When you think of the word ‘self-improvement’, the first images that may pop up in your head are deep breathing exercises, bullet journals, and yoga. Maybe it makes you think of a perfect morning routine with a cold glass of water and a 15 minute jog outside at 5:30. However, this does not work for all of us. Though these forms of self-improvement are highly effective when relieving stress, it is not the only way to handle our anxieties.
Then, what is self-improvement?
Self improvement can be defined as “the process of making yourself a more knowledgeable person.” It involves activities that help us improve ourselves. We’ve heard of the basics: meditation, exercising, eating healthy meals, but there are many other forms of self-improvement that many of us overlook.
1) Write about your negative feelings
If you’ve ever ranted or vented about your problems to someone else, you are probably familiar with the satisfying feeling of your problems lifting off your shoulders. You may feel more refreshed, and ultimately, less stressed. Writing about your negative feelings---on paper or online---can bring the same feeling of fulfilment. You don’t always have to rely on a friend to hear out your problems, and you don’t have to feel like your problems are much too large to handle, either. For me personally, having my negative thoughts and emotions there on a sheet of paper before me seems to make my anxieties and worries more manageable. They aren’t gruesome monsters anymore, hiding in the dark corners of my mind---I could see them outside of me and acknowledge their existence.
2) Using art as an outlet
Almost all artists nowadays use a form of art to express their thoughts and emotions. Some may even use music to inspire themselves and others who may be going through a similar situation as them. Artwork, in a similar sense, has the same effect. If you are ever feeling stuck in a situation, expressing yourself through art can really take your mind off of things.
3) Write a letter to your future self
You may have been forced to do this as a school assignment in previous years, but doing so every year is a way to keep track of change. In letters like these, try asking questions to your future self. Here are some questions for inspiration:
- Have you reached [specific goal] yet?
- How are your friends doing? Are they well?
- Have you resolved [conflict]?
- How are your grades?
Make it enjoyable for yourself, because the only eyes that will see the letter is you and you-in-the-future.
Remember: everyone is capable of self-improvement.