Ways to invest in yourself do not always need to be expensive. When we hear the word “investment” we immediately think of dollars and cents, offshore accounts, interest rates etc. That is a rather narrow way of looking at investment, in my opinion. I prefer to think about self-investment in a wider way: every single thing we do in our daily lives can be an investment.
What am I talking about? Well, here are five of the most valuable ways to invest in yourself and get great returns for life!
It takes time and effort to build good long-term relationships with friends. So, why do it? Studies show that people who have at least five people they can confide in, talk to and who’ll listen to them are much happier than people who have no one or people who have a lot of superficial relationships. Deep, meaningful friendships mean that you’ll always have the support of people who don’t judge you, and who are there when things are bad… and good. Friends are an invaluable investment. Treasure them.
You often hear the phrase: I’ll sleep when I die. Well, studies show that’s not the brightest idea. The less you sleep in life, the more stressed you are and the more strain you put on your mind and body. It is essential to get at least six hours’ sleep a night. I recommend much more.
If you struggle to sleep, try listening to meditation tapes. If that doesn’t work, make sure you nap in the day. Again, studies show that people who nap wake up rejuvenated and energized, and are much more productive.
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “I’ll sleep on it.” It is apt. Sleep allows the mind to ruminate over problems or issues in our lives, whether work related or personal, and to wake up with the answer.
Similar to the therapeutic benefits of mulling over things while you sleep and letting the subconscious do its work, is writing in a journal. Whatever aspect of your life that you may be struggling with, writing it down in an unstructured and spontaneous way often helps you figure out a solution. Yes, it takes up some time out of your day, but the benefit you get outweighs the time investment. Your levels of stress will be lower and problems in your life will seem simpler. You’ll also feel far more in control of your life and ready to handle life’s many challenges.
We are never too old to learn. People who were never taught to read can learn to read at any age, even at an advanced age. Our minds never stop being able to absorb information and new ways of thinking. Figure out where your interests lie and take a course. Perhaps you’ve always been fascinated by magic. Now’s the time to learn all those party tricks that you loved as a child. Courses don’t have to be academic and with the narrow focus of improving your career. Learning new things opens new neural pathways and stimulates them. It’s an invaluable way to invest in yourself.
Mindfulness is a new buzz word, with courses and groups abounding right now. To me, mindfulness means being in the now, noticing things around us in the now, such as sounds, smells, the wind, the homeless man at the end of the road. It means taking ourselves out of self-absorption, and rather appreciating our environment. The investment in this is that we feel much more alive.
Of course, money and how you invest it matters. But don’t forget to invest in yourself, so you can enjoy it when the time comes.
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