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Make These 15 Small Changes If You Want To Become Happier And Healthier

Make These 15 Small Changes If You Want To Become Happier And Healthier

So you want to be happier and healthier. If you want to make  a life change for the better there are several different ways to get you there. It’s not difficult at all once you gain an understanding of your choices and you are willing to take action.

I have no doubt that the items on this list will put a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

1. Volunteer to Help Others

Sometimes we forget that there are others who need our help. When we give to others we come away with a sense of satisfaction that can’t be replicated.

Think of a time you’ve been there for someone and you will remember that feeling. Make this notion of serving others part of your weekly routine. You will be providing a life change for two people – yourself and the recipient of your kindness.

On a smaller scale you could also make ‘giving compliments’ part of your daily routine – this also has a pleasing affect on your mood and it’s a nice thing to do for others.

2. Wake Up Earlier

Getting up just a half an hour earlier than you need to can help you to feel calmer, more in control and generally happier.

Staying ahead of things means your’e avoiding the rush and cutting down on stress. Practise this every day and ultimately you will be happier and healthier.

3. Spend Money on Experiences

Researchers have found that spending money on items isn’t really what makes us happy. It may please us for a short while, but really what makes us happy is to spend our money on experiences.

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So, go and book yourself  a day trip away to somewhere beautiful and cancel that order for the new laptop.

4. Laugh, Cry and Have Sex

Here are three ways to release endorphins (happy hormones) which will lift your mood in no time.

Who would have thought that crying could make you feel good. Well, it makes sense in a way as we know already that holding in tears doesn’t make us feel very good. The relief of letting it all out brings about happy emotions – so don’t hold back the next time you feel like blubbing.

We already know that sex is good for our health as it’s fantastic exercise but now that we know it’s good for our mood there’s no more excuses not to have a good romp.

5. Drink Almond Milk

Almond milk has many fantastic benefits while dairy milk can wreak havoc on the human body. Stay away from dairy and use almond milk as a replacement – your cardiovascular and skeletal system will benefit and you will also have better skin. This is definitely a small life change that will result in a healthier you.

6. Smile

Smiling releases endorphins or happy hormones which enhances mood.

If you put a pen horizontally between your teeth for a few minutes you will be forced to smile and your mood will thank you. This well researched phenomenon is an immediate fix for anyone who’s a bit in need of a lift.

A good tool to use here would be to take out an old photo album (that doesn’t contain upsetting photo’s) and flick through the pages. You will be smiling so much you’ll be feeling happy in no time.

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7. Surround Yourself with Happy Healthy Folk

Our habits and our moods rub off on one another. We are impressionable beings both on an energy and psychological level.

If we are in a group of happy people for the afternoon we will inevitably feel happy as we make our journey home. So choose your company wisely and your mood will escalate steadily.

8. Breathe Properly

People get stressed and their breathing becomes shallow – they forget how to breathe properly.

Anytime you notice your breathing speed up and become shallow, stop what your’e doing and inhale deeply – hold for a second and let it out slowly. Repeat a few times until your breathe naturally slows down on it’s own.

You will feel relaxed and renewed after this exercise. It’s good for your lungs, your digestion, your circulatory system and of course it’s great for managing stress.

9. Expose Yourself To Humour

Just as with your choice of company – be careful about what other things you are exposed to. Watch lots of good comedy on T.V, read humorous books and listen to happy music.

We each have our own taste, but Melissa McCarthy does it for me every time.

10. Write a Pot List

This is like a baby bucket list. It’s a list of the top ten small things you wanna do in the next month. It could be something simple like going sailing or something more lasting like a new tattoo or rescuing a  dog. It’s completely up to you. There are so many adventures out there big and small just waiting to be realised. Now it’s your turn to have a little fun.

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11. Change Your Sleep Routine

For about a year now, I have been going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning. People compliment me and say that I look really well and I’m pretty sure it’s down to my sleep pattern.

I don’t feel tired anymore – I’ m careful to get at least eight hours sleep every night. Of course there will be exceptions to this but as a rule have your set hours for getting up and going to bed.

12. Connect with Something Bigger than Yourself

Connecting with something like a community group, religion, nature or the universe is a surefire way to invite happiness into your life.

Get involved in a spiritual group or maybe something of interest to you in the community. There is always very positive energy in activities involving music and dance.

13. Eat, Drink and be Merry

Now don’t get all excited – I mean in moderation.

Those endorphins are just so easy to manufacture – turns out we can make even more if we drink wine (a glass a day), eat dark chocolate and spicy food (yummy).

Then we have tea – gingseng makes us happy and green and white tea are particularly healthy. Green tea is a great antioxidant. It does a fantastic job of cleansing our systems and it gets to work on those calories too (nice one!).

So throw out the coffee (go on just do it!) and buy yourself a few boxes of herbal tea. You’ll feel so much better.

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14. Lift Weights

Lifting weights is all the rage now. It is thought to be the best way to get in shape and it has tremendous benefits for your posture and your muscle strength. Getting in shape makes us happy and you guessed it – healthy.

15. Be Grateful

Gratitude can be used as a tool for happiness and good health. Take some time every day to write down your messages of gratitude and see what happens. Many experts on the laws of the universe say that when you make a statement of gratitude you get more of what you are grateful for.

So if you state – “I am so grateful for my good health” – you will get more good health. I was very ill for some time and using gratitude everyday was a very big help to me.

Happiness and good health are intertwined – you get one then you have the other within your reach.

Taking action on even one or two of the above could have a dramatic effect on your life – so why not have a try and see how you get on. The effects of each change will be a reward in itself and you will build momentum as you work your way through the list.

Whatever you do – don’t forget to smile.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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