Simple changes that can improve your quality of life
Life is about the journey. Goals are all well and good at times, but if you live life as a means to an end, you’re going to miss 99% of the experience.
If that strikes a chord, you may feel the need to do something about it — maybe something big. After all, some of the best stories come from life-changing revelations and shocking course corrections. Why would it be any different for you? Before you let your excitement get the better of you, though, it’s worth taking a moment to slow down and think.
While big sweeping gestures and grand resolutions can have a powerful initial effect, often they can be very difficult to stick to over the long-term. If you’re thinking that it’s time to begin moving your life in more of a positive direction, here’s a radical suggestion: do it slowly.
As Dr. Leo Marvin from What About Bob would put it, “It’s about setting small, reasonable goals, one day at a time.” These “baby steps” aren’t just fodder for 90’s cinematic comedy gold, either. They’re a formula for a slow but steady shift in your entire perspective of the world.
With that in mind, here are a few sweet and simple, yet sustainable, things you can do in order to improve your quality of life one tiny baby step at a time.
The truth is, you can always look up another list of suggestions for how to improve your quality of life. However, no matter how many lists you read, they’re going to do you little good if you don’t approach the entire exercise with the right mindset.
That’s why the first little suggestion on this list isn’t something starkly cliche like “buy a puppy” or “hug someone.” It’s a call for introspection. Not self-care, mind you, nor sitting alone in a meditative state. We’re talking about real, genuine inward thinking.
Take a look inside and ask yourself a few questions:
- Am I satisfied with where I am?
- Do I depend on others for my own satisfaction?
- What would it take for me to truly feel fulfilled?
Note the words in bold. There are many other questions where these came from, but you get the idea. Don’t be afraid to talk things through with a trusted friend or relative as you sort through your emotional condition. The important thing is that you take stock of where you are. If you can’t be honest about that, you’ll never be able to truly begin experiencing the blessings of life that are constantly surrounding you.
Address the Stress
Along with a healthy dose of introspection, it’s worth sizing up where your overall emotional health currently is. If you’re feeling stressed, depressed, or anxious, there’s a good chance that it’s eating into your quality of life.
Rather than bow to these emotional struggles as inevitable elements of life, look for simple ways to fight back, such as:
- Meditating for a few minutes each morning.
- Looking for various cognitive distortions in your thought processes.
- Keeping a gratitude journal.
- Going out of your way to tell someone you appreciate them.
- Using CBD oil to help soften those mood swings.
- Trying to think of difficult situations from another person’s perspective.
- Giving light therapy a chance if you struggle during seasonal shifts.
Steadily utilizing small tools like these can produce huge results over time.
Head Off Illness at the Pass
Along with your emotional health, it’s important to also consider your physical health. You can do this in micro-efforts by:
- Going for a walk each day.
- Trying the 7-minute workout a few times a week.
- Practicing preventative care by both regularly going to the doctors for checkups and generally educating yourself.
Remember, it’s the small efforts like these that can slowly shift your perspective.
Create Routines and Schedules
Routines can feel boring, schedules can come across as monotonous, and both can often feel too much like work. However, when used properly, a routine can bring structure and purpose to an otherwise chaotic or meaningless day.
If you feel like you have a million things to do, you won’t escape that feeling by stressing out about it. However, you will be able to manage things better if you take the time to establish routines. Whether you’re talking about going for a run after work, setting up a meal plan, or even just getting dressed every day, if you want to feel more alive, consider organizing your life a bit.
Improve Your Environment
One quick, easy, and particularly practical way to help improve your overall quality of life is by considering your surroundings.
Is your home well lit with natural light? Is it set up in a way that is comfortable for you? Some people like the sharp cleanliness of minimalism while others prefer the studied carelessness of a cozy hygge atmosphere. Consider what your preferences are and then steer into that skid.
Also, consider small changes that will help literally improve the quality of your home. For instance, using chemical-free cleaners can help promote better health and wellness in your living space. Decorating with air-filter house plants and changing your AC and heating filters regularly are also easy-yet-great ways to keep your air clean and revitalizing.
Remember, Green is a Happy Color
Finally, it can help to tap into something bigger than yourself at times. While it’s silly to take on an unreasonable amount of responsibility and stress when it comes to larger than life issues like caring for the Earth, it’s still important — and personally rewarding — to make an effort to help.
Look for ways to go green at your office, like unplugging your workstation or going paperless with your communications. You can also carry these ambitions over into your home by shopping sustainably, avoiding carbon-heavy transportation when possible, and generally thinking through each action you take and how it can affect the world we all share.
Inching Towards a Better Life
As you go about implementing these micro-changes in your life, it’s important to remember the greater goal. You’re not trying to shoot for the stars, here — you’re simply trying to make minor tweaks and changes to everything from your emotional state to your physical well-being and the environment that you exist within.
Each change improves your day-to-day existence a little bit more and helps you stay focused on a “cup half full” mentality in every area of your life. And it’s when you can maintain that kind of attitude that you’ll truly begin to live for the journey itself.
About the Author
Jori Hamilton is a late twenty’s freelance writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. Coming from a marketing background, Jori took interest in blogging and content marketing and found a particular interest in health and well-being, productivity, and mindfulness.
With eight-plus years of writing experience, she decided to jump fully into a freelance writing career. This gave her the opportunity to write even more content on other subjects that mattered to her, including politics, technology, and the environment.
Jori has contributed to Life As A Human, Create & Cultivate, Clinician Today, Girl Talk HQ, and a number of other great publications.
If she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling or being curled up in a blanket, reading a good book. You can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn