All of us should aim to be happy and healthy, and it begins with creating habits that are good for our health and mind. Having quality of life is as important as having a long life. However, many of us find it challenging to find a balance between the two.
We've selected eight good habits that we feel are essential to making you healthier and happier. They are simple to achieve and will provide you with a whole heap of benefits.
- Eat Well
A good diet is vital to optimal health, and this does not mean cutting down on food and only eating salads. Instead, try choosing real, nutrient-dense foods consistently and adding more soluble fiber to your diet. Whole foods are a great place to start; foods such as oranges, bananas, carrots, and potatoes are rich in soluble fiber. Try including more plant-based food in your meals as well. It is also essential to reduce the number of sugary drinks you consume as high liquid calorie intake can go unnoticed and is very unhealthy.
- Be Physically Active
Our bodies were created to be active. Being active is essential for physical health and mental wellbeing , even for small amounts of time each week. In the current Covid-19 pandemic, it can be easy to go about the day doing very little. Many have been forced to work from home and are getting little chance to do any form of physical activity. Physical activity has a significant benefit on our mood and stress levels, lowering the likelihood of developing depression. Make an effort to do some kind of physical activity for at least 30 minutes each day whenever and wherever you can. Having a simple step counter is a great way to encourage you to get more steps in each day. In fact, research has shown that having a step counter encourages you to walk up to 20% more each day.
- Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is one thing we should not take for granted because it is an essential aspect of maintaining good health. Each phase of sleep provides different benefits to our physiological and emotional wellbeing. Some stages of sleep allow us to feel rested while others help us learn or make memories. Quality sleep provides an opportunity for the brain to oversee biological maintenance to keep the body functioning in top condition, preparing the body for the day ahead. Healthy adults should have a sleep of 7 to 9 hours per night to perform at their best.
Sleep deprivation causes our health to suffer in both the short and longer-term. It leads to low productivity, emotional imbalance, a weak immune system, weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease. Addressing sleep problems and getting enough sleep each night cause your energy, efficiency, and overall health to improve.
- Limit Bad Habits
Being healthy doesn't mean you have to eliminate mindless eating, fast foods, and alcohol but reducing it to an occasional treat is highly advisable. You'll feel the difference and enjoy it more too. But, if you're a smoker, it is still best to quit as soon as possible. This bad habit increases the risk of developing mouth, throat, lung, and bladder cancer. It also increases the chance of heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure.
- Unplug From Technology and Connect With Nature
Our world now revolves around internet connectivity, social media, and the relentless demands of busy work schedules. We cannot stress the importance of being able to just unplug and get away from it all.
Disconnecting from our smartphones and spending time with nature is essential for our minds and body. Find some time to go out to a nature reserve or trail and enjoy a walk without distractions to help destress and relax.
- Laugh Often
Laughter really is the best medicine. Sharing a genuine laugh with someone can be enough to brighten your day. Laughter is an energizer, stress reliever, abs toner, immunity booster, pain reliever, heart helper, and confidence builder. Accordingly, a life without laughter is no life at all, so there is no reason not to laugh.
- Be Grateful
Giving thanks can transform your life. According to research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. People with a sense of gratitude tend to have more positive emotions and coping strategies, better sleep, improved overall health, and healthier relationships.
- Stay Social
We are social beings, and we need each other. According to studies, having an active social life is good for health. It can strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure, and reduce physical pain. In terms of mental wellbeing, it stimulates the brain to improve one's state of mind. Being social also helps us feel connected and uplifted and increases happiness levels.
Having a healthy body and mind should not be complicated. There are easy and enjoyable habits we can adapt to achieve the result we desire. Just keep it simple and consistent, and you'll see and feel the benefits.