We all want to be happier and healthier in life, and it’s so easy to adopt small habits that will completely transform your quality of life!
Generally, we want to nourish our bodies with good food and hydration, connect with people that make us feel great, and spend as much time as possible on self-care.
Because although it’s easier to work on our bodies than our minds, to start living a happier life, we need to pay attention to our mental health just as much as our physical health.
Choose one area of your life that you want to commit to changing first, and then move onto another.
It’s much easier to start with small steps, and you might find it more difficult if you try to adopt all of these changes at once!
But in my experience, adopting just a few of these habits and can make a big difference to our well being.
In this post, we will talk about the best 15 habits to live a healthier and happier life (in no particular order), and how to start doing them today.
1. Drink More Water
Our bodies need water to function. Water is used in our cells, organs, and tissues – so how can we expect to be at our healthiest without topping up on water throughout the day?!
We lose water even when we don’t think we are – by breathing, sweating, and digesting.
So it’s important to drink at least 2 liters of water every day.
If you’re finding it hard to drink this much water, try this:
Drink one glass when you wake up, one before every meal, one before your shower, and one before bed.
Soon enough you’ll be at your 2-liter goal! You could also keep a reusable water bottle with you at all times as a gentle reminder to stay hydrated.
2. Wake up earlier
Waking up earlier can provide us with some much-needed me-time.
Set your alarm for 30 minutes before you need to wake up, and go for a run, practice yoga, or meditate!
Spending a little bit of time on self-care first things in the morning will ensure that you have made some time for yourself before your day has even started.
You’ll be able to ground yourself and relieve stress before the (often hectic) morning even begins!
Waking up early will also improve our quality of sleep the following night – more about that next!
3. Set Your Sleep Hours
Having a sleep schedule will make it easier for your body to know when it’s time to go to sleep, and when it’s time to wake up.
Eventually, you might not even need to use an alarm anymore!
And what could be more pleasant than waking up to a silent room as opposed to a foghorn going off next to your head?
Gradually adjust your sleeping hours so that you’re sleeping for 8 hours in total.
For example, if you need to wake up at 7 am, do what you need to do to fall asleep by 11 pm, etc.
4. Practice Yoga
Practicing yoga every day is the fastest way to connect your body to your mind, and notice any aches or pains that need an extra stretch.
Yoga can help us to relax, relieve stress, and find a little bit of quiet in our busy schedules.
It’s also a great introduction to developing a regular exercise routine.
5. get active
Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make us happy!
There’s little more that we need to understand about the psychology of exercise leading to a happier life.
If you’re new to exercise, commit to 3 x 20-minute workouts per week, and increase when you’ve stuck to this routine and feel ready to add another workout or increase the length of your workouts.
6. start journaling
Journaling allows us to practice gratitude, voice our thoughts, and note down our fears and concerns.
Get yourself a nice journal, or record voice notes on your phone, and you’ll quickly see what an easy (and free!) form of therapy journaling can be.
Add journaling to your new early morning ritual to ensure that you make time for this every day.
7. Connect with friends
It’s so easy to forget about the importance of connecting with our loved ones, let’s start prioritizing it!
Call or meet with at least one close friend every week to surround yourself with your favorite people and lift your spirits.
Friends provide us with the best encouragement to follow healthy habits and change our lifestyles!
So share your new healthy living goals with them – you might even find yourself an accountability partner.
8. spend time on yourself
Spend some time doing things that make you feel good every day.
This could be reading, calling a friend, going for a bike ride, or hand making greetings cards.
Whatever makes you feel full of happiness, do that!
For the majority of us, our entire days are spent working for other people instead of doing what makes us happy.
Consider what really makes you feel good, and do more of that! Even if this means a career change…
9. turn off your screens
Limit your time on social media and screens in general.
It’s so easy to turn to our phones or the television when we have a bit of spare time – and even when we don’t have any spare time!
You’ll feel much happier if you spend your precious time working on something that makes you feel great instead of numbing yourself out.
Avoid all but the bare minimum of the news that you need to hear.
Use an app to read any headlines concerning things that you are interested in or want to be updated on, but avoid the rest.
Being fed everything that is wrong in the world makes it a little difficult to be happy.
10. eat nourishing food
Eating nourishing food is an easy way to improve our energy levels, concentration, and overall health.
Make yourself a healthy meal plan every week – healthy snacks included! – and only buy the ingredients you need when you do the shopping.
Doing your shop online will make it easier to avoid all of the tempting snacks.
It’s ok to treat yourself sometimes! Let’s be reasonable…
Just try to make sure that the majority of your food is filling you with nutrients, color, and energy.
11. love yourself
Love yourself before anything else, and you will be all the happier for it.
After all, you spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in your own body and mind – so learn to love everything about yourself, and work on the things that you don’t like so much.
The more love you have for yourself, the more love you will have to give to other people. And it’s undeniable that giving makes us all very happy!
There’s a saying that says we learn more during one hour of meditation than we do in one whole year of reading books.
Meditate first thing in the morning to start your day off well, or before you go to bed to ensure a good night’s sleep.
Choose a meditation spot where you can put a comfortable cushion, fairy lights, candles, and whatever else you need to set the mood for your meditation session.
13. Learn Something New
Getting involved in a new hobby is great for boosting our creativity, meeting new friends, and spending time doing.
Join a local class and learn a skill that you’ve always been interested in, ask your friends and family about their favorite hobbies, and see if this is something you could get involved in.
Maybe it’s a group activity like a sport, or maybe it’s something more personal like painting.
Either way, learning a new skill will boost your happiness levels!
It’s unbelievably easy to get weighed down by all of the clutter that we keep around our homes.
Tackle one room at a time, and donate or sell everything that you don’t use or that don’t serve you anymore.
After this, have a quick tidy of your home every evening so that you wake up to a clutter-free haven in the morning.
15. kick your bad habits
Have a look at all of the areas of your life where you’re doing things that aren’t good for you anymore.
This could be smoking, drinking, being unkind, staying in unhealthy relationships – anything that takes away value from your life and is bad for your health or wellbeing.
Get whatever help you need from professionals or friends to help you kick your bad habits, and look forward to a happier and healthier life!
Changing your life to be healthier and happier can seem like a daunting task.
So just choose one change at a time, make it a habit, and then move onto the next change.
Breaking your new list of good habits down into manageable chunks will make it much easier to succeed than if you try to tackle them all at once!
Implementing just a few of these tips can really make a huge difference to your wellbeing.
Whilst some are more onerous than others, most of the time it’s the fear of change that holds us back instead of the actual activity of change.
So why not try a few of these suggestions this week?
I’d love to hear back from you to see how you got on and to see if they made a difference.
About the author
Catherine holds a bachelor of science degree and is a registered mental health nurse.
She is a self-confessed health and fitness freak, nutrition fanatic and mental health boffin.
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