5 Cheap Ways to Improve Your Life

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

If you want to improve your life, you can shell out big bucks for a life coach. Or you can join an expensive gym and pay a personal trainer to keep you motivated. You can even pay a plastic surgeon. However, these paths don’t necessarily lead to a better life, at least not permanently. If you really want to improve your life, you can start by tackling some free ways to be a happier, healthier person.

As great as instant gratification is (like the feeling you might get from spending a heap of money on a really fancy new car), if you regularly do these five things, you may significantly improve your life over time, and the change can even be permanent if you keep it up. Another advantage of these actions is that many of them will also benefit someone or something else in addition to improving your life.

1. Exercise

Enlisting the help of a personal trainer is a great way to get in shape fast, and if you have the extra cash, you should go for it. Personal trainers are great if you need to get in shape fast or you need extra motivation, but you can exercise for free if you do it yourself or you use YouTube or other online videos to get you started. First, decide which exercise you prefer. Consult your doctor, and then start slow. Obviously, there are many physical benefits to exercise, but according to the Huffington Post, exercise can also help you mentally, by reducing your stress, preventing cognitive decline, increasing confidence, and also helping in other ways.

2. Spend time with an animal

If you choose to spend some of your extra time with an animal, you will be helping that animal as well as yourself. According to HelpGuide.org, caring for pets can help you deal with depression, anxiety, and stress. Studies have linked the ownership of dogs and other pets to a reduced risk for heart disease, and other studies have suggested that dog owners have lower blood pressure in stressful situations. In addition, pet owners over 65 make fewer visits to the doctor’s office.

While owning a dog isn’t free, you can certainly spend time volunteering at a shelter or spend time with your friends’ pets. If you do decide to adopt a dog or cat from a shelter, your health might just improve.

3. Learn something new

Learning something new can easily and quickly improve your life. Learning new things and challenging yourself helps you keep your brain sharp, and it also helps you to have interesting things to share during conversations. If you decide to take your learning into the classroom (or the online classroom), you can improve your life by updating your skills, and potentially earning a certification or degree that will help you get a better job. Learning can help you to have a more interesting, productive, and successful life.

Learning a new language can also improve your life. Learning a new language challenges your brain, and it gives you the opportunity to converse with many different people. It also potentially can open career doors that you wouldn’t have access to without knowing a second language.

4. Volunteer

In addition to walking dogs at a shelter, there are many other ways you can improve your life and the life of others by volunteering. According to VolunteerCenter.com, volunteering makes you happier and can improve your health. Volunteering can make you feel good about yourself, can help others, and decrease your stress. Volunteering is completely free, and it can really benefit others in addition to improving your life. Also, volunteering can lead to new skills as well as potential contacts for networking. Another great thing about volunteering is that the opportunities are almost endless: if you want to help, you can chose pretty much any industry in which to volunteer.

5. Go outside

Most of us would agree that sunshine helps our mood in addition to feeling good on our skin, and also helps us get our daily dose of vitamin D. Fresh air also often rejuvenates people, and a walk in fresh air can help you let go of stress or frustration. According to the Huffington Post, fresh air can help boost your immune system and give you energy. You don’t need to be outside for hours to reap the benefits of fresh air: simply try taking a break when you are feeling particularly cooped up or stressed. The combination of fresh air (and exercise if you choose) can really help improve your life.

There are many ways you can improve your life, but why not start with the ones that are free, or close to it?

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