A healthier happier you.
That is totally something I want in on! When Monica Nichols (who writes for www.diet.st) asked whether you’d be interested in 10 of her best healthier happier you tips, I jumped on the opportunity.
So, here’s Monica’s advice on getting healthier + happier.
How much do you care about yourself, truly?
Do you consciously decide during your busy day to dedicate fifteen minutes to doing something that makes you happy and calm? If you are like the most population on this good Earth then the answer is a big no, followed by colorful excuses.
Instead of doing our best to improve and grow every day, we get stuck in routines that are bad for us and lead us to being anxious and miserable. Implementing small, yet powerful rituals into your everyday existence will make a world of difference and will diminish the impact of every harmful one, and this is a fact.
Becoming healthier and happier isn’t something to be chased or thought of in theory. It’s reality waiting to happen as soon as you take responsibility for it. Feeling good in our own skin is our natural state, but with so much conditioning about how you should look and feel, no wonder such a big part of humanity feels depressed and stuck with their own demons.
Maybe you feel like it’s high time to do something about your wellbeing, to gradually change your life for the better. Here are 10 tips how you can do it in a way that it serves you most.
Know Who You Are and Love It
All the problems connected to our image, our relationship with food, other people and how we deal with circumstances come from our understanding of ourselves.
Don’t believe it’s so?
Think about it.
Everything that is happening around you and everything you are is mirroring perfectly how you feel and what you think you deserve and don’t deserve. This is a very difficult concept to accept because that means that all bad habits that brought you problems and pain have come from you. This sounds awful, but it isn’t. If something has come from you that means it can be removed by you and that gives you back your power.
The very first step to being happier is fully acknowledging who you are, warts and all. Take a close look at yourself and recognize your patterns because then, you will be able to see them fall away easily. Learning to love yourself is a long process, especially if you’re new to it, but the way it changes your world is amazing.
Be Kind to Yourself and Others
I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow people have become “too busy” to be kind.
We circle around in negative speech and thought patterns that make us feel insignificant, ashamed or angry. If you’re dealing with an issue like emotional overeating, the last thing you need is to be unkind to yourself. That will lead to more stress and consequently to having more of what you don’t want in your life.
Being kind to yourself will come with loving who you are. This doesn’t mean that we should shrug off the consequences of doing something that isn’t good for us, but your approach to how you handle things is essential.
If you’ve faltered and given in to your cravings, don’t panic and say nasty things to yourself. Instead, breathe in and find a way that you can make the most out of your situation. Know how you feel and know that you don’t want to go back to that feeling and be gentle in your inner monolog. You won’t feel as guilty and your kindness will make room for nourishing good habits. Also, your inner kindness will reflect on how you treat others and people will notice it.
So Much Gratitude
Do you focus on what you have or on what you don’t have? We’re constantly stuck in wanting something – a promotion, an expensive skirt, an exotic trip to Maldives, a perfect man/woman… What we neglect completely is what we already have and how grateful we should be for it.
Think about when was the last time you looked at your loved ones and felt a surge of gratitude. Is the feeling recent? If you’re facing a problem of emotional eating, when was the last time you were thankful and proud for eating right? If you want more wonderful experiences in your life, the best thing you can do is be grateful about those you’ve already had. This will shift your focus to positive things instead of keeping you in the negative.
Don’t see being grateful as a chore or something you “have to do”. This habit should make you feel joyful and fulfilled so that no other negative thoughts, cravings or fears can creep their way in.
Eat Good, Real Food
If I’ve said once, I’ve said it bazillion times – let go of highly processed foods.
I understand it’s an easy choice and it’s around us all the time. But, that food that has little to do with what food should actually be like causes health problems that won’t go away.
If you’re a gourmet, excellent! All the more reason to turn to cooking fresh organic produce that comes from the ground and can offer you nutrients in every shape and form. When it comes to emotional eating, when our triggers go off we need any kind of food and stat.
Clean your house from junk food, sugary drinks, and all other temptations and replace it with fruit on the counter, veggies and lean meats in the fridge. Then, everything you reach for will be good for you to eat.
