A healthy life is important, both on a physical and spiritual level. The secret to long term progress is consistency. We all have ups and downs, and everybody makes mistakes. But as long as you follow the guidelines you set up for yourself more than you get off track, you will be able to move forward.
Principles and habits in life are important because they are your foundation. We all need principles, something to refer to in situations where we are not sure. Even when everything is fine, we can use them to make the best decision based on our values.
There are millions of principles people create for themselves, consciously or unconsciously. We all follow invisible guidelines in our everyday life, based on our personality, our upbringing, and other factors. Principles are malleable, they can be re-shaped and changed if we want to. However, the older we get the harder it is to do so.
Regardless, it is never too late to change. Here are 10 healthy habits based on the principle of living an honest, simple and fulfilling life.
#1 Physical activity
The general consensus from various health organisations in the world is that you should get at the very least 30 minutes of physical activity per day. It can be as simple as a walk after work, or walking the dog in the morning. It doesn’t have to be anything intense, just make sure you don’t sit in a chair at a desk all day.
Forgiveness doesn’t change the past but it greatly enlarges your future. It doesn’t excuse a certain behaviour, but it can prevent the behaviour from consuming you in anger and resentment.To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.— Lewis B. Smedes Click To Tweet
#3 Portion size
Awareness of portion sizes is the first step to making better choices when it comes to food. Know your recommended daily intakes based on your body type and measurements, and make sure you follow those recommendations. We’re all human, we all indulge in a snack once in a while. But eat as healthy as you can. A life without health issues is so much more enjoyable than the opposite.
#4 Preventive health screening
Watching what you eat goes hand in hand with preventive health screening. If you are lucky enough to live in a place where healthcare is accessible, make sure you use it to its full potential. So many health issues can be avoided (or at least minimised) with preventive measures. If you’re not sure about your healthcare where you live, ask for information around you and make sure you find out.
#5 Adequate sleep
A very few percentage of the world population can run on as little as 4 hours of sleep per night. For the rest of us, anything below 7 hours will be damaging to our health in the long term. Messing with your sleep is the last thing you want to do if you want to stay productive. You can try as much as you want to work while being sleep deprived. Your outcome will be nothing compared to the one of a brain full from a good night’s sleep.
Adequate sleep is also easier to get when you have a healthy morning and evening routine. No screen time an hour before going to bed is a game changer in the evening. A little bit of exercise right after waking up kickstarts your day like nothing else.
Laughter is about being present. When you laugh you enjoy the here and now. When you enjoy the here and now, you let go of your problems and the negative thoughts sometimes cluttering your mind. You release endorphins, you boost your immune system, and you relax your body, all while being able to stop worrying for a little bit.
#7 Friends and family
A strong social network is critical to support you. Whether through the ups or the downs, being with the people who matter the most will help you navigate the ocean of life.
All those compromises, arguments, honest discussions and conversations are part of your foundation. Like your principles, your people are here to stay, and a lot of your decisions and the way you behave result from them.Relationships are the heaviest component in your life, make sure you choose them wisely. Click To Tweet
#8 Address addictive behaviour
We live in a world where a lot of our addictions are disguised as normal behaviour. That’s because a big part of the population suffers from those addictions. As a result, they tend to be considered normal behaviour, and so there’s no reason to question them.
The growing use of technology in our everyday life is a perfect example of that. 20 years ago, nobody was walking around with their head down, glued to a screen, completely unaware of their surroundings. It was almost like science fiction, and if you were to walk down the street like that in those days, you probably would have gotten a couple remarks.
Flash forward to today. Youtube, Instagram, Facebook and other social networks are all highly addictive. Yet, only a few people acknowledge the problem and treat it like an addictive behaviour. Recognise and be mindful of your own current behaviours and know when you are in excess. Nobody who has a healthy life spends 3 hours per day on Instagram, or tweets 5 times an hour.
#9 Quiet your mind
In search for a remedy to technology addiction and the noise of our modern world in general, part of the population has turned to mindfulness. People meditate, do yoga and try to sit and do nothing. It’s really hard, but it is much needed in our ever-busy world.
Carve out a time each day for mindfulness practice, free of interruptions. Put your phone away, and listen to your body. Sit down and breathe, go for a walk, lie down in bed. Just do nothing for a little while everyday.
Most of us are too busy, greedy, jealous or all at the same time to realise how easy we have it. If you’re reading this article, you’re probably lucky enough to have a roof above your head, a fridge with food in it, and a ton of other things you take for granted. Easy access to public transportation, healthcare, supermarkets, hospitals…
Slow down and appreciate what you have in life. Too often we have everything we need, we desire what we don’t need, and we forget to appreciate what we have.Gratitude makes sense of the past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Click To Tweet