Four Things you can do to Improve your Quality of Life
Quality of life is defined as “the degree to which an individual is healthy, comfortable, and able to participate in or enjoy life events”. The ways we live and engage with the world can impact our happiness and how we feel about life in general. Seeking fulfilment from daily activities, like going out for a coffee with a friend or immersing yourself in nature on a walk, are so important for our wellbeing. However, sometimes certain situations take over, such as stressful work deadlines, and we forget how important it is to put ourselves first.
Luckily there are plenty of ways you can improve your overall quality of life. Here are four we would recommend:
1. Put your health first
If you’re not looking after yourself properly, it’s likely to affect how you feel in general. It’s so important to maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a balanced diet to ensure you have high energy levels every day, but sometimes health issues are unavoidable. In this case, you want to make sure you’re receiving the best care from healthcare professionals, and you can do this by taking out private health insurance.
While this venture does cost money, it’s worth it for the benefits. With a private health insurance policy, you’ll be seen by healthcare professionals faster than the NHS, be treated by specialists, have access to a private room rather than a hospital ward, and can often choose which hospital you’re treated in.
2. Maintain healthy relationships
Happiness is found in the quality of our relationships. The better we connect with others, the happier and more satisfied we’ll be in life. Healthy relationships can impact five areas of our lives: purpose, psychological wellbeing, happiness, social wellbeing, and physical health. So, it’s essential we’re maintaining connections with our loved ones, especially considering that relationships can easily influence your mood, how you view the world, and your own expectations of yourself.
Try to schedule regular days out and meet-ups with those you like being around — this is more difficult during the pandemic, but you can always fall back on phone and video calls. Invest in your relationships by putting in time and effort, and taking a genuine interest in the person’s life and hobbies. This helps to build the foundations of a healthy relationship. Without this base, you might find yourself in toxic situations that bring you down.
3. Find meaning in your work
Your career forms a large part of your identity and shapes how you feel about yourself as a result. So, having a job that you enjoy and find purpose in is much better for your general wellbeing than a role that’s directionless and emotionally draining. If you work in a toxic environment, for instance, this is bound to negatively impact your mental health. No matter the size of your paycheck, it’s not worth it if you aren’t happy and fulfilled. Perfect jobs providing meaningful work 24/7 are hard to come by, but there are ways of improving your satisfaction at work.
Work tends to be meaningful if it aligns with your life’s purposes and values. Identify what these are and see whether your job serves them. For example, do you have a healthy work-life balance that allows you to engage in your hobbies and spend time with loved ones? Does your job match your passion? Another way to find meaning at work is mixing up your days with a variety of tasks rather than doing the same things day-in day-out — this may depend on the nature of your role, though. However, if you really don’t enjoy your current position, perhaps it’s time to look for new opportunities. You’ll find more meaning in your work if you love what you do!
4. Appreciate the little things
It’s easy to get caught up in the milestones of life, such as a job promotion, wedding, or new home. So much so that we tend to forget about the little things that happen every day. When you ignore simple pleasures like a fresh pair of socks or the flowers that have bloomed in your garden, you miss out on a considerable amount of your life.
A 2012 study found that greater appreciation leads to increased life satisfaction, which naturally bodes well for your happiness levels. In fact, the positive emotions felt when you start to notice these small things, like someone holding the door open for you or a steaming hot drink on a frosty winter’s night, could actually improve your health. Greater positivity has been linked to a number of benefits such as a strengthened immune system, reduced pain and stress, and better heart health.
Start to appreciate the little things by keeping track of them. As you go about your day-to-day life, pay attention to everything and use all of your senses. Then at the end of the day, write down anything that stood out or made you smile. These don’t necessarily have to be physical things — even just a strong feeling or something you were grateful for is worth noting. Doing this will lead to greater appreciation and a boost in overall happiness.