There is nothing more important than having your mental, emotional, and physical health! When you’re healthy from the inside-out, life becomes a much more pleasant endeavor and obstacles become more surmountable. Today I’m going to be sharing my top 14 healthy habits. These are habits that I try to incorporate into my life on a daily basis and they’ve helped me so much in cultivating a more positive and mindful life and I think they’ll help you too!
Tip #1: Drink More Water
Drink more water! Our bodies are largely composed of water and since we constantly lose water throughout the day through sweat and other bodily functions, it’s so important to replenish these lost fluids consistently throughout the day. Water is essential to our health and helps our kidneys, our bowel functions, our muscles, and even our skin.
I try to drink water as soon as possible after waking up and I also bring a water bottle with me when I go out so I can stay hydrated throughout my day. There are also a bunch of water apps out there which send you regular reminders to drink more water which might be a good option for you if you’re someone that needs that extra push.
Pro tip: If you’re someone that gets bored of the taste of water, try making some infused water by adding some slices of lemon and cucumber, or some fresh fruit like strawberries to your water for some extra flavor.
Tip #2: Go on Walks
I think we most often associate walking with exercise, as a form of getting in some low impact cardio. But going beyond that, walks are absolutely amazing for your mental health and even your creativity! Taking walks gives us the opportunity to not only move our bodies, but also breathe in some fresh air, connect with nature, and let our minds wander and unwind.
I find that when I’m super stressed out, going for a walk helps me calm down and think of new solutions to my problems, so that by the time I return to my house, I have a much more positive outlook on my life. In fact, whether or not I’m feeling the best, if I spend some time outside, 9/10 times I come back feeling happier, so try to find a few minutes in your day whether it’s early in the morning, or maybe in the evening so you can catch the sunset, to just walk around your neighborhood or your local park.
Tip #3: Tidy Up Your Surroundings
I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment, “A clear space equals to a clear mind.” When my home is super messy and cluttered, I find that my thoughts are also cluttered and it’s harder to reach a peaceful mental state. The act of tidying up can be calming in itself, and the result, even more so.
When your outer environment is clean and distraction free, it allows you to direct your focus inward to your mental space, and when you’ve already accomplished bringing order to the chaos of your surroundings, it gives you the confidence to do the same with your thoughts and feelings. Try to spend a couple of minutes everyday tidying up and putting your things back where they belong.
Tip #4: Yoga
Exercise can be daunting and an extremely hard habit to build if you’re used to living a more sedentary lifestyle and I think stretching and yoga are great icebreakers to getting used to a more active lifestyle. Engaging in just a few minutes of stretching and yoga every single day can make you feel more limber and relaxed while also releasing a bunch of endorphins into your system that make you feel good.
One of my favorite things about yoga is that the barrier to entry is super low – all you need is your body and a soft surface which can literally be the carpet in your room or a cheap yoga mat from a discount store. With the hundreds of thousands of yoga workouts on Youtube, there’s nothing stopping you from getting started right this minute.
I’ve been following a short bedtime yoga routine for the last few months and I love how it makes me feel afterwards.
Tip #5: Eat More Greens
If it’s green and a vegetable, chances are it’s really good for you. We all know how healthy greens are for us – they nourish our bodies and provide them with essential nutrients that make us feel good from the inside-out.
Lately, I’ve really been working on trying to include some greens with every single meal. For example, if I’m making myself a burrito bowl, I’ll load it up with a ton of spinach or a spring greens mix.
Another good tip to increase the amount of greens you’re eating is to buy a big container of your favorite greens and then challenge yourself to finish it in a specific time-frame such as a week. Last time I went shopping, I picked up this massive box of a spring mix and my goal is to finish it by next week when I go grocery shopping again. Remember guys, it’s the small and steady changes that make the biggest impact over the long-term.
Tip #6: Cut out Added Sugar
Sticking to the nutrition category, my next tip is to cut out added sugar. I’m always shocked by how much sugar is added to almost every single item on the store shelves when I’m out shopping and picking up different products to read the nutrition label. So many of us end up consuming way too much unnecessary added sugar without even realizing it. Excess sugar can lead to weight gain, increase your risk of heart disease, and cause a slurry of other health problems that we want nothing to do with. So be proactive about your health and take the time to read the nutrition labels on the food items you buy to make sure they don’t have any added sugar and if they do, it’s extremely minimal. Also, instead of going for sugary snacks and desserts, try a piece of your favorite fruit instead.
I also want to take a moment to talk about tastebuds. We often think that our tastebuds are wired a certain way, but I’m here to tell you that, that’s simply not the case- your tastebuds are trainable and you can grow to enjoy the taste of fruits and vegetables you never thought possible. And sugar is very addictive so if you’re used to having a chocolate bar for a snack every day and then you suddenly decide to have an orange instead, that orange is probably not going to taste very sweet to you on that first day. But if you stick to this new routine, in a couple of weeks, that orange WILL taste just as sweet to you as that chocolate bar once did.
Tip #7: Pack Your Own Lunch
I swear this is my last food-related tip, but my next tip is to make a habit of packing your own lunch! If you work or go to school and usually just grab whatever is available from a restaurant or cafeteria, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to nourish your body to the fullest extent possible. It only takes a few minutes to prep a healthy lunch in the morning, but in return you’ll feel so much better after consuming a meal that you know is much healthier.
