How to Cultivate Your Inner World

May 7, 2019
If you're looking to make a change, learning to cultivate your inner world is probably the best way to do so. This means working on your thoughts, attitudes, values, and emotions. Learn more here!

Learning how to cultivate your inner world is just as important for your well-being as staying in shape. Your thoughts, emotions, values, and attitudes have a huge influence on the way you experience the world. This is why more and more people are starting to pay attention to this fundamental part of life.

But finding the proper way to cultivate your inner world isn’t always easy. After all, we aren’t born with an instruction manual that tells us how to be happy. In this article, we’re going to show you some things you can do to work on this aspect of your life.

How to Cultivate Your Inner World: Three Pillars

If you want to keep yourself physically healthy, there are three basic things you can work on: diet, exercise, and relaxation. It’s the same basic idea with keeping yourself mentally healthy. You can work on:

Keep on reading for a more detailed look at these three aspects.

A woman with her eyes closed and a relaxed, peaceful look on her face.

1. Your Thoughts and Beliefs

The first thing you have to work on is how you think or your internal monologue. We’ve known for thousands of years that the way you feel at any given moment depends a lot on the way you talk to yourself and on what you focus on. Thus, if you want to be a happier person, you need to change the way you talk to yourself.

Think you’re one of those people who doesn’t talk to yourself at all? Well, you’re wrong because everyone does! But just because you aren’t aware of your thoughts doesn’t mean they don’t have a powerful effect on your mood. In this case, the first thing you need to do is identify what your self-talk (internal monologue) is like.

Once you’ve figured that out, the next step is to start using constructive, positive self-talk. The best way to do that is by identifying your irrational beliefs and trying to turn them into realistic, empowering ones instead.

For example, you might catch yourself thinking you’re worthless. But once you start to dig into that thought a bit, you’ll realize it’s an exaggeration. What things are you good at? What can you achieve if you put in the effort? Those are the kinds of thoughts that help you develop a more solid sense of self-esteem and a more realistic perspective of the world.

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.”

-August Wilson-

2. Your Attitudes and Values

The second thing you need to do to cultivate your inner world is to modify your attitudes and values. In other words, you need to re-evaluate the significance you place on the things in your life and what you see as important. Picking out the things that truly feel valuable to you can make a big difference. 

Below, we’re going to list some empowering values and some that hold you back. Use this list to help you figure out what you’re prioritizing in life.

  • Always being right. For some people, being right is the most important thing. They have no problem fighting with their loved ones or making others feel bad so that other people will listen to them and tell them they’re right. But this usually just leads to frustration.
  • Not taking risks. Many people are paralyzed by their fear. For them, security and a lack of risks are the most important things in life. They’ll avoid having to face any kind of uncertainty whenever they can. Most of the time, it prevents them from taking full advantage of the opportunities in front of them.
  • Putting in all your effort. For some people, the biggest thing is putting all their effort into everything they do. This means they always try, always face their fears, and often achieve their goals. Although there are always obstacles on the path and you can’t always get what you want, you shouldn’t give up.
  • Freedom. Other people find independence and being able to make their own decisions to be the most important things. This can have both positive and negative consequences. Nonetheless, people who focus on this value tend to lead much better lives.
A large flock of birds flying up from the shores of a beach.

3. Your Emotions

The last pillar you need to work on to cultivate your inner world is the way you feel. It might sound strange, but the best way to do that is usually indirect. Instead of trying to directly change your emotions, it’s better to try to modify your thoughts and values.

Of course, if you don’t have control over your emotions, you can learn some tools to manage them better. However, remember that you should only start working on your emotions once you have the other two pillars under control.