Let’s face it, making big changes can be hard and intimidating. For example: our 30-day Happy Body Formula program is designed for a holistic transformation, yet we often see our community members arrive with one big goal, such as weight loss or getting physically fitter.
While having a happy body has a lot to do with changing one’s diet and fitness, we are just as interested in getting our members to experience a sense of mental well being and happiness overall.
This usually requires a lot of tiny shifts: in your diet, fitness routine, mindset, and daily living in general. These small parts working in unison is when the magic happen.
Even if you’re already living a pretty healthy life, there are ways for some small healthy habits, rituals and daily procedures to slip through the cracks.
That’s what we’re going to talk about today – those mindful habits that provide your life and body with structure that get us to our final goals and keep us put when we get there. After all, maintenance takes work.
Here are 10 simple tactics for living a better life… starting right now.
Grounding or “earthing” is simply the act of getting in touch with the earth. This is a simple habit as all you have to do is step out into the grass or walk on the ground with bare feet.
It sounds a little hippy-dippy, but think about it – back in the day, people had to walk barefoot, so it’s a great way to get in touch with your inner caveman.
It is thought to bring the earth’s energy into the body and to reduce the charge of positively charged ions in the body (from too much technology exposure, for example). This can reduce inflammation and stress, improve blood flow, and even reduce mild muscle pain or headaches.
Naturally, sunlight is super important for a few reasons – namely, vitamin D – but we don’t quite get enough of it these days. We’re often stuck inside of rather poorly lit boxes – cubicles, our homes, and our television sets.
Some climates don’t lend themselves well to sun exposure, especially during the colder months. Just ten minutes of sun exposure can help someone with fair skin to reach optimal vitamin D levels, while someone with darker skin might benefit from around an hour in the sun.
In any case, it’s good to be intentional about soaking up some rays for both optimal health and mood-boosting properties. In the winter, consider waking up with a lightbox which mimics sunlight.
You might look a little goofy wearing these shades as you wind down for the evening, but they can work wonders for your sleep. The reasoning is that they’ll block out the harmful effects of too much blue light, which we are exposed to all day long.
The glow of our phones and other electronics keeps our brains wired, and it can interfere with our quality and quantity of rest time. Consider using these when the sun goes down, if you’re guilty of scrolling through Facebook right before you get some shut-eye.
Human touch is slightly undervalued, and you may not be getting a healthy dose of it. Hugging, kissing, touching and cuddling releases oxytocin, which can reduce blood pressure, stress and anxiety.
Human touch can also reduce physical pain, increase hormones that boost immunity and overall just make you feel more connected to someone, which is great for your health. Hug your friends, kids, parents, partner, and pets more often.
Less social media
Social media is time-consuming, and it disconnects us from what’s going on around us – our real relationships, nature, important tasks at hand, sleep, meals and even driving.
Moreover, it can stir up a lot of negative emotion, whether you’re experiencing FOMO (the fear of missing out) or find yourself worked up by that one friend’s not-so-agreeable political opinions.
Set a time limit, delete your Facebook app, schedule a shut-off time, or arrange a social media-free day for the week.
Cutting toxic ties
If you’re looking for people to hug for those happy brain chemicals, consider the quality of the people in your life. Toxic relationships bog us down, and often, we don’t even see it happening.
While some people can’t be avoided – like your boss and coworkers – it’s good to do a social sweep from time to time. Think about people who are constantly complaining, relationships that take without any give, or people who discourage you from achieving your full potential in any way – nobody has time for that!
Seek out people who make you a better person, and watch the quality of your life climb.
The “two minute” rule
Here’s the premise: if it takes less than two minutes, do it now. If you get into the swing of this, you won’t even question it at some point.
Think about tidying up, de-cluttering your email inbox, sending off mail or bills, making a phone call, cleaning something that you’ve been putting off – anything that makes you prone to procrastination.
If you have a little extra time, extend the two-minute rule to the five-minute rule to tackle a few larger tasks.
Seek new information
When we stop learning, we stop growing. Whether or not you’re an expert in your field and haven’t been schooled in awhile, or you’ve been looking to pick up a new skill or hobby, there’s so much information to be absorbed.
Choose something that you’d like to get better at, and put in the work everyday. With the ease and abundance of online articles, podcasts, audiobooks, free reading material at libraries and more, we can learn literally anywhere at almost anytime.
Set aside a designated period of time (20 minutes, one hour, before bed) to get better at what you do. Then, pass that information on to someone who might need it – it feels good to give back!
There are tons of benefits to keeping a journal. You don’t have to start with the pressure of beginning your first novel. Just writing down 3-5 things you’re grateful for can help to keep you mindful, reduce stress, and focus on the positive aspects of your life.
It offers a moment to be present and see the good going on in your life, even on your worst days. Being consistent with this habit can be a huge game changer for overall happiness and fulfillment.
Take your time at meals
One of the best habits for mindful eating is to schedule in a little extra time to prepare and eat your meals. Often, we genuinely don’t have the time to slow down at every meal. In that case, it’s good to aim to make at least one meal per day to last a little longer.
Take your time cooking and find a way to enjoy the process. Skip eating in front of the TV, and put a little effort into making the table. Take your lunch break outside.
You’ll eat slower, taste the flavors better and have the chance to connect over food with other people.
What little things keep you up to speed, feeling healthy, and consistently motivated? Share your best ideas with us for living your best life.
Music, mountains, dogs, travel, food and friends.