Quality of life is important to all. Everyone wants to live a good life and feel fulfilled. However, it can be hard to know how to go about doing that.
But don’t worry; whether you’re seeking more happiness, better health, or just a bit more peace of mind, there are plenty of things you can do to make your life more satisfying.
According to health professionals and wellness experts, here are ways to improve your quality of life:
Educator | Triple Board-Certified Physician | Mental Health and Wellness Expert
Address your entropy
The second law of thermodynamics dictates that any system in isolation will experience entropy and become chaotic and disordered. As complex, living ecosystems, human beings obey the second law of thermodynamics.
We are inherently social creatures, and our lives can become chaotic, disorganized, and dysfunctional when isolated or alone.
The United States was already in the “Isolation Epidemic” before COVID-19, where data indicates that we were the loneliest and most isolated society in the history of civilization. Now throw in the pandemic, and we are even more isolated.
Therefore, when seeking to improve your quality of life, first seek to identify the etiology of your entropy by exploring the quality, depth, and consistency of your relationships with your family, friends, coworkers, and yourself.
Be intentional about spending time with those you love most
You spell “love” t-i-m-e and a-t-t-e-n-t-i-o-n. The most effective and efficient way to address your entropy and bolster your quality of life is to be intentional with devoting time and attention to those you love most.
For those with children, the best way to do so is to put aside all screens and distractions and “break bread” for a nightly family dinner.
Devoting thirty minutes every evening to be present with those you love most over the dinner table promotes resilience and well-being and has a remarkable impact on quality of life.
For those who are single or located a distance from their loved ones, spending time with friends and scheduling consistent FaceTime or Zoom sessions with loved ones is just as effective at improving quality of life.
Be intentional about engaging in meaningful interpersonal interactions with your coworkers
While double goes for your loved ones, the value of time spent in meaningful interactions with coworkers cannot be underestimated.
Many of us have transitioned to the virtual space for work, but for those who have returned to the office, taking time to put your work tasks aside and engage in meaningful interpersonal interactions with coworkers promotes resilience and well-being. It also improves the quality of life both in the workplace and at home.
Related: Building Strong Work Relationships
Be intentional about spending time in self-reflection
Finally, while time spent in meaningful interpersonal interactions with loved ones, friends, and coworkers should be the foundation of any attempt to improve your health and well-being, time spent bolstering your relationship with yourself can also dramatically impact your quality of life.
In the highly technical and task-oriented constructs in which we work and live, we often fail to take the time to explore our internal experiences.
Throw in the never-ending distractions of emails, social media, and streaming entertainment, and we often become isolated not just from others but from ourselves.
Healthy adult development is informed not by our capacity to avoid our feelings using distractions but by our capacity to engage with and reflect upon our internal feelings and thoughts
In fact, our internal thoughts and feelings directly impact our behavior. Therefore, human health and well-being are a manifestation of our internal experience.
Devote time daily to intentional self-reflection. If life is too busy, and you are overwhelmed with distractions, hire a coach to support you in the “meaning-making” required for healthy personal and professional development and improved quality of life.
Board Certified Behavior Analyst | Assistant Professor in Neurology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Everyone around us seeks ways to improve their lives, but not everyone is aware of how to do it. Here are some ways to do the same and celebrate your life.
Get moving; spend time every day for exercise
Regularly exercising not only maintains your physical health but improves your overall well-being too. Want to shed extra kilos? Get your workout boots on.
Finding a way to reduce stress or curb depression, get moving. You just have to spend 20-30 minutes every day exercising to improve the quality of your life, and you will reap magical benefits. Spending a few minutes daily will motivate you and give you a more positive outlook on life.
Take out some time for leisure
You cannot deny that we feel there is not enough time for everything in the world. No wonder life is busy. But if you don’t allow yourself to relax and do some fun, you might end up losing precious moments and deteriorate the quality of your life in the long run.
Leisure time is extremely important. Taking out some time for any leisure activity not only lowers your stress levels but also improves your mood and adds excitement to your life.
Live in the present
Many people either think about the past or the future. They don’t enjoy the present. So, it is the right time to take a deep breath and enjoy the present.
Stop giving yourself a chance to your past to blackmail your present, and don’t worry about the future. Give the instruction of “silence” to your brain. Be in the moment.
For instance, if you are doing household chores, do them; if you are playing, play as if there is no tomorrow. You cannot expect a change within a day but start practicing it daily, and you will soon notice the difference.
It is not the materialistic things that make you happy. Sometimes changing your perspective a little can work wonders in improving the quality of your life.
Create a list of the things you are thankful for in your life. Or you could also think of making a mini-list of things at the end of every day.
Go social and be kind to your relationships
Humans are social animals. We all want to make worthy connections with others and our communities. Respect and take time for your family, partner, neighbors, and colleagues.
Additionally, never be afraid of enjoying the spontaneous connections that could come from sharing a seat with someone on the bus or making a new friend on a trip. Be kind to your relationships, and it will definitely foster your connections and, ultimately, your life.
Sports and Performance Psychologist
Do you wake up in the mornings and experience a feeling of dissatisfaction? Does waking up and repeating the same cycle every day get exhausting? If you’re feeling like this, you can improve the quality of your life by making a few lifestyle adjustments.
Make time for leisure
Because of the work-oriented and fast-paced society we are living in, it can be easy to get caught up in working too much. Not allowing yourself time to enjoy your hobbies and relax could be doing yourself a huge disfavor.
Leisure time is far more important than many realize. Studies show that having leisure time has many benefits, including reducing stress levels, enhancing problem-solving skills, and helping to develop personal growth.
Transform your living space
The average person spends a great deal of time inside their home; that’s why the living space you are in must be comforting for you. And no, this doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money to do so.
Instead, ideas include displaying items around your household that remind you of your childhood or incorporating plants to add greenery. It’s also important to keep the living space clean and organized.
According to studies, a clean home helps reduce stress and feelings of anxiousness, replacing them with comfort and satisfaction.
Replace gossip with learning
Although the temptation to gossip can be powerful, it’s essential to refrain from doing so not only for others’ benefit but for our own as well.
Engaging in gossip and rumors can lead to anxiety, stress, and mental strain. It riles up our emotions and changes our mood. We often gossip out of boredom or the need for excitement in our lives.
But instead of gossiping, try to replace this action with learning something new to fulfill the need for excitement. Overall, this is beneficial because it keeps us from engaging with negative thoughts and spreading rumors, replacing them with something good.
Find meaning in your work
Our careers help shape our identity and play a huge role in how we feel about ourselves. Having a job we enjoy is important because it helps us feel like we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.
Also, having a job you don’t enjoy can be physically and emotionally draining. While it may not be possible to change career paths, it is possible to reconstruct your workdays and participate in gratifying activities such as charity work and community activities.
Build meaningful and strong relationships
Having successful relationships with others is a vital part of life. Strong connections and regular social interactions have many benefits.
Studies show that good relationships with family, friends, and community members improve our health, help us deal with stress better, and even increase our chances of living longer.
Because humans are very social creatures, the quality of our relationships can affect our mental and physical health.
Dr. Harold Hong
Board-Certified Psychiatrist, New Waters Recovery
Most people think of mental health in terms of disorders or illnesses, but it’s much more than that. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, affecting how we think, feel, and act.
You can’t always prevent mental health problems, but there are things you can do to reduce the impact of stress and promote your overall well-being. Here are some ways to improve your quality of life:
Get a pet
Patients living with Alzheimer’s or dementia who care for a pet have been shown to have less anxiety and depression and are more active. This is because the very presence of pets can help ease their stress and loneliness.
Patients also tend to be more interactive when they have pets, which can help stave off social isolation.
Spend time in nature
Touching grass, listening to the sound of leaves rustling in the wind, and watching a sunset can help reduce stress hormones like cortisol. One study found that people who took a 90-minute walk in nature had lower levels of rumination — a form of repetitive negative thinking linked to depression.
Connect with others
Social connections are important for mental health. Spend time with family and friends, join a group, or strike up a conversation with a neighbor.
Similarly, volunteering can help you feel connected to something larger than yourself and can be a great way to give back to your community. It can also help boost your self-esteem and reduce stress.
Practice relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing, help promote a sense of calm by allowing you to focus on the present moment. When practiced regularly, these techniques can help ease anxiety and improve sleep.
Avoid alcohol and drugs
Detoxing from drugs and alcohol can be difficult, but the health benefits are worth it. Alcohol and drugs can worsen not only your mental health but also your physical health.
They can interfere with your body’s ability to fight off infection and disease and lead to long-term health problems like liver disease and cancer.
Mental health problems can also be exacerbated by alcohol and drug use because they can increase anxiety, depression, and paranoia by altering your brain chemistry.
Excessive substance use can lead to brain damage, impairing thinking, mood, and behavior. This increases your risk of developing dementia, affecting your memory, thinking, and judgment. This condition can be debilitating and make daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and shopping very difficult.
Speaker | Executive Coach, Four Thousand Mondays
Buddy up with the grim reaper
As a positive psychology expert, I get a lot of double-takes when I vehemently encourage people to count how many Mondays they have left. Yes, in life.
