I am a firm believer that “health” has a different meaning for all of us. For some, a healthy life may entail a paleo based diet, heavy weight lifting and moderate alcohol. For others, a healthy life is yoga every morning, a vegan diet and meditation. We are all different physically, mentally, emotionally, and biologically. We all come from different environments, different circumstances, and we all carry individual wants and needs.
I am here, not to tell you exactly what you should be doing, but to guide you towards healthy habits you can customize to achieve the happiest life possible.
Let me break it down for you into ten main practises and habits to ensure a healthy and happy life.
There is nothing more important to a happy life than starting your morning off right. Eating a nutrient dense breakfast before you start your day will help ensure the rest of your day is full of happiness, productivity, and balance.
Eating breakfast is known to enhance memory, improve cognitive ability, and increase attention span. For all you bloggers, students, teachers, police officers, lawyers, stay at home moms, it doesn’t matter what you are, a healthy mind is the base for a happy life.
Find a form (or forms) of exercise that are right for you so consistency will not be an issue. Let’s face it, if you hate doing something, you will not do it for long. Whether it be yoga, pilates, kickboxing, weight lifting or running, any form of physical activity that gets your body moving is beneficial.
Physically, exercise strengthens the bones and muscles, and is a factor in weight control. It also plays a role in mental health. Regular physical activity contributes to an overall better mood and better sleep.
We live in a society where most of us are trying to juggle work, exercise, friendships, relationships and numerous other responsibilities. We tend to negate how important sleep is for our overall health and well-being. Sleep is the body and mind’s chance to rebuild and recharge for the day ahead. Without adequate sleep your overall happiness levels will decrease, because you simply did not give your body enough time to recharge. Four hours a night will not cut it. Think 7-9 hours of sleep depending on your circumstances and your own biological needs.
Create a schedule
Organization and more specifically, a schedule, is necessary to lead the happiest life possible. This is especially important if you work for yourself, because you do not have a boss or supervisor telling you what and when to do a task.
If you choose to forgo a schedule, you are left feeling flighty and unfocused. I recommended sitting down on Sunday night with your calendar and planning out your week. For you bloggers, plan the days you will be posting, what these posts will be, the days you will be writing, the days you will be doing photography, and so on.
Read fiction novels (particularly something that is not on a screen)
Reading can be so therapeutic. It takes us out of our reality and catapults us into an alternate world or reality. It allows us to connect with and learn from characters within the novel to make us better, more understanding people. It is noted by BBC that reading works of fiction sharpens our analytical thinking and uplifts our mood. Try to read each weekday night before bed instead of looking at your phone or laptop.
Breaks are essential, whether you are a blogger, work a 9-5 job or are a student. Don’t fear taking a 20 minute break every couple of hours or so. Find a break schedule that works for you and keeps you feeling motivated and energized. Science Daily shares that breaks increase focus, help us to retain information and re-connect us to our lives. This re-connection allows us to think more deeply about the task at hand.
This is a boring factor in regard to a happy life, but a true one. Water is the main component to human health and without physical health it is difficult to have true happiness. Water removes harmful toxins from the body, helps transport nutrients and lubricates all parts and systems of the body. Drink your water.
Make time for friends/family
Your relationships are important. Don’t get too carried away in your work, to the point where you forget to nurture these relationships. In order to lead a happy life you need to have your health. Connecting with other human beings, is just as important as eating right and exercising.
Typical human life has changed. We are no longer beings who spend most of our days outdoors. We have even evolved to the point where our children no longer seek the outdoors, as much as they do a tablet or iphone.
But, nature is crucial to our species overall happiness. It is known to improve our health and happiness by brining us a sense of connectedness to our world. This blog post by Psychology Today discusses more about how nature makes us happy.
Take the time to go for a hike, a swim or simply sit in the fresh air daily
Do more of what you love
So simple, but so forgotten. Take the time (or make the time) to do the things you love doing. Whether it be exercising, cooking, reading, playing the piano, or any hobby you can dream of. These are the things that bring true joy to your life.