Chances are, you or someone you know has struggled physically, mentally, emotionally or financially in the past two years. There’s still a big, beautiful world out there, but many people say they don’t enjoy it. The so-called “good ol’ days” are gone, or so they say. I’m a firm believer in the idea that being joyful is a choice. We have zero control over other people’s words and actions. However, we have total control over how we respond. This means that we have a lot of control over our ability to improve quality of life.
Yes, certain issues, circumstances or conditions might affect our ability to function in the way to which we’re accustomed. For the most part, if we’re not incapacitated, chances are, we can make changes to boost our spirits and improve our health. To improve quality of life is sometimes a lot easier than we realize. We get caught up in thinking that there’s a brass ring out there somewhere that we must have in order to be happy. In fact, there are four simple things you can begin doing immediately that will have a positive effect on your well-being.
Improve quality of life by spending time outdoors sans electronics
We live in a modern world where advanced technology has brought inventions that add convenience to our daily lives in many ways. Business opportunities now abound in a global market, where prospective clients and customers can find what they want at the click of a button. (Even if what they want is on the other side of the world!) The fact is, however, that constant exposure to TV, cell phones, computers and other electronics takes a serious toll on our quality of life.
Making a commitment to spend time outdoors, completely “unplugged” can improve your life immediately. If you make it a habit, you’ll undoubtedly notice numerous changes in your state of mind, sleep patterns and sense of well-being. It’s best to find a place where you’re surrounded by nature but not people, cars, buildings, etc. If you slip off your shoes and stand barefoot on the ground (being careful where you walk) the minerals and vibrations of the earth bring healing. Sit somewhere to listen to the sounds of birds or other wildlife and to observe nature. (Perhaps bring along a pair of binoculars.)
If you’ve been wanting to find time to pray or meditate or write in a journal, now’s your chance! The most important aspect of spending time outdoors to promote peace of mind and good health is to leave the electronics at home. If you feel unsafe on your own outdoors, go ahead and carry a cell phone in your backpack but keep it on silent and don’t answer it if it vibrates. Have it with you only for emergencies. Being outdoors also provides a perfect opportunity to get your whole body moving, which is essential to good health and quality of life. Many people in America have become sedentary, which is disastrous to human health. When you’re outdoors, alone, you can bend and stretch, dance, skip, jump, climb hills and more. Your mind, body and soul will reap the benefits!
Eat fresh fruit and veggies to improve quality of life
Exposure to electronics and a sedentary lifestyle has had many ill-effects on us as a society. So, too, has addiction to processed sugar. I’ve said it before here on The Hot Mess Press, and I’ll say it again. If you want to do one thing to improve your quality of life and boost your health, stop eating processed sugar all the time. Our bodies need natural sugars, such as glucose, fructose and sucrose. It’s best to obtain these from whole foods, particularly raw fruits and vegetables. Start eating blackberries, blueberries and citrus fruits (The rinds are good for you, too!) on a daily basis.
Choosing fresh fruits and veggies over cookies, chips or other junk food even a single time instantly improves your quality of life. Making fresh fruits and veggies part of your daily dietary lifestyle will have a tremendously positive effect on your life. Purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables at a grocery store or farmer’s market can be expensive. Consider growing your own to help offset the cost. As a matter of fact, planting and working in a home garden will get you outdoors more often, so there’s that, as well! You don’t have to be an expert. It’s easier than you think.
Whether you plant your own or buy it elsewhere, eating more fruits and vegetables is a simple step you can take to improve quality of life. If you have children, you’ll be doing them a great service by incorporating these foods into their diets from a young age. As it is, the children in America are suffering from conditions such as Type II diabetes and obesity, which were once primarily associated with adults. Poor diets have decreased quality of life in children. You can change that in your own household, simply by replacing processed sugar items with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Make time to do things you enjoy, and stop feeling guilty about it
Americans are not only addicted to sugar. They’re also addicted to busyness, crisis and misery. People wear perpetual busyness like a badge of honor these days. Many fail to mention that their quality of life has taken a nosedive and their families are falling apart. They’ve convinced themselves that they have to hustle 24/7 to succeed, or even to survive. It’s a big, fat lie that the world has fed them, and they’ve swallowed it. Self-care is not selfish. Your job is not so important that you can never take time to do things you enjoy.
No matter what it is, whether you love to read, crochet, build things, refurbish old items, paint, sculpt, swim, run, etc., start doing it. Do it often, on a regular basis. Make it a priority in your life to take time to do the things you enjoy, even if it’s just watching movies! Your quality of life will instantly improve when you stop thinking about work and busyness ’round the clock. Doing things you enjoy has a positive effect on your emotional, mental, spiritual and physical health.
Interact with others in person more often
We’ve become a society who lives through our cell phones. Having in-person interaction with other human beings is at risk for becoming obsolete, even within our own households. God created us to be social, to interact with one another and to help each other in the day-to-day journey of life. In the past two years, especially, many people became convinced that they were not allowed to leave their homes or that it wasn’t safe to do so. Sadly, some people have been so convinced by misinformation, propaganda and fearmongering that they live in fear of human interaction.
If you want to immediately improve your quality of life, start interacting with people again. When is the last time you sat on a porch with a friend, just chatting or enjoying a glass of iced tea? Do you usually text people, or do you still have phone conversations? Talking on the phone isn’t as beneficial as spending time with someone in person. However, it’s better to hear each other’s voices than to rely solely on texting for correspondence. Texting serves a purpose and can even be fun, but it can never replace in-person, human interaction.
We are relational beings. Looking at, listening to and touching each other has a powerful effect on mental, emotional and physical health. You can boost well-being and improve your quality of life by engaging in in-person interaction with others more often.
Remember the four steps
Here’s a quick re-cap of four things you can start doing today to improve quality of life:
- Spend time outdoors on a regular basis with no electronics.
- Eat more raw fruits and vegetables, and eliminate processed sugar from your diet.
- Take time to do things you enjoy.
- Engage in in-person interaction with other human beings on a daily basis.
Life is a gift and a blessing. It’s not always smooth sailing. Most people will endure trials and suffering at some point, some more often than others. There’s still so much to be grateful for and reasons to be joyful. Being joyful and having positive thoughts is a choice! If you’ve been longing to improve your quality of life, try implementing these four helpful ideas!