Do you want to do more this year to improve yourself? Being a better person doesn’t mean being overly hard on yourself. In fact, the opposite is true. If you can practice more self-kindness, you will be better equipped to be kind to those around you. Doing good things for others can give your life more meaning, and can even improve your physical and mental health. Here’s how you can build self-improvement into your day.
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This tip is a classic one that you’ve probably heard before, but keeping a gratitude journal of what you’re thankful for can have a big effect on the way that you think. Research has shown that finding time for gratitude in your everyday life can help to ward off stress, improve sleep, and improve your relationships. At the end of the day, sit down with your journal and note down a few things that you feel grateful for and why. These can be as big or as small as you like, from your baby smiling at you to having a really good cup of coffee.
Greet Everyone You Meet
Whether you nod or smile at strangers who pass you or say good morning to everyone who comes into the office, make some effort to acknowledge the people around you when you see them.
When you do this, you should feel more present and connected to people around you, even if you don’t have a close relationship with them.
Try A Digital Detox
Unplugging for a small amount of time can be good for your mental health. The next time you find yourself at a loose end, step away from your phone instead of mindlessly scrolling. Instead, go for a walk and connect to your thoughts.
Step away from your phone for a few hours or take the whole day off of devices. Instead, go outside and connect with nature, or meet up with friends in person. Even a short break from your phone can help you to unwind and focus on what brings you joy.
Use Positive Self-Talk
It’s easy to fall into the trap of being overly harsh and critical of what you see as your failings. This kind of negative self-talk is unproductive and can lower your motivation.
If you always tell yourself that you aren’t a good person, then you will find it much harder to take the steps you need towards improving yourself.
Practice some positive self-talk by stating a fact and following that with some optimism. The tricky part is catching yourself in negative thinking and intentionally thinking differently. With some practice, this will get easier to do.
Practice Random Acts Of Kindness
Being kind to others can help you to gain a sense of purpose and make you feel connected to others. Do something nice for someone like:
- Make a charity donation
- Pay a compliment to a stranger
- Send a card to a loved one
- Buy a colleague lunch
You will notice that your mood lifts when you do something for someone else just for the joy of it. Research has shown that just counting your acts of kindness for a week can boost your feelings of happiness and gratitude.
Eat At Least One Meal Mindfully
When you’re in the middle of a busy day, it can be tempting to rush through a meal without actually listening to your body. Mindful eating lets you check in with your emotions and physical feelings.
Choose a meal, even if it is just a sandwich at lunchtime, and take your time to eat it. Notice the different tastes and textures as you eat. This acts almost like a mini-meditation that can be a simple way to destress.
Get Enough Sleep
If you don’t feel fully rested, you will feel grumpy and unproductive throughout the day. Try to get seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
Find some ways to get better quality sleep by reducing your caffeine intake later in the day, taking a melatonin supplement, or relaxing in a warm both before you head to bed.
Take a moment whenever you have a spare moment, such as in line at the post office or waiting for the kettle to boil, or while you’re waiting to fall asleep, to focus on your breathing. Practicing even a few minutes every day of deep breathing can encourage your body to relax and regulate your stress levels.
Take care of yourself to be a better person.