All the self-care routines, yoga classes and meditation sessions in the world are not going to improve your life if you are practicing the wrong way. Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way to improve your life - the right way is called affirmation and the wrong way is called perpetuation of a problem.
The words you say to yourself have a massive impact on your future, because your mind believes them - whether they are true or not. In order to have what you want, use the power of affirmation instead of inviting old negative thought patterns into your life. Say to yourself what you do want, rather than what you don't want. Saying what you don't want just affirms you will have more of that negativity in your life.
Here are a couple of examples....
You go to a yoga class and lay down on your mat. You start to breath deeply and pay attention to your body and how it feels. Then, you start thinking. You begin to think about the girl next to you is more flexible than you. You think to yourself... I am not as flexible as her. She is better than me at yoga. You have a choice at this point. You can continue to keep thinking this way, or when you notice your thoughts are negative, you can consciously choose (therefore wire your brain towards) a more positive thought such as It feels fantastic to stretch my body. I'm grateful to share this space with others who are trying to feel good. I'm grateful to be here right now.
Choosing this positive thought affirms a more positive experience for your mind and raises your happiness baseline. When you continue with the negative thinking, you affirm the negative experience and lower your happiness baseline.
Next example: You are feeling lonely and sorry for yourself because your friends on Facebook are having a good ol' time without you. You think to yourself. They didn't include me, I'm not part of the cool crowd, they must not like me, we never get invited to these fun events... You catch yourself thinking this way and then you have a choice. You can continue to go down the rabbit hole of self-pity and negativity or you can choose the more positive. I'm happy for these people who are having a good time. I'm grateful for my experiences, my friends and my opportunities. My life is also full and abundant. There is enough joy, space and happiness available in the world for all of us to embrace. I'm full of love.
Now this may seem difficult to do, but it is imperative to practice this approach if you truly want to be happy. It serves you best to assume people have good intent. It serves you best to choose the affirmative rather than the to repeat negative thinking patterns. *Regardless of whether you think the affirmative is really true in the moment, say it to yourself anyway because you mind will take note of the words and your neurons will fire in alignment with them. Eventually, they will become your reality.
If you can practice the mindfulness, yoga, meditation and self-care all for the purpose of getting to know your thoughts better - you are taking a step in the right direction. You must follow through with affirmation however, to genuinely improve your life as a result of the practice.
Get still and listen to your thoughts. Are they negative or positive? Choose the affirmative (listen carefully to be sure you are not affirming the negative ie. I'm glad I don't have... or I'm grateful I'm not like ... ) Allow your words to create your best life. Here are some examples:
I am loved, I am happy, I am grateful
I appreciate my supporters, my health and my opportunities
I am safe, connected and nurtured
My life is abundant.