7 Lifestyle Changes That Will Make You Feel Happier and More Fulfilled
We all have certain bad habits that we’d like to break. Some of them could be the result of stress, being busy all the time, or simply not having the motivation to make a change. However, anybody can succeed if they organize their lives in a better way. Here are 7 changes that you can start today that will add years to your life and lead to more satisfaction.
This one should be easy, but a lot of people don’t drink enough water. Water tastes boring and most folks only drink when they legitimately feel thirsty. But there are times when you need to hydrate yourself even if your body isn’t sending you warning signals. The ideal rule is to drink around 8 cups of water per day, although this can vary depending on your size, how much exercise you get, and other factors. But this is certainly a good start to a healthier lifestyle. In fact, drinking water even makes you eat less since your stomach feels fuller. So that’s an additional reason to chug, chug, chug!
If you have a family history of cardiovascular disease or are at a risk of developing high blood pressure or diabetes, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can significantly cut these risks. For instance, one study found that just getting 66 grams of fruit and vegetables can reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 25%. A diet containing whole grains rather than processed white flour also lowers that risk in addition to preventing cancer and heart disease. Don’t forget about good fats either! The heart-healthy fats found in salmon, olive oil, and avocado contribute to weight loss and can boost your immune system.
Using illicit drugs, binge drinking, and misusing prescription drugs are major factors that result in an early death. Just ask those celebrities who all seem to die when they’re 27! Although there might be some mild health benefits to drinking red wine, new research indicates that the effects are merely marginal. In addition, if you are a non-drinker to begin with, picking up the habit in order to get in your daily glass of wine isn’t really something you should strive for.
There are plenty of reasons why you should incorporate breathing exercises into your daily routine. For one thing, it helps calibrate your central nervous system. The constant feeling of stress, which leads to anxiety and even insomnia, has been known to result in serious psychiatric conditions. But the simple act of mindful breathing can accomplish so many things. It reduces your heart rate, blood pressure, and decreases the activity in the part of the brain responsible for fear response. So learn some effective methods, practice, and your life will become more calm and stress-free in no time!
It goes without saying that in order to be mentally healthy, you need the support of your friends and family. This can be anything from scheduling Zooms and phone calls with them on a regular basis or, if you live under the same roof, eating dinner together and planning activities for the weekend. Studies show that people who maintain poor social relationships have a 50% greater risk of developing chronic depression. Aside from depression, this feeling of isolation can also cause physical pain to the various muscles in your body.
This doesn’t mean you have to take up a sport or hit the weights. Just find a way to move your body in a way that works best for you. The possibilities are endless; shoot hoops at the Y; start jogging; enroll in martial arts classes, or dust off that bike. If you live near a park or in the mountains, go for regular walks and hikes. You don’t even have to engage in strenuous activities either; just 30 minutes of walking briskly 5 days a week is all you need to feel better! If you don’t have the energy levels for that, simply start at 10 minutes and eventually work your way up.
We get that it can be difficult to get 8 hours of sleep every night. There are so many distractions. You feel tempted to stay glued to YouTube or want to scroll through your social media accounts at midnight. But think about all these conditions that can develop if you don’t get enough sleep: depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even obesity. In fact, studies have found that even getting an hour less sleep than recommended can increase the odds of becoming obese by nearly 25%.