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7 Habits of Highly Effective Hobbits

7 Habits of Highly Effective Hobbits

Although the hobbit lifestyle may seem a bit indulgent at first glance, it’s actually laced with many healthy habits that we could learn a lesson or two from. I know you’re probably smirking right now, picturing one of the many scenes in which hobbits stuff their faces like there’s no tomorrow (my personal favourite is Merry, Pippin and the floating turkey at Orthanc), but holster those images for a moment. Aside from their eating, drinking and smoking habits, hobbits are actually very good at maintaining physical and mental health. They often live to over a hundred years old and radiate a seemingly never-ending contentment. They’re clearly doing something right.

Here are seven healthy hobbit habits that you should be practicing:

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1. Spend time in nature

Hobbits value the natural world. They can spend days wandering through the fields of the Shire or relaxing under trees. They have a true appreciation for the earth, so much so that they actually build their homes in it. Connecting with nature on a regular basis is a very healthy thing to do. In addition to the health benefits of fresh air and sunshine, interaction with the natural world can increase creative thinking and feelings of well being. So next time you have a break at work, take a walk through the park or even just step outside and take a breath of fresh air. It will do you good.

2. Graze throughout the day

Nutritionists generally agree that eating regularly with fewer hours between meals is healthier than than eating two or three large meals throughout the day. Hobbits employ this practice, eating seven meals per day, but they skip the most important part: restraint. Eating less, more often is a healthy strategy, as long as you ensure you eat well balanced meals (don’t graze on snack foods), and actually eat less. So in this case, it’s good to eat with a similar frequency as hobbits, but certainly not the same amounts.

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3. Relax

Taking time to unwind from stressful events can have a profound impact on both physical and mental health. Stress can increase your risk of heart disease, impair memory, and kill brain cells. Hobbits are experts at relaxation, often spending days reading or resting on the porch. During the busy weeks, it may seem difficult to find time to relax, but it’s these times that it’s most important to do so. If it’s exam season or you’re anxious about a heavy workload at your job, a stressed mindset will only cloud your judgement and decision making abilities. Making time for relaxation will benefit your health as well as your performance.

4. Eat mushrooms

Hobbits have a great passion for mushrooms — a well founded one, evidently. A central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet, mushrooms have been found to boost the immune system and kick-start metabolism. They’re also an excellent source of antioxidants, which fight the build-up of free radicals in the body.

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5. Spend time with friends and family

Humans are naturally social creatures. Throughout our evolution, we lived and traveled in groups, and thus, evolved to rely on and crave relationships with other people. Spending time with friends and family is essential for happiness. Perhaps hobbits evolved under similar circumstances, because one of the things they hold most dear is time with loved ones. Whether they’re meeting up for ale at the Green Dragon or simply chatting under the stars while blowing smoke rings (or boats, if you’re Gandalf), they always make time for those they hold dear.

6. Garden, preserve and cook your own food

Hobbits live off the earth, growing their own food and cooking it themselves. Granted, they don’t have many other options, but it’s still a habit worth mentioning given its relevance to our world. In modern society, food is sprayed with pesticides, preserved in sugary syrups and cooked with an entire symphony of additives. Growing your own organic food (or buying it, if you can’t grow a garden) and cooking it yourself will enable you to control what you eat, something you just can’t do with processed foods or in a restaurant. Avoid anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. Keep it simple, as a hobbit would.

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7. Appreciate the little things

Hobbits lead very simple lives. They aren’t concerned with reputation or riches, things that people in our world can get so easily get caught up in. They appreciate the small things, from a bird’s whistle to the taste of good tea in the morning — and this is the source of their perpetual contentment. The more things that make you happy, the happier you will be. Instead of requiring a massive pay cheque or a promotion, hobbits are satisfied with the “taste of strawberries.” Taking time to be grateful for the little things in life will help you become a happier person.

Featured photo credit: Frederic Spycher via flickr.com

More by this author

Leanne Louie

Leanne is a passionate writer who shares lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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