Are you proud of the person you see in the mirror, or could you do better? I suspect you are pretty awesome but could still be a better friend, parent, or spouse. None of us are perfect, so we all have room for improvement. So how do you become a better person?
Every day presents the opportunity to be a better person than we were yesterday. How we show up in the world dictates our happiness and well-being. No one else can do this hard work for you. Being self-aware and reflective today will help sculpt a peaceful future.
This article will outline what it means to be a better person and the benefits of this. It will also provide 5 tips for being a better person.
What does it mean to be a better person?
No two brains are the same. We each have our own traumas and idiosyncracies, and we all pick up habits in life. Some of these habits are positive and enhance our well-being. In contrast, other habits have a detrimental effect on our well-being.
Always remember that you are not your habits or your trauma. You are not your mental health or your thoughts. You can address anything that isn’t serving you to be a better person.
When we commit to being a better person, we go to war with our unhelpful habits. We stop living unconsciously and learn to react from the heart, not the ego. We tackle the pain and suffering with understanding instead of punishing the behavior.
People who live with the intention of being a better person experience numerous improvements.
- Improvement in their relationships.
- Greater fulfillment.
- Increase in well-being.
- Reduction in anxiety and depression.
- Increase in self-esteem.
A study on the science of well-being found that people can learn to better themselves through several methods:
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The whys and hows of bettering yourself?
I suspect you are wondering what’s in it for you. If you are the one doing the hard work to be a better person, what do you gain?
The list here is almost endless, and the benefits serve as a domino effect, knocking everything else in your life into place.
The study we referenced above lists these four benefits available to you when you work on bettering yourself.
- Enhanced positive emotions.
- Character development.
- Increased life satisfaction.
- Deeper connection with spirituality.
The benefits of these life changes are available to everyone.
There are different stages to change. In the 1970s, a model for change was created and titled the “transtheoretical model.” It lists six fundamental stages we must go through to bring about change.
If you want to become a better person, you will go through each of these 6 stages at some point.
With self-awareness, dedication, and reflection, you can improve all areas of your life by being a better person.
5 ways to be a better person
Are you ready to get stuck in? You can break bad habits, live more authentically or show up in this world as a kinder person. All of these contribute to being a better person.
Here are our 5 top tips for being a better person.
1. Learn to rise above things
Wise people pick their battles. This discernment means they know when to speak up and stay quiet. When we rise above squabbles, titter-tatter, and pointless arguments, we prevent ourselves from feeling triggered or agitated. This self-control promotes a sense of inner peace and calm.
It sounds easier than it is.
Some people love conflict. Some will know what buttons to press to get a reaction from you. Just remember to breathe, smile, and move on.
Here are two practical things you can say to avoid conflict and help de-escalate any situation.
- “Everyone is entitled to their opinion.”
- “We hold different views; perhaps we can avoid this topic.”
And never forget the power of silence. You can swiftly change the subject or not respond.
Do not allow others to drag you down to their level.
Meditation is the answer to everything.
When life seems overwhelming, and your nerves feel frayed, you are more likely to react rather than respond. Reactions bypass the brain. They are led by the subconscious mind and fuelled by the ego. They can be defensive and angry.
When we respond to situations, we take the time to analyze the circumstances and weigh up the scenario.
Meditation helps calm our parasympathetic nervous system and promotes our ability to reason. Meditation helps us respond instead of react.
If you want more information, here’s an article of ours that explains why meditation is so important.
3. Embrace kindness
A few years ago, I was traveling between two Scottish cities. Although it was a one-way journey, it cost me a fraction more to purchase a return ticket. At the other end, I gave my return ticket to a grateful passenger and saved them money.
Every day presents us with opportunities to be kind. Sometimes they are glaringly obvious.
Kindness can be to ourselves, others, the planet, and animals.
When you run your possible options through a kindness filter and live a life of kindness, you will fast-track your way to being a better person.
Here are some simple ways you can be kind today.
- Smile and engage in a friendly manner with any checkout staff.
- Give blood.
- Let a car out in front of you.
- Rescue a pet.
- Eat a plant-based diet.
- Send messages to friends and loved ones with something positive.
- Give yourself an early night.
It’s cool to be kind! If you’re looking for more information on this topic, here are 10 characteristics of kind people.
4. Know when to let go
Ah, the beauty of hindsight. I’m proud of myself that I am not a quitter, but at the same time, I have suffered for too long due to my stubbornness.
Knowing when to persevere and when to walk away is essential learning. This knowledge can be applied to all areas of our lives, including but not limited to:
- Romantic relationships.
- Toxic family members.
An interesting thing happens when you work on yourself and grow. How you relate to everyone else in your life shifts.
This foundation is often the basis of many estrangements. Remember, people don’t go no-contact for no reason.
If something or someone doesn’t bring you joy or happiness, does it deserve to be in your life? And if something or someone detracts from your joy or happiness, you may want to reassess how much time you give them.
5. Practice forgiveness
Storing up anger and resentment is unhealthy. There is nothing to gain from being in this negative frame of mind.
Tap into your inner river and learn to go with the flow. Forgive yourself for any past mishaps. And forgive others for any of their wrongdoing too.
Forgiveness can be challenging. First, you may need to learn to recognize feelings and emotions and deal with past traumas. If you want to move forward and be a better person, it is helpful to address any anger issues. A therapist can help you with this if needed.
Once you address hostile emotions, you can learn to process them by practicing forgiveness.
When you become a forgiving person, you automatically become a better person too.
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All humans have flaws. It’s up to you to rest in your flaws or move to change them. You control whether or not you become a better person. And if you do decide to become a better person, you will find incredible benefits in other aspects of your life as well!
What’s your favorite tip on how to be a better person? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!