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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Guest Post: Happy Habits

Most people believe that happiness arises from suitable conditions, and that to be happy requires one to find, for example: a good job, a nice house, a new car, etc. However, it is actually more effective to rely on intrinsic ways of finding happiness, rather than through these extrinsic, object-oriented ones. Being happy is actually achieved mostly through one’s behavior and outlook rather than material, situational means. This is why it’s important to start cultivating healthy habits.

Physical Well Being to Mental Well- Being

Often mental and physical well-being are thought of separately, but a healthy body and a healthy mind are inextricably connected. Taking care of your body will boost feelings of confidence and give your more energy. On the other hand, stimulating your mind and cutting back on stress will lower blood pressure and raise your metabolism.

Cut Back on Screens

It’s estimated that multi-screen individuals (for example, people who have a tv, smartphone and computer) in the US consume around 11 hours of media per day!

Although being connected to those you care about online can lead to greater feelings of security and lower stress, studies have shown that LCD screens can actually lead to feelings of depression and isolation when used over several hours. The light emitted from these devices can also cause insomnia if used before going to sleep. For better sleep and overall better health, it’s recommended to limit screen time to 2 hours per day. This will help you get the 6-8 hours of sleep per night that your body and mind need to stay healthy.

Live Longer

According to one study, four factors can lead not only to greater well-being, but a statistically longer life. These factors are
     Exercising 30 Minutes per Day
     Eating 5 servings of Fruits and Vegetables per Day
     Avoid Cigarettes
     Don’t Drink too Much Alcohol
These factors don’t necessarily guarantee a longer lifespan, but these are common traits found in centenarians, and are proven to cut the risk of stroke in half! If longer life isn’t enough of an incentive, these lifestyle changes will make you feel much better too!

Start Small

When adopting new habits, it’s always a good idea to start with small changes, and work your way up over time. For example, instead of starting an intense paleo-diet, start drinking a glass of water before every meal to increase metabolism. Or, instead of beginning a rigorous workout plan, start walking around the block a few times every morning. Small lifestyle changes will not only lead to bigger changes over time, they will come more naturally and will be much easier to adopt into your routine. Here are some more small, easy changes that will lead to better mood and health:

     Floss Your Teeth- Flossing your teeth makes you feel cleaner, and is good for your heart.
     