Why engage in something so…morbid, you might ask? Research has made it clear that engaging in what is known as “temporal scarcity” (seeing something as temporary or rare to increase its perceived value) can help us get down to the business of living with a heightened sense of urgency and priority.
We’re prone to take life for granted and tend to slip into autopilot often. So how, exactly, do we use a relationship with the Grim Reaper to live a better life? Here are four ways:
Count your Mondays
One of the best ways to wake up to life is to tune into its (unfortunate) finite nature.
Most clients I work with reorganize their priorities and live with a greater sense of intention when they realize they only have “x” number of Mondays left. (I have 1,899 as of today, and you can bet it’s motivating me to live with more oomph.)
Take your average life expectancy (83 years for women, 78 years for men, 80 years if you don’t identify with either gender), and minus your age, then multiply by 52. This provides you with your average number of Mondays/ weeks to either love or loathe your life.
Let this be a powerful reminder of your countdown timer, and then let it motivate you to live with more width and depth. More on that next!
Widen your life
Now that you’ve reflected on how much length is left in your life (on average), it’s time to widen it.
We literally widen our feelings of aliveness when we add more pleasure, fun, and experiences into our days. This might look like:
- Booking an adventurous road trip
- Hosting a game night with friends
- Learning a new language
- Taking a sketching class
- Arranging a potluck dinner with friends
- Making a playlist of your favorite music from college
- Going on a hike in the forest preserve
Where might you widen your life with something invigorating and fun, knowing your remaining Mondays are ticking down?
Deepen your life
We add depth to our lives when we actively make meaning:
- Clarifying our purpose and acting in accordance with whatever the heck that might be
- Connecting to something bigger than ourselves (through spirituality or that sense of awe and wonder we often get in nature)
- Working on being better versions of ourselves
- Practicing random acts of kindness
- Building and fostering relationships with other people
- Learning and growing through a new course or degree
Where might you choose to deepen your life with something rich and meaningful, knowing your time is limited?
Related: How to Live a Meaningful Life?
Reflect on your regrets
Imagine you’re on your deathbed tonight (sorry, work with me here), and you’re lucid enough to think back on the life you’ve lived. Would you feel pangs of regret?
Related: How to Deal With Regret
Most of us experience regret because of things we didn’t do rather than regret for something we did do. What is one thing you’d kick yourself for not doing?
Writing that book? Going skydiving? Going to Florence for that 8-week cooking class? Mending your relationship with your brother? Commit to course-correcting a regret today, knowing you might not have a tomorrow.
Living a better life takes thought and intention. Getting to the end and feeling like we really participated in our lives, like we made them think ripe with meaning—this takes contemplation of not just how to live wider and deeper but also through the lens of finitude.
Keeping the Grim Reaper by our side can give us the perspective we need to live regret-free, astonishing lives—albeit temporary.
Jordyn Mastrodomenico, LCADC, LAC, CTP
Clinical Director, ChoicePoint
All of us want to live a life of quality. Pursuing this goal is very difficult, and we do not always succeed. We do, however, aim to improve our lives every day with each decision we make and the failure we learn from.
There is no easy way to achieve better health and quality of life. It takes time, energy, motivation, and lots of soul-searching.
Awareness is the key to becoming better
There is a universal principle: the more aware we are of something, the greater our ability to influence and control it.
The same principle applies to creating your life, controlling time, increasing focus, and being successful. Awareness is the key to becoming better at these things and achieving your goals faster. With the power of awareness, you will truly live your best life.
Maintain positivity so you can improve your work and social life
In our busy lives, it’s easy for us to get disheartened by the daily grind. However, it’s vital to understand how negativity can ultimately undermine your quality of life.
If you’re regularly feeling down in the dumps, this is a sign that you should make greater efforts to maintain positivity so that you can improve not only your work life but also your social life. Keep these in mind to lead a happier, healthier life while boosting performance at work.
Be progressive and proactive in achieving your goals
One of the critical aspects of improving your quality of life is to be progressive. We should focus on being progressive in our daily life activities like:
- Having balanced eating, exercise, walking, and doing yoga.
- Gaining new knowledge every day by reading books and interacting with people.
- Identifying new skill sets and technology and pursuing them daily.
- You must be proactive and creative in achieving your goals.
Executive Coach and Professional Speaker
Stop believing the lies
Society has duped us into believing a lie that undermines our quality of life. The lie? You can have and do it all. You can’t, at least not all at the same time. We have been told this lie which is embedded in another inaccurate concept: work-life balance.
Work-life balance doesn’t exist
How on Earth can you have a balance in all the different roles and functions in your life? Balance means equal, and when we reference “work-life balance,” that implies that each area of your life, role, and responsibility has an equal amount of your energy and focus.
That isn’t possible all at the same time. This is an important concept to learn if you are going to improve your quality of life.
Too often, we try to achieve balance in our day or our lives, and that perspective on its own creates stress. Think about it.
Do you ever find yourself in the middle of one activity, distracted by the thought that you have other tasks to do and there’s no time? Have you ever been out with friends but kept thinking about other people in your life that you tell yourself you need to spend time with?
In these moments, your brain is buying into the idea of balance, creating stress, anxiousness, and pressure. In these moments, your mental wellness, and quality of life, are decreasing.
Instead, reframe work-life balance for work-life harmony. Understanding harmony versus balance can be achieved by considering a mathematical application.
Consider this. Your time, energy, and focus can be represented as a pie chart. The whole pie is 100%, and each day your activities are divided within this pie.
Trying to give 100% to your job, family, relationship, friends, and self-care every day is a mathematical impossibility. This leads to frustration and failure and undermines our quality of life.
So as the foundation for anything you do to support your mental wellness, it starts with the understanding that your mental wellness is based on work-life harmony, not balance.
Some days you give more time and energy to your work than to your family. Some days you give more time and energy to yourself rather than socializing with friends. But your time and energy aren’t going to be equally divided every day among all your roles and responsibilities.
Doctor of Audiology
Get good sleep to be more productive
One of the best things you can do to improve your quality of life is to get good sleep. When you sleep well, your day starts on a more positive note, and it’s easier to be more productive.
You wouldn’t drive your car on an empty gas tank, and you can’t expect to feel your best or most productive without enough rest. Attending to the body’s basic needs enables more energy toward self-actualization.
There are a host of health benefits to getting good sleep, including increased immune support and better mood, as well as reduced risk for diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and depression.
During sleep, the body devotes time to processing the previous day’s events and memory consolidation, which means that when we don’t sleep enough, it’s harder to think clearly and focus well.
Additionally, sleep influences metabolism, which has a whole host of both direct and indirect side effects. A lack of sleep is a stressor for the body, and as a result, an increased level of stress hormones, like cortisol, can lead to an increase in hunger and reduced blood sugar management capacity.
Getting good quality sleep physiologically primes the body for optimal health, performance, and functioning.
Adequate sleep also makes it easier to access resiliency skills, even when life is stressful. Facing a challenge is easier when your outlook is more positive, and your baseline stress and anxiety level is lower.
Imagine going to work to find a difficult task with a short turnaround at the top of your to-do list. It can be hard to access critical thinking and problem-solving skills when a lack of quality sleep creates a perpetual cycle of mental fog and energy drain.
Walking into that situation with your energy reservoir fully stocked helps you to stay realistic and manage emotions rather than launching headfirst into a sea of overwhelm.
Getting good sleep allows you to enjoy better health, think more clearly, be more productive, and face whatever the day brings. Prioritizing your sleep each night will increase your overall quality of life by allowing you to be more present for all life has to offer.
Kara Nassour, LPC, NCC
Licensed Professional Counselor, Shaded Bough Counseling
Improving your quality of life comes slowly. You will need to either grow as a person and change many of the habits you’re used to or change your situation, which can require planning, patience, and confronting conflict head-on. Perhaps you will need to do both.
Figure out what you want
Ask yourself what you really want deep down.
- Loving relationships?
- A sense of security?
- Meaningful work?
We are surrounded by social messages telling us we’ll find happiness by buying products or changing our appearance, but these don’t get at our deeper needs.
By figuring out what you want, you’ll be better able to judge what strategies can help you get there and which ones are just wasting your time or money.
Identify what’s making you unhappy and remove it
Then identify what you want to be removed from your life. What would your day look like if you woke up tomorrow and your problems were gone? How would you feel? What would you do?
Many people try to escape their problems by shopping, TV shows, or drugs. But you have to name what’s making you unhappy and face it head-on to solve it.
Ask for help
Reach out to your friends, family, social programs, therapy, and even internet forums. It’s much easier to tackle your problems when you don’t have to do it alone.
Supportive people can:
- Brainstorm solutions with you
- Encourage you when you’re feeling down
- Help advocate for you
- Hold you accountable
Oh, and if you’re using drugs or alcohol, seriously weigh your costs and benefits. Not everyone who uses substances develops a problem. But if you do, then kicking an addiction is the single best thing you can do for yourself, and it will make every other problem in your life easier to handle afterward.
