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.
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.
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.Advertising
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.
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.Advertising
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).Advertising
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.Advertising
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
Last Updated on December 2, 2019
10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today
Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.
In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.
These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:
1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back
Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.
But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.
Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.
2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”
You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.
The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.
3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It
If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?
Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!
If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.
4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying
Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.
To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.
In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.
5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is
We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.
If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.
Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:
“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”
6. Give for the Joy of Giving
When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.
One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.
So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.
7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You
Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.
Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want
8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right
When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.
So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!
9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired
Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.
It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.
It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.
10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work
There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.
But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.
Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career
More About Living a Fulfilling Life
- 20 Things Life Is Too Short to Worry About (And What to Do Instead)
- How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future
- Do You Want to Know the Secret to Living a Fulfilling Life?
Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com