A healthier you doesn’t just mean a fitter, stronger body. It also means smiling more, stressing less and being thankful for what you have. So while we’re HUGE fans of meal planning and scheduling time for exercise, we also believe that healthy habits extend beyond numbers on a scale. Here are 6 steps to a happier, healthier you in 2018.
- But first, water. Yes, even before coffee! Make it a habit to drink 16 ounces of water right when you wake up. It boosts your metabolism, helps with digestion and helps your body rehydrate after hours without taking in any fluids.
- Make a date with yourself. Take 20 minutes every day for your very own quiet time, even if this means setting your alarm 25 minutes early each day. We know, making time to do nothing at all can seem impossible, wasteful even. But finding the time to just “be” helps reduce stress and clears your mind. Take a bath, take a walk, read a book or meditate. (And leave your phone and your smartwatch out of it.)
- Just breathe. Sure, you breathe every day. But how often do you actually think about how you’re breathing? Take a few minutes each day to be aware of how you’re breathing. Focus on regulating it to help you reduce your stress, slow your heart rate and lower blood pressure. You can take yoga or Thai Chi, or do some meditation, or you can just do this quick exercise:
- Get cozy in a chair or stretch out in your bed.
- Close your eyes and place one hand on your belly.
- Take a long deep breath through your nose, feeling your belly rise.
- Then, breathe out slowly through the mouth, focusing your attention on the breath.
- Let go. Of a longtime grudge. Of regrets. Of clutter and items you no longer need or want. Of to-dos that have been on your list for years and years. Instead, focus on the future, the here and now.
- Be present. In the end, no one will say they wish they spent more time on their phone or social media. So when you’re stuck in traffic, turn up the volume on your favorite song. When your flight is delayed, go enjoy a glass of wine or hot tea. And when you’re out to dinner with friends or at home after a long day at work, be fully there, versus checking your emails or seeing who’s commented on your latest status update.
- Be thankful. Even on bad days, be thankful for the little things. The clothes you’re wearing. The home you get to come home to. A fridge full of food. The people in your life. It’s easy to focus on the negative, but when you shift your perspective to the positive, it’s amazing how it can lift your mood. When you get in bed, before you go to sleep, make a mental list of 3 things you’re thankful for today. Ending your day on a positive note may just help you rest easier.
- Smile. Sometimes, the easiest way to boost your mood is to simply put a smile on your face. But don’t take our word for it — it’s actually scientifically proven to improve your mood. When you smile, your body releases dopamine, endorphins and serotonin, which doesn’t just lower your stress—it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure too.
What are some of your favorite healthy habits to relieve stress, lift your mood and feel better about yourself? Share with us in the comments!
To learn more about our services and book a free consultation, click here.