Jared Heathman, MD
Psychiatrist, Active Ketamine
Take care of your mental and physical health
There are many ways individuals can improve their quality of life, including taking care of their mental and physical health.
Exercising can improve one’s mental and physical health; regular exercise can decrease stress and enhance the quality of sleep.
Practice mindfulness by checking in with yourself
Another way to improve one’s overall health is to practice mindfulness each day by checking in with your own emotions and thoughts. Mindfulness can be done through practicing meditation, journaling, or doing deep breathing exercises. It can improve mental clarity, emotional intelligence, and compassion.
Stay hydrated and eat a well-balanced diet
Another way to improve one’s physical health is to stay hydrated and eat a well-balanced diet. By eating healthy, exercising regularly, and staying hydrated, the body is able to decrease the chances of developing certain diseases.
Re-organize or declutter your environment
In addition to taking care of one’s mental and physical health, it is recommended to re-organize your home, as a cluttered environment can lead to a cluttered mind.
Decluttering one’s environment can be impactful by helping one have a clear mind and increase concentration on important daily tasks. Being organized can also lead to an improved quality of life as it can decrease stress and increase productivity.
This can be different for each individual, yet exploring possible ways to improve one’s quality of life is essential. If you are struggling with a mental health disorder impacting your overall quality of life, one of the best things to do is seek treatment from a mental health professional.
Seeking treatment for a mental health disorder can lead to a healthier and happier life.
Program Director, NuView Treatment Center
Improve the quality of our relationships
It is often said that the quality of our lives depends on the quality of our relationships. This is especially true when it comes to our intimate relationships.
A good relationship can provide us with love, support, companionship, and a sense of security. It can improve our mental and physical health, help us deal with stress, and give us a sense of purpose.
A bad relationship, on the other hand, can be emotionally and physically damaging. It can cause us stress, anxiety, and depression. It can make us more susceptible to illness and disease. It can undermine our self-esteem and cause us to doubt our worth as individuals.
Fortunately, there are things we can do to improve the quality of our relationships. We can learn to communicate better, express our needs and feelings more effectively, and constructively resolve conflicts.
We can also work on building trust, intimacy, and commitment. We can make our relationships stronger and more fulfilling by taking these steps:
Communicate openly and honestly
One of the most important things you can do to improve the quality of your relationships is to communicate openly and honestly with the people you care about.
This means being able to share your thoughts, feelings, and needs without fear of judgment or rejection. It also means being receptive to hearing what the other person has to say, even if it’s something you don’t want to hear.
Express your needs and feelings
Another vital step to improve the quality of your relationships is to express your needs and feelings clearly and directly. This can be difficult, especially if you’re used to bottling things up or if you’re afraid of how the other person will react.
But it’s important to remember that the people we care about can’t read our minds and can’t help us if they don’t know what we need.
Constructively resolve conflicts
All relationships have their share of ups and downs, and it’s important to know how to constructively handle the conflicts that inevitably arise. This means being able to discuss differences calmly and respectfully without resorting to name-calling or personal attacks.
It also means being willing to compromise and find mutually agreeable solutions.
Build trust, intimacy, and commitment
Another key to improving the quality of your relationships is to focus on building trust, intimacy, and commitment. This means creating an environment where you feel safe, open, and honest with each other.
It also means making a conscious effort to connect with each other on a deeper level, whether it’s through shared interests, activities, or simply spending time together.
Seek professional help
If you’re struggling to improve the quality of your relationships, it may be helpful to seek professional help. It can be due to any reason—a mental health disorder or a substance abuse addiction.
A therapist can provide guidance and support as you work on making changes in your life. If you’re unsure where to start, consider meeting with a therapist to discuss your specific situation and needs.
Regardless of your steps to improve the quality of your relationships, remember that it takes time and effort. But the rewards are well worth it. When you have strong and fulfilling relationships, you’ll experience greater joy, happiness, and satisfaction.
Psychotherapist and Lifestyle Coach, The Traveling Therapist
Make time for yourself
We all have busy lives, but it’s important to make time for activities that make you happy, whether it’s reading, taking walks in nature, or simply taking a bubble bath.
Dedicating some time each day to do something that makes you feel good will help improve your overall mood and quality of life.
It’s essential to make time for yourself, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Dedicate some time each day to do something that makes you happy and relaxes you.
Get enough sleep
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to ensure you get enough sleep. Most people need around eight hours of sleep per night, and if you’re not getting that, it can take a toll on your mental and physical health.
If you struggle to get enough sleep, you can try a few things, such as setting a regular sleep schedule or cutting back on caffeine.
Another vital thing to do for yourself is to eat healthily. This doesn’t mean you have to diet or give up all your favorite foods, but it does mean making sure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs.
Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help you feel your best and stay energized throughout the day.
Exercise is also essential for both your physical and mental health. It can help improve your mood, increase energy levels, and even help to prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Even if you don’t have a lot of time for a formal workout, there are plenty of ways to incorporate exercise into your everyday life, such as taking a brisk walk in your neighborhood or doing some jumping jacks while watching TV.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, it’s important to take a break and give yourself some time to relax. This could mean taking a hot bath, reading your favorite book, or just taking a few deep breaths.
Taking some time for yourself will help you refresh and recharge to better handle whatever challenges come your way.
Be grateful for what you have
It’s easy to focus on what we don’t have and forget about all the good things in our lives. Make it a habit to take a moment each day to think about something you’re grateful for. This will help you appreciate the things you have and might even lead to more good things coming your way!
When it comes to feeling thankful, sometimes, a little reminder can go a long way. That’s where gratitude lists come in! A gratitude list is simply a list of things you’re grateful for, and it can be a great tool for shifting your focus from negative to positive. Plus, it’s pretty easy to get started.
Here’s how: First, find a pen and some paper (or open up a blank document on your computer). Then, start brainstorming things you’re grateful for. It can be anything—big or small, personal or general.
For example, you might be grateful for your family, your health, your job, or a roof over your head. Once you have a few items on your list, take a moment to reflect on why you’re thankful for each one. Let yourself feel gratitude!
When you’re finished, tuck your list away somewhere safe. Then, next time you’re feeling down or stressed, take it out and give it a read. We guarantee it’ll put a smile on your face and remind you of all the good in your life.
Focus on helping others
Helping others significantly improves your own life. Volunteering for a local charity or doing a favor for a friend can both be rewarding experiences.
When you focus on helping others, it can make you feel good and improve your overall mood.
Here are some specific ideas:
Donate to a local food bank
Food banks are a great way to help those in need, as they provide individuals and families with access to fresh, nutritious food. Many food banks across the country accept donations of non-perishable food items, which can then be distributed to those in need.
Volunteer at a soup kitchen
Soup kitchens provide hot meals to individuals and families who are struggling to make ends meet. Many soup kitchens rely on volunteers to help with meal preparation and service, as well as with cleanup afterward.
Volunteering at a soup kitchen is a great way to give back to your community and make a difference in the lives of those in need.
Donate clothes or other items to a local shelter
Local shelters often accept donations of clothes, furniture, and other household items, which can be used by individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness.
Donating items you no longer need is a great way to help those in your community who are going through tough times.
Tutor someone who is struggling in school
Tutoring is a great way to help someone who is struggling in school. You can help students improve their grades and succeed in their studies by providing one-on-one assistance. Tutoring can also be a great way to build relationships and make a positive impact on someone’s life.
Travel to relax and rejuvenate yourself
One of my favorites as “The Traveling Therapist!” Traveling can be a great way to take care of yourself. It can help you see new things and meet new people. It can also help you get away from your everyday routine.
Traveling can be a great way to relax and rejuvenate yourself. It can also be a great way to learn about different cultures and countries. So, if you’re looking for a way to take care of yourself, traveling may be the perfect option for you.
Mindset and Wellness Expert | Speaker | Writer
Know what you want
When we aren’t clear on our values, we often find ourselves flailing, feeling unfulfilled, and wondering if we’ll ever actually feel “happy.”
When it comes to your life, career, and goals, your values impact every aspect of your journey. If you’re operating according to external values (doing what you think you should be doing because someone or something told you so), then you’re living out of alignment with your core values.
To start living in alignment, look inward, connect with the voices in your head, and get in touch with your emotions, desires, fears, insecurities, strengths, weaknesses, and, most importantly, your values.
To clarify your values, look inward and ask yourself:
- “Whose criteria and values have I been living by?”
- “Do these voices in my head belong to me, or do they come from somewhere else?”
- “What does success mean to me?”
- “What does your ideal state of success look like?”
Practice gratitude to find the good and actually feel good
Gratitude is one of the most important elements of cultivating happiness in the present moment. Practicing gratitude helps you:
- Feel more positive emotions
- Live good experiences
- Deal with adversity
- Build strong relationships
With gratitude, you acknowledge the goodness in your life. There are many formulas for practicing gratitude, but the most important thing is finding the formula that works for you.
Personally, I like to write down any “good thing” that comes up during my day. I carry a little notebook with me, and when I have a moment, I identify what’s going right.
