Improving overall happiness can be achieved through several different ways. Taking the effort to change your lifestyle starts with the decision to make your life healthier. Nobody wants to be sick, since an illness is inconvenient and awful. It deprives you from going to work, school, or the ability to look after yourself or your family. Nobody wants that!
It is easy to make lifestyle changes that improve your mental and physical health. Follow these five things to stop doing in 2016 in order to get healthier and make the best choices about nutrition, hygiene, counseling, relationships, and family.
- Stop ignoring basic hygiene
Maintaining clean hygiene starts with simply washing your hands more frequently. Washing your hands is proven to prevent germs from spreading and causing illnesses. Make it a habit to wash your hands whenever you come inside from shopping/ dog walking/ taking transit, etc. and always wash up before you eat.
- Give up bad sleep habits
Staying up late takes a toll, especially as you get older. Rest is an essential part of any individual’s day and the key to a happier, healthier life. Feeling rested means your body is ready to fight crime – well, at the very least fight bacteria that may cause an illness. A good night’s sleep also helps you be more productive at work and less likely to snap at your partner over little irritants (which may cause you to sleep on the couch which will lead to a poor night’s sleep….). Being well rested has also been linked to weight loss and improved mental health.
- Stay Away from Negative Relationships
Improve or form new relationships in 2016 to for a happier mental state. Mental health management includes having a strong support system. Spend less time with those that influence you in a negative way or that are intent on their own needs at the expense of yours. Everyone has their “off” days, but when your friend or family member is a chronic complainer or mired in drama and it’s too much for you to handle, let them know you need some space to ensure the both of you can focus on maintaining more positive relationships.
- Stop Ignoring Nutrition
Nutrition starts with a balanced diet. Include fruits and vegetables in your diet, and change up what you eat. Select whole grains when shopping for breads, since whole grains boost your
energy. Making the change to cut out too much sodium from your diet can lower blood pressure. Refreshing the body with plenty of water helps you avoid dehydration. This is not new information – and you know it! However, you may have yet to ditch the chips and soda from your pantry and replace them tea and fruit. Spend 2016 shedding one unhealthy food each month and start trying new, healthier foods. You don’t have to fall in love with kale, but you may come to adore cabbage or passion fruit.
- Stop Avoiding Exercise
This is another thing you know you should be doing, but have yet to make it a habit. Start today. Go outside and go for a short walk. If it’s cold, walk inside a mall or shopping complex. Keep moving for five minutes. Tomorrow, do it again, but add a couple of minutes. Work your way up to 30 minutes of active walking. You’ll feel so good you’ll want to add some resistance training or maybe take up running. The trick is to find something active you like to do and get started, even if it’s just for a few minutes on those first weeks.
Make 2016 your best year yet by dropping five unhealthy habits and replacing them with things that will make your future years happier, more productive and active.