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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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