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 January 21, 2020
The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want
Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.
Why You Need a Vision
Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.
How to Create Your Life Vision
Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.
What Do You Want?
The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.
It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.
Some tips to guide you:
- Remember to ask why you want certain things
- Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
- Give yourself permission to dream.
- Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
- Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.
Some questions to start your exploration:
- What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
- What would you like to have more of in your life?
- Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
- What are your secret passions and dreams?
- What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
- What do you want your relationships to be like?
- What qualities would you like to develop?
- What are your values? What issues do you care about?
- What are your talents? What’s special about you?
- What would you most like to accomplish?
- What would legacy would you like to leave behind?
It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.
What Would Your Best Life Look Like?
Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.
A few prompts to get you started:
- What will you have accomplished already?
- How will you feel about yourself?
- What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
- What does your ideal day look like?
- Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
- What would you be doing?
- Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
- How are you dressed?
- What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
- What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
- Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.
It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next step. Give yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.
It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.
- What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
- What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
- What would you have needed to learn along the way?
- What important actions would you have had to take?
- What beliefs would you have needed to change?
- What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
- What type of support would you have had to enlist?
- How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
- What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?
Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.
It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.
Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com