December 2023

How Healthy Habits Can Lead to a Happier You

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How Healthy Habits Can Lead to a Happier You

How Healthy Habits Can Lead to a Happier You

It’s not exactly rocket science — when people prioritize certain behaviors, they feel healthier and happier! While some of the most recognized healthy lifestyle habits — eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep — are key components of the happiness equation, there are LOTS of other ways to perk up your inner spirit! 

Habits of healthy people include building relationships, practicing mindfulness, and putting aside screens whenever possible. (That’s a whole lot of HAPPY, right?!) You may already be onto some healthy habits or struggling to start. Either way, we’re here to support your journey towards a healthier, happier you! 

So, are you ready? Below, we discuss the importance of establishing healthy habits and providing tips on being healthy and happy. 

The Importance of Healthy Habits

Why are healthy habits important? Healthy habits can improve — well, your health! This covers both your physical health AND your mental well-being. (Sounds like a good deal to us!)

Healthy habits help you live LONGER. Physically, healthy lifestyle habits — like eating right and working out — can result in a healthier weight, stronger muscles and bones, better heart function, and the ability to easily perform daily activities, even later in life. All of this adds up to greater longevity.

Healthy habits help you live BETTER. Of course, establishing healthy habits can also impact your mental health! When you shift to a healthier lifestyle, get ready to welcome an improved outlook, better focus, and greater self-confidence. Healthy lifestyle habits can also reduce stress, anxiety, and depression!

3 types of healthy habits 

There are many types of healthy habits for happiness, but we like to think of them in three main categories: healthy habits for your body, healthy habits for your well-being, and healthy habits for today’s world.

Healthy habits for your body:

Treating your body right really CAN make you happier! For example, healthy eating habits and working out regularly will bring you more energy, a healthier weight, stronger muscles and bones, improved immunity, a reduced risk of disease, and a longer, happier life. 

Your daily diet should include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy products, and heart-healthy fats. Limit foods with added sugar, excessive sodium, and saturated fat — including highly processed foods. As for exercise, aim for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. (We’ll talk more about incorporating exercise into your lifestyle!) Other crucial healthy lifestyle habits include avoiding excessive alcohol use, recreational drugs, and smoking. (If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor!)

Healthy habits for your well-being:

There are plenty of ways to improve your outlook, including mindfulness, healthy relationships, and self-care. But have you noticed how miserable you feel after a bad night’s sleep? What a great place to start! 

One of the best healthy habits for improved well-being is to go to bed on time. Aim for seven or more hours of quality sleep each night to experience a wide range of health benefits. If you have trouble sleeping, ensure your bedroom is dark and comfortable, avoid stimulants like caffeine and alcohol, and put screens away well before bedtime.

Healthy habits for today’s world:

Let’s talk more about screens! You probably use some combination of smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer every. single. day. While disconnecting from our devices has become increasingly challenging, it’s a sure-fire step towards better health. 

Cutting back even a little can free up valuable time for healthy habits like healthy meal prep, exercise, self-care, and social outings! Plus, putting away screens reduces stress, anxiety, and depression, lowers the risk of obesity and other health issues, and improves relationships with friends and family. So, go ahead and finish this blog — and then power off! 

Incorporating Exercise into Your Lifestyle

One of the most effective healthy habits for happiness is EXERCISE! A happy workout releases natural endorphins (feel-good hormones) that reduce stress, alleviate pain, and improve overall well-being. 

To maximize your happiness through exercise:

  • • Choose an activity that you enjoy (dance cardio, anyone?)!
  • • Recruit a friend or family member to join you. 
  • • Schedule your workouts.
  • • Participate in a group exercise program.
  • • Head outdoors for a walk, run, or bike ride.
  • • Allow yourself rest days. (You deserve them!)

Mindfulness and Stress Reduction

Practicing mindfulness can reduce stress, improve mood, and promote greater happiness. While there are many mindfulness activities to try, focusing more on the present moment is a simple one. Ask yourself what you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel, and what brings you joy. 

Spending time each day to reflect on your thoughts, emotions, and surrounding world is our favorite inner approach to how to be healthy and happy. 

Building Healthy Relationships

It’s no secret that people are happier when they feel more connected with others! Take note: If you feel calm, content, and connected around certain people, nurture those relationships for a happier life! And remember, healthy relationships can develop in many places — within a family, between intimate partners, in a friendship group, or even among co-workers. You never know where you’ll find your people!

Self-Care and Personal Growth

There are many ways to find more joy in life! Another successful habit of healthy people is to prioritize self-care and personal growth. For some, self-care might involve a beauty routine, a hot bath, or a visit to the spa. For others, spending time in nature, taking a class, volunteering, or traveling are better ways. Bottom line: Whatever self-care means to you, we encourage you to do it! 

Creating a Healthy Routine

It’s relatively easy to have healthy intentions, but another thing entirely to turn these into healthy habits for life. Here are some practical tips on establishing and maintaining a long-term healthy routine:

  • • Set realistic goals: It’s great that you’re ready for change, but avoid the temptation to completely overhaul your life in one go. Instead, choose 1-2 healthy habits to work on at a time. Most importantly, make sure that your goals are achievable.
  • • Plan your time: It takes time to establish healthy habits — so manage it carefully! Use your calendar to schedule workouts, social engagements, mindfulness activities, healthy meal prep, self-care, and everything else that needs to get done. Ask for help if you need it. You’ve got this!
  • • Celebrate your achievements: Implementing healthy lifestyle habits is definitely something to celebrate! Did you stick to your healthy eating habits, make it to the gym, or gather with close friends today? Give yourself a gold star!

Maintaining Motivation and Overcoming Challenges

When it comes to healthy lifestyle habits, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for staying motivated. (We wish!) Since you’ll probably encounter challenges along the way, it’s important to understand your strengths and weaknesses. This way, you can plan coping strategies or avoid certain situations entirely. Most importantly, cut yourself some slack if you get off-track. It happens! Just remind yourself how good it feels to be healthy and happy — you’ll get right back on it!

Establishing healthy habits today can bring you a lifetime of happiness. To further explore the connection between healthy habits and happiness, check out these daily habits to improve your life!

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1 comment
Comments
Jonathan Kase Bennett
Appreciate the information, thank you!
12/13/2023 2:20:56 PM

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