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12 Questions to Boost Your Well-Being

The specific questions you ask yourself can change your outlook—and your life.

Key points

  • A consistent sense of curiosity is associated with greater well-being, research suggests.
  • You can change your perspective and cultivate self-awareness by pausing to inquire about your intentions, attitudes, and behaviors.
  • Asking yourself specific questions could help you to bring more calm, joy, inspiration, and self-care into your daily life.

"Curiosity is a superpower," said Brené Brown, best-selling author and University of Houston research professor, during a podcast interview. She went on to explain that curiosity keeps us learning, keeps us asking questions, and prompts us to become more self-aware.

When you pose certain questions—such as "What will bring me positivity today?"—you are inviting an inquiry that will provoke you to explore the intentions, behaviors, and attitudes that ultimately shape the choices we make every moment of every day. Just think—what would it feel like to pause every morning upon waking up to ask, “What will I do to nurture myself today?” Or, before picking up the phone to call a challenging relative or colleague, to ask, “How will I bring calm and understanding to this conversation?”

Curiosity is linked to well-being.

Not only is a sense of consistent curiosity helpful for studying your own mindset and perspective, it may also correlate with your level of happiness and overall well-being. In a recent study, published in the Journal of Personality, researchers asked participants to keep a daily diary for 21 days and, in addition to other questions about their well-being, to rate their daily curiosity based on the following two statements:

  • Today I viewed challenging situations as an opportunity to grow and learn.
  • Everywhere I went today, I was out looking for new things or experiences.

Results indicated, as the researchers report, that "the extent to which one consistently
reports feeling curious during the course of daily life is associated with well‐being."

Questions guide reality.

The particular questions you choose to ask yourself are what lead you to consider—and open up to—an aspect of your life that you’d like to investigate, modify or improve. The reflection is simply a way to learn about yourself, and the response initiates how you choose to affect the surroundings and relationships that serve you best. In other words, bringing you what you want and need.

Here is a list of suggested questions you can answer daily. Or choose two to three per day. Your answers may just lead you to fill your days with more gratitude, calm, optimism, and mindfulness.

12 Questions to Ask Yourself Today—and Every Day (in no particular order)

1. What am I thankful for?

2. What will bring me calm?

3. What will inspire me?

4. Who do I want to connect with?

5. How can I show kindness to myself?

6. How can I show kindness to another person?

7. What will bring me joy?

8. How am I getting outside?

9. How will I move my body?

10. How will I nourish my body?

11. If I feel triggered with stress or anxiety, how will I cope?

12. What will bring me meaning?

References

David M. Lydon‐Staley, Perry Zurn, Danielle S. Bassett (2019). Within‐person variability in curiosity during daily life and associations with well‐being, Journal of Personality

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