Most of us have been there. You feel low and look around desperately searching for anything to boost your moods and bring the that joyful and happy spirit that you so desperately want to feel. Thirsting to try and feel happy again, you sometimes find that you’re pushing yourself to the extreme and still don’t manage to improve your quality of life.
Some time back, I was sailing in this boat feeling a little burnt out at everything I tried to do. I was desperate to feel alive, and I must admit I did some things that I’m not so proud of right now. The company I hung around at that time made things worse. My grades (I was in college then), my relationship with my family and some of my friends terribly crushed, and it just made the situation worse. It took me some time to get a grip on how to improve my quality of life.
To improve the quality of life, you need to work on yourself! From your emotional to your mental health, you need to simply work on yourself! You can get external help to help you with the journey, but YOU are going to do most of the work.
Here are some steps I implemented while regaining control and improving the general quality of life.
Step 1: Do not pile pressure on yourself.
I get it, there are deadlines to meet, and society has maybe put you in a particular position where you have to do some steps. The pressure is always gut-wrenching, and most of the time, you’ll feel like you’re not doing enough.
When I realized my grades had started to drop, I started putting extreme pressure on myself. Like I had this fire inside that was slowly consuming me. Needless to say, I crumbled and could not keep up with the stress.
Maybe your friends already have jobs, perhaps they already have kids, and you’re there desperately trying to get one.
This could be you!
Please DO NOT put extreme pressure on yourself. It is necessary if you’d like to improve your quality of life.
How to avoid piling pressure on yourself to improve your quality of life.
- Avoid Type A behaviour. While it’s reasonable to want to work hard, it is not healthy to have Type A behaviour. People with these habits tend to overwork themselves in trying to get the very best. But then, they forget the very fundamental reason for wanting to get the best; to enjoy. Work hard, but most importantly you need to work smart and be productive.
Related: Productivity tips you need to master.
- Stop listening to others. There’s a reason you are an individual. You’ll grow and move at your own pace. It’s pretty normal to fall in this trap where other people’s words kind of enslave you. You do not have to listen to others.
For the longest time, I’ve struggled with my weight trying to pack up some kilos. I remember I once told my friend of how badly I wanted to gain weight, but she couldn’t understand and ended up scolding me. “Why would you want to gain weight while I want to lose weight? Every time you feel like gaining weight, remember me,” my friend used to tell me.
This used to bug me a lot, and I piled so much pressure on myself to gain weight. However, nothing worked. I, later on, realized I was an ectomorph and gaining weight for us is kinder hard. Immediately I learned this, it just clicked, and I stopped listening to people. From aunts to friends, I just stopped caring what others felt about my weight! Underweight or not, it’s my body! And this is the attitude you should adopt.
- Realize and acknowledge that nothing is actually that important. I know this may seem a little odd and well in some circumstances, some things are essential. However, you need to understand that most things are not that important. Is it a life or death situation? Are there, if any, very dire consequences that you’ll remember and regret in a year? Can you live with yourself afterwards? If not, then why fret?
Step 2: Love yourself.
It took me the longest time to realize that I need to love myself first before the world can love me. I was undergoing a tough breakup, and to me, the world was just a foul ball full of evil people! I remember I didn’t like the thought of acknowledging that I was the root cause of all my issues. But it’s true! I mean have you ever noticed if you hate your forehead, people just tend to see it more? Because that is where you have concentrated most of your energy on!
When you love yourself, everything changes.
And that applies to you too! I chose to recite affirmations every day two times a day. The process was gradual, but I was slowly regaining myself and learning to love and appreciate myself.
A section of my daily handwritten affirmations that I recite twice a day.
You can also take this road and evaluate your journey after one month. It takes 21 days to develop a habit and even reprogram your life. However, you can’t expect to change what you’ve fed your life for many years in just 21 days!
I can promise you that if you maintain this habit, you’ll find that you will gradually be improving your quality of life. Identify the critical areas in your life that you feel like you hate/dislike about yourself and just start on the affirmations.
Step 4: Enjoy the present.
“Yesterday is past, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present,” Source (unknown).
Always take time to live in the moment. Whatever happened yesterday happened, you have no control over that. Tomorrow is somehow out of your reach, all you can do is plan on how it will be. But guess what you have control over? Today!
I always find that I tend to enjoy life and improve my quality of life by experiencing and living every moment. You should too! Living through the COVID-19 pandemic has taught me some of the most basic life principles. ENJOY THE PRESENT!
How to be present.
- Focus on one specific thing, and ignore the rest. Manage your time such that you have ample time to enjoy what really matters to you. I love playing some chess, so I have scheduled some time to play chess.
- Don’t focus on your past failures/accomplishments. Whatever happened, happened, that’s in the past. You need to forget the past and move on to enjoy the present. You cant have a beautiful today if you keep on holding on to the good of the past/ misery of the past or you’re terrified of the future.
- Stop and observe. Life is lovely, and you’ll miss out on enjoying the fantastic nature’s gifts to you if you’re so distracted. Take a walk, ride a bike, observe your environment appreciating and enjoying what life has to offer you.
Step 5: Spend your time with a child.
I know, I know, not everyone is a baby person. But hear me out.
Children see things differently, and that is why they have a higher quality of life than most adults. Ask someone when was the last time they felt really alive and happy, and most people would say when they were kids.
If you have a child, then spend time with them, listen to him/her. Having little siblings has helped me in more ways than I help them. Sometimes I take my time and observe them as they play. And I must say, I’m amazed at how they find joy in the small things in life. I recently did an experiment on them. On one day I brought them some expensive toys (of course they didn’t last a week 😂) and on another day, I came home with candy. Guess what? They were as happy and grateful for the candy as they appreciated the toys.
To them, it doesn’t matter if the gift is expensive or not. They just take it as it comes. And that is how life is supposed to be.
Spending your time with a child will quickly teach you some of the essential rules of life that adulthood has probably stolen from you. So yes, go ahead and spend some time with a baby.
If you do not have a baby, you can volunteer to help to babysit for a friend or even an orphanage.
It might seem a little overwhelming at first, but with time and patience, all will be well. Remember, we are supposed to control life and not the other way round.
I wish you all the best in this journey called life.
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