Ways to improve your life today

YES, it can be that easy. Make these changes today and see what a difference a day makes.


Start making daily affirmations

Maybe you are cynical about meditation or affirmations, but studies have shown that daily affirmations help people achieve their goals and become happier and more fulfilled.

The good news is, there is no set way to do this; experiment and find a way that suits you. You can choose daily or weekly affirmations, or have a few.

Write down your affirmations, take some time to get them into simple and easy to remember sentences such as "Today I will be positive and happy. I will treat each person I encounter with respect".

Take ten minutes at the start of the day and find a place where you won't be overheard or interrupted, and repeat your affirmations out loud.


Get outside

This is not about exercise, although any activity is good.

This is about the sensory experience of getting outside and taking in nature, no matter what the conditions are.

Whether it is freezing cold or boiling hot prepare yourself appropriately for the conditions and then get outside.

Look around you, take in the sights, smells and sounds of the world around you.

Whether you are out in the country or in a busy, bustling city, getting out and about at least once a day connects you to your environment and gives you a sense of being part of the world around you.


Give yourself 30 minutes

Thirty minutes out of 24 hours. Doesn't sound like much, does it?

But you would be surprised at just how difficult it is to allocate just half an hour to yourself every day.

But recent studies have shown that taking just 30 minutes a day to do something that makes you happy will improve your mental and physical wellbeing.

This is not time to do something you think you should be doing; this is time to do something simply because it makes you happy.

Give yourself a pedicure, read a trashy magazine, or take a long bath... whatever it is that makes you feel good.


Take charge of your space

If your living space or your work space is in chaos, chances are your head will be too.

Creating environments that are organized and pleasant will improve your outlook.

You don't need to undergo a complete renovation, just choose one space at a time and do small things to make it one you are happy and comfortable in.

The simple things are often the most impactful: ensure your home is clean and tidy, especially the bedroom.

Take time before you go to bed to get your room in order.

Waking up in a clean and pleasant environment gets your day off to a positive start.


Take care of your health

Is that shoulder still sore? Knee still playing up? Or just feeling a little sluggish?

Stop pushing health issues aside and take time to attend to your health.

Women in particular have a tendency to put their own needs last and underestimate the cumulative effects seemingly small health issues can have on overall wellbeing.

Whether it is setting up a doctor's appointment, having a massage or seeking expert advice from a nutritionist, you need to make time to get your health in order.


Give thanks

Look around you. Look at the life you have. The friends you have, or the family you have.

No matter what problems you may face on a daily basis there is always something to be thankful for.

Often more than you might imagine.

Taking time to deliberately think about the things in your life that you are grateful for, brings to your attention just how wonderful life is.

And as we all know, a daily burst of positivity and gratefulness is great therapy.


Help someone

In the US, nearly 200 individuals were followed by psychologists for 50 years in one of the longest-running social science studies ever conducted.

The research looked into what constitutes a happy life.

Researchers found that helping other people consistently gave the individuals a sense of wellbeing.

The study found that feeling like you are making a difference in the world in a positive way is essential to good mental health.

It doesn't need to be a major commitment to start with; try something simple like visiting an elderly neighbour, taking someone's bins in for them, or offering to help someone carry their groceries.

You may feel awkward to begin with, but stick at it, it will become more comfortable.


Write it down

You don't have to JK Rowling to enrich your life through writing. The physical act of writing - be it an affirmation, list, note or diary - can be a cathartic process.

Furthermore, a recent study in Sweden with more than 250 participants found that writing down a concept, idea or goal improves your chances of achieving it by a staggering 43%.

And keeping a diary is an effective tool in establishing patterns of behaviour and tracking your progress on achieving goals.

If you have negative thoughts, writing them down can help resolve many of them and find some clarity around ongoing personal issues.


Stop the bitching

Do you find yourself complaining or whingeing a lot? Always have a bad word to say about someone?

Or are you a glass half-empty kind of person?

Well, not only is it a waste of time, recent research has found that negative thoughts are toxic to our overall wellbeing.

In extreme cases negative thinking can cause very real physical problems such as eating disorders and stress-related heart problems.

It takes time to change this pattern of behaviours but it starts with one simple step: view the events and people in your life - yourself included - with love and respect.

Find the positive in every situation - yes there is always something positive, even in the worst circumstances.

And try to ensure that you are a positive influence on others; people will always be more receptive to positive words than negative ones.


Celebrate you

It may sound like something out of an American reality show but this may be the most important step of all.

Take a good look at yourself and see all of the amazing qualities you have.

Take a moment to acknowledge them to yourself.

You can spend all the time you like working on the things that you feel need improving, but it is just as important to assess yourself and celebrate the wonderful unique qualities you possess.

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