10 THINGS YOU CAN START DOING TODAY TO LIVE A HEALTHIER LIFE

Life can get hectic. Although it may seem like there simply aren’t enough hours in a day, it might help to stop and think about whether you are refueling correctly. Here are 10 tips for ensuring that you are maintaining your very best self. 

1. Focus on what makes YOUR heart smile 

To the person who has ten billion tasks at hand on any given day and to the person who has so much time on their hands they don’t know what to do with it all, it is equally important to find time to do things that you enjoy doing. Turns out, your overall health is better when you spend time doing activities you love. If you are constantly immersing yourself in highly stressful situations, you are "more prone to having issues such as high blood pressure and headaches.”  Do you enjoy reading a good book on your porch on a beautiful day? Then YES! You should make time to do just that. Do you enjoy watching your kids play and laugh? Then YES! You should carve out more time to spend with them. You get the pattern here: the more time we spend doing the things we love the more purposeful and gratified we will feel in the long run. So spend some time lovin’ on yourself this week. 

2. Start incorporating physical activity into your weekly routine

I know, for those who do not regularly exercise, your mind can come up with any type of excuse to keep you from tying up those laces and heading out the door to workout. It’s so easy to be intimIdated by those fitness gurus we see all of social media with their killer bods, flaunting their seemingly perfect appearances. But physical fitness is a result of  your mental stamina. In other words, you have to literally tell yourself that you can and will do this, in order for you to develop the habit. 

Physical exercise has more than the obvious physical benefits. It’s also super beneficial for your brain, too. According to brain training program BrainHQ, “It [exercising] increases heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain. It also aids the bodily release of a plethora of hormones, all of which participate in aiding and providing a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells.” 

YOU ARE IN CONTROL. NEVER FORGET THAT.

3. Declutter your mind before bed 

We have total access every thing that goes on in the world through the click of a mouse or the touch of a screen. And, I must admit that I am a victim of this, looking at screens right before bed can really affect our sleep. A recent study suggests that the blue lights emanated off of our screens can affect the body’s sleep cycle. It causes us to be more alert before bed, and as a result we are more prone to feeling groggy in the morning.  Starting two hours before bed, try  reading a book, praying/meditating, or writing in a journal instead of finishing up that last episode of Game of Thrones.

4. Take some time to practice mindfulness throughout the day 

Just 10 minutes of deep breathing/meditation can do wonders. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself! 

“Practicing mindfulness meditation for 10 minutes a day improves concentration and the ability to keep information active in one's mind, a function known as working memory.”—Medical T  

5. Eat Cleaner

The famously-cliche saying, “You are what you eat,” is not simply a cliche. Here’s why: The less we pay attention to what goes into our mouth, the more problems we may see cropping up with our skin. Acne, psoriasis, and eczema are all skin issues that could be a result of not eating a healthy, balanced diet. 

6. Reduce portion sizes of food 

Portion sizes are a huge part of the American restaurant culture. Portion sizes are freaking HUGE these days. Overeating is easy if you are not conscious about how much food you actually need to get full. There are a ton of ways that you can curb the munchies if you feel you don’t have a hold on your food consumption.

7. Reward yourself once you’ve created better habits 

I don’t know about you, but it feels goooood to know I’ve made a change for myself for the better. If you’ve done this against all odds, you deserve to reward yourself! Whether you lost 5 pounds or made a habit out of going to bed 10 minutes earlier, you have set yourself up to be a healthier and happier person. Kudos to you! 

8. Surround yourself with people who inspire you 

You are who you hang around with. Do your friends push you to be better? Do they inspire and motivate you to step out of your comfort zone to reach your fullest potential. Are they leading lives that mirror your ambitious pursuits? Then these are the people you should keep in your circle. Not the people who drain you, talk about you for being too “serious” and “boring”, or who constantly remind you of all the mistakes you’ve made in the past. Love on those people from a distance. 

9. Be careful about the social media (and other types of media) you consume

This kind of ties in to the importance of decluttering your mind before bed. American adults spend more than 11 hours a day “watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media,” according to a recent study. What?? This means that we spend a lot of our precious idle AND un-idle moments following other people’s lives. Not okay! 

10. Don’t be so hard on yourself! 

Accept your mistakes, because they will happen as long as you live. When they happen, don’t down yourself by thinking you will never have what it takes to be the YOU of your dreams. Those are lies. Pick yourself up off the floor, learn the lesson, and GROW! 


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