We are surrounded by so many different pieces of advice about how we should live our lives so we are healthier. There are all the obvious do’s and don’ts, do not smoke, avoid soda/ soft drinks, excercise more, eat better. The list is endless.
Here are 7 easy to implement habits to create a healther you, that are tried and tested by me, and they have all changed my life for the better. I feel healthier and happier by doing these 7 things each day.
As with all habits, we need to stick to it for at least 28 days before it becomes habitual, with patience and persistance you will see the benefits. A handy hint when it comes to habits, I have ordered these in a way that they can run in succession in your day. Habits are easiest to maintain when they have a trigger, so use the habit prior as a trigger for the next one.
1. Drink Lemon Water
First thing in the morning, it is important to hydrate your body. Do yourself a favour and invest in a cheap lemon squeezer, and squeeze one full lemon into a tall glass of warm or room temperature water. Do this first thing in your day, before your coffee, before food.
Lemon water helps to cleanse your liver, kick starts your digestive system, reduces inflammation in the body, is full of beneficial vitamins and can even help you lose weight.
I added this habit to my life a few years ago and I cannot start my day without it! It gives me an energy boost and has assisted me in maintaining my weight and controlling my IBS.
Meditation is a practice where we learn to become aware of our thoughts. The idea is that if we can learn to recognise that we are thinking, we can choose what thoughts we have. In this way we can select more positive and productive thoughts and avoid negative spirals.
There are a lot of Apps on the iTunes store that can help you begin your meditation practice. I use the App ‘Calm’ every morning, it helps prepare my mind for my day.
If you do not want to use a device to assist your meditation practice, you can begin by sitting in a comfortable seated position and spend ten minutes focusing on your breath. It is important to notice when the mind wanders away from the breath on a thought journey, and to return to focusing the mind on the breath. With practice, the thought journeys will get shorter and shorter as you become more aware of your thoughts.
I recommend meditating first thing in the morning before you start your day to help the mind find clarity. Begin with just a few minutes a day working up to 10 – 20 minutes each morning.
Meditation is relatively new to me, I have been practicing for about a year and I love it. It helps calm me and most definitely helps me control negative thought patterns.
3. Eat Breakfast
I used to hate eating breakfast, when I ate first thing in the day I would feel hungry ALL day and I was so food and body obsessed that I believed if I put off eating I would be skinnier because I ate less.
I am here to tell you that is Bulls*#t. Do not be scared of food! We need food to live, we need food for energy to get through our day. However we need the RIGHT food.
I eat the same thing every morning, (after my lemon water), a bowl of granola with fresh fruit and almond milk. Sometimes, on the weekends I treat myself to eggs and avocado on seeded toast. That’s what works for me, however, there is lots of different advice about breakfast foods, I believe you should experiment and find what works for you.
We need breakfast to get our metabolism started otherwise the body goes into starvation mode and the next thing we eat is stored as fat because the body thinks we might starve it again. Eating breakfast and regularly throughout the day helps us maintain our weight.
4. Take a Vitamin D supplement
Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin. Imagine your body as a flower, without sunlight and water the flower will wither and die. As a society we are all very conscious of the sun, UV rays and links to skin cancer so we have a tendency to avoid it. The best option here is to invest in a Vitamin D supplement. They are available in pharmacies and health food stores.
If you are feeling anxious or depressed then this is a MUST for you! Vitamin D is essential for regulating our mood. Imagine this vitamin as happiness in a pill. I am sure you have heard of seasonal depression in the Winter months, this is caused by lack of daylight and an easy solution is to take a supplement.
I moved to the UK about 18 months ago and found that after spending many years in much warmer, sunnier climates, I struggled with the lack of daylight. Even in the Summer time, how much time do we really spend outside in sunlight? Vitamin D tablets helped me get my mood back on track.
Feed your flower and invest in this necessary supplement.
5. Take a Probiotic
Our overall health is governed by our gut, which is full of bacteria. Each day we consume things that kill off the good bacteria in our gut such as antibiotics, caffeine, unhealthy foods and alcohol that leaves our poor gut inflammed and irritated. We often think of bacteria as something that causes disease, but our bodies are full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are pills, (there are food forms too), that contain microorganisms such as bacteria to help replenish our stores. They are referred to as the ‘helpful’ bacteria, they help improve our digestive system that in turn assists our immune system.
I struggled with IBS for many years before discovering probiotics, they have changed my life. I have never been healthier, and maintained my weight so well. Probiotics are available in most pharmacies and health stores.
6. Drink more Water
We have all heard this one before. Drink your eight glasses of water. But seriously, drink more water. Remember the flower analogy, that we wither without sunlight and water? I think that drinking eight glasses a day should be an absolute minimum.
Water energises us, keeps our skin looking youthful, aids our digestive system and assists our kidneys. Our bodies are at least 60% water, it is vital we maintain our water levels.
I personally drink 3 – 4 litres of water a day, which may scare some people, however keep in mind this is spaced out over an entire day. There are stories of people drowning from overhydrating, but they drink 4 litres withn 1-2 hours. 3 – 4 litres over the course of an entire day, especially if you are very active is completely ok.
Listen to your body and drink when you feel thirsty, eat foods high in water content such as fruits and vegetables and carry a bottle of water with you at all times. Most people do not drink enough water, because it is not readily available. Carry a bottle of water, and sip it regularly throughout the day, your body will thank you.
7. Practice Gratitude
Last but not least, practice gratitude. An easy way to do this is to start a gratitude journal where you write 3 – 5 things down each night before bed.
Gratitude is linked to many physical and psychological benefits. Grateful people experience less body aches, have increased happiness levels by reducing toxic emotions such as envy or regret. Gratitude improves our self esteem and increases our mental strength so we are more capable of dealing with everyday life stresses.
If we are filling our minds with grateful thoughts, there is no room for negative thoughts. There is so much to be grateful for each day, it should be simple to find 3 – 5 things each day. For example, consider our senses, the fact that we can see beautiful colours in nature. Our hearing, that we can hear wondrous music. Possibly somebody showed you extraordinary kindness that day. Practice gratitude toward friends, family, colleagues and pets.
If you struggle to find things to be grateful for, check out my blog on comparison to assist you altering your mindset.
These are 7 simple habits to add to your life and I hope they change your life for the better as they have mine. Remain patient and persistant and allow time for the benefits to take effect.
I would love to hear from you in the comments below how these habits are working for you.
Please subscribe so you don’t miss a single blog. Also, I am VERY excited to announce my very first ‘7 days of Healthy Mind Mastery’, a ‘Healthy Mind Power Week,’ beginning on October 1st and continuing each month. 7 DAYS of short inspirational reads to get your day started off right!
Love and Light