No matter how happy and content you are with your life, there may come a time where you wish it was just a little better. You might be the type of person who constantly makes lifestyle changes and is always on the lookout for something that you can do that will drastically create a better life.
The good news is that there are lifestyle changes that’ll help you create a better life without a lot of money or huge adjustments. You can focus on lifestyle changes and become happier without spending a ton of money. Sometimes lifestyle changes only take a simple shift in your mindset or a small act such as setting aside some time each day just for yourself.
I’ve gone through times in my life where things were going okay—I wasn’t feeling sad, angry, or disappointed, but on the other hand, I wasn’t overjoyed either. I was fine; which is probably why the feeling of wanting to change my life hit me the hardest. I didn’t have to battle my personal demons or fight to get out a terrible situation nor was I riding a wave of happiness, I could take the time to pause and examine my life.
I knew that it could be better—because it can always be better. No matter how spectacular one’s life is, there’s always room for lifestyle changes and a need to shake up the status quo.
So, I sought out the advice of experts for their ideas of simple lifestyle changes. No one said anything earth-shattering but most were things I needed to be reminded of in order to focus on positive change.
Lifestyle Changes That Create a Better Life
As people, we face criticism daily, if not more, and most of the time the person most critical to us is ourselves. One thing you can do that always helps is to practice some self-compassion. Try to be more understanding and practice self-forgiveness. “Most of us are our own worst critic. Just at the moment when we’re suffering and really need a caring friend, we tend to judge ourselves for what we feel,” says Rev. Connie L. Habash, LMFT. “Instead, embrace yourself with compassion. This means to feel your emotions, without judgment, with a caring understanding attitude.”
Improve your physical well-being:
The benefits of exercise are well known, especially as something which improves your overall health, helps to clear away the cobwebs in your head, and gives you an energy boost. Ashley Wood, RN, BSN, contributor at Demystifying Your Health advises, “The best thing you can do is increase your physical health, which can mean just going for a walk or run in your neighborhood.”
If you take the time to write a list of everything you have in your life and everything you have to be grateful for, you’ll be astounded. Practicing gratitude opens us up for continued positivity in our lives. “Gratitude boosts your positive emotions and has been scientifically proven to increase your satisfaction and quality of life,” says certified holistic health coach Sarah Grimaud. “There’s always something to be thankful for, and you can start small by being thankful for your comfy bed, warm showers—anything at all.”
Everybody these days is way too busy, and we all spend so much time doing things that we forget to stop and appreciate the good things and exceptional moments in our lives. “Often, we’re feeling frazzled and unhappy with life because we’re constantly rushing around,” says Rev. Connie L. Habash. “Like a hamster on a wheel, we may be running to keep pace but getting nowhere. Slowing down your pace can bring more ease to the body, calm the mind, and improve the quality of life.”
Get rid of the toxic people in your life:
Some of the people in our lives aren’t good for us; it could be because they’re hurtful, mean, or just plain toxic, and this includes people on social media. The best thing to do is to remove them from your life in a way that’s as peaceful and painless as possible for both of you. “If you surround yourself with negative people and follow people on social media who complain, how do you think you’ll feel?” asks Sarah Grimaud. “It’s very important to surround yourself with vibes of how you want to feel. Be choosey with what and who you decide to let into your personal world.”
Live in the now:
It’s never healthy getting stuck in the past—going over mistakes you made, relationships that failed, and things that you wished you’d done differently. “Staying in the moment is always the happiest time to focus on,” says Jon Rhodes. “Things are rarely bad in the present. Also, you can focus all your energy on what is actually going on now, rather than waste it on dwelling on the past, or fearing what might happen in the future.”
Spend time doing things you enjoy:
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Of course, we do things that we enjoy, but when you really start to consider how you fill-up the hours of the day, how often do you do the things you want to do and how often the things you have to do? Sometimes we have to make an effort to do the things that are fun. “When we do things that we enjoy, we feel more satisfied with our lives,” says Ashley Wood. “It’s the smaller things that make the biggest difference.”
Change your perspective:
I wasn’t invited to my friend’s niece’s wedding and it really hurt my feelings because I thought of her as a kind of surrogate niece. Anyway, the more I thought about it, the more hurt and resentful I felt. I knew if I didn’t change my point of view, I was going to turn into a big ball of pain, so I worked to reframe the situation.
The niece wasn’t obligated to invite me, and if she had it probably would have been a financial burden to me. I would have had to spend money on plane fare, hotel, incidentals, and a wedding gift. Things are tight right now for me, so by not inviting me, my friend’s niece did me a favor.
Get enough sleep:
Like drinking enough water, getting enough sleep is one of the first healthy habits to go when we get busy, and yet, we all know how important it is. “Irritability, impatience, impulsiveness, low concentration, and tiredness are just a few things which stem from lack of sleep,” says life coach Damon Nailer. “Additionally, inadequate sleep contributes to many health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, and it affects the overall function of our immune system.” Don’t underestimate the power of getting enough zzz’s.
Say “no” more often:
Saying “no” can be challenging but the more you do it, the better you get at it. There’s a lot of power in that tiny word and by using it, will help you to feel empowered, less belligerent, and bitter. In life, we have enough things that we have to do, so if you are given the opportunity to pass on something you don’t want to do, take it.
“If you’re often a people pleaser and not taking care of your needs, you’re going to feel low energy, resentful, and not in a great mood,” says Sarah Grimaud. “So, to improve your quality of life, start being more choosy about what you say yes to. If something isn’t a ‘hell yes,’ consider whether saying no to this request would better serve you and your time.”
Spend time alone:
Being around people is great, but sometimes we spend so much time catering to other people’s needs, we forget about our own. Being by yourself gives you time to focus on what you need and gives you an opportunity to practice self-care. “Time spent alone is a way to charge your batteries,” says life coach Yocheved Golani. “Emotions can safely rise and fall, even resolve, as you ponder the meaning of life and how you wish to deal with challenges, in solitude.”
Without intending to, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut—doing the same things day in and day out. One of many great lifestyle changes is to shake up your routine a little—do something new and different. Blogger Tammy Staley of Midlife Milestones says, “Be spontaneous, book a last-minute flight to a new area. Take a chance to learn a new city, culture, and people.”
Spend less time online:
Surfing the web and interacting on social media can be a major time-suck and it can cause anxiety, especially if you don’t close your screens at least an hour before bedtime. “It’s [time spent online] a known stressor that ruins sleep patterns as well as relationships,” says Yocheved Golani. “Live a real life. Enjoy the sights, sounds, smells, and flavors of actual experiences. They’re good for the soul and psyche.”
Learn something new:
As humans, we are students of life and it’s that learning that keeps us from getting stagnant. “My tip for improving your life without spending much is a simple one: Keep on learning,” says serial entrepreneur Ben Taylor.
There are many benefits to practicing meditation including stress-relief, anxiety control, increased self-awareness, and kindness. “Daily meditation—even if it’s just a few minutes each day—helps people get out of their own heads and radically improves the quality of their lives,” says transformative coach Tristan Gutner. “It’s [meditation] like plugging back into our true energy source.”
Celebrate every win:
Every time you reward yourself, you reinforce the positive which can help benefit the way you think and act. Encourage yourself at every opportunity. “Celebrate all of your blessings, both big and small,” says manifestor, Jaclyn Johnston author of Don’t Feel Stuck! “The compound effect of acknowledging and celebrating yourself each day can really shift your mindset and improve your life.”
Most of these tips cost next to nothing and don’t take a lot of time. The more positive changes you make in your life, the more focus you put on your needs, and the more time you spend doing the things that you love which is a painless way to create a better life for yourself.