10 Changes That Will Transform Your Life

Imagine a life free of impossibly high standards. A life where demands and expectations aren’t damaging your health, your career, or the people you love. What a world that would be!

We are all under tremendous pressure from a phenomenon I call Cultural Stress – which, if we don’t guard against it, can consume our lives. Stress is the underlying trigger for many autoimmune diseases. Stress also activates your sympathetic nervous system—the “fight, flight, or freeze” response—which shuts down your body’s repair and maintenance functions. Over time, the effects of “deferred maintenance” can be life-threatening.

Ironically, when we free ourselves from unrealistic expectations and focus on what makes us happy, we are able to reach our fullest potential. The first step is acknowledging there is a problem. Here are 10 tips for fixing it to achieve a better you.

  1. Act like a toddler

Be willing to take risks, fall down, try new things, or look at familiar things with new eyes. This is the way of toddlers. They don’t care what anyone else thinks. They play and laugh and cry, expressing their emotions freely. Try reconnecting with your Inner Toddler.

  1. Take care of your physical health

A healthy diet is important, but I don’t believe in depriving yourself until you’re unhappy. I follow the 80:20 rule: Eat healthy food 80% of the time, and eat what you enjoy 20% of the time. After all, health is about balance and moderation. Eat whole foods filled with nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. Hydrate your cells by eating water-based foods. And get enough exercise and sleep.

  1. Give YOURSELF permission to be happy

Many people are unhappy because they’re waiting for some imaginary authority figure to give them permission to enjoy themselves and reach their full potential. My advice: stop waiting and give yourself permission to be happy!

  1. Prioritize yourself

It isn’t selfish to make self-care a priority. In fact, without “me” there is no “we.” You can’t take care of anyone else if you’re exhausted, stressed, or a nervous wreck.

  1. Throw open the door

In a world that is often mediated by technology, don’t forget the importance of a true social life that includes human contact and human touch. Our species evolved in close physical proximity to others who knew and loved us. We haven’t outgrown that need for physical connection.

  1. Unplug and unwind

When we get off social media and live life in real-time – even for a few minutes – it helps relieve social pressure, as well as blood pressure! We can carry almost any load, so long as we’re able to stop and rest when necessary.

  1. Be yourself

Be yourself and never emulate! You will always be a second-rate version of someone else. But you are the champion of YOU! The person you imagine yourself to be may not be the person you are – so let that person go. Become more aware of your thoughts and follow your intuition.

  1. Forgive yourself

Learn from your mistakes—and remember that you are probably your toughest critic. When you notice yourself being critical, ask yourself why, to see if there are any patterns. This will also help you develop self-compassion. When you forgive your imperfections, your life will be more perfect.

  1. Find a stress-reduction strategy that works for you

Cultural Stress—the stress of modern living—affects us all. People often recommend yoga and meditation to relieve stress, but I recommend them only if they make you happy! If they don’t, try something else: from line dancing to kickboxing, it’s important to find an outlet that makes YOU happy.

  1. Take five minutes, twice a day to read affirmation cards

The changes listed above may be easier said than done. They are life-changing goals that may take you several attempts before you’re successful in achieving them. But Goal #10 requires very little effort. My own research has shown that taking 10 minutes a day to read 11 affirmation cards reduces stress and improves your overall wellbeing.

Imagine how much better your life could be if you were free of stress, living your life to your fullest potential. If you can think it, you can achieve it.

Want to receive a daily Insight, like “Be thrilled with who you are,” from Dr. Murad? Click here to get the app!




Privacy Preference Center