While we all want to be healthy, it can get rather difficult. Living a healthy lifestyle takes a lot of work and commitment, and that’s hard. The good news is that health and wellness don’t have to be a nightmare. We’d often be surprised how much of a difference even one small change can make. The key is to find something that we can stick to and not end up in this trap of feeling like a failure and being unhappy. The following are five small changes we can make to live a happier and healthier life.
Add a Healthy Supplement(s)
Whether it’s a fish oil supplement or flaxseed added to our diet, just adding one small enhancement can increase how good we feel; which in turn can make us feel more encouraged to engage in physical activity. For example, adding a plant based protein powder to our morning shake can give us a burst of energy that makes us more likely to be active throughout the day.
Making even small changes like adding chia seeds and a serving of fruit to our breakfast (both go great in cereal or oatmeal) or adding an extra serving of veggies per day can make all the difference to our health.
Find a Personalized Exercise Plan
A lot of us don’t stick with exercise programs because they tend to be flashy and promise a lot of things like “easy 6-pack abs” without mentioning how time-consuming and painful it the process is going to be. However, by finding an activity that we enjoy, we are more likely to keep going and persevere, even if it causes physical strain. Finding something that we enjoy and doesn’t make us as physically uncomfortable could be key to dedicating ourselves to exercise and a healthier lifestyle.
Make Time to Relax (Every Day)
Being constantly stressed out is quite bad for our health (and our happiness). One study found that while short-term stress can actually be beneficial to daily life, long-term stress is incredibly detrimental to our health. Therefore, it is vital that we take time to calm down and unwind daily.
Whether it’s a short walk, reading a chapter of our favorite novel, or simply taking ten minutes to do nothing but breathe; if it’s what helps us relax – it’s important to make time for it. This seemed evident in a study done in 2014 on 21 veterans with PTSD. Half were prescribed breathing meditation and the other half received no treatment. The meditating group reported way fewer PTSD symptoms and lower levels of anxiety.
Read Also: The Benefits of Stress Management
Always Be Covered
We may not always think we need health insurance until we’re in an accident or have a health scare. According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, even “acutely ill or seriously injured” patients are not always able to receive treatment. They also reported that health insurance coverage improves the use of preventative services and the management of chronic conditions. Therefore, if we’re having trouble getting covered or can’t afford insurance at the moment, we should consider a short term gap health insurance plan to ensure that we’re covered if something bad happens. Whether you are in a transition phase in your current insurance standing or are outside of the typical enrollment periods, short-term plans are a valuable resource.
Practice Being in the Moment
According to Dr. Robert Puff, who wrote an article on the “fundamental key” to happiness for Psychology Today in 2016, the two things that are “key” to happiness are, “mental stillness and being present.” He explains how this allows us to get outside of our heads, which is where all the negative thoughts that cause us such unhappiness reside. He says that when he receives a call from a struggling patient, he recommends they take a 30 to 60-minute walk outside and then to call him if they are still feeling upset. His assertion is that being in nature allows us to step outside of our mental state. He claims to have never received a second call.
While we all want to live happier, healthier lives, many are afraid to make drastic changes. By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to making sustainable changes that impact your life for the better.