By the end of the day, I end up with a pretty robust list of things to reflect on and feel good about. Practicing gratitude throughout the day has been such an effective method for me to re-route negativity. To find the good and actually feel good.
Listen to your body
So many of us have grown out of touch with what our body needs. We spend so much time telling our body what it wants (like less food or more cardio) that we stop being able to identify what it actually wants (like nourishment or rest).
Your body will let you know what it needs if you give it a chance.
I like to do a “body scan” every week to help me deepen the connection between my body and mind and evaluate how I’m feeling and what I actually need.
When you do a body scan, you focus your attention on different parts of your body, from your face to your feet. Think about each part of your body and consider how it’s feeling. This is a great way to just “be” with your body, tuning in and listening to what it needs.
Related: How to Check In With Yourself
Get into a routine
A routine is essential for keeping yourself living in alignment. I know, you’ve heard it before, but it’s true! Without a set routine, you’re just making things up daily, increasing your chances of skidding and crashing.
For me, establishing a morning routine has been essential. I wake up at 5:00 am to have time to work out, journal and do some breathwork. Carving out this “me” time means I start each morning on the right foot, ready for whatever the day might bring.
Now, I know 5:00 am wake-ups aren’t for everyone, and I promise I’m not telling you that you need to wake up to get your life on track! Your routine might happen in the middle of the day, evening, or just before bed.
Find what works for you. It doesn’t matter what routine you choose, so long as it’s one that you enjoy and can be consistent with.
Write out limiting beliefs or negative self-talk
Jot down any limiting beliefs or negative self-talk that comes up during your day. In the evening, actively process these feelings by acknowledging them and figuring out what you can tangibly do to move forward.
When I’m in a downward spiral, I take a second to write down all the angst that I’m feeling. It’s almost as if writing the feelings down de-burdens (yes, I just made that word up) my soul and calms the angst brewing beneath the surface.
Have expectations and set boundaries
Many of us—consciously and subconsciously—lower our expectations about life and others to “protect us from disappointment.” This bleeds into our thoughts about the careers we should pursue, the lifestyles we should lead, or the type of relationships we should expect.
If you know yourself at your core and understand the power you have and the value you bring, then why would you ever want to do anything but shoot for the stars in every aspect of your life?
The best thing you can do is get clear about what you can expect from yourself and others and then have the guts to hold onto those standards, no matter what life throws your way.
Your journey won’t be smooth because we’re humans, and that’s just the way life works. But if you’re clear about your expectations, you’ll always be on the right path.
Stop playing the comparison game
It’s hard to break out of the comparison game, particularly in this day and age of “perfect everything” on social media, but there’s no way to step into your power if you’re stuck comparing yourself to others. It’s a lose-lose game that will keep you feeling small for the rest of your life.
There is a reason that we are all different. Being unique is a good thing. Embrace your uniqueness and maximize your strengths; rather than focusing on your weaknesses and how you do or don’t stack up next to others. Choose to break free from comparison.
Layer in positivity
It sounds cheesy, but affirmations and positive quotes/sayings can really override your inner negative narrative. Affirmations are simply positive self-statements that, if repeated over time, convince you that they are true and, by extension, boost your self-esteem and problem-solving skills.
You’re essentially tricking your mind into thinking differently by reinforcing what’s important to you on a regular basis. They’re powerful, and they’ve been shown to work.
Examples of affirmations that may work for you:
- “I have amazing potential.”
- “Today, I focus on my health, not my weight.”
- “Eating healthy food and exercising comes naturally to me.”
Find people who you can ask for help
Many of us unconsciously buy into the idea that “asking for help = weakness” while going through it “alone = strength.”
It took me years to unlearn this way of thinking, and even now, I’m constantly reminding myself that delegating and asking for help allows me to avoid the constant cycle of burnout that I experienced for almost a decade.
Being “powerful” doesn’t mean working harder, but rather, working smarter. Find the people who can do what you need to be done better than you can so that you can focus on your lane of genius.
Sarafina Arthur-Williams, M.A.
CEO and Founder, Intentional Simplicity, LLC
Live well and do well
As humans, we are constantly evolving and looking for the next best solution to make our lives more meaningful. Since the spark of the wellness industry, enhancing your quality of life has never been more sustainable.
What is the quality of life?
Research on quality of life and well-being has evaluated various domains that contribute to a person’s well-being and overall life satisfaction.
Quality of life is associated with how we create meaning in our human experience. Our various human experiences and perceptions that impact our individual well-being directly link to assessing our quality of life.
Since each human experience is unique, the components of each person’s well-being are different, which makes it impossible to create the perfect quality of life.
However, sustaining your quality of life is possible. To make it easy, we have broken down the key areas of holistic wellness below:
- Emotional and Mental
- Physical Health
- Interpersonal Relationships
- Work Life
When we holistically approach our quality of life with the need to create meaning, we beautifully transcend our health. Despite the suffering and difficulties associated with being a human, a meaningful and well-lived life enhances your quality of life.
Put simply, wellness includes both living well and doing well. Functioning well involves having a sense of purpose, direction, self-determination, and co-creating positive experiences with others.
How to enhance your quality of life?
Improving your quality of life is a clear pathway to living a more enjoyable or positive life. However, it is a lot easier said than done.
With the proper support, healthy patterns, and a desire to grow, you can create a sustainable approach to improving your quality of life. To support your wellness journey, here are five tips to enhance your quality of life.
Mental health: Open up to reach your potential
When we psychologically process our existence and experience here on earth, it opens up the room for self-discovery, self-awareness, and soul exploration.
Keep in mind that each of us will approach this discovery process differently. Psychological exploration can look like visiting the therapist, sitting for meditation, or journaling about your mental well-being.
Introspection and reflection allow us to determine what motivates our actions, intentions, and desires.
If you would like some guidance moving through the process of introspection and self-awareness, check out this interactive self-explorative workbook to aid in your wellness journey.
Values and passions: Highlight your positive characteristics and encounters
Place a spotlight on your strengths with wellness. Your wellness involves focusing on the positive characteristics and positive encounters in your life.
If an activity is associated with anxiety and depression, we are less likely to follow through and more likely to feel vulnerable and inadequate about our skills.
However, suppose we do something that makes us feel good about ourselves and encourages our skills. In that case, we are more likely to continue doing the activity and gain a positive perspective about who we are and what we are doing in life. Explore your passions full-heartedly and see your life blossom.
Community: Balance your familial and social well being
Community well-being, another critical aspect of quality of life, covers wider social relationships, close friends, and family relationships. This area of our wellness is evaluated based on how you individually “feel accepted” by community members and society.
Historically, humankind has banded together and collaborated as a group to survive and thrive. The ongoing support through these communities provided a sense of security and made way for shared labor and accessible resources.
However, in today’s society, without a healthy relational balance, we can sever our connection with ourselves.
Remember, you are not responsible for your community; instead, you are what makes up the community! Set proper boundaries while sustaining these crucial relationships in your life.
The more you balance your well-being, the easier it is to enjoy the time you spend with your loved ones.
Serving others: Cultural and spiritual esteem
Cultural and spiritual well-being is a traditional approach to enhancing your quality of life.
Culture is a shared collective of individual ideas that include the intellectual, moral, artistic, and unique standards common in a community. Culture and community go hand in hand in determining the foundation of social growth and change.
Spirituality within a culture enhances the shared and individual foundation of connection through clear and coherent beliefs about a higher purpose and universal meanings.
Serving others, for example, is a central and pivotal component of creating meaning in our lives despite our individual religious or spiritual beliefs. The community represents a spiritual companionship when shared with others.
Self-love: Transcendence is a way of living purposefully
When it comes to transcendence, the act of self-love is a vital component for enhancing your quality of life.
A great way to dip your toes into transcendence is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the art of noticing and appreciating all life forms with neutrality and awareness. Through this process, you begin to experience beauty, excellence, and skill in all areas of your life.
Related: Mindfulness: Will It Make Me Happy?
Gratitude gives us the awareness of grace and appreciation. If you pay close enough attention, you will surely find many things to be grateful for!
Self-love within transcendence teaches us how to have hope for our future endeavors without suffering in the process. Consciously live in the present moment to see the flow of everything. Expecting things to go well will become your new norm.
Self-transcendence can give you the awareness to shift a negative experience into a positive experience. A great way to do this is through humor. Making jokes or seeing the light side of a situation can reduce the impact of difficult experiences and emotions.
Getting started: Quality starts with you
One of the main reasons why people struggle to sustain their quality of life is not knowing when, how, or what to do to get started. The good news is that each day is a new opportunity to approach your life more meaningfully.
The more patient you are with the process, the more exciting it will be to sustain your quality of life. We are all different and have our own challenges that naturally evolve over time.
The core component to enhancing your quality of life is to practice gentle, compassionate, and intentional living despite the difficulties life throws at us!
Colleen Wenner-Foy, MA. LCMHC-S, LPC, MCAP
Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor | Founder and Clinical Director, New Heights Counseling and Consulting LLC
Declutter your mind
When your mind is constantly stressed, your brain produces a hormone called cortisol that can cause us to feel tired, irritable, and even depressed. The more clutter you have in your life, the more stress you will experience.
