We all try to be healthier in our daily routines, and we focus mainly on food and exercise, but these simple daily habits will help make you not only healthier, but happier too.

1. Begin the day with a positive affirmation of yourself.

The way you view yourself and feel about your life in the morning will set the standard for the rest of your day. So every morning, say something positive to yourself, such as:

“I’m happy with my life and I have plenty of opportunities to be successful.”

Or:

“I am proud of myself and I will continue to make myself proud in everything I do.”

Or:

“I’m capable of doing great things and will live up to the expectations I set for myself.”

If you’re finding it difficult to come up with positive affirmations about yourself, write down 3–7 affirmations that target areas you’re not so confident in. Changing your internal thought processes is fundamental in changing your perspective on your life as a whole for the better.

2. Swap your coffee for tea.

Coffee has much more caffeine than tea and can leave you feeling wired, which can ultimately affect the quality of your sleep. This can lead to an increase in stress levels. Try to cut back on a few cups and replace them with tea. I did this and was delighted with how I felt; you’re still consuming a warm beverage, but with the calmness and softness of tea. There are copious amounts of tea flavors out there, so you’ll have a great time trying out all the different types.

3. Take the time to enjoy your food.

Many people tend to rush eating when eating on the go, and some even eat their meals while doing work. Taking the time out of your day to choose your food carefully. Sitting down to eat it will work wonders. It will take you away from the stress of your work and will help prevent you from snacking in between your meals.

4. Chew your food slowly.

If you can’t avoid eating on the go or while you work, make the conscious decision to chew your food. The saliva in your mouth is full of enzymes that help to break down food, making it easier for your body to digest. Chewing your food into smaller pieces helps the body to absorb the nutrients from your food too. It can also help you to avoid overeating, bloating and weight gain, so slow down and chew!

5. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Not only does this have a positive impact on your health, you’ll feel psychologically better too! Even a slight increase in physical activity can release endorphins, which will make you feel good about yourself. Try walking up the stairs on the balls of your feet rather than planting your whole food down, and you’ll improve the muscle definition in your calves.

6. Get outside.

Vitamin D can be obtained naturally from the sun and is essential for the body to maintain healthy bones. It also helps regulate your immune system, helps lower the risk of a heart attack, and helps to maintain a healthy body weight. Science has also shown that a simple 20 minute walk can increase brain activity substantially, making you feel a lot better and happier, not to mention the positive impact this could have on your work and productivity.

7. Listen to calming music.

I studied in London and know how crowded the trains, tubes and streets can be; everyone seems to be in a rush and stressed out. While you’re walking around or sitting on a train or bus, listen to some calming music—it will work wonders. Trust me, it is extremely relaxing; I do it every day! If you drive, listen to some music when you’re stuck in traffic. It’ll help reduce that road rage and make traffic jams more manageable.

8. Smile.

Studies have shown that smiling has tremendous health benefits. It relieves stress levels, boosts your immune system, lowers your blood pressure and also releases those endorphins, natural pain killers and serotonin which together make us feel great! If you’re still not smiling, you might want to start now because it will lift your face and make you look younger.

9. Gently stretch throughout your day.

Now, I’m not talking about a whole routine; I’m simply talking about lifting your arms above your head, rotating your neck, bending forward and stretching your wrists. Stretching will reduce the tightness in your shoulders, neck and back. A simple routine will go a long way to increasing your blood flow, loosening your muscles, mobilizing your joints and clearing your mind. So what are you waiting for? Get up and start stretching!

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