path.
The light from the early morning sun signals your body to produce healthy amounts of cortisol and serotonin. Cortisol helps promote a healthy immune system and metabolism. Serotonin, on the other hand, helps with mood regulation and is a precursor to melatonin for a good night’s sleep.
4. Healthy eating
Healthy eating is common knowledge. And we know it is important for us to get the right nutrients for our body to be in top shape. It is a key component of a healthy lifestyle.
But healthy eating is something that is hard to implement. Especially with our hectic modern schedules and side hustle culture.
A good way to start a healthy diet is to replace at least one meal with healthy food choices. For example, if your lunch is more on processed foods then for dinner go for vegetables and proteins.
Also, take the time to enjoy your food. Chew your food slowly. And stop eating when you no longer feel hungry. This way of eating is called Hara-Hachi bu, Okinawa, Japan’s practice of eating until 80% full.
Once you get the hang of opting for one healthy meal a day and portion control. You can then move on to healthy meal planning and preparation and limiting if not totally eliminating highly processed foods.
Another simple habit you can develop for improved quality of life is to get physically active.
Regular exercise makes your heart and body stronger, enabling it to better fight off diseases and provides benefits including among others:
- lower blood pressure,
- boost your levels of good cholesterol,
- improved circulation,
- weight maintenance,
- prevention of bone loss,
- improved sleep,
- longevity and vitality.
Aim to have at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day. It will also help to try a variety of exercise programs that include cardio, stretching, and strength training for a complete level of fitness.
6. Get enough sleep
Another essential factor to a healthy lifestyle and contributor to an improved quality of life is of getting enough sleep.
It allows for the recharging and recuperating of the body while you sleep. Maintaining the body’s health so it can fight off diseases. Thus you wake up renewed and refresh to face a brand new day with vitality.
7. Have fun
Having fun is also essential to living a quality life. To reword the proverb- all work and no play makes a person one-dimensional and life dull, dreary, and not worth living.
In addition, having fun is also good for the body. Engaging in leisure activities releases dopamine which leads to positive feelings that counteract negative ones such as despair or stress.
Lastly, having fun every now and then allows you to strengthen your current relationships and help you build new ones. Connecting with others is of course great for your personal and professional life.
Simple habits for mental health quality
Smiling, even when you don’t feel like it, helps lift your mood in an instant. Why? Because activating the muscles involved in smiling sends signals to the brain that you are happy. In turn, the brain releases feel-good neurotransmitters and hormones that will actually make you feel positive emotions.
Aside from making yourself feel happy, you also spread good vibes all around. A smile is contagious, and when you smile, you can influence other people to smile back. On and on it goes.
Similar to smiling, laughter also makes you feel good. And as the idiom says, laughter is the best medicine.
So then, you might want to make a conscious effort to incorporate humor, maybe even horseplay into your daily activities.
Here are some ways to bring more humor and laughter into your life:
- Spend time with fun, playful people. Their playful point of view and laughter can certainly rub off on you.
- Bring humor into conversations. Ask people to share their funny moments. And
- Share some of your embarrassing and funny experiences as well.
- Try to look for the humor in a bad situation, the irony, and the absurdity of life.
- Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up. Examples are a funny poster, a meme, or a photograph of you and other people having a good laugh.
- Learn from children; they are the experts in having fun, taking things lightly, and laughing.
- Read humorous materials- jokes, memes, one-liners, and so on.
Meditation is a great tool for relieving stress and gaining more focus, clarity, and concentration. It is also often practiced for inner peace.
When you have peace within, your emotional well-being as well as your overall health benefits immensely.
Although meditation traces its roots in eastern religion, the benefits gained from its practice are backed by science. Below are some of the health benefits of meditation:
- Stress and anxiety reduction,
- Promotes positive emotions,
- Improves self-awareness,
- Improves focus and concentration,
- Helps memory retention,
- Better sleep,
- Helps relieve pain,
- Helps maintain level blood pressure.
11. Practice gratitude
The practice of gratitude helps shift your mindset from lack to that abundance. Therefore, resulting in having fewer worries and being more focused on finding solutions.
Appreciate the things you have, and enjoy their contribution to your quality of life. While preparing and improving yourself for better things and circumstances is a valuable mindset you should cultivate.
12. Read inspirational materials
Words have power. They can fire you and motivate you to keep going after your goals, to keep improving, and to achieve your full potential.