Understand what causes you to feel anxious and overwhelmed, and then start cleaning up those areas of your life. Begin with the simple step of writing down everything you believe is causing you anxiety or stress.
Then go through each item on this list and decide if it is something you need to keep around. If not, get rid of it! This process may seem tedious at first, but after a while, you’ll feel lighter and less burdened by unnecessary items.
Prioritize a good night’s sleep
Getting a good night’s rest is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. And when you think about the quality of life, sleep is critical to be at the top.
Sleep plays a massive role in keeping your body functioning at peak performance. Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to suffer health problems like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and even early death.
Sleeping well reduces stress, boosts energy levels, and improves mood. It also allows your mind to consolidate memories and make them into new memories. A good night’s sleep is essential to improving your quality of life.
Refrain from gossiping
Your brain is hardwired to look for errors, and you tend to focus on negative information. Negative thoughts lead to negative emotions, which leads to negative behaviors.
Gossiping is an example of negative thinking. You might be tempted to talk negatively, yet refrain from doing so, and you can change your mindset.
Find good in every situation and with everyone you interact with throughout your day. You will personally see positive results. As you act on this behavior(s), your life’s worldview will shift towards positivity, and everyday situations will become easier to handle.
Be purposeful in your gratitude
Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can decrease anxiety and stress and increases feelings of joy, contentment, and satisfaction.
There is an abundance of opportunities in your day to show appreciation. Develop the habit of expressing thanks for small things such as the air you breathe, food, and water you drink.
Take time to thank others for their kindness. You don’t have to make this complicated. Please keep it simple by starting a gratitude journal.
All you need are some paper and a pen. However, you don’t even need to write anything out. Just think about everything you’re grateful for and how much you appreciate it. This simple exercise can make a huge difference in your life.
Ileana Arganda-Stevens, LMFT
Program Manager, Thrive Therapy & Counseling
Improving your quality of life can feel like a tall order. You might find it helpful to break it down into a few areas that feel important to you.
Here are some suggestions:
List out what’s most important to you in order of importance
Next to it, list what you spend most of your time and energy on, also in descending order. This can be a great way to assess whether or not you’re actually putting time and energy into the things that feel most important to you.
If you’re not, perhaps identify one area you’d like to focus on shifting your time and energy.
Try and identify relationships and endeavors that aren’t giving back to you
It’s important that our energy input is relatively equal to the rewards we experience from our jobs, relationships, and other endeavors.
For example, if you’ve found yourself exhausted by a relationship, it might be helpful to consider setting some boundaries. This might look like:
- Taking a little longer to respond to someone when they reach out to you.
- Declining invitations to spend time together.
- Or even let them know you’re unhappy with how things are going between you.
Make sure you’re devoting time every week to things you find fulfilling
I want to emphasize that these are generally not things you do to pass the time or “numb out” when feeling stressed. Fulfilling activities might boost your energy and confidence or lift your spirits.
Some people find expressive activities like writing or making things very rewarding, or you might find it fulfilling to spend time in nature.
As a reminder, these suggestions are just a starting place and are easier said than done. It’s also helpful to remember that the more consistent we can be, the more likely we will see returns on the things we try.
That said, self-awareness, self-compassion, and honesty can increase our chances of choosing healthy relationships and endeavors and improve our quality of life.
Certified Rapid Transformational Therapy Practitioner | Founder, Emerged Butterfly
Improve your circle of influence
Who do you allow yourself to be surrounded with? “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with” -Jim Rohn.
Who you spend the most time with has influence over the way you think about yourself, the people around you, and life events happening for you and the world.
They also directly influence your overall mental, emotional, and physical health and happiness. How you make life decisions can also be influenced by the people you spend more time with.
Observing and changing your inner self-talk
Have you truly listened to your thoughts? Did you know about 90% of our thoughts are habitual?
That means most of our thoughts are the same as those we had a day before. And of the thoughts we have daily, according to research done by the National Science Foundation, about 80% of our thoughts are negative.
Noticing how we negatively think of ourselves in contrast to how our peers and family members positively think of us and changing the dialogue in our mind to be encouraging and accepting can improve our mental health and hence overall quality of life.
When we become a cheerleader of ourselves, we reduce the tendency to self-criticize or find faults in ourselves.
Accept that not everything will go your way
Understand and be ok that not everything in life will go your way. The career you wished to pursue, the relationships you wished you had. Know that when things don’t go our way, it can be a detour toward the right direction on a bigger scale.
Remember: rejections are not final; they are detours in the right direction.
Release the need to control external circumstances
The only control you have is control over the way you think. You cannot control the weather, how your boss decides to treat you, or the words your partner says to you, but you can control the way you think about the situation.
When you control your thinking, you contain your emotions and change your behaviors, thereby improving your situation.
Let go of past hatred and practice forgiveness
Who is someone you need to forgive today? Are you holding onto a grudge against someone from the past? Have you forgiven yourself for something you’ve hated yourself for years?
“Let go” are the most important words; when we are able to let go of the hurt, we no longer give it power over us.
So many individuals struggling with physical, emotional, and mental health issues develop problems because somewhere, somehow in their lives, they were the receiver of hurt, and they weren’t able to let go.
Practice forgiveness towards others, the world, and most importantly yourself.
Know it’s ok to go slow
The hustle doesn’t promise success as much as society tells you to.
When we’re constantly bombarded by the media and marketing that we need more things to feel good enough about ourselves, we might get caught in the rat race of pursuing after things, dreams, and goals that others wish for us and not doing what our hearts truly desire.
Give yourself grace on the difficult days and know it’s ok to slow down and gain clarity on what you truly want in life before taking small steps towards your desired life again.
Enjoy your relationships
Humans are social creatures, and connection means the world to us. When we isolate ourselves, we disconnect from people, resulting in poorer emotional well-being.
When you’re in the company of the people you love, never take them for granted, for we don’t know how much time we have left with them (our time with loved ones are precious).
Be fully present with others (and not get distracted by your devices), and give generously (for you’ll never know whose day you’re making a positive impact).
Recognize what is holding you back and change them
It has been my experience as an Empowerment Coach that to improve your quality of life, there is no one-paragraph answer. Everyone has a different idea of what quality of life looks like for them.
It could be; more money, a better job, better/more friends, a better love life, more time with family, etc.
To make quality changes in your life, you have to have an open mind, flexibility, and the ability to release and heal subconscious wounds that have created auto-pilot beliefs that we don’t even realize we have but that become blind roadblocks to what we want to have/be.
Without recognizing what is holding you back or keeping you from the quality of life you want to have, we all need to look into our underlying beliefs, and change /heal them to stop the limitations we have created without knowing.
Without that clearing, we can continue to make subtle changes, but the underlying beliefs will eventually sabotage us. I know this from my own work on healing my wounds and beliefs.
In 2018 I published a workbook: Daydreams Come True – Self-Coaching Workbook. My intent was for the reader, who was like me, to want specific information about how to live a life you love.
I wrote this book based on the previous 16 years of post-kidney cancer survival and my intense study of the mind/body connection and how we create/contribute to the disease in our bodies.
I discovered that it is always about what we believe about ourselves, our value in the world, and how we fit/don’t fit in this world.
I studied every mind/body wellness book or audio I could find to change/heal my life from the negativity I held on to that contributed to my kidney cancer.
After all those years of practicing all I learned, I completely changed my life from much anger, resentment, hurt, and pain to one of joy, gratefulness, and prosperity.
I decided to share what I had learned with others who were struggling as I had been. With that being said, here are a few steps to get one started on creating a better qualify of life:
The first step to creating a better quality of life is deciding:
- You want more
- You deserve more
- You can have more
Without agreement on these three areas, there will be no progress.
The next step to improving your quality of life is:
- Recognizing the gifts of who you are.
- How you can utilize these gifts to give you the life you want
- Biggest question: Why don’t you already have the quality of life you want?
This is an intense question because to answer it, you must take personal responsibility for the life you have. It isn’t anyone else’s fault. Everything you need to have your best quality of life lies within you.
The third step to creating a better quality of life is: Stay disciplined and focus on what you need to heal to allow everything you desire to come into your life.
Related: Why Is Self Discipline Important?
Most of us create blocks to what we really want because we think we are not good enough, pretty enough, rich enough, or whatever is enough (the list goes on).
These beliefs about “not being enough” are lies we have created to keep ourselves safe. Because to improve our quality of life, we have to actually make changes.
Changes are terrifying to your brain. The brain’s job is to keep you safe, and even though what you live is not what you want, your brain feels safe because you know it. Making changes can feel unsafe; therefore, we create so many ways not to make any changes.
Tell yourself out loud that it is safe for you to heal; it is safe for you to know what you need to know and make the changes you desire. Say it out loud so your subconscious mind can hear, and know it is safe for you to know.
Emergency Medicine Physician
Improve your level of satisfaction
What makes our lives amazing is when we feel amazing living them! We can improve our quality of life by improving our level of satisfaction with our lives and what we have in them.
