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15 Simple Things You Can Do to Lead a Happy, Healthy Life

15 Simple Things You Can Do to Lead a Happy, Healthy Life

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.

–Buddha

No matter how many struggles you’ve faced in your past, you can start living a happier, more healthy life this very moment by practicing a few simple healthy habits (and breaking a few unhealthy ones). Very quickly, unbelievable new strength and energy will flood your body once you embrace a healthier lifestyle. Here are 15 ways to start.

Stop smoking.

A major research study found that not smoking, eating healthy, drinking in moderation and exercising can add 14 years to your life. Sorry, but there’s no such thing as a healthy smoker.

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Get some sleep.

According to the book Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation, people who suffer from lack of sleep and sleep disorders are less productive, spend more money on health care and have an increased likelihood of accidents compared to healthy people. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

Get a pet.

Animals are therapeutic and they have amazing benefits for your health. Even if you don’t own a pet, playing with a friend’s can brighten your day.

Relax.

Your life is busy. So take a little time to relax every day. It can make a world of difference for your health. Unwind with some yoga or meditation, both of which have major health benefits.

Break a sweat.

Exercise is also good for your mind and body … but can be a total burden when you don’t feel like working out. Here’s the solution: find something you love doing. Whether it’s lifting weights, walking, swimming, playing tennis, or doing yoga, make exercise fun and you’re much more likely to stick with it.

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Go outside.

Spending time outside is a proven way to live a healthier life. Nature is therapeutic, so go outside and enjoy it for at least a few minutes each day.

Eat real food.

70 percent of our calories come from processed food, which is a leading cause of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Eat stuff that comes from nature instead and you’ll live a healthier, longer life.

Read a book.

Words have immense power. Reading will inspire you, motivate you and give your mind a break from life’s many distractions. And you’ll learn something new with every book you read.

Get a plant.

Putting a plant in your home or office can improve your air quality and brighten up your room (and sometimes your mood too).

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Have a drink.

Having one or two drinks per day can decrease your odds of getting heart disease and certain types of cancer. Don’t overdo it though–having more than two drinks has the opposite effect.

Enjoy some time in the sauna or hot tub.

Saunas and hot tubs can help you relax after a hard day. Limit your time in them to 15-20 minutes though.

Spend time with friends and family.

There’s perhaps no greater way to improve your happiness than by spending quality time with the people you love most.

Learn a new skill.

Whether you have an interest in woodworking, knitting, yoga, writing or something else, you’re never too old to pursue a new passion.

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Make sweet love.

One study found that orgasms may have brain benefits because they increase blood flow to all parts of your brain. Sounds to me like a good reason to spend some more quality time with your significant other.

Spend time alone.

Being alone with your thoughts is essential for rebooting your brain, doing some deep thinking and reflecting on your life. Psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter says “In today’s constantly connected world, finding solitude has become a lost art.”

Take at least a few minutes each day to yourself to just breathe, think and be in the moment.

Featured photo credit: emɹә via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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