And it is essential to keep that fire burning by reading inspirational materials, such as quotes, poems, or bible verses regularly. If not daily.
Because as stated by Zig Ziglar:
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily.”
13. Lifelong learning
In addition to daily reading for motivation, it is also good practice for you to keep learning. Make it a lifelong habit to always strive to learn new things.
Lifelong learning exercises the mind. It makes you an overall better person and helps improve the quality of your life.
14. Connect with nature
Spending time being in nature can inspire awe and help you find more meaning in your daily life.
Nature activities such as going on a hike, taking a walk in the park, or having a picnic with family and friends can be beneficial to your health and overall well-being, here’s why:
- can help reduce work stress and increase feelings of well-being,
- can protect you from diseases like cancer, heart disease, depression, and diabetes,
- natural settings have been shown to help decrease systolic blood pressure and cortisol levels
- improve sleep patterns, which helps promote health and healing,
- exposure to nature can increase energy levels and simply help people feel more alive.
The benefits you can get from spending time in nature are important for the improvement of your life quality. And so should not be ignored.
Although granted that your time or access to nature may be limited. There are ways however that you can reap the rewards of spending time in nature.
Some studies suggest looking at pictures of nature for this purpose. Bringing a potted plant inside your home or office can also provide a positive impact.
15. Live in the present
To live in the present means not berating or castigating yourself for the wrongs you did in the past. It also means not being worried about the future. What it is, is savoring each moment of your life as it happens. You are mindful of today and doing the best you can for the day.
This practice of living in the present helps you develop a stronger mental fortitude to deal with negative emotions. You, therefore, become calmer, happier, and more resilient. All of which are key components to living a quality life.
Here’s a quote that explains living in the present a lot better:
There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.― Dalai Lama XIV
The clutter in your physical and digital environment can have a significant effect on your mental health. It can make you feel overwhelmed, frazzled, and stressed. Clutter can make you lose your focus and concentration resulting in less productivity, procrastination, and a whole lot of negativity.
So then the simple process of decluttering, ridding your space of unnecessary stuff, goes a long way in making you cope with the demands of life.
Decluttering allows you to have a sense of mastery and control. Making you feel more competent and efficient.
Finally, decluttering and getting things organized also promote greater productivity and mood improvement. Clearing the excess stuff out of your life provides positive effects on your mental state and overall wellness.
17. Practice social media detox
Although an efficient tool for connecting with others, social media can also make you feel bad about yourself.
It can make you feel sad, angry, anxious, or stressed which can have a negative impact on your mental health. And that is aside from distracting you from what needs to be done.
Imagine going over social media instead of doing something productive only to make yourself feel bad and unworthy.
Yet despite the negative emotions, social media is very addictive. As such, we need to give ourselves a regular social media detox.
This practice does not mean eliminating social media altogether. It just means using it for the positive purpose it was created.
That is, to feel good about yourself, to connect, and be inspired by the people on your network. If your browsing makes you feel otherwise, then it’s time you stop scrolling. Stay away from it for a period of time. You can do 7 days, 30 days, or even a year of social media detox.
Learn how to effectively implement the process of detaching yourself from social media and go for it.
18. Spend time with yourself
Loneliness and being alone are not synonymous. In fact, choosing to spend time alone can have mental, emotional, and social benefits.
When you spend time with yourself, you can recharge and reflect. This can help you cope with negative emotions such as stress or burnout.
Spending time with yourself helps you discover new interests and ideas without the accompanying worry about what others may think.
Furthermore, spending time alone can improve your productivity, creativity, and interaction with others. This was discovered in a study published in Current Directions in Psychological Science.
Finally, being with yourself helps you know yourself more. So that you can improve and become a better version of yourself.
Self-reflection is the practice of taking time to learn from yourself. Your experiences, feelings, thoughts, and actions. It allows you to remember every aspect of an experience, why it happened, its impact on you, and what lesson is there to be learned.
It’s a valuable practice that gives more color to a happy experience. A deeper understanding of things and situations that have transpired. And keeping those that matter to us deep in our memory.
Self-reflection is a way for you to analyze yourself, to see what’s working and what’s not so you can improve and move forward and have a better life.
Simple habits for Career improvement
20. Set goals
Another habit to develop to improve your quality of life is goal setting. Goals give your life direction, meaning, and purpose.