If you’re short on time, try meal prepping on the weekend instead and make a big batch of something healthy and then portion it out for the rest of the week, maybe freezing half so it lasts the whole week. Nothing is more important than our health and what we choose to put into our bodies matters a lot.
Tip #8: Read
What we choose to put into our bodies doesn’t just matter when it comes to food, it also matters in all aspects of our lives in terms of what thoughts we put into our heads, the people we inject into our lives, and of course, the knowledge we feed our brains. Our brains are so beautifully complex and they crave new knowledge and stimulation. Reading is a wonderful way to learn more about whatever in the world you want to learn about and it stimulates your brain in all sorts of different ways.
Fiction and non-fiction stimulate your brain in different ways so it’s important to incorporate both into your life, but if you’re just getting started with reading, read whatever you enjoy the most! Personally, I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction for the past 2 years, but my true passion is still romantic suspense novels. Romance plus mystery equals to a very happy me. If you’re looking for some inspiration, here’s a list of my favorite non-fiction books!
Tip #9: Create Routines
Sometimes, it can almost seem as if there’s an internal battle going on inside ourselves with one part knowing exactly what needs to be done for your long-term good, while the other side argues for short-term happiness instead. Routines can help you put a stop to that internal fight! Routines bring structure to the habits that you’re working on by putting them on autopilot and making them a non-negotiable aspect of your day and routines also help you accomplish more in a shorter period of time.
The best part about routines is that when you stick to one, it creates a positive loop where you gain more confidence in your own ability to get things done which further propels you to continue sticking to your habits through your routines.
I recommend starting off small and creating a relatively short morning routine for yourself. Stick to that routine every single morning and push through the initial resistance until it starts to get easier, until finally it feels almost natural. As you get more practiced, you can add more routines and even switch things up! Here’s a link to my ideal morning routine.
Tip #10: Gratitude Journal
Negative circumstances can often make a bigger impact on us than positive ones, which makes it easy to tune out all of the things that we do have going on for us and instead focus on everything that we don’t have. Gratitude journaling helps shift our inner dialogue to start focusing on the positives more, however small they may be. It helps us start to pay more attention to all the positives we have in our life and teaches us to be grateful for what we have.
The key to happiness is finding joy in the little things rather than the big momentous occasions. I journal every evening and write down a few things that I’m grateful for that day. Even on my worst days, I’m always surprised that I can come up with at least one thing that I’m grateful for, and this often helps me put my problems into perspective. I also think it’s fun to see trends and see which days I feel most grateful and which days I don’t. It’s like a mini window into your own mind.
Tip #11: Write – Poetry, Stories, Thoughts, Feelings, Anything
Writing is a form of self-expression and a way of connecting with your inner voice. Writing is also a tool to hone your creativity and get your ideas flowing. Going beyond that, it’s a great way to release pent-up emotions, both good and bad. We often repress so many of our emotions for a multitude of reasons but when it comes to writing, it’s a free pass to let it all out without any consequences.
Write something every single day. It doesn’t matter if it’s a single line or several pages. I try to journal everyday and sometimes I even journal multiple times. It helps me see where my mind is at and what things I’ve been fixating on. I also like to write occasional poetry to let out my feelings about personal things that are hard to express in any other way. Writing is truly therapeutic so give it a try!
Tip #12: Express Your Love to Your Loved Ones
Life is short and we can often forget to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us. Sometimes we’re afraid to be vulnerable, but remember, the way someone responds to you expressing your affection is a representation of them and their own emotional state, not a reflection of you, just like having the courage to be vulnerable is a representation of your own emotional maturity.
Rarely does anyone regret telling their loved ones how much they love them. Expressing your love can make another person’s day and can often be a much needed reminder for them. So, tell the people you care about how much they mean to you and do it often.
Top #13: Listen to Music
Music is known to be a great mood booster and it can even reduce your stress levels! I think the happiest individuals are the ones who find joy in the little things. Listening to music, singing along, dancing, tapping your foot to a good beat, these are some small ways to add a little bit of extra enjoyment to your day. I love music and playing guitar and it’s something that brings me a lot of happiness.
When I’m feeling upset about something, going for a walk outside in nature while listening to some good music never fails to elevate my mood and make me feel 1000x better.
If you’ve ever needed an excuse to listen to more music, then this is it for you – listen to a little bit of music everyday.
Tip #14: Be Kind to Yourself
My last tip is to be kinder to yourself. We tend to be our own worst critics. We often treat our friends and even strangers better than we treat ourselves. Learning to be kind to oneself is one of the most important things we can do.
Inside, we’re all just like little children that need love and kind encouragement to blossom, and sometimes we forget that and get caught up in nitpicking every little perceived flaw we see in ourselves. So, say something nice about yourself when you’re looking in the mirror. Be proud of yourself for your accomplishments. Give yourself credit once in a while.
Be kind to yourself and watch your inner self glow with the radiance of your kindness.
These were 14 of my favorite healthy habits that have changed my life in so many positive ways! I hope you found some value in them and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments down below!