There’s a lot of talk about quantity of life – living longer. There’s a lot of chatter about standard of living – how you’re doing financially. There’s not nearly enough discussion about quality of life – the backbone of your mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
Every once in a while, you should do a “temperature check” to see how you’re really doing.
Multiple studies around the world have linked poor quality of life to physical health conditions such as diabetes, sleep complications, kidney disease, increased cancer risk, and the occurrence of chronic illness such as fibromyalgia and Lyme disease.
Often difficult to define, quality of life weighs the positive and negative aspects of your daily existence. Every area of your life impacts your overall psychological and physical health.
9 Factors That Measure Quality of Life
- Current level of health
- Family history
- Freedom of movement
- Exposure to inequality or discrimination
- Living conditions
- Exposure to environmental pollution
- Socioeconomic status
- Support systems in education and health care
- Personal feelings of self-worth and dignity
Researchers are finally beginning to understand that your stress, toxin exposure, and lifestyle effect your mental and physical health in the long term. Learning how to improve your quality of life is crucial to your very survival.
How to Improve Your Quality of Life
A lacking quality of life used to be associated with the poor – and they remain the largest sufferers – but it is important not to confuse “standard of living” with “quality of life.”
Standard of living refers primarily to your economic status – your earnings, employment, benefits, overall safety, and education among others. Every factor of standard of living can be determined my numbers. It is an objective determination that is easily calculated.
Quality of life is subjective in that it is not always easy to understand someone’s quality of life. If they are struggling in a household without adequate heat, dealing with addiction, or even working a stressful job that interferes with their ability to sleep – their quality of life can drop substantially. However, those with access to material things they require could suffer from chronic disease, a bad relationship, or toxic professional life.
It’s personal and can even be upsetting to evaluate your actual quality of life.
There are many quizzes online but I found a free pdf from the University of Illinois that you can download and print at home. It was fairly detailed and should give you a good idea of where you are now. Obviously, it’s hopeful that your answers are in the 4 to 6 range but if you have many answers that fall in the 1 to 3 range, those are areas that you’ll want to address and resolve.
7 Quick Tips to Better Quality of Life
- Take time each and every day to think about your life and ways that you can make changes. Whether you choose to pray, meditate, or make lists – the result is a more focused YOU. Even small steps in the right direction move you forward.
- Experts estimate that more than two-thirds of the industrialized world is sleep deprived. Lack of sleep makes it hard to focus, slows down response times, and causes lapses in memory. Get more sleep! Adequate rest starts your day off right.
- You might not want to hear it but getting regular exercise is key to improving your mind, body, and spirit. The hormones released during physical activity make you feel better emotionally and mentally. Naturally, there is no end to the health risks you avoid with exercise.
- Objectively identify “negativity” in your life – whether it is regards to a job, a family member, friend, or yourself. When you can clearly define problems, you can then address them for positive change.
- Once you have that list of changes, make sure you set attainable goals so that you don’t set yourself up to fail. Setting realistic goals – and being willing to put in the time/effort to make them happen – keeps you from needlessly beating yourself up!
- Not everything or everyone is within your power to change and you must accept what is outside of your control and focus on yourself and your goals. Don’t let people or situations control your outlook for your future. Know that you are a powerful being with limitless potential and all you must do is tap into it.
- Remember that it is an incredible feeling to step outside your comfort zone! Take a class, pick up a hobby, go to a party or function you wouldn’t normally attend, and allow yourself a break from stress in a whole new way! Be good to yourself, be grateful for every ounce of happiness, and pass it on!
A Quick Note About Doctor Appointments
Because many patients with chronic illness maintain a consistent poor quality of life, they present with weakened immune systems. This causes established immunity-based medical tests to return a “false negative.” This implies that as many as 50% of these patients do not suffer from a host of conditions that they are currently experiencing symptoms of!
The importance of having your immune system tested first cannot be stressed firmly enough. You must also make sure your doctor sees you as his or her patient. The average doctor/patient visit lasts less then fifteen minutes. Not much can be communicated in that time – especially when you’re talking about your health.
Correct diagnosis depends on your physician understanding your entire profile, symptoms (past and present), as well as your desire to fully recover from your illness – not simply be placed on a lifetime prescription. Doctors must treat the patient – not just the symptoms!
With more than eighty forms of autoimmune disease, affecting various parts of your body, knowing what is wrong is the first step in making you better. You need to know what you require from a physician and firmly expect the level of care to make you better.
Talk to your doctor about your goals – mental and physical – and make sure they’re receptive to helping you attain your goals.
If you suffer from a chronic disease that’s causing you to be shuttled from one specialist to another – don’t give up hope! The right doctor will worry about healing you and won’t consider putting you on various medications to control your symptoms as an acceptable “solution.”
With a better quality of life, your quantity of life and standard of living should improve as well. It’s all connected and you can get there. One step at a time. Don’t give up and don’t wait another day.