I want to build a better life

There are many paths we can take in trying to improve our quality of life. This post looks quickly at a few of those paths and invites you to set off on a path to learn more about them. Reading time ~ 3 minutes. 

I have an ongoing and unsatiated interest in the different ways people go about improving their life.

I’m interested in both what people define as an ‘improvement’ as well as the different ways they go about it.

In this post, I’ll focus on the latter.

I’ve been organising (in my head) the different ways that people go about making improvements in their life using the following diagram. This diagram is starting to show up in presentations that I give on mental health, self-improvement and self-care.

The basic idea is that you can ‘move the dial’ on any these areas and that doing so may generate positive health, mental health and wellbeing benefits. Thus the invitation is to learn more about these areas and experiment with their modification to see if it produces the outcomes you want.

Changes include:

  • getting more sleep or better quality sleep
  • improving the quality of your diet
  • moving more
  • training yourself to breathe slower, deeper and through the nose
  • articulating your goals and values and regularly self-assessing where you are in relation to those goals and values
  • prioritising and allocating time to tasks that are consistent with your goals and values
  • creating and protecting the time necessary to do deep focused creative work
  • expanding your perspectives/knowledge/skills through ongoing professional development
  • learning how to create relaxed mental states through breathing, yoga, meditation, time in nature and relaxation techniques
  • gaining insights on the functioning of the mind through contemplative practices like meditation
  • developing mental models and ways of thinking that help you better navigate through difficult situations
  • building and nurturing connections to people, places, animals, nature and objects
  • increasing time spent in leisure activities – activities that are done for the enjoyment, not the outcome
  • nurturing your living and working spaces so they are functional and enjoyable places to be
  • Paying close attention to what you consume through news, social media, and limiting content that elicits unhelpful levels of anxiety or stress
  • Paying attention to how you allocate your time, money and attention and better aligning their allocation with your goals, values and circumstances

If one of these sounds interesting to you, but you don’t know where to start, let me know in the comments. I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction.

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'How to' series Healthy Lifestyle Life Skills

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