Do you want to know how to be a better person? Here are actionable steps to start your journey of self-improvement.
In this article:
- Forgive Others
- Retreat from the Digital World
- Be Grateful
- Try to Greet Everyone
- Show Kindness to Yourself
- Help Others
- Be Honest
- Be Positive and Stop Making Excuses
- Listen Actively to People
- Take Time to Breathe
- Tidy Up
- Dispel Your Anger
- Express Your Kindness to Others
- Forgive Yourself
- Learn From Others
15 Ways on How to Be a Better Person and Be Happy
1. Forgive Others
Holding a grudge is like taking poison and then waiting for the other person to suffer. Forgiveness is the right antidote so you can mentally and emotionally move on.
Forgiving others is easier said than done. To help you, here are a few steps on how to forgive:
- Accept what has happened.
- Give yourself a break.
- Prioritize important things to do.
- Let time heal you.
- Act for justice but learn to show forgiveness.
Once you traverse the long road to forgiveness, you begin the process of knowing how to be a better person. Forgiveness can spark both action and happiness, and the sooner you cultivate the attitude of forgiveness, the sooner you can move on.
2. Retreat from the Digital World
The digital world is a modern Wild Wild West. While rules and regulations do exist, not everyone practices them.
For example, most of the time, social media etiquette is treated more as a guideline than a rule.
People can be insensitive not out of malice but out of ignorance. Regardless, it can affect your mental well-being.
By having a short break from the digital world, you can reconnect to the world outside the screen. Going outside to smell the flowers can be therapeutic for both the body and mind.
3. Be Grateful
Being grateful can help you see the world and people in a positive light. Aside from that, it also has health benefits.
A Berkeley study on gratitude shows that being grateful can:
- Relieve stress
- Help people get better sleep
- Form stronger social bonds
- Helps people on cultivating joy
This can be anything from a list of things you’re grateful for to a photo album of memories that you are thankful for.
4. Try to Greet Everyone
Saying good morning or asking how another person is a seemingly lost art these days. Make yourself stand out by being the person who greets people positively.
By nature, humans are social. When you’re feeling lonely, a simple “hi” or even a smile can make you feel you’re connected to others, even if you don’t know them.
And if you want to be more social, even a simple hello can open the doors to a meaningful relationship. It may be difficult to start greeting or making small talk with strangers, but once you get the hang of it, it gets easier.
5. Show Kindness to Yourself
Self-criticism can harm not just yourself but the people around you, too. It negatively affects your mental health, self-image, and your overall positivity.
Learning how to be kind to yourself can be difficult, especially for people with low esteem. You can learn how to stop self-criticism and have compassion for yourself by following these tips:
- Distract yourself if negative thoughts are creeping in.
- Listen to the critic inside you objectively, so you become more self-aware.
- Write down your feelings and thoughts.
- Try to be more realistic and objective in your perspectives.
- Be content. Stop comparing yourself to others.
6. Help Others
Helping others is a simple way to become a better person. You don’t have to look far because all around you, there are people in need of help:
- If you have extra time at work, assisting a co-worker in carrying documents or proofreading can go a long way.
- Offering to take care of household chores for your partner can take some pressure off them.
7. Be Honest
In any social situation, honesty should always be the first policy. Whether at work at home, there’s value in saying what you really mean.
One way of being honest is being straightforward: stop beating around the bush and just say what you’re thinking. Of course, how you say it is just as important as what you say.
If there’s something on your mind that can make someone’s life easier or better, say it.
8. Be Positive and Stop Making Excuses
Excuses can be toxic for you and the people around you. Making excuses can lead you to more negative behavior, such as becoming close-minded and reactive.
More often than not, excuses are just a manifestation of fear.
Want to do something but finding ways to not do it? Maybe that’s just your fear of rejection or failure talking.
In cases like these, try to be more positive and spin the negative self-talk. The first step to doing something is believing you can do it, and it’s time to take that first step.
9. Listen Actively to People
Active listening is a great skill to have, whether for work or your personal life. To listen actively, you focus not only on what is being said but also on how it was said and its context.
Listen for the sake of listening to what the other person is trying to say. Don’t just listen so you can respond.
- At work, active listening helps you discover possible problems and opportunities. However, be sure to balance your talk time with listening time. Avoid interrupting others while they’re in the middle of talking.
- For your personal life, active listening helps you discover more about the person talking. This can help you form a better connection and deeper relationships with others.
10. Take Time to Breathe
Taking a break is a necessity, not a luxury. Burnout, both professionally and personally, can postpone and even regress any improvements made.
Take time to breathe and practice self-care. A simple way to do that is, quite literally, breathing.
If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, focus on your breathing. Mindful breathing can make you feel calmer and relaxed.
11. Tidy Up
A clean environment can lead to a peaceful inner world. Cleaning can also be cathartic.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try cleaning up. When piled up, clutter can also contribute to negative feelings like stress and anxiety.
12. Dispel Your Anger
Anger has negative effects on you and the people around you. If you want to be a better person, try to be a less angry person.
If you get angry, try to find healthy ways to deal with it and move on. Holding onto anger can decrease your ability to deal with daily stresses and de-compress.
Anger can also affect how you interact with others — you may lash out or get physical with others because of how you’re feeling. This can destroy relationships, especially some of the most important ones for you.
13. Express Your Kindness to Others
If you want to be better, try to be kinder.
Kindness is the gift that keeps on giving since it is infectious. Showing and expressing your kindness can help start this cycle of positivity.
You don’t lose anything by saying something kind. Be generous with your compliments and other kind words that can brighten someone’s day.
14. Forgive Yourself
Sometimes, the greatest obstacle to success and improvement is yourself. The past can limit you, especially if you haven’t forgiven yourself from your past mistakes.
The sooner you can move on from the past, the earlier you can become a person who brings value to the world. Forgive who you were so you can become who you want to be.
15. Learn From Others
One way to become a better person is to become more empathetic and understanding of what others are going through. One of the best ways to do this is to go straight to the source.
- If there’s something you don’t understand, ask someone who has more knowledge about it than you. This can also improve your relationship since the other person will feel that you value their thoughts.
- If you don’t understand someone’s point of view (e.g. cultural), learn from their experiences. Understanding where other people are at can help you widen your perspective and be more empathetic.
These 15 tips on how to be a better person are just the tip of the iceberg, but they’re a good start. We hope these tips help you with your self-improvement journey this year.
What are your other tips on how to be a better person? Share them with us in the comments section below.