8 Healthy Habits to Improve Your Life
Sometimes the idea of being healthy seems impossible (and expensive), but it isn’t! There are many simple ways you can embrace healthy living without breaking the bank.
Simply incorporate these healthy actions in your life, and they will become habits before you know it. Here are 9 simple healthy habits to start today.
1. Meditate Regularly
What’s the point of meditation? The point is to be with the sensations of the present moment. Notice what it feels like to breathe. Notice what sounds are around you. Notice what it feels like to sit on the ground
We also notice the mind’s incessant, unproductive thought patterns: overthinking our to-do list, mental complaining, regrets, worries.
We think unnecessary thoughts, and they cause us stress.
The point of meditation is to be free of these unnecessary, energy-depleting, intrusive thoughts! How do you let go of an unproductive thought pattern?
Note the unproductive thought pattern, “that is a needless thought,” and return to the sensations of the present moment. What does it feel like to breathe? What sounds can you hear?
Meditation teaches you to notice unproductive thoughts, drop them, and turn your alertness to present moment sensation.
Make meditation a habit by meditating at the same time every day. There are a variety of meditation apps available, such as Headspace, that include notification reminders to help you stay on track.
2. Cut Out Mental Clutter
Have you ever worried yourself sick about something that ended up not happening? It happens to all of us. And it happens constantly. Dwelling on things that we don’t know are going to happen causes unnecessary stress.
Notice if you are having anxious, angry, fearful,… thoughts. These thoughts tend to proliferate when we’re doing mindless tasks (driving, showering, washing the dishes).
If you notice thoughts that are not resulting in any productivity (only unnecessary stress), try to let the thoughts go. How? Feel yourself breathing. What sounds can you hear? Become alert to whatever is happening now.
If you can think and do what you’re doing (i.e.,driving, showering, washing dishes), you can feel yourself breathing and do what you’re doing. Being alert to what is happening now is how to find refuge from stressful thoughts.
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3. Get Outside
Make it a habit to get outside as often as possible, even if it is simply taking a walk to the mailbox.
When you go outside, notice nature. Notice the fresh air. Notice the way the breeze feels on your skin. Notice the warmth of the sun on your face. Enjoy the clouds, the flowers, the trees, chirping birds.
And notice when an unproductive thought arises. Notice how spinning out in that thought pattern makes you completely oblivious to everything around you. Then come back to noticing the present moment.
4. Eat Natural Foods
If you want to feel better, eat better. Cut out processed foods and start eating natural foods. A good habit to incorporate is shopping the outer aisles of the grocery store.
The outer aisles contain natural foods, such as fruits and vegetables. In contrast, the inner aisles contain processed foods, such snack foods and microwaveable meals.
Consider embracing a Neutral Eating lifestyle. Eat less sugar and still eat flavorful, tasty, and healthy meals [source].
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5. Drink More Water
It is critical to stay hydrated. However, we often choose drinks that hurt us more than help us, such as carbonated sodas packed with sugar. Instead, make a habit of drinking more water.
There are many ways to make this a habit: Use water tracker apps, purchase a motivational water bottle, or choose water at meals.
6. Stay Active Throughout the Day
Many Americans have a job that requires them to sit at a desk for hours every day, and many of the things we do off the clock involve sitting.
One study found, “Adults ages 20 to 75 reported spending an average of 9.5 hours sedentary each day, and most of this time was accumulated at work and during leisure-time. Sitting during leisure-time accounted for 47% of all sedentary time reported, and virtually all of their discretionary time (82%) was spent sitting and watching screens (e.g., television, phones, computers).” [source]
This type of lengthy sedentary behavior isn’t good for you.
Make it a habit to stay active throughout the day to lift your mood and give you more energy. Download an app that alerts you when you need to get up and move. Choose stairs over the elevator. Walk instead of drive when you can. Stretch.
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7. Correct Your Posture
Have you given much thought to your posture? You probably should. Poor posture is associated with a variety of health issues, including constipation, heartburn, headaches, poor balance, and breathing difficulties.
Even if you have had poor posture most of your life, you can improve it. Start by recognizing when you are slouching. Begin doing posture corrective exercises, such as standing straight with your shoulders back. Yoga is also a great tool for improving posture. Consider investing in a posture corrector device, and a lumbar support pillow and seat cushion for your office chair.
8. Detox from Blue Light Nightly
The blue light from TVs, tablets, and cell phones tricks our brains into thinking it is daytime.
Instead of falling asleep to Netflix or scrolling your phone right before you close your eyes, make a habit of turning off blue light-emitting sources at least thirty minutes before bedtime to prepare your mind and body for bedtime. This will help you get a healthy amount of sleep.
Get Healthy and Stay Healthy
Getting healthy doesn’t have to be an overwhelming challenge. Embracing simple healthy habits such as these will make a tremendous difference in your overall well-being.
- Meditate, practice yoga, correct your posture, and free your mind.
- Get outside and stay active.
- Eat healthily and drink plenty of water.
- Put away blue light devices before bed.
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