A lot of us today are leading unhealthy lifestyles, knowingly or unknowingly. We say that we simply don’t have the time to make any major changes in our lifestyle. With the pressure of work, the race to stay on top and do well in life, we ignore essential habits that could improve the quality of our lives. So caught up are we in the rat race, we often lose touch with our human side too! Not only do we harm our own bodies, we also affect the people around us.
However, the good news is that you don’t need to make major overhauls in order to lead better lives. Simply incorporating a few changes in your daily routine will help you improve your physical and psychological health, and therefore the quality of your lifestyle. Here is a list of ten habits you can adopt in order to live a better life-
10- Read more
Reading is the one thing that everyone unanimously agrees is most important for one’s intellect. Books open up new worlds, provide an escape from the drudgery of real life and make tough situations easier. They are a source of knowledge, for you learn something new from everything you read. Reading will improve your language, your vocabulary, make you smarter, give you new topics of conversation, make you more sensitive and perceptive and help you travel places from the comfort of your home. So pick up that book you have been meaning to read, and cultivate the habit of reading regularly.
9- Keep a pet
Research indicates that people who have pets live longer than ones who don’t! Who doesn’t want a cute companion who doesn’t offer judgment or disdain, but is always by your side, whether you are happy or sad. Dogs and cats are the most popular pets- dogs for the affection and companionship they offer and cats because they are endearing and funny. Keeping a pet promotes physical and mental health. It is not for nothing that some countries have dogs in courts to comfort victims giving painful testimonies. Pets give you unconditional love, which makes them even better than your girlfriend/ boyfriend. Keeping a pet may be hard work, but it will definitely improve the quality of your life.
8- Laugh more
Have you ever taken a morning walk and seen groups of people standing together and laughing loudly? They are doing that because there’s a scientific reason behind it, not to look ridiculous. Laughter strengthens the immune system of our body, making us healthier. Laughing more has been proven to release stress and relieve physical tension in our body. It cuts anxiety, lowers your blood pressure and releases endorphins that make you feel good. So try and incorporate some humour in your life, laugh at the crazy antics of your pet and read more comics. Not only will it make you healthier, it will also make you more likeable and popular.
7- Get enough sleep
In these hectic times of office, work, family, friends and socializing, it is one’s sleep that most often gets compromised. This is especially true for students and working professionals. In trying to maintain a balance between different aspects of our lives, we often compromise on sleep. However, it is very important that you get an average of at least eight hours of sleep every day. Your body needs sleep for rest and rejuvenation. Not getting enough sleep will make you grouchy and distracted the next morning, interfering with your performance. Lack of sleep can also descend into something more serious like sleeping disorders. So get your eight hours of sleep every night, and nap during the day if that is not possible.
6- Take a bath every morning
Now this may seem like the most obvious thing to do, but so many of us simply forgo our baths in the morning and bathe in the evenings. Or don’t bathe at all. Beginning your day on a note of cleanliness and hygiene is important. Not only will it make you feel fresh through the day, a morning bath will also remove fatigue and laziness. Since a clean body will house a clean mind, Indian scriptures hold that morning baths promote positivity and vigour through the day. So take a bath, brush your teeth and wear clean clothes every morning, because what you are on the outside is related to what you are inside.
5- Plan your day
Plan your day every morning, or the previous night, and you’ll be surprised by the amount of difference it makes to your lifestyle. Time management is very important, because it frees up your time and helps you plan your day better. Schedule your most important tasks for the time slot in which you are most productive. For example, if you are not a morning person, don’t try to do an important assignment as soon as you wake up. Keep some time aside for doing something you love, a hobby of some sort or just sitting and watching the sunrise or sunset. Planning ahead will make it easier for you to schedule meetings, set time aside for yourself and your family and hopefully make you more relaxed.
4- Stretch and drink more water
Today, a lot of us have desk jobs that require us to sit for long periods of time. You may not realize this, but sitting in the same position for long periods of time can be quite harmful for your spine and your back. This is especially true for people who don’t exercise and are not physically fit. Some light stretching exercises will help with this. After every couple of hours, stretch your body. get up and take a walk. This will improve your flexibility and relieve bodily stress. In the mornings, you could also try some yoga or surya namaskar to stretch your body. Drinking plenty of water is also very important for your body. Drink at least eight glasses of water every day to flush out toxins from your body and achieve healthy, glowing skin.
The benefits of walking are so many that I could write a whole other list on it. Walking every day for at least 30 minutes reduces the risk of diabetes, strengthens your heart, helps you lose weight, works as an antidepressant, prevents dementia and gives you toned thighs and legs. Whew, that’s a lot of benefits for such a simple exercise. A lot of us can’t afford to join expensive gyms or simply don’t have the time to spare. The good news is that we can incorporate walking into our daily schedules without too much extra effort. Instead of driving your car to buy milk a block away, simply brisk walk in the mornings. You will also reduce your carbon footprint. Instead of taking the escalator, take the stairs. Simple habits like these will improve your health immeasurably.
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Meditating every day for 20 to 30 minutes has a ton of health benefits. It slows your heart rate and reduces anxiety and stress, strengthens your lungs through deep breathing, helps with weight loss, enhances the immune system and increases stamina, to name just a few benefits. Moreover, it has been proven to increase mental resilience, reduce mood swings, improve emotional stability and concentration and raise empathy levels. With all these benefits, meditation will definitely help improve the quality of your lifestyle.
1- Good deed of the day
It is what you give that determines the kind of person you are. Every day, do one good deed for someone- a friend, a stranger, a family member. Kindness has been scientifically proven to have health benefits. Doing good deeds will improve your emotional health, because, as they say, true happiness lies in helping people. So help a blind man cross a road, offer your seat to the old woman who is standing, take the injured stray kitten to the vet, help your niece with her algebra- there’s so many ways of helping people. Your kindness will go a long way, because someday, someone will help you when you need them to.