We all want a better life, but rarely concentrate on the tasks that will really help us have a better life. We wish, hope, discuss, and think about various ways to more happiness, health, and peace. Here’s 10 easy ways to better health, greater productivity, and less chaos. Pick one item to work on each week.
Don’t try them all at once. I think you’ll discover a new you that’s been hiding behind your busy schedule.
Laughter lifts your spirits. It is one of the healthiest things you can do. Some have even overcome cancer with laughter, watching comedies, and staying away from stressful situations. Instead of watching dramatic thrillers and action movies, which inevitably contains a lot of shooting and killing, find a funny TV series or a good movie that will make you laugh. I think it will take years off your life instantly.
Much has been said about drinking enough water. There are formulas and diets that swear by staying hydrated. I wouldn’t worry about the formulas, just drink plenty of water when you are thirsty. Ban soda from your life. It is empty calories and sweet water. It does you no good, and can actually be quite bad for you. Get used to drinking water and other drinks without adding sweetener or sugar to it. You’ll be surprised that, in time, you won’t miss it. And you’ll feel a lot better. If you need a financial incentive, water is for the most part free. You’re going to save a lot of money. Bonus tip: Quit buying bottled water and adding to our landfills. Buy a good quality re-fillable water bottle and keep it by your side.
Most of us sit way too much. Did you know that sitting more than five hours each day and not getting much exercise, doubles the risk of heart failure in men? Make a habit of getting up every 50 minutes or so and moving around. It doesn’t have to be scheduled exercise. Just go up or down the stairs, move around the office or home, walk around the block, or do some exercises in your office. We weren’t made to sit. You are at the least risk if you sit less than two hours each day, and get plenty of exercise.
4. Be Grateful
This is a major contributor to good mental and physical health. Being grateful takes you away from your self-centered desires and problems, and recognizes others for their accomplishments. Practice this daily. Make it a habit. I promise that it will be one of the best ways to feel better about yourself and your world.
We all have too much stuff. Self storage is a $24 billion business. There are 7.35 square feet of storage for every person in the US. Stuff galore. Stuff over time can make us feel worse about ourselves. It is baggage the we carry around with us mentally. It weighs on us. We have more clothes than we will ever wear, too many shoes, too much paper. Choose one area of your life to declutter. Visible clutter works on your psyche. A disorganized work area usually indicates your general sense of disorganization. Outside observers may see it as a weakness. Start with your desk. Then work on the office. What has been lying in the corner for two years? You don’t even know why it’s there. Get rid of it. Give things away. A good phrase to use when you are tossing is, “What’s the worse that can happen?” or “Have I used this in the last year? Maybe I don’t need it then.”
How often do you get quiet? I think many of us are afraid to sit quietly and think about nothing in general. We make sure there is plenty of activity and “noise” around us so we don’t have to look within ourselves. Take some time to sit quietly and meditate. Meditation is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. It will lead you to a happier, healthier, and much more productive life. Listen to meditative music, buy a book on meditation, or research it online. I think you’ll see a trend – most highly successful people meditate.
7. Eat Well
Take the time and make an effort to eat better. Don’t use the excuse that you are too busy to eat well. There’s a lot of restaurants that serve healthy food. Cut down on processed foods. Cook more. It can be therapeutic, and will reward you with more vitality, good health, and a renewed enjoyment of a good home cooked meal.
According to the Center for Disease Control, 50-70 million people in the US don’t get enough sleep. The decrease in productivity, injuries, and loss of life is staggering. All because, for some reason, we don’t get enough sleep. Make an effort to get an hour more sleep each night this week, and see how if affects your performance. Lack of sleep leads to a lower awareness, lower productivity, and can be downright dangerous when driving or handling equipment. Go to bed.
9. Work Less
Do you believe that working less can actually be beneficial? Probably not, but it’s true. Sometimes, when you are dead tired, you aren’t really getting anything useful done. You are just going through the motions. Here’s a good thing to remember. Being is busy is not a merit badge. Henry David Thoreau once said, “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” It’s a myth that being busy is a good thing, yet most of us, when asked, say we’re busy. Very busy. And the person who asked, accepts this as a good thing. Get rid of this myth. Being busy is not necessarily a good thing. Getting a lot done in a set amount of time is a badge that you should wear proudly.
10. Care for yourself
And last but not least, take some time out for your self. You work so hard for others, trying to please them and care for them, that you may be ignoring the most important person – you. If you are not up to par, not healthy, not happy, not prosperous, how can you expect to effectively help others? Take some time out for yourself. Meditate, take a vacation, read that book you’ve been yearning to read, spend time with your family. It may seem selfish to put yourself before others, but when you really think about it, the better off you are, the better off those around you will be. This is not a one time thing. Make a habit of taking out time for yourself. It will change your life
What has improved your life?
I bet you feel better already. Fitter, healthier, happier, and ready to continue this great journey we call life. Let us know what you’re doing to improve your life. What single thing has meant the most to you?