8 Lifestyle Changes To Improve Your Quality Of Life
Updated August 28, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Tonia Cassaday
It can be very frustrating when your quality of life is suffering. There may be things that you want to do, but there is something outside of your control, stopping you from being able to. If feeling like the life you’re living could be improved, making a few lifestyle changes may be able to help.
Living a healthy lifestyle and making wise choices can go a long way in improving your quality of life.
Signs You Need To Make A Lifestyle Change
There are many signs that you can watch to indicate that you may need to make some lifestyle changes to improve your quality of life. A few of those signs include:
- Low energy
- You feel numb
- Unhappy relationships
- Feeling like you’re just getting through the day
- Experiencing an addiction or compulsive behavior
- Feeling like there must be something more
- High levels of stress
- Feelings of depression
- Limited by health
If you feel that you’re not living your best life, physically, mentally, relationally, or otherwise, it could be time to look at making lifestyle adjustments to change that.
Lifestyle Changes That Can Improve Your Quality Of Life
Lifestyle changes are simple changes that you can make to the way that you’re living. There are significant lifestyle changes and small ones. The changes that you need to make are specific to the challenges that you are facing.
Some lifestyle changes involve your physical health, such as diet and exercise. Other changes are to help address your mental health.
- Make Necessary Dietary Changes
There’s no denying that your eating habits have the potential to negatively impact your quality of life. Unhealthy eating is one of the factors that has contributed to obesity in one-third of adults in America. And, obesity can lead to many other health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, mood disorders, and certain types of cancer.
The food you eat also plays a role in the amount of energy you have and can impact your ability to get a good night’s rest.
Changing your eating habits to include more balanced nutrition can go a long way in improving your quality of life. Not only can it lower your chance of some of these severe health conditions, but it can also improve your mental health.
- Get Physical Activity
There are several ways that physical activity can impact your quality of life. Being physically active may be able to help you maintain better mobility throughout your life, which allows you to participate in activities you enjoy. It also can help you remain within a healthy weight range, which can lower your risk of other health challenges.
But there was a study done that found that physical activity can have a positive impact on all areas of quality of life, not just the physical aspect of it. For example, when you exercise, your body releases endorphins in your brain that can boost your mood.
- Practice Mindfulness And Change Your Thinking
One study found that quality of life has very little to do with what someone has but how they perceive their situation. Essentially, that means even if your situation doesn’t change, you could still find a way to feel like your quality of life has improved. One of the ways that you can accomplish this is through learning to control your thoughts.
Negative thinking and self-talk can change the way you feel about yourself and your situation. Mindfulness meditation can help you learn how to gain more control over your thoughts. When you practice meditation, you learn how to sit and just be in the moment. You may have negative thoughts about your life enter your thinking, but you allow them to pass through without judgement.
Practicing meditation can help you to lower stress and anxiety and feel better about your situation. This can also help you to feel healthier physically because you aren’t feeling the same amount of stress in your body.
- Change How You Spend Your Time
The way that you choose to spend your time can play a big role in your quality of life. People who struggle with things like social anxiety, might avoid going places such as family gatherings or parties with friends, even though they want to be able to go. This can have a negative impact on their life.
Remember, the way you view your life can play a role in your quality of life. That means if there are areas of your life that you can identify aren’t what you want them to be, look for ways to make a change. This could involve changing your job, learning new hobbies, or finding a better work-life balance.
Try looking for areas of your life that you’re unsatisfied with and then look for ways that you can address them.
- Work On Your Relationships
The relationships that you have with those around you can have a big impact on your quality of life. That means if you are struggling in your relationships, you may be able to improve your quality of life by working on strengthening those relationships. This could be with parents, siblings, a significant other, children, friends, coworkers, or anyone that you have a relationship with.
There are therapy options, such as family therapy or couples counseling, that can help you to address and improve these relationships.
Another lifestyle change that may help you improve your quality of life is to be purposeful about who you spend your time with. If you spend a lot of time with negative people, it may be impacting the way you view the things around you. In this case, it could be helpful to make new friendships and connections with people that have a more positive perspective.
- Giving Up Drinking
While there has been a lot of research to show that there could be some health benefits for people who drink moderately, there was also a study that showed that people may experience an increase in their quality of life by giving up drinking. One theory is that the benefit comes from the process of giving up something and possibly not from the reduction of alcohol itself.
So, if you struggle with your alcohol consumption or consumption of other substances, you may experience positive life changes by cutting out all usage. Or, if you have something else in life that you believe you could benefit from giving up, that might help with your quality of life as well.
- Get Enough Rest
Not getting enough rest at night may be impacting your quality of life. If you don’t feel rested in the morning, it can impact the way that you feel and the interaction that you have with those around you. Lack of sleep has been linked to:
- Memory issues
- Mood change
- Trouble concentrating
- Increased risk of accidents
- Weakened immune system
- High blood pressure
- Risk for diabetes
- Weight gain
- Low sex drive
- Risk of heart disease
- Poor balance
Trying to stick to a sleep schedule by keeping your bedtime and wake times consistent can help you to get more rest. If you continue to struggle with getting enough rest, you can address the issue with your doctor to explore treatment options.
- Focus On Building A Self-Care Routine
If you find that you feel that you’re exhausted and burnt out, it could be that you need to focus on your self-care habits. You must learn how to take care of yourself. This can include making sure that you’re eating right, resting, and exercising. It can also involve things like journaling, meditation, going for walks, or having coffee with a friend each week.
Self-care is about doing the things for yourself that help to keep you rejuvenated. It can be very important to make time for these types of activities. If you find that you’re always putting the needs of others before your own, you may feel like your quality of life is suffering. Look for ways to balance helping others while not sacrificing your own health.
You may need to experiment with activities until you find the ones that help you to recharge and take care of your physical, mental, and emotional needs.
- Talk To A Therapist
Your quality of life could be being negatively impacted by mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, or another diagnosis. Or, it could be that you struggle to make good decisions in your life or relationships or that you’ve experienced hurt in the past. In these cases, it can be helpful to talk to a therapist.
Therapy can help you to learn important strategies and tips that you can apply to improve the quality of your life. This can be by working through past hurt and trauma, developing healthy self-esteem, or learning tips to help with anxiety levels. A licensed therapist, like those at BetterHelp, will be able to help you see where the progress is that you want to make and then take the appropriate steps.