Ask yourself, are you living your best life? For many of us, the answer to that question would likely be no.
Most of us can find at least one area of our lives, if not more, that could improve your quality of life.
So, what can we change to make our life better TODAY?
How do we go about making changes? And, better yet, what are the specific changes we need to make to do so? Outlined here are five things to help us make progress towards the life we truly desire to live.
Improve Your Quality of Life with Positive Thinking
You know that saying; “you are what you eat?” However, a similar expression is “we are what we think.”
Research has shown that what we believe often drives our moods and behaviors, for good or bad. A study conducted by researchers from Kings College in London and published in the Journal of Behavior Research and Therapy in March 2016 looked at 102 individuals diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Participants were segmented into three groups and asked the following:
- One segment was to use visualization to create an image of a positive outcome to three worries from the past week.
- The second group was to think of positive verbal outcomes.
- And the remaining group was to visualize any positive image whenever they began to worry.
The results of this study showed that the two groups who had visualized a positive image reported greater happiness, restfulness, and decreased anxiety (Guidi, 2016). Thus, we can determine that by transforming our thoughts and self-talk to positive ones, we can reap the positive benefits and improve your quality of life.
The people we surround ourselves with regularly can improve our quality of life. If we want to live more positively, we must ensure those around us are more uplifting rather than negative and draining. Surrounding ourselves with a group of people we can trust, turn to, and rely on helps us experience less stress, increased wellness levels, and more happiness. All of which these attributes contribute to a better quality of life.
Practicing Gratitude Will Improve Your Quality of Life
“It’s not happiness that brings us gratitude. It’s gratitude that brings us happiness.”
There is much research about using gratitude, including the analysis of psychologists Dr. Robert Emmons from the University of California and Dr. Michael McCullough from the University of Miami. In one of their studies, participants were to write a few sentences about things they were grateful for during the week. The second group of participants wrote about daily irritations or displeasure they experienced. A third group was assigned to write about events that impacted them with no emphasis on positive or negative focus.
This study revealed that after ten weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. They also experienced more positive health outcomes with fewer visits to the doctor. Plus, they engaged in more beneficial physical behaviors such as increased exercise (Harvard Health Publishing, 2019).
So we can conclude that gratitude will impact numerous areas of our lives. The daily practice of gratitude can lead to a greater sense of happiness, positive emotions, and improved health outcomes.
In recent years self-care seems to be a popular buzzword, but research suggests that it is far more vital to our overall well-being and mental health. The definition of self-care is attending to one’s own physical and psychological wellness (Beauchamp & Childress, 2001), with some referring to self-care as being a necessary component (Norcross & Barnett, 2008).
Self-care works to balance out the negative impact that various life/societal stressors create. It is about incorporating behaviors and implementing strategies that ultimately leave us feeling more at ease, refreshed, and more motivated.
Goal-setting is an essential part of the process of improving the quality of life. Goals help us identify areas of our lives that we’d like to improve. Then we can create a plan that would allow us to progress towards those goals.
Goals should always be SMART- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound. Therefore, it will allow goal setting to bridge the gap between where we would like to be and what we need to do.
To improve your quality of life is doable with some effort and commitment. It is about embracing more of the things that add value and positivity to our lives and releasing more of the things that create stress and enhance negative feelings. Then we will make room for more joy and contentment, which leaves us better off in the end.
I am Shirley Noah, an internationally known stress expert, author and entrepreneur. I would love to connect further with you to help you improve your health and well-being. If you are interested in learning more about peace and calm, please take a look at my popular E-course, Don’t Panic Find Inner Peace and Calm.