Life knows how to make things complicated for us. It throws us various challenges, and sometimes, there’s nothing we can do to overcome them. Fortunately, however, there are still many things we can control when it comes to a happier and healthier life.
We can change our habits, improve our sleep, carefully consider what we eat, be physically active, and so on. In return, our efforts will be rewarded with happiness and a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some things you can do in this rewarding process of self-improvement.
Sleep More and Sleep Better for a Healthier Life
The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep for a healthy adult. The general recommendations should only be observed as guidelines. Depending on your specific needs, your body can require more time to consolidate memories and get the needed rest.
Keep in mind that it’s not just quantity but also the quality of sleep that counts. If you are constantly waking up during the night and if you sleep in an uncomfortable position, getting the full nine hours of sleep won’t help you feel rested. The essential factor for getting quality sleep is finding a supportive mattress that suits your sleeping habits and positions.
Change Your Diet
Poor diet choices are causing many health issues, but they can also affect your mood. The irony is that what we call ‘comfort food’ can actually make us more aggravated and sad.
In the long run, it would be better for your health and wellbeing to avoid (as much as you can) deep-fried and processed meals and turn to healthier alternatives. A balanced diet entails a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Complement it with whole grains and wholesome sources of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Some of the things to eat more frequently are leafy greens, nuts, salmon, kale, lentils, and grilled chicken.
Be Active for a Healthier Life
According to the CDC, physical activity can have many benefits both for your mental and physical health. Some of them can be immediate, while others come over time. For example, you will feel less anxious and your cognitive abilities will improve after a moderate or vigorous workout. If you exercise on a regular basis, the risk of depression and anxiety will decrease, you will sleep better, and you will be happier.
As for the physical aspect, exercising will help you maintain a healthy weight (or lose weight), decrease the risk of heart disease, strengthen your bones and muscles, and boost your immune system.
Keep Stress Under Control
Other than exercising, other things can help you keep stress under control. For example:
- Deep breathing techniques can help you calm down in a stressful situation and deal with any future stressors.
- When faced with stress, your muscles become tense, so you can also try relaxing them by stretching or taking a hot shower.
- Practicing yoga can help you adopt a more mindful approach and patiently deal with stressors.
- When you feel overwhelmed, share your problems and thoughts with someone. That can be a friend, a family member, or a therapist.
We often sacrifice our social life due to work and household responsibilities. While being alone is good for you sometimes, being lonely never is. Humans are social beings by their nature, and even the most introverted among us require social contact.
Face-to-face contact is essential for good health, as it releases neurotransmitters that help you battle stress and anxiety. It also boosts your brain health and can make you very happy.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have to be social at all costs. It’s normal that you don’t enjoy being in some people’s company. Naturally, you’ll want to avoid the people that stress you out or simply make you feel uneasy. Find time to spend with the people you love and feel pleasant being around.
Be Kind to Yourself
Finally, find some time for yourself. Doing the things you love is not a luxury. It is a necessity.
You can spend that time as you wish – by reading a book, binge-watching a TV show, dancing, practicing a hobby. This can be replenishing and invigorating. Don’t make compromises when it comes to nourishing both your mind and body. Being kind to yourself also means forgiving yourself for the mistakes – small and big ones.
In Closing for a Happier and Healthier Life
We only spend a certain amount of time on this planet, so why wouldn’t we use it in the best way possible? Why wouldn’t we be healthy and happy while we’re here?
These tips will help you live a full life and face all the challenges ahead – and there will be a lot of them. Remember, cultivating good habits is not enough; you also need to get rid of the bad ones – so take it one step at a time.