Most of us are conditioned to focus on what is not working in our lives, making it harder for things to change. We can train ourselves to spend more time focusing on what is working in our lives, thus giving space for more positive things to be invited into our experience.
How do we do that? Here are some suggestions.
Appreciate more and let go of criticism and judgment. I find it helpful to let other people (and myself) off the hook as often as possible. I try to remember that everyone is doing the best they can.
Give less attention to the negative and more attention to the positive. Look for the positive aspects of people and situations. By focusing on positive aspects, we focus on what we like and what feels good to us, thus reinforcing it and calling more of it into our experience.
If you don’t like some aspect of your life, then try seeing it as you want it to be rather than how it is currently. If we continue to see things as they are, then we hold them there and do not allow the change that could be right around the corner.
Make plans, get excited by your desires, and let them call you forward into what you want. It is much more fun and satisfying to do what we feel inspired and excited to do.
Think about what you want and why you want it. This will get the juices flowing and allow the excitement to build.
Get in the habit of expecting things to go well. The more you trend this way with your thoughts, the more this will be what you experience.
My mantra is “things are always working out for me and all those around me,” and it has served me well in many aspects of my life.
Mike Hoaglin, MD
Medical Director, DrHouse
Advocate for yourself more often
Advocating for yourself can help you live the life you deserve, as you are vocalizing your needs based on what you know is best for yourself.
If you feel you deserve a raise, then talk to your boss. If you think your relationship is one-sided, open up to your partner about it. Advocating for yourself is all about getting your needs met, which in turn helps to make your life better.
Doing so helps you to be your best no matter the situation and can also help others to see you as someone who is confident in themselves. This can open more opportunities and help improve your quality of life.
We all need to be able to stand up for ourselves and those in our community if we want to live the best life we can.
You never know what someone will say or do unless you speak up, and you would be surprised how much better your life can get if you simply start advocating. This also helps you be more independent, which is helpful if you may be relying on other people.
Independence helps you to be more confident and self-aware, making it easier for you to figure out your needs and the needs of others.
Founder and Chief Editor, Seniorstrong
Each of us has a slightly different definition of what a high-quality life is, just as everyone has a different definition of success. All of us can, however, take some steps to enhance our quality of life.
Making even a few small changes can improve the quality of your life and enhance your well-being. Regardless of what you mean by “the good life,” it’s crucial that you enjoy and find meaning in your everyday experiences.
Almost everything you do daily shapes and defines your quality of life.
Take every opportunity you can to learn new things
Take every day as an opportunity to learn something new. Our minds crave stimulation and challenges, and for that, it is essential we attempt to learn something new. This is key to happiness and mental satisfaction.
Learning new things could mean learning a new skill or hobby or even gaining more knowledge. This newfound knowledge can also help us appreciate our lives more as we view them from a broader perspective.
You could gain this knowledge from the virtually infinite digital world—find some “how-to” or DIY videos, an enlightening article, or some informative documentary—anything that can stimulate your mind and engage you in active learning.
In no time, you’ll become not only a better-informed individual but also a much happier person.
Change your perspective and embrace gratitude
There might not even be the need for you to change anything to live a better and more fulfilling life. Maybe all it takes is a change of perspective.
Keep a gratitude journal and write down everything you are grateful for in your life. You can also make a simpler gratitude list at the end of the day.
Limit social media use
It’s easy to fall prey to the endless cycle of comparing yourself to others. Social media is notorious for encouraging such comparisons. By decreasing the time you spend on such platforms, you enjoy life more and consequently improve your quality of life significantly.
Related: 25+ Benefits of a Social Media Detox
Fuel your body with good food
You are what you eat, literally. Our bodies run like a car, they need the right fuel to run efficiently, and routine maintenance is required to keep going to avoid breaking down.
Years of eating what I call the “3 F’s”: Fried, Fatty, and Fast Foods, can have a profound impact on your body’s ability to function optimally, and ultimately your quality of life will be impacted.
Using food as medicine and sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet can dramatically reduce inflammation, decrease the risk of heart disease, help to regulate blood sugar, and even boost energy.
When you fuel your body with good food, you feel good, simple as that.
Key tips: Have 3-5 servings of veggies a day, eat high-quality grass-fed meats, add in good fats like seeds, nuts, olives, and avocados, and eat organic when possible, along with staying hydrated can go a long way to help with energy and improve your quality of life.
Regulating sleep is the key to improving every aspect of your life
You may have heard it before, but sleep is your foundation for better health and improved quality of life.
If you are not sleeping at least 6 hours (ideally 8) of high-quality sleep, it can profoundly impact your energy, mood, and even pain levels. The reason why we sleep is to give our body a chance to repair and heal from the day’s activities.
If your sleep is off, your body does not have the opportunity to repair and heal like it needs to, and your energy takes the hit.
There are so many things that can cause poor sleep. Some common ones involve your mind racing before bed, aka “monkey mind,” which prohibits you from falling asleep in a timely manner.
Or you can have the opposite: you can fall asleep with no problem but wake up during the night or even fall asleep and “just keep sleeping” but don’t wake up rested.
In my practice, I have seen a direct correlation between my chronic pain patients and insomnia. When they start sleeping better, their pain levels actually get better.
Working on ways to improve sleep is essential for improving your quality of life. One simple trick for people with a “monkey mind” is to do either a guided meditation or belly breathing when trying to fall asleep.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
There is an abundance of research on the benefits of gratitude. Whether we decide to say it to ourselves; say it out loud; write it down in a journal, or say it as a thank you to someone; the act of expressing our gratitude over anything—particularly the basics like breathing can improve the quality of our lives.
If we attune ourselves to a great moment each day and write a description of that moment, we are investing a few minutes in return for establishing a habit that enhances how we live.
Imagine the impact of being able to review your own collection of great moments accumulated over time.
You may think you remember them, but unless we preserve them, either by writing or taking a picture that symbolizes the greatness of the moment, we easily may forget. Being grateful for the great moments is a practice of gratitude.
Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Reflect: “Do I like (or love) my life?”
If you are feeling dissatisfied with the quality of your current life, you can take steps to improve it.
Start with self-growth
Ideally, you will assess your words and behaviors daily and determine what improvements need to happen the next day. This has you engaged in a dynamic process of personal growth. If you aren’t at this ideal, this is a good place to start.
Striving each day to improve your practice of character qualities such as patience, dependability, positive spirit, creativity, and more invites energy and life to be part of your daily experience.
Be cautious that you don’t respond to yourself with criticism when you aren’t making as much progress as you want to. That response will squelch your spirit, and it will decrease the quality of your life.
Be in a learning mindset
Curiosity and learning about something new increase energy and excitement in your life. Your mind expands with new ideas, and the topics you can talk to others about increase. You add to your skill set and nurture your talents. You are rarely bored or boring.
Expand your experiences
Deliberately stepping into new experiences can increase the quality of your life. Travel, movies, museums, nature-based activities, games, sports, and other choices can expand your world and enhance your joy in life.
Finding ways to be of service to others, either on your own or with groups, takes you out of your small world and can be very fulfilling.
Build close friendships
It takes time and effort to develop close friendships but having them in your life is a definite quality booster.
You have people who encourage you and cheer your progress. There is mutual sharing and support between you. You learn from them and have people to share experiences with. In some cases, a friendship might even turn into a high-quality relationship.
Pause and reflect regularly
As you make changes to enhance the quality of your life, ensure that you pause to reflect regularly on your thoughts, feelings, and responses to what you are doing.
- What is working well?
- What needs to be adjusted or changed?
- What needs to be added or deleted?
- Is the quality of your life improving?
This regular reality check will keep you on track and increase your happiness with your choices.
Health Educator | Author “The Power Lies In You: An Epic Guide To Regenerative Self Care“
To have a sustainable self-care routine, you need to protect your mind, body, and soul so that you can survive life occurrences that may throw you a curveball.
Do this by investing in your morning and evening routine by doing everything you enjoy minus the phone and the expectation from others.
Be prepared for unwanted interruptions
Being mentally prepared for unexpected interruptions or occurrences gives you power over the situation, not others having control over your reaction.
Unwanted interruptions in your life most often bring about stress. When you are prepared for those unexpected times that cause you stress, it gives you the power to react reasonably.
Become aware of what triggers stress in your life, which is anything that alters your normal equilibrium, and do what is necessary to prevent those occurrences or lessen the intensity.
Avoid artificial self-care
Synthetic self-care is not conducive to a regenerative lifestyle because it creates an imbalance in your mood, mental alertness, and motor performance.
The most common synthetic self-care practice is caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can aid in alertness, yet it does not provide the alertness and decision-making ability that getting enough sleep can give you.
Caffeine also reinforces the development of other unhealthy behaviors while still affecting one’s mood, mental alertness, and motor performance.
Set a timer
Knowing that a reasonable timer is set on your duties helps your hands work more efficiently. Time is a very loving, giving, yet very unforgiving thing.
Time squandered can never be recovered, yet when you harness the value of time, you can use that power to motivate you to effectively complete each task with diligence. This ultimately results in greater satisfaction and contentment.
