Self improvement tips are everywhere. Some are easy and some require more effort. The following tips are things you can do to improve your life and feel better right now, for the rest of the day and for the rest of your life.
Self Improvement tips to start right now
Breathe. This is so simple, but it’s underutilized. When we’re stressed, our breathing is shallow. By consciously taking a long, slow breath we send a message to our body that it’s ok to start relaxing. While you’re breathing, drop your shoulders, release your clenched jaw and relax your forehead. Just using these self improvement tips for one minute make a positive impact on your physical and mental well being.
Breathing to meditation
Meditate. While one breath can be a meditation, a few calming breaths becomes a meditation. Think meditation is sitting with your legs crossed, chanting? It can be, if that’s your thing, but it doesn’t have to be. Meditation is simply focusing attention. Focusing on slowing your breathing is meditation. Sitting quietly while listening to calming music is meditation. Lying on a bed consciously relaxing each muscle is meditation.
Meditation to Relaxation
Speaking of relaxing each muscle, when you or a loved one is stressed and needs to relax, try this exercise. Lie down somewhere comfortable and start with your toes. Think about each of your toes relaxing. Start with your big toe and work your way to your smallest toe. Then relax the balls and arches of your feet. Relax your heels, your ankles, your calves, knees, thighs and hamstrings. Release any tension in your hips, behind, stomach and lower back, and then move to your middle and upper back. Relax your neck, shoulders, arms, hands, face and forehead, but if you’re anything like the people I coach, sleep comes long before you finish the exercise. I talked my children through this exercise when they were young and never finished with them either. It’s like having your own magic sleep potion for those days your mind won’t shut down.
Laughter is good medicine
We all know this, but we forget during stressful times. Unless we’re clinically depressed and beyond the scope of this article, most of us have something that makes us laugh no matter how bad we feel, and I think laughter is one of the best self improvement tips of all. It’s fun. It makes us feel good. I love laughing so hard that I cry, and at my stage of life, have to use the restroom so I don’t literally wet my pants. Here are a few to get you started:
As you can probably tell, music and laughter together are even better for me.
Create a playlist
While the scientific community continues to study music and its effect on humans, every music lover knows that music speaks to us in times of stress perhaps most of all. Can we improve our ourselves by listening to music? I think so. Learning to appreciate the soothing effect of Pachelbel’s Canon in D or the joy in a musical selection from a country you want to visit, music is a powerful aide for helping us feel our best and prepare for better.
Read your way to better
Probably the best self improvement tips come from the books that change your life. For some, the Bible is that book. Religion, for some, is not the answer. While I was raised a Christian, I found wisdom outside the Christian realm as well. Some of my favorite books for improving your life are You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. You Can Heal Your Life showed me the depth of the mind-body connection. The Five Love Languages showed me that just because we love someone doesn’t mean we understand them, but when we understand them, we can love them better. The Four Agreements taught me to look at life and at others differently, especially those who seem so angry and disconnected from love.
Understand yourself and the world better
Learning about the DISC behavior model for personalities is the most important self improvement step I ever took in my life. I took several personality tests, but everything I took seemed judgmental and slapped a label on me I didn’t like. It wasn’t until I read Positive Personality Profiles by Dr. Robert Rohm, that I learned that everyone’s personality is inherently good, including mine. You see, all my life I felt different, maybe because everyone told me I was. Men said I wasn’t like other women. Friends told my husband and me that we weren’t like other couples. Even my children told me I wasn’t like other moms, and for a long time, that hurt more than I let on. What I learned from this book and subsequent training is that every personality is positive. What’s even more important is how much you learn to like people when you learn to appreciate them exactly as they are. It changed how I looked at myself and everyone else, and it helped me so much, I got certified to teach it. If you are in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, you can sign up for a public training session November 3, 2018. Otherwise, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on DISC assessments, and how I can help you.Click here for ways to support the Moving Toward Better mission.