Advice: Five Steps to a Better Life

5 ways to live a better life

Advice: Five Steps to a Better Life

I often come across nuggets of wisdom, but sometimes the most simple advice is the stuff that sticks. I was reminded this week of an end-of-term letter by Richard Cairns, the head at my old school in Brighton. The advice was around some research from Oxford University on 5 ways to live a better life. It’s simple, perhaps even obvious, but absolutely worth remembering.  Oh, and every one of these pointers can have a positive effect on managing and staying out of your emotional overdraft. 

1. Give to Others

The joy of giving is unmatched. It creates a ripple effect of positivity and connection that permeates society. By giving, we not only provide a service or item to someone in need but also generate happiness and fulfilment within ourselves. It need not always be materialistic. A simple act of kindness, a listening ear, or even a heartfelt compliment or great feedback. As leaders, the act of giving can take multiple forms – from mentoring to gifting autonomy – the benefits for emotional overdraft will be felt personally and for those on your team.  

2. Be Physically Active

An active body = an active mind. I can attest that when I’m active physically, I also feel much better mentally. Regular physical activity boosts not only our physical health but also our mental well-being. It helps in reducing stress, increasing energy levels, and instilling a sense of accomplishment. A brisk walk, a vigorous gym session, or even dancing, finding a physical activity that resonates with you will help reduce your emotional overdraft. 

3. Learn New Skills

Life is an endless journey of learning, and acquiring new skills keeps our minds sharp and agile. When we stop learning, our emotional overdraft increases, and our resilience declines. Embracing a learning mindset ensures we remain relevant and adaptable. More than that, it reinvigorates our passion and curiosity for the world around us. I always encourage the leaders I coach to set aside time for continuous learning. 

4. Connect with Other People

We are social beings by nature. Building and nurturing relationships bring purpose, joy, and support to our lives. Taking time to reconnect with old friends, forge new friendships, and maintain strong familial ties. In our professional lives, networking isn’t just about advancing our careers but also about understanding different perspectives and growing through collaborative efforts. Building out a team of cheerleaders in our personal and professional lives – which I talk about at length in the book – is a brilliant way to reduce your chance of increasing emotional overdraft. It’s all about connection.  

5. Pay Attention to the Present Moment

It’s easy to get caught up in the past or anxiously anticipate the future. The essence of life, however, is experienced in the present moment. Now. Practicing being present allows us to appreciate the beauty around us and respond to life’s challenges with clarity and calm. As a leadership coach, I often emphasise the power of now to my clients. It’s where the magic happens. Being ‘in the now’ also stops us from doom casting, reducing anxiety and in turn our propensity to dip into our emotional overdrafts. 

To a better life.


You can now pre order The Emotional Overdraft on Amazon.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 ways to live a better life