Quality of life starts with self-knowledge
To be happier and to feel satisfied in our quality of life, we must think about feeling good, bad, and right in an atmosphere of growth.
In other words, we should try to:
- Create opportunities to feel positive emotions.
- Eliminate sources of negative emotions.
- Pursue a life that reflects our values.
- Find experiences of growth, learning, and teaching.
Happiness and a “good” quality of life don’t happen to us; it’s a state we can seek to cultivate.
Over the past two years, we’ve lived through an extraordinary number of challenges—recession; a global pandemic; social, political, and environmental instability—which has left us uncertain about the future.
In response, many Americans are having a collective moment of redefining what’s important to them, rewriting the rulebook, and taking action to create the life they want now—not waiting for “someday.”
Now more than ever, people are deciding to re-architect their lives to reflect their values better and improve their quality of life in what is being coined by Northwestern Mutual as “The Great Realization.“
In response to unprecedented challenges and the current uncertainty in the world, people are asking:
- “What’s actually important to me?”
- “What would actually improve my quality of life?”
- “How should I balance my short-term goals against my long-term goals?”
In fact, in the 2022 Northwestern Mutual Great Realization study, 95% of respondents said that the past two years have shown them the importance of pursuing their dreams now instead of waiting for “someday.”
Create a financial plan to help you embark on your “great realization”
In conflict, many survey respondents also say there’s at least one factor holding them back from taking action. The biggest of these factors? Finances — cited by 57%. If this resonates with you, a financial plan can help you embark on your Great Realization and immensely improve your quality of life.
When we have the ability to spend on, or save towards, things that matter to us, it can help make the quality of our lives happier. While money can’t buy happiness, it can buy things that can contribute to happiness—whether that’s a trip, a new home, starting a new business, etc.
No matter where you are in your financial planning process (even if that means you haven’t begun the process yet), an advisor can help you navigate the process and ask questions to pinpoint your goals and what would improve your personal quality of life.
A solid, well-considered financial plan means that we can work toward creating a quality of life that reflects our values—both for now and for the future.
For example, philosophers and scientists both agree that having strong ties to other people is the key to happiness. A financial plan could support this value by making it possible to buy a plane ticket to visit your sister in the near term or for savings to pay for education or special care for someone we love in the future.
Ultimately, identifying what’s important to you is the most crucial first step to improving your quality of life.
In my years of studying happiness and human nature, I’ve learned that there’s no magic, one-size-fits-all solution for building a happier, healthier, more creative, and more productive life.
Quality of life starts with self-knowledge. We must know ourselves—our temperament, our interests, our values. The better we know ourselves, the more readily we can construct a life that will work for us and fulfill us.
Improve how you think about your life, others, and yourself
Have you ever wondered, “Is there any way I can improve my life?” We’ve heard it all before:
- “I wish I had more money.”
- “I wish my job was easier.”
- “I wish my kids could be better behaved.”
On and on we go, complaining about everything that’s wrong. And yet, we might not be taking advantage of some very simple ways to improve our quality of life.
The quality of your life is largely determined by the quality of your thinking.
Your thoughts are the seeds from which your actions grow. If you think poorly, you will produce bad results. If you think well, you will have good results. This is true in all areas of life—including health and fitness.
“How can I improve my quality of life?”
The answer lies in improving how you think about your life, others, and yourself. I invite you to join me on a journey through some of the most powerful tools for improving our thinking so that we can improve our lives in every area we choose to focus on.
Life Coach and Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist
Define the life you want to live
Everyone is chasing happiness, joy, and love, but many people don’t know what they want or need to be happy.
I often work with my clients on writing a letter or journal entries about where they want to be in their ideal world and what their perfect life would look like.
Instead of beginning this journal entry with things like career, home, and money, I have them start with how they want to feel and what emotions they want to have, such as balanced, loved, and joyful.
From there, I have them write about an ideal lifestyle—not from a materialistic perspective but what you want your day to be like, calm, fun, work, fitness, and outdoor time.
Then we move on to community; what do you want your community to feel like, be like? Then from there, what type of career lights you up, brings you all the emotions you described, and does it or can it fit your ideal lifestyle? If not, can it be in a different way fit your ideal lifestyle?
Defining your ideal life helps you see what brings you joy, gives meaning to your life, and starts to give you a road map to your future.
Once you have defined your ideal life and lifestyle and completed the letter or journal entry, put it away for about a week. Choose a day (and put it on your calendar) that you will return to and reread the journal entry.
As you reread your journal entry or letter, let it really sink and visualize the new ideal life you have designed. Remember to focus on feelings and emotions rather than material things.
Then think about what in your life—people, places, situations, things you may need to let go of in your current life to reach this ideal life you have designed.
- One-sided friendships
- Volunteer groups that don’t align with you anymore
- Communities that don’t lift you up
Create a list in your journal of everything that comes to your mind and heart.
Put the journal away for a few days, and pick a day (and put it on your calendar) to come back to your journal entry or letter. Reread your entry about the life you designed and what you need to let go of over again.
Circle 3-5 things from your list that you will and are ready to let go of in the next two weeks and work on letting those things go. Repeat this until you have gone through your entire list.
Change is hard; we are hard-wired to resist change, so don’t beat yourself up if you are unsuccessful at first. Congratulate yourself for trying and try again. This process can take weeks or months. Go at your own pace, be patient with yourself and keep working through the list.
Now each time you let something go, think of something you want to let into your life, friendships, community, and more time to yourself. Whatever it is, write it down in your journal next to what you are letting go of and begin to be open to allowing what your write down into your life.
You may find that as you let go of some of the things you are ready to let go of, the things you want to let in naturally begin to flow into your life. By letting go and making space in your life for new things and by being aware of what you want to let in, you may subconsciously begin to bring these things into your life.
Some of the things you want to bring in may take some work on your part; for example, you may want to move to a new town, change jobs, or join a new organization.
These all take time and effort, but when they lead you toward the new life that you have designed, it won’t feel like work at all. Each step you take brings you one step closer to your future and your new life!
It will bring your joy, happiness, self-love, and excitement. All the things you were seeking.
Now begin—start your letter or journal entry. You’ve got this. Your new life is waiting for you!
Sara Oblak Speicher, MBA MCC
Master Coach and Transformation Mentor | Host, Make Your Life Your Legacy
Define yourself for yourself
Many factors determine the quality of life, and as a master life coach, I offer that each individual defines them for themselves. Once we have this baseline, we can dive into a self-exploratory journey with greater discernment.
- What do we want?
- What does our soul yearn for?
- What kind of habits, experiences, events, places, and spaces make us feel good, uplifted, expansive, and energized?
On the contrary, which ones feel like we have a vampire sucking the life force out of us, giving us nauseating headaches, and filling us up with anxiety, and fear?
As a former international elite athlete turned business owner right around when I became a mom, these questions helped me navigate the rollercoaster called life with greater ease, especially as my priorities and identities kept shifting along with the needs of my family.
In particular, to heal from depression and severe burnout (which I was taken to the ER more than once).
Here’s another thing this experience, as well as 11+ years of working with global clients from all walks of life, has taught me: mindfulness and all of our most devoted spiritual practices, good diets, and physical exercises can only do so much if we are in a toxic environment. Or try to fit in a place we (no longer) belong.
Sometimes, the only way to improve our quality of life requires more than delegating and eliminating tasks we don’t want to do. It requires us to be brave, audacious even, and bring certain relationships to completion. Or to move halfway across the world.
Mindset and Alcohol-Free Coach
Remove alcohol from your routine
The removal of this one substance from your daily or weekly routine can have a major positive outcome on how you feel, perform, and even how you think about the world.
Curious? It’s alcohol. Removing it can uplevel your life in myriad ways—and quickly. Physically, abstaining from alcohol leads to:
- Better sleep (REM sleep increases)
- Better skin
- You may lose some weight
- You’ll decrease your chances of 7 different types of cancers
- Obviously, you’ll have absolutely no risk of the misery of a hangover
- You may also see better gains at the gym and healthier nails and hair
Although many people drink to take the edge off stress and anxiety, it actually does the opposite, increasing your risk of anxiety and even depression; giving it a break will decrease anxiety, and in all likelihood, you’ll feel more mental clarity as well (goodbye brain fog!).
Many also report increased feelings of peace, optimism, sustained energy, and self-confidence.
Plus, there are practical benefits like:
- Money saved
- Improved work performance
- More time to read or take up a new hobby
- Being a positive role model for your kids (or to those of others)
Don’t believe me? Take a minimum of a 30-day break from alcohol to try it out for yourself. The ways your life improves may really surprise you!
Set aside time for unplugged quiet time, prayer, or meditation
Quality of life is vital to everyone. We all want to wake up feeling happy, healthy, and hopeful. Sometimes, it can be hard to achieve this. That’s why it’s essential to set aside at least 10 minutes each day, preferably first thing in the morning, for unplugged prayer or meditation.
Unplugged means do not look at your phone before or during this time. Doing this consistently will help you get clear on the next steps to take each day to live into your potential and move forward in making your goals become a reality.