When you give yourself goals, you allow yourself to develop and acquire new behaviors. Have a focus and stay on track. It helps you have a sense of accomplishment, and build your self-confidence. Lastly, it serves as a yardstick, a reckoning point of your improvements and achievements.
While having a goal gives you a purpose, a destination. A plan gives you the map toward reaching your goal. As such it is as much an important habit to have in order to have a quality life.
A plan provides you with a structure for your day. It helps you focus and gain the ability to make choices and decisions that moves you closer to your goals.
A plan is there to guide you so that you have more control over your day rather than just coasting. Leaving things to chance or, worse, allowing others to make decisions for you.
Because success is not left to chance or in the hands of others. Your success hinges on you, on your plans and the actions you take, one small daily step at a time.
22. 2-minute rule
Productivity is essential to self-worth, satisfaction, and happiness which are all key factors to having a quality life.
And a good habit for you to develop in order to be productive is the 2-minute rule.
The two-minute rule, coined by David Allen in Getting Things Done, states that “if an action will take less than two minutes, it should be done at the moment it is defined.”
By doing small tasks immediately, you don’t allow things to pile up and become huge tasks. And thus avoid triggering further procrastination that can lead to stress and anxiety.
Another way you can use this rule is by breaking down a big goal or task into smaller ones. And then tackling the smaller tasks first, especially those that can be completed in less than 2 minutes.
Developing the 2-minute rule habit can help you become a person of action rather than one of avoidance.
23. Stop multitasking
According to research, people who constantly receive information from different sources have difficulty paying attention. They also find it hard to recall information or switch from one task to another.
This is because our brain is designed to focus only on one thing at a time. It does not have the capacity to do multiple tasks and complete them successfully.
Thus, it is better to focus on doing one thing at a time rather than multitasking. In fact, single-tasking is the key to increasing productivity due to the following:
- Single-tasking helps save you time and valuable brain resources by avoiding having to switch your focus from one task to another.
- Concentrating on a single task allows you to reduce the amount of information your brain must process. This allows you to better understand things or complete tasks faster.
- Single-tasking gets your brain to track and respond to the task at hand. Increasing your ability to see a task through to completion successfully.
- Single-tasking reduces stress and burnout caused by having to attend to a lot of smaller tasks at once.
- Performing multiple tasks at once reduces brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex. This is the part of the brain in charge of impulse control and empathy. To avoid this, concentrate on a single task at a time so that your brain can function efficiently.
Focusing and doing one task at a time may seem difficult at first. It may also seem unproductive but it has the potential to benefit you professionally, personally, and spiritually.
Single-tasking encourages creativity. It compels you to look for answers and produce results.
Lastly, it allows you to enter your “flow” state, in which you are completely immersed and deeply focused. You feel energized, enjoy yourself, and are completely satisfied with the task at hand.
24. Practice the 5-second rule
Another habit to consider developing for the improvement of your life is the 5-second rule by Mel Robbins.
The 5-second rule states that you must act after counting down from 5. The act is made after you have an instinct or an idea to do something. And the purpose of the countdown is to activate the “doing” part of yourself and tone down the emotional part.
As described by Mel Robbins herself, the rule is that “If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it.”
The 5-second rule allows you to stop overthinking. To stop your emotions from getting the better of you and to just do what you have in mind.
25. Get creative
Creativity is not something that is confined only to those in the art world. Rather it is a soft skill that allows you to approach and solve problems using different perspectives and with innovation.
It is a skill that you can develop for personal and professional improvement and the achievement of success.
Here are the reasons why you should get creative for a better quality of life:
- Creativity builds confidence and trust in yourself. When you get creative, you learn to listen to your instincts and set big goals that you will pursue with enthusiasm and confidence. While still keeping your analytical skills as a guide.
- Creativity promotes collaboration and working with others. This is because you develop an open mind and willingness to learn and share ideas from others.
- Developing your creativity allows you to see things from different angles. You can find and connect ideas however unrelated they may seem at first.
- Your creativity allows you to leave a good impression. It can get you noticed and it will serve as a competitive advantage toward achieving your success in life.
- Lastly, creativity can help you avoid being burnt out. Because you have the ability to think of new ways to bring joy into your life. It allows you to develop and improve not only so that you can work hard to achieve your goals but also to play hard and enjoy your life.
Simple habits for personal finance improvement
26. Live within a budget
Improved quality of life means living comfortably. That is, living free of financial burdens because you live within a budget.
You review your spending habits and create a plan where you make sure that your spending does not go over your earnings.
You live within the budget you created, thereby developing your ability to manage your finances well. This results in you being able to afford the basic necessities of life plus a few other things that you want.
In addition to living within a budget, another important factor for life improvement is the ability to save.
Developing the habit of saving allows you to have peace of mind. And therefore live a less stress-free life.
Having a savings plan, one that gets you to create an emergency fund and then moving on to building a fund for wealth accumulation, i.e. stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc. allows you to feel happier, and better about your life.
This can be attributed to having a sense of control because you have a plan of what you need to have and do to get where you want to be.
According to research, when you have a sense of control, you are much happier. You can cope better and have more resilience against stress.
Simple habits for good relationships
28. Strengthen relationships
The song No Man Is an Island by Joan Baez comes to mind about the need to strengthen relationships. This is because we are not meant to live life alone. And science knows this as well, acknowledging the fact that humans are social animals.
So it is important for an improved quality life for you to strengthen your existing relationships. No matter how busy your schedule might be, always find time to spend with family and friends.
Eat a meal together. Update each other’s lives over coffee. Get involved.
All these things go a long way in deepening and strengthening your relationships. And having supportive relationships is a strong protective factor against mental illnesses and contributes to our mental well-being.
29. Listen more
There is a special place in heaven for those who listen more and talk less. Because in a world where it’s mostly me, myself, and I, it’s a breath of fresh air to find someone who is willing to listen.
And that someone should be you. Developing your listening skills will greatly benefit you with the following:
- Listening with great interest allows people to feel comfortable with you and you gain their trust.
- Listening to what others have to say equates to respect. And is a great way to have a better understanding as well as avoid miscommunication.
- Taking the time to listen fosters the improvement of your empathy.
- Being a great listener allows you to retain information better. You will also have a deeper understanding of what’s being discussed. In addition, you will be able to pose appropriate questions for better clarity and additional learning.
- Listening enhances your leadership abilities. Active listening enables you to connect the ideas of your team, hear different points of view, and avoid misunderstandings.
All these advantages to listening points to it being a great habit to develop. As it helps you understand, improve, persuade, lead, and learn. It helps propel you towards your goals and at the same time promotes your overall wellbeing.
30. Build new connections
As mentioned in the previous section, humans are social creatures. So it is not only important to strengthen existing relationships but also to build new ones.
Having healthy relationships and building new connections through social interaction are beneficial to your physical, emotional, and mental health. It is an essential component for an improved quality of life.
You should therefore strive not to overlook this important aspect of life. Also, you stand to gain the following benefits from building new connections:
- When you build new connections, it can lead to new opportunities.
- Your new connections can further connect you to others who may have the potential to further your career or business.
- Building new connections also give you advantages you might otherwise not have access to. A special table reserved for you because you know the owner, for example?
- Having a vast network only improves your options and access.
- The information you get from new connections can help you solve problems and overcome difficult challenges.
These benefits cannot be provided by a single person alone. As such the value of establishing connections with different kinds of people. They contribute to your overall well-being and happiness.
What does it mean to improve quality of life?
According to The American Psychological Association, quality of life is “the extent to which a person obtains satisfaction from life.”
To improve your quality of life means meeting the requirements of various aspects of life including:
- Overall health,
- Social relationships and connections,
- Personal growth,
- Choosing and able to live your own way of life with the income you want, and
- Community building.
Importance of improving your quality of life
Striving to improve your quality of life is important because it gives you the freedom to be the best version of yourself and be able to:
- have the health and vitality to actually enjoy living,
- have the time to enjoy the little things in life,
- be with people you love and who are important to you,
- focus on doing the things that matter to you,
- be kind, compassionate, and empathetic to other people,
- participate in community building,
- be a source of inspiration for other people,
- stay happy and satisfied with your career, lifestyle, relationships, and continuous self-improvement.
Quality of life is not about the money you have. It’s about you enjoying your life with vitality, satisfaction, financial freedom, and social connectedness.
It’s about you continually improving yourself by developing simple habits. Habits that will provide you with the proper mindset, and the right attitude. To set goals, achieve them, and become the best version of yourself.
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