Alarm clocks beeping. Kids shouting. Your boss demanding things. Bills to pay. Groceries to buy. Life these days is just so…stressful.

Most of us spend our time working hard, playing hard, and packing in a million activities in between. The sad thing though, is that the more we strive for a life where we “have it all”, the less we’re able to enjoy it. A stressful daily life means everything else suffers too, including your health, your relationships, and your productivity. The good news is that there are simple ways you can improve your quality of life and, with it, your general sense of happiness. Here are seven small ways to start:

  1. Be mindful. Make a conscious effort to be fully immersed in the present moment. Whether you’re doing something menial like washing the dishes, or enjoying something more memorable like a concert or a walk outdoors, really be present in that moment and try to notice every small thing about it. Focusing on one thing at a time and being mindful of what you’re doing right now is an excellent way of slowing down the constant chatter in your head. With time, you’ll feel a greater sense of peace, stillness and, hopefully, happiness.
  1. Switch off. Most of us are constantly connected via our smartphones, tablets and other technology. The problem with being constantly “on”, though, is that you never allow your mind to rest and relax, which affects your quality of life. Try cutting off your use of technology like your TV and your phone every day – even if it’s just for an hour at a time. Instead, connect with the real world around you to give your mind (and eyes) a break.
  1. Eat healthily. Eating a healthy diet can do wonders for your state of mind. We don’t mean fad diets or subscribing to a dramatic new eating regime. Simply try and cut down on processed foods and sugars, and try to eat a healthy dose of fresh fruit and vegetables at least twice a day. Adopting healthy eating habits can also help: eat smaller meals, eat only when you’re hungry, and stop when you’re full.
  1. Learn to say no. For most of us, saying no is surprisingly difficult. From declining invitations to parties to saying no when someone asks us to organise yet another PTA meeting – most of the time we end up saying yes. The problem is that saying yes to everything that’s asked of you can make your life overwhelming and counterproductive. Being brave and saying no allows room in your life for the things you really want to do – as well as helping you feel less stretched.
  1. Declutter your life. Earlier this year we wrote about decluttering your life . Create a sense of space and order in your life by clearing out the clutter in your surroundings. Throw out clothes you don’t wear anymore, donate old books to charity, spruce up and clean out your cupboards, and give your home a good spring clean.
  1. Exercise. It’s a well known fact that exercise increases the amount of endorphins in your body, which are the hormones responsible for a sense of wellbeing. If you feel that you don’t have time to exercise, be creative. Walk or cycle instead of driving to work, climb up stairs instead of taking the lift, or sit on an exercise ball at work instead of your chair. 
  1. Take holidays. While you may think working hard is the key to productivity, you risk burnout if you overdo it, which stops your productivity altogether. To prevent this from happening, take breaks from work every few months in order to give your body and mind a break. Coming back to work, you’ll feel much more refreshed and have far more energy to do your job properly.

While these steps to a better quality of life may seem simple, they’re surprisingly effective in making your life feel calmer, more peaceful and more satisfying. Even if you spend 20 minutes a day on some of the tips above, the results will be noticeable. Above all, have fun!

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.