Learn what you need for a great quality of life in mind, body and heart.
How do you know if you have a good quality of life?
What exactly does quality of life mean anyway?
Does quality of life simply mean you experience more happiness than disappointment or is there more to it than that?
Many fields study quality of life, including psychology, personal development, business, and health and wellness. The term varies depending on the context in which it is used. Which is why there is no single agreed-upon definition of quality of life.
The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of quality of life is: “an individual’s perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards, and concerns” (who.int, n.d.). Since the WHO’s definition is used in many public and global health research studies it’s an important benchmark. Essentially the WHO’s definition states that quality of life is a subjective measure of an individual’s well-being. This point is debated – some researchers state that quality of life must involve objective along with subjective measures (Karimi & Brazier, 2016).
This article focuses predominantly on how the quality of life is relevant to you and your well-being.
Tips for Improving Your Quality of Life
To improve your quality of life, it’s helpful to look at the different areas of life and focus on the area where there is the most room for improvement. As a starting point, you can begin by focusing on the six domains the WHO includes in its definition – Physical, Psychological, Level of independence, Social Relationships, Environment, and Spirituality/religion/personal beliefs.
Which domain catches your attention? Is this the area that you want to improve for a great quality of life or do you feel confident and satisfied with it? Don’t worry too much about the names of the domains, what’s important is to take a step back and neutrally assess each one.
Below are some examples and questions, based on some of the WHO’s domains which are directly related to your relationship with yourself – physical, psychological, social relationships and spirituality. I hope these questions get you thinking about how you would like to enhance your quality of life.
This domain takes into account, health, illness, physical limitations as well as possibilities for improving your relationship with your body.
- Does your physical health add to or detracting from your quality of life?
- Do your food choices affect your mood and energy levels?
- How satisfied are you with your sleep quantity and quality?
- How often do you move your body?
This domain focuses on emotional health and well-being, understanding of stressors, coping with feelings and your unique understanding of your mental well-being.
- Do you manage your emotions and moods as you like?
- Are you living in the present or do you find yourself in a cycle of distraction?
- Are you optimistic about the future?
- Do you feel resilient when faced with life stressors?
In this domain focuses on the relationships with others, how comfortable and confident you are in social situations and how much enjoyment you receive from them.
- Do you have someone to talk to about your struggles?
- How confident are you when you meet new people?
- Do you feel like you have good communication with your significant other/friends/family?
Spirituality & Personal Beliefs
The last domain in this article focuses on personal beliefs which included spirituality and religion. It might be helpful to also think about your personal values and the role they play in your quality of life.
- Is religion/spirituality important to you?
- Do you have people in your life that discuss your personal beliefs with?
- Is spirituality a source of confusion for you?
- Does the media you consume help you grow as a person?
Your answers to the above questions and any other questions you come up with for yourself will help guide your choices. There aren’t quick fixes, but rather focused effort to live in alignment with what you need for your life. Small habit changes in your everyday life are the changes that add up to more happiness and fulfillment – two important aspects that lead to a great quality of life.
I hope that the questions above help you focus on aspects of your life that you have the power to change. Remember to track your progress. You’ll know that you’re moving forward as you feel more and more content with your life. Journaling is also a great way to track changes. Progress can motivate you to continue your journey as you improve the quality of your life.
The theory and research behind quality of life are wide-reaching but reflecting on the parts of your life that you have an opportunity to enhance can lead to great quality of life. When you focus on the parts you can change you can make a plan that works for you. Spending your time improving your quality of life also improves your overall well-being and that’s what leads to more happiness and a fulfilling life!