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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 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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