Sometimes you need to stop and ask yourself a few questions so you can reflect on your outlook on life or aspects of your life, and ultimately self-improve. I have provided a list of general questions that I believe you should ask yourself quite regularly, which you could definitely specify to you or add sub-questions to.
What am I grateful for?
Gratitude is an important quality to possess and reflect on, but it can often be forgotten about due to the high quality lifestyles that many of us have. You should mostly think about the basic things that a lot of people take for granted, such as access to food, water and shelter, which will put things into perspective and allow you to appreciate more things in your life. It is also valuable to consider who you are grateful for and what opportunities in your life you are grateful for, such as winning an award or seeing an artist in concert.
What are things in my life that are making me feel happy?
It is important to recognise what is specifically making you happy in life as you can draw happiness from it in times of negative emotions and you can use it as an indicator of what you can do to make you happy in the future. For example, you could isolate the experience of going to the beach with your friend as making you happy. You can look back on this event when you are doubting your friendships with people or just generally need a happy memory to replace some negative emotions. You can also recognise that going to the beach with friends or hanging out with that specific friend anywhere will make you happy in the future.
What are things in my life that are making me feel sad? How can I provide remedies to them?
It is equally important to acknowledge the specific things that are nagging you in the back of your mind with sadness so you can resolve and learn from them. For example, if you isolated that your sadness was being caused by doing badly on an exam then you can apply a specific resolution to your sadness of studying or asking the teacher for help and learn to focus on that specific subject in the future.
How am I helping others or impacting someone positively?
I believe that everyone should strive to do something selfless or something that provides positive implications for others as well as yourself so it’s important to stop and think about what you are doing in this regard. It could be something small like expressing your love in a comment for someone’s content (photo, blog post, YouTube video etc.) or something larger such as volunteer work at an organisation of your choice.
Do the people I love, care about or appreciate know that I feel this way about them? If not, how can I do this?
I believe that it is super valuable to ensure that the people who are having a positive impact on your life know that they are and these questions allow you to reflect on whether you are doing this and how. Remember that you can be explicit or implicit about this depending on what makes you feel comfortable (but don’t be too subtle!). An explicit example is telling your parents that you love them frequently and implicit examples are initiating that you want to hang out with someone or leaving gifts for people when they’ve done something nice for you.
What am I doing for the environment?
This is really important to consider nowadays as everyone should be doing something for the planet if they have the ability to and value their existence and at least the existence of their family’s future generations. When you stop to think about this, it could be little things to adopt into your everyday lifestyle, such as using a reusable metal water bottle instead of multiple, bought plastic ones, or something bigger, like turning vegetarian/vegan or striving for zero waste (ie. just compost and recycling).