It’s also important to surround yourself with people who make you want to be better. These are the people who will support and encourage you on your journey to improve your quality of life.
So, start your day with a few minutes of unplugged quiet time and prayer or meditation. Then, take a look at your day and identify what tasks you can delegate, skip or ask for help with.
This will help you eliminate overwhelm and busyness and focus on the things that matter most to make your biggest vision for your life become a reality.
Quality of life is important, so make sure you design each day with time to take care of yourself both mentally and physically and leave room to say yes to the things that matter most so that you can live without regrets.
Senior Editor, Tandem
We’ve probably all been there at one time or another. We think about all the “what ifs” in life that would improve our lives. Is there a trick someone could use to improve themselves? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all trick that would work, but there are some things you can do to improve the quality of your life.
Stop comparing yourself to others
In today’s modern world, full of influence from social media, it’s hard not to compare ourselves to others. We go online, look through Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and more, and see others doing things we only wish we could do.
Some people make thousands of dollars (if not more) doing this. We must remind ourselves that these people reflect a small percentage of the population.
Don’t be envious of them or what they have done. Just be proud of yourself and your accomplishments.
Stop worrying about what other people say or do
Admittedly, society seems to have become more aware of fat-shaming and age-shaming (discriminating based on weight or age.)
Even so, there are still those online who hide behind the veil of the internet. These people say mean things to strangers—just because they can.
Remember that these people are often referred to as trolls, and rightfully so. You don’t need to worry about what they say or do. Focus on what you say and what you do, as these are the things that will make your life better (and you might even become a better person while you’re at it.)
If you want to be better, make yourself better
The term “better” is subjective. Some people think one thing is better, but this will differ for others. There are many ways we can better ourselves.
For example, if you aren’t making enough money in your current profession, consider returning to school. You can get a certificate or degree that might enable you to make more money. This can be in your current field or something entirely different.
Just make sure it’s doing something you love. Or, if you aren’t in great shape, start going for daily walks or join a gym. Remember, you can make yourself better one step at a time, literally.
Don’t think that you need to tackle everything all at once. It’s the small changes we make that, over time, can add up to make a big difference.
Maybe you need to start by organizing your house. Don’t think of the task as, “My whole house is a mess!” Instead, start with a closet, then move to the next closet, then move on to a room, and so on.
You don’t have to finish organizing your entire house in one day or even a week. But, before you know it, your house will be organized, and your life will be better.
Don’t worry, be happy
Bobby McFerrin had great advice for us in 1988 when he released the number-one song on the Billboard Top 100, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Though that song is almost 35 years old, the message is still relevant today.
If we want to improve the quality of our life, we need to be positive. Breathe. Take everything one step at a time.
Improving your life may be easier said than done, but it’s probably not as hard as you thought. Take your time, think positively, and do what you can when you can. Before you know it, your life will have the quality of life you were looking for.
Michelle Johnson Jerome
Master Health Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, and Yoga Instructor, Balanced Healthstyles
Develop connections where you share a common purpose
Create connections with other people. The kind of connections where people share a common purpose and feel they are in alliance with each other.
In short, the better your relationships, the better you feel, and the better your quality of life.
When you think about the important connections in your life, the people who helped you form the choices in your life, ask yourself, “What did they do?” and “How did they relate to you?“
Odds are it was a combination of some of these elements:
- The ability to listen. They paid attention and heard what you said.
- Communication skills, they gave clear, understandable guidance and advice.
- They “got” you. They saw you as a unique person and paid attention to your behaviors. They observed you to gain a better understanding of you.
- They didn’t judge you. They practiced nonjudgement where you were concerned.
- They considered how the world would look if they walked in your shoes. They showed you empathy and understanding.
To improve your quality of life, develop connections where you share a common purpose.
Even more importantly, ensure that the relationships within your connections include behaviors and attitudes of listening, communicating, observation, nonjudgement, empath, and understanding.
Some great books on this subject are by Daniel Goleman.
Fitness, Lifestyle, and Nutrition Coach
Everyone wants to live a happy and fulfilling life, but sometimes it can be challenging to know where to start when nothing you are doing seems to make you 100% happy.
Identifying your true feelings and stance in these three areas can help guide you with places to start and make changes if necessary.
Focus on your relationships
As “they” say, we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
Evaluate your circle. Do the people you hang with boost you up or bring you down? Do they aspire to do great things in their own regard, or are they complacent in life and their aspirations? If they are duds—it’s time to move on.
If you are not hanging out with anyone, it’s time to spend time with loved ones, reach out to old friends, and make an effort to meet new people. Strong social connections are crucial for a happy life.
Take care of your physical health
Eat nutritious food, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. Taking care of your body will not only help you feel your best, but it’s imperative to longevity.
If you are all walled up at home, unable to get out because the lifestyle you have created for yourself is making you ill, you need to change.
Make sure you spend time doing things that you enjoy
If you can, find a career you love doing so you don’t have to work a day in your life. In a situation that isn’t possible, make sure you allow time in your life for your passions and hobbies.
If you don’t have a hobby or passion, then it’s time to try new things and find ways to have fun every day. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but one suggestion would be to start with your relationship circle.
Are their groups or hobbies the people you know, love, and trust participate in? Starting there would be a good first place.
By focusing on these three areas, you can start making positive changes one step at a time, leading to a happier and more enjoyable life.
Founder and Chief Blogger, Healthy Happy Impactful
Be the master of your technology
Technology is an integral part of our lives. We can connect with loved ones, check our email at a moment’s notice, and even use it to get to any place we want. When it’s used well, it’s a spectacular advancement in our society.
The problem? Almost everyone is addicted to it. (Phones, in particular, were created to be slot machines in our pockets).
It has become one of the biggest soul suckers of our day. Not only does technology give us intermittent reinforcement (did I just get a message?!), but they play into our need to be socially accepted.
It’s why it’s so easy to check just one thing while in line at the store—or waiting for food. It’s also why you look up 45 minutes later and wonder where the time has gone.
When your child is talking to you, and you’re on the phone? Your phone gets the attention. And that beautiful Instagram photo of your friend? It is showing her best moment while you’re comparing your worst.
The best way to put your phone in its place is to put it in place.
- Decide on no-phone zones and keep all technology in a drawer during that time. Start with deep morning work, family mealtimes, and conversation.
- Check out the Moment App. It will give you a heads-up on how much time you’re really on your phone.
- Delete your apps from your phone. Use them only on your computer.
- Turn off your texting and social media notifications. Look at your messages when you want to, not when your phone tells you that you should.
Using just one or two of these tips will give you a noticeable boost in quality of life. And all it takes is a few tiny changes.
Know your recharge style
When it comes to socializing, everyone is different. While some prefer to be surrounded by people in loud environments, others prefer peace and solitude in order to relax and recharge their minds.
To improve your quality of life, get to know your recharge style and how it can affect your mental health.
Extroverts gravitate towards groups because they’re recharged by external stimuli. Introverts, on the other hand, are quite the opposite. Figure out which of these you most align with, and don’t try to be someone you’re not.
If you know that going to a party will leave you feeling drained, be prepared to just say no. Equally, if being alone leaves you feeling isolated and lonely, try to socialize and put yourself out there.
Being conscious of your social energy can lead to a far higher quality of life, as you spend time in environments that make you feel happiest and most fulfilled.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I improve my quality of life?
A better quality of life leads to increased happiness and satisfaction. When you feel good about your life, you can experience more joy and contentment, which in turn can have positive effects on your mental and emotional well-being.
Moreover, higher quality of life can also contribute to improved physical health. By making conscious choices that promote good health, such as eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep, you can reduce your risk of developing chronic conditions and enjoy more energy and vitality.
Furthermore, enhancing your quality of life can create a positive ripple effect, influencing not just your own well-being but also that of those around you. By focusing on self-improvement and personal growth, you can inspire and uplift others, contributing to a stronger and more supportive community.
What are the things that contribute to a quality life?
• Health and well-being: Prioritize physical, mental, and emotional health by exercising regularly, eating well, and managing stress. Adequate sleep, mindfulness practices, and seeking professional help when needed are essential.
• Strong relationships: Cultivate and maintain healthy relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. Engage in meaningful conversations, practice active listening, and invest time bonding with your loved ones.
• Financial stability: Strive for financial security by developing a budget, setting financial goals, and saving for the future. Financial stability reduces stress and enables you to enjoy life more fully.
• Personal growth: Invest in self-improvement through education, skill development, and self-reflection. Embrace new challenges and never stop learning, as personal growth contributes to a more fulfilling life.
• Work-life balance: Achieve a balance between your professional and personal life by setting boundaries, delegating tasks, and taking regular breaks. Work-life balance helps maintain physical and mental well-being and enhances overall life satisfaction.
• Hobbies and interests: Engage in activities you love and explore new interests. Hobbies provide a sense of accomplishment, reduce stress, and bring joy to your life.
• Community involvement: Connect with your community through volunteering, joining clubs, or attending local events. Community involvement strengthens your support network and enhances your sense of belonging.
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