The United States is ranked number 17 in the Quality of Life Rankings. But you can still feel like number one, without having to move to Canada or Sweden. All you have to know is how to improve yourself.

People that are in the highest income bracket are 3.5% happier than those in the average income bracket. But does that mean that money does buy happiness after all? The answer is no.

There are ways that you can start living life to the fullest without moving or becoming rich. So how can you start improving your life?

Check out these 7 simple steps to a happier life.

1. Exercise

Exercising on a regular basis will inevitably improve both your mind and body. Exercise helps you sleep better. It also helps relieve stress and anxiety and encourages confidence and stamina.

The most important thing you can do to ensure that your new exercise routine will stick is to do something that you enjoy. Don’t start running 5 miles a day if you have bad knees and hate to run. Don’t go to the gym and lift weights if you’d prefer to exercise in private.

If you’d rather have a guide and you want to incorporate some serious mental stamina into your routine while also learning an art, you could pick up Jiu-Jitsu or Muay Thai. 

Whatever you decide to do, try to establish a routine that you can fit into your schedule. And start small. It’s always better to add on than to take away.

2. Eat Well

You are what you eat. And what you eat doesn’t just affect your bodily appearance, it also affects your mind and the way you think.

Studies show that those who went from eating no fruit and vegetables to incorporating them into their daily diet showed an increase in life satisfaction. This increase was measured up to equal the same satisfaction one would feel after being unemployed and finally landing a job.

An increased intake of B12, which is found in many fruits and vegetables, is said to boost serotonin which helps regulate moods.

3. Calm Your Mind

You can calm your mind by meditating. Mediating is an excellent way to lower your heart rate, improve your heart rate, and improve your breathing and brain waves.

Meditation isn’t necessarily sitting in a room alone with your thoughts or concentrating on one thing while you ooh and ah. People meditate when they go for walks, take a catnap on the couch, or while doing something like yoga.

Yoga is an excellent way to stretch, exercise, improve breathing techniques, and meditate, all at the same time.

Especially with the use of screens in our personal and professional lives, our minds are always racing. It’s important to find the time to allow our minds to relax and re-boost.

4. Face Your Fears

Doing something that is out of your element is an excellent way to achieve a happier life. If you are terrified of public speaking and it affects your job, take a public speaking or an acting class.

If you have been afraid to ride ever since you fell off your bike and broke your arm, get back on the bike.

Have you always wanted to go rock-climbing or eat oysters? Do it! Try to do something that you’ve never done once a month, even if it seems minor.

5. Indulge Your Brain

Reading puts you in a trance. Reading lets you travel without actually going anywhere. Reading enables you to walk in someone else’s shoes or learn about a culture you knew nothing about before.

Reading gives you new words for your vocabulary. And reading helps you process things that are going on in your own life. It can also help you sleep better and is a much better way to welcome sleep than to stare at that bright blue screen that follows you everywhere.

The best thing about reading is that it’s free! Take this one step further and go get a library card at your local library.

6. Listen to Music

Listening to music is an excellent way to boost happiness. It can bring you back to almost any memory. It helps you remember and understand your childhood. It pumps you up when you want to go to the gym or for a night on the town.

The lyrics in music help many individuals pinpoint emotions they’re feeling or analyze and understand aspects of life that have been harder or different than others.

Life is busy and many of us forget to listen to music. But it’s so accessible that it’s almost silly not to listen to your favorite tunes or notes that make you feel elated.

7. Self Reflect

Self-reflection is not a skill that everyone has, but it is one that you can start practicing. If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, tackle those emotions head-on rather than pushing them down. 

If you need help doing so, there’s nothing wrong with talking to a friend or a therapist. Take the time to analyze yourself the same way that we analyze everyone around us on a constant basis. You might be surprised by what you can teach yourself about yourself!

And if you want help in your quest for self-improvement, you could always learn more by getting someone else to help.

Knowing How to Improve Yourself Doesn’t Happen Overnight

If you’re unhappy, don’t be overwhelmed. Knowing how to improve yourself doesn’t happen overnight. That being said, if you start to focus on yourself by exercising, eating right, and tending to your body and mind, you’ll inevitably improve yourself and your life.

All you need to do is take the first step. So choose something that you feel will be easy for you to incorporate into your life this week, and start today! Add something in each week so that you’re consistently working towards a happier life.