How to Achieve Happy Living and Healthy Lifestyle.
Sometimes it can feel like maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an overwhelming challenge that doesn’t fit within the realities of daily life. It’s tough to hold down a full-time job, eat well, train for a marathon, make homemade green juice, spend quality time with your family/partner, and meditate for an hour each day. ?
Of course, healthy living can incorporate all of these things (if you want it to), but it doesn’t have to be defined by grandiose displays of health and fitness.
So much of healthy living is really made up of small things we do daily—things that are so small they don’t feel momentous, but that, done consistently over time, add up to produce big results.
Here is 13 Simple Wellness Tips for Healthy & Happy Living
1. Get enough sleep
The importance of getting enough quality sleep cannot be overstated.
Poor sleep can drive insulin resistance, disrupt your appetite hormones, and reduce your physical and mental performance (26Trusted Source, 27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source).
What’s more, poor sleep is one of the strongest individual risk factors for weight gain and obesity. One study linked insufficient sleep to an 89% and 55% increased risk of obesity in children and adults, respectively (30Trusted Source).
2. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning
Coffee’s great too, but it’s best to start your day by re-hydrating with a full glass of water. Hydrating first thing in the morning helps to aid digestion, enhance skin health and boost energy.
3. Avoid harmful use of alcohol
There is no safe level for drinking alcohol. Consuming alcohol can lead to health problems such as mental and behavioural disorders, including alcohol dependence, major NCDs such as liver cirrhosis, some cancers and heart diseases, as well as injuries resulting from violence and road clashes and collisions.
4. Be active
Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. This includes exercise and activities undertaken while working, playing, carrying out household chores, travelling, and engaging in recreational pursuits.
The amount of physical activity you need depends on your age group but adults aged 18-64 years should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week. Increase moderate-intensity physical activity to 300 minutes per week for additional health benefits.
5. Avoid bright lights before sleep
When you’re exposed to bright lights in the evening, it may disrupt your production of the sleep hormone melatonin (39Trusted Source, 40Trusted Source).
One strategy is to use a pair of amber-tinted glasses that block blue light from entering your eyes in the evening.
This allows melatonin to be produced as if it were completely dark, helping you sleep better (41Trusted Source).
6. Try make half your plate veggies
A simple hack for healthy eating (and portion control) is to make half your plate veggies at each meal. The veggies pack in essential vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients important for health and longevity.
And, because they’re rich in fiber, they help to aid digestion (aka keep you regular!) and keep you feeling full longer.
7. Mental health
Healthy living involves more than physical health, it also includes emotional or mental health. The following are some ways people can support their mental health and well-being.
- Get enough sleep daily; the CDC recommends the following by age group (naps inclusive); 12-18 hours from birth to 2 months, 14-15 hours from 3-11 months of age, 12-18 hours for 1-3 years of age, 11-13 hours for 3-5 years of age, 10-11 hours for 5-10 years of age, 8.5-9.5 hours for 10-17 years of age and those 18 and above need 7-9 hours of sleep. Elderly people need about 7-9 hours but do not sleep as deeply and may awaken at night or wake early, so naps (like kids need) allow them to accumulate the total of 7-9 hours of sleep.
- Take a walk and reflect on what you see and hear at least several times per week.
- Try something new and often (eat a new food, try a different route to work, go to a new museum display).
- Do some mind exercises (read, do a puzzle occasionally during the week).
- Try to focus on a process intensely and complete a segment of it over 1 to several hours, then take a break and do something relaxing (walk, exercise, short nap).
- Plan to spend some time talking with other people about different subjects.
- Try to make some leisure time to do some things that interest you every week (hobby, sport).
- Learn ways to say “no” when something occurs that you do not want to do or be involved with.
- Have fun (go on a trip with someone you love, go shopping, go fishing; do not let vacation time slip away).
- Let yourself be pleased with your achievements, both big and small (develop contentment).
- Have a network of friends; those with strong social support systems lead healthier lives.
- Seek help and advice early if you feel depressed, have suicidal thoughts, or consider harming yourself or others.
- People taking medicine for mental health problems should not stop taking these medications, no matter how “well” they feel, until they have discussed their situation with their prescribing doctor(s).
- Avoidance behavior is another key to wellness. Below are described some of the major items to avoid if a person is seeking a healthy lifestyle.
8. Eat real food
Aim to eat real food that’s made of whole food ingredients you would have in your own kitchen pantry, or that your grandmother would recognize. (Yup, this rules out most packaged food, sorry!) This is a little different than suggesting you eat only “health foods” (many of which are increasingly processed!).
“Real food” includes unprocessed foods like an apple, a cucumber, soybeans or a steak, as well as foods loosely processed from one (or few) real-food ingredients, like butter, olive oil, yogurt, tofu, etc. In other words, aim for foods that could be reasonably made in your own kitchen and avoid foods that can only be made in a lab.
9. Take vitamin D3 if you don’t get much sun exposure
Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D.
Yet, most people don’t get enough sun exposure.
In fact, about 41.6% of the U.S. population is deficient in this critical vitamin (42Trusted Source).
If you’re unable to get adequate sun exposure, vitamin D supplements are a good alternative.
Their benefits include improved bone health, increased strength, reduced symptoms of depression, and a lower risk of cancer. Vitamin D may also help you live longer (43Trusted Source, 44Trusted Source, 45Trusted Source, 46Trusted Source, 47Trusted Source, 48Trusted Source, 49Trusted Source).
10. Practice safe sex
Looking after your sexual health is important for your overall health and well-being. Practice safe sex to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhoea and syphilis.
There are available prevention measures such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) that will protect you from HIV and condoms that will protect you from HIV and other STIs.
11. Cultivate a positive mindset
“The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude.” It’s true—mindset is everything! Cultivate a positive mindset by recognizing negative thought patterns and countering them with positive thoughts or affirmations. Here are more mindset resources for positive thinking.