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15 Simple Things You Can Do To Be Happier And Healthier That You Never Realized

15 Simple Things You Can Do To Be Happier And Healthier That You Never Realized

I hate being miserable. Sometimes life can get the best of me and it can be challenging. I am human, after all. When you are exhausted, overwhelmed, and stressed, the last thing you need is someone telling you what you should be doing. So instead, let’s keep it simple.  Here are 15 simple things you can do to just feel better about yourself.

1. Get Enough Sleep

We’ve all heard that you need to get enough sleep, which is about 8 hours. Sometimes we are so busy that it’s hard to get the right amount of sleep. Here are some tips on how to prepare yourself for a better night’s sleep. To start off, try just adding one extra hour of sleep at night. Even that can make a big difference.

2. Read Books That Inspire You

I love to escape in a good book. It takes my mind off of the what’s happening in my own life and it’s just good to read! We often don’t read just for the fun of it. Here is a list of books you may want to read.

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3. Limit Sugar Intake

There is plenty of scientific evidence that too much sugar is bad for you. You are gaining weight and it is negatively affecting your immune system. In fact, we’ve been hearing that since we were kids! Don’t go extreme here, but try and cut out one sugary item to start.

4. Exercise

Get moving! Do something you really enjoy or just take a 30 minute walk. Studies show that even moderate levels of exercise can boost your health. Start with something small and simple. Let’s get those endorphins flowing and feel good about ourselves! (Okay, maybe a little too Richard Simmonsesque.)

5. Limit Caffeine

Okay, I enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning and sometimes I drink one in the early afternoon. However, if you drink too much caffeine, I suggest scaling it back a little. If you want to know if you are drinking too much caffeine, check out this article from the Mayo Clinic.

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6. Turn Off Electronic Devices at Night

After a certain time, I like to be electronic free. I know it’s tempting to fall asleep to the television or read e-mails late at night, but studies show that it can really affect your quality of sleep. As we wind down the day, we don’t need to activate our senses. Try setting a time an hour before bed where you completely cut off electronics.

7. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Most of us like to connect with our friends on social networks, because it’s a good way to keep up with them. However, studies show there is also something else going on. Sites like Facebook and Twitter allow people to showcase the best parts of their lives. After viewing a lot of people and how happy they appear to be, it can actually cause one to feel worse about themselves. It’s an illusion. Social media is great, but just keep this in mind next time you are scrolling through your feed.

8. Try Turmeric

Turmeric is an Indian spice that is used in cooking but also has some powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. There is even evidence that it can be just as beneficial as anti-depressants, without all the side effects. You can buy supplements or try to incorporate turmeric more into your cooking.

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9. Take Deep Breaths

Take a big, deep belly breath. You know, the kind that fills you up and can feel your chest and stomach expand. This is the easiest way to slow down and recharge yourself. Take more deep breaths throughout the day. There are many obvious and not so obvious benefits to deep breathing.

10. Practice Gratitude

This is one way to connect to something bigger than yourself. You don’t have to practice a certain religion, but it’s important to practice gratitude. When we are grateful for what we have, it puts everything else in perspective. It helps us worry less about what we won’t have in the future, because we have enough right now. Here is a great list to help you get started.

11. Laugh, a lot

Do more things in life that make you laugh. Watch more comedy, make a co-worker smile, act silly. Laughter is so essential to both mental and physical health. I always feel better after I laugh (except when I laugh so hard my stomach hurts)! Laughter is also simply healthy for you.

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12. Help someone in need

This is the one of my favorite ways to feel better about myself. It may sound counter-intuitive, but it makes you feel so much better. Help someone else without any expectation of anything in return. The best part is that you actually will get something even bigger in return – a sense of purpose. There are many ways in which volunteerism can make you happier and healthier.

13. Exercise Your Brain

Do more things that make your brain sweat. Play chess, solve crosswords, or join Lumosity. Any any age, it’s important to challenge your mind to problem solve. When real problems arise, your brain is better equipped to take on the task at hand. There are many benefits to exercising the brain.

14. Drink Plenty of Water

Like other health tips, the specific amount of water seems to always change. Drink eight glasses, no wait, now it’s too much! Just drink enough water that is right for you. The idea here is to replace sugary drinks with more water. If you like carbonation, try seltzer water with no sodium. Water is an important asset to how our body functions and can even help with weight loss.

15. Reach Out to Others

Sometimes life can be so overwhelming that we feel like we are all alone. The more you connect with other people on a deeper level, you realize that you aren’t the only one struggling with life’s challenges. I encourage you to connect with more people who you trust. As humans, we thrive on community and positive social connections. Pick just one person to reconnect with or meet someone new. It will make you feel better.

There are many ways in which we can feel happier and healthier. There is also no perfect way to do this. I encourage you to do more of what works best for you. Try just changing one thing for the better in your life. Maybe it’s getting one extra hour of sleep. Maybe it’s taking a couple more deep breaths.  These are simple ways that we can bring more abundance to life, without feeling like we are adding more things to our to-do list.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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