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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 May 21, 2020

The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

1. The Paleo Diet

The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

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How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

2. Whole30

The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

During the month you are eliminating:

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  • sugar
  • alcohol
  • legumes
  • grains
  • dairy
  • soy

Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

Finding Out How Food Impacts You

Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

3. The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

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With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

  • Fruits & vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes & nuts
  • Replacing butter with olive oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Moderate amounts of red wine

Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

4. The Alkaline Diet

The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

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People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

The Big Takeaway:

Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

Reference

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