If you don’t have time to cook, there are plenty of organic meal delivery services that can bring you wholesome food to your door. It’s is infinitely better than ordering greasy takeout. Don’t be lazy when you’re in the supermarket, read the labels, consciously choose healthy food and steer clear from the middle section, that’s where all the nasty stuff is.
Exercise as Distraction
Whenever you feel like you’ve got nothing better to do than binge watch yet another season of your favorite TV show on Netflix and nibble on anything and everything, stop. Is there something better that you could be doing with your time?
When in doubt, get a move on. Get out of the house, and for a walk somewhere in nature. It will help you consolidate and clear your mind.
If you’re sitting at a desk eight hours a day, then it would be wise to incorporate a workout routine into your free time. It boosts your metabolism, burns calories faster and helps you feel great about yourself.
I’ll say it straight away – don’t consider exercise as torture you have to go through. Find a sport that you love and give it the best you’ve got. You don’t have to be stuck in the gym to see improvements on your body. There are plenty of fun ways to stay fit and light on your feet, as long as you’re willing to explore your options.
You Can’t Thrive in Your Comfort Zone
Making a change for the better requires getting out of your comfort zone, there is no way around it.
When you accept that you will have to get uncomfortable (at least for a while) to get results, everything will be much easier. Besides, doing same ineffective things over and over again means you’re stuck in a vicious circle. You might as well go for a leap of faith.
Take that improv class, sign up for Zumba lessons, go have a healthy dinner on your own. You never know what’s going to happen until you’ve tried it.
Sleep Well to Function Well
If you want to feel good and think clearly, be as rested as possible. Never underestimate the power of sleep.Your body needs it to function normally and you really don’t want to be in constant overdrive.
Do your best to go to bed at a decent hour (most of the days) and wake up early. That way you’re winding your metabolism to work for you. You can have a hearty breakfast that will keep you full until your healthy snack and then lunch.
When you sleep well, your whole body is in tune, which leaves you room to work on your healthy eating habits and avoid cravings that kick in the moment you feel tired and in desperate need of a snack break.
Find Ways to Meditate
I know you’re thinking about holding the lotus position for two hours straight away! But, meditating isn’t a strictly established process. You can meditate on your commute home, while you’re having your lunch, while you’re working out… Options are limitless.
You don’t have to do it for an hour or two. Just carve out some time for yourself to be still and take notice of your thoughts. That’s what meditation is all about: coming back to your place of peace whenever you can. Don’t be scared off by what you “must do” to meditate “correctly”. Just sit still breathe deep and whenever your thoughts start running rampant, deepen your breath and let go.
When I say take care of yourself, I mean it in every way possible.
Hydrate, eat well, but not too much, exercise regularly and keep the stress at bay by finding ways to unwind after a long week. When I say pampering, I mean anything that feels good to you. Some go to the spa, some spend the whole weekend outdoors. Some consider pampering staying at home and reading an awesome book. There are no boundaries, but do something that feels good to you.
It’s important to find the time and do nice things for yourself. It motivates you to take care of yourself throughout the whole week.
Expectations are one of the greatest causes of unhappiness. As soon we let go of them, our lives become infinitely better.
No, that doesn’t mean you should throw your ambitions to the wind. But, don’t fall apart when things don’t go as you expected them to. Don’t expect people to behave the way you want them to. Don’t expect impossible from yourself. And most importantly, go with the flow of your life. The places it’ll take you are far more interesting than where you intended to go.
You’ve got this
Being happier is something you can achieve right now. Just by coming up to the mirror and smiling at yourself for a minute or two, things will change. Try it if you don’t believe me.
Letting go of toxic thoughts, habits, and people that are holding you down is difficult and challenging. But, here’s the thing: who you become as you continue to work on yourself is not only a healthier and happier person but also someone you’re proud to be.
– Monica Nichols
Monica Nichols is a 32-year-old fashion designer and freelance writer from Omaha, Nebraska. She’s been writing for www.diet.st since 2014. In her free time she likes making pottery and playing with her pet cat.