Wanted: Happier, Healthier Life

13584554804_6c1ebae9bd_zDon’t we all?

Would you be willing to take a few steps today to make your tomorrow a little happier and healthier?

The only one who has any control over your life is you. If you have problems mentally, physically, or psychologically then look no further than the mirror. Most problems in our lives find their source in that reflection.

Change yourself, change your life.

1. Morning bird or night owl? When are you most productive? Don’t try to impress me, or anyone. You know your body and while you can change your natural tendencies, I actually don’t recommend it. Even couples who are polar opposites in terms of their peak hours of productivity can find ways to be happy together without one of them completely adjusting their lives. Compromise from time to time, but generally speaking, maintain you normal body schedule. You will both be healthier and happier because of it. This means if you need to go to bed by 10PM in order to get up at 5:30 or 6, then do it. Your partner might be better off going to bed at 2AM and getting up at 10AM. A healthy sleep schedule is the most important aspect to a healthy life.

2. Be Mindful. Difficult to do in today’s environment, but mindfulness can affect not only your physical health, but your mental health as well. Take time every day, preferably several times a day, to just pause a moment and breathe, reflect, think. Slow down your rushed pace and appreciate what is around you.

3. Eat to Live. I once heard one of the simplest ways to decide what to eat. If it’s a plant, eat it. If it comes from a plant, don’t eat it. Harder to do than it sounds, but it does help to focus on the types of food we need to be putting into our bodies. Another recommendation is to shop the periphery of a food store where all the fresh foods are located. The aisles in-between are filled with shelf-stable products that are mostly chemicals masquerading as food. An occasional foray into this area probably won’t hurt much, but regular shopping here might be a mistake.

4. Move to the music. Do you like to dance? Then find a dancing form of exercise to participate in a couple of times a week. Someone once said to me, “Running isn’t the only exercise, you know.” While I knew that, I still felt that if I wasn’t out there pounding the pavement, that I wasn’t exercising properly. Wrong! The idea is to find a form of exercise you really enjoy doing and look forward to the next time you get to participate. When you like something, you don’t have to force yourself to do it.

5. Drink more. Water that is. The vast majority of Americans are chronically dehydrated. We feel hunger because we’re thirsty. We get kidney stones from not drinking enough water. We feel exhausted when we’re thirsty. If you change only one thing about your life, this would be the easiest one to try.

Photo Credit :
Being Healthy is Beautiful
from Army Medicine via Flickr