In the American Journal of Psychology (1903) a habit is defined in this way:
“A habit, from the standpoint of psychology, is a more or less fixed way of thinking, willing, or feeling acquired through previous repetition of a mental experience.”
Imagine your day filled with positive daily habits that promoted a healthier and happier lifestyle. Imagine this came naturally. Setting a few simple daily goals will be the driving force for creating new daily habits.
Quick tip: I use an app called “Daily Goals” to stay on track!
Try these 10 daily habits to improve your wellbeing…
1. Drink Water
You can go for more than 3 weeks without food but your body cannot last more than 3 days without water. At least 60% of your body is made up of it! Water improves your skin, your mental clarity, your digestive system, your cell growth, keeps your appetite at bay, energizes your muscles, the list goes on and on.
Rule of thumb: Drink half of your body’s weight in ounces (minimum). If you weigh 130 pounds, you should be drinking at least 65 ounces of water a day.
2. Breathe Deeply
You know how 3 weeks of no food and 3 days of no water are DANGEROUS to your health? Well, 3 MINUTES of no oxygen to your lungs is the difference between life and death (unless you are a deep sea diver… or Michael Phelps). Adding deep breathing to your daily habits list and practicing throughout the day not only keep you alive, but also releases toxins from your body, relaxes your mind and muscles, energizes your brain, relieves pain and emotional stress, massages your organs, improves your posture and quality of blood flow… need I say more? The old saying “Just breathe” should not be taken for granted.
Not only is it an opportunity for you to take 5 minutes out of your busy day to focus on YOU, but stretching also has awesome health benefits. Stretching promotes circulation, increases flexibility and range of motion, protects you from injury, improves posture, relieves stress, and just feels goooood. It takes 5 minutes to bask in the splendor of stretching… there is time in the day for that!
4. Go For a Walk
Living in the midwest (Chicago to be exact) and working from home makes this tip hard for me to do on a daily basis… but the benefits of fresh air prove to outweigh cabin fever ANY day! Fresh air aids in digestion, improves your blood pressure and heart rate, cleans your lungs (combine with deep breathing for an added bonus), increases energy and libido! I’m in!
The chemistry of your body is an AMAZING thing. When something happens or someone says something that makes you laugh, the reaction is something extraordinary. Not only do you get a nice ab workout but you increase your T-cells, reduce stress hormones, release endorphins, lower your blood pressure, and well.. feel pretty good. Laughter truly is life’s medicine.
6. Hug Someone
Okay… this may seem cheesy… but the power of the human touch should not be taken lightly. Hugging induces a release of oxytocin, the “bonding hormone” which reduces stress and lowers cortisol, it lowers heart rate and blood pressure, and boosts the immune system (don’t believe me… read for yourself here: mindbodygreen.com) Hugs tap into your inner generosity! So go ahead… hug someone!
You don’t have to be a guru living in an ashram to master the art of meditation. All it takes is a little quiet time and internal reflection. There are many different kinds of meditation. I practice mindful meditation when I breathe deeply and reflective meditation when I write in my gratitude journal (conquering 2 mountains at once!). Potential benefits of meditation include: emotional balance, increased fertility, relief of IBS, lower blood pressure, anti-inflammatory, and is calming.
8. Eat Mindfully
How often do you actually smell, I mean really get in there and sniff your food? How often do you take a moment to truly SEE your food – see the beauty in the colors of the plants on your plate or the design of the food art on your dish at a restaurant? How often do you mindfully taste your food – chewing it with intention to absorb ALL of its nutrients and embrace the layers of flavor? When you eat mindfully it can result in eating less of your present meal, reduce snacking throughout the day, enhance digestion and dental health, and reminds you to appreciate what is giving you life. Enjoy your food.
9. Go To Bed Early
Whoever coined the term “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” will be rolling over in their grave with these facts! 😉 Sleep is ESSENTIAL for your health and wellness. studies have shown that sleep deprivation can cause hallucination, compromised motor skills, severe brain fog and memory loss. Getting a good night’s rest doesn’t just save you from these awful ailments, it also improves memory, concentration and general brain function, increases energy, restores cells, promotes healthy skin, gives your digestive system a break, repairs muscles after a workout, and prevents disease. And all of this is happening while you are doing… NOTHING… just sayin’.
10. Practice Gratitude
For me, this might be the MOST important habit on the list. Yes, water, air, and sleep keep you alive, but what is the point if you don’t appreciate your life? Happiness isn’t getting what you desire, but appreciating what you have. When you are thankful for the things you have been blessed with – be it your lungs to breathe, your legs to walk, your friends and family who offer you love, support, laughter and hugs, your sense of smell and taste to enjoy your food, or your sheets that aid in a good nights rest – life without gratitude is simply no life at all.
Take-A-Way Tip: Start a gratitude journal and write down the things you are thankful for when you go to bed each night. I promise it will bring a renewed sense of energy to your day.
“They” say it takes 21 consecutive days to develop new daily habits. 21 days of these 10 daily habits to improve your health and you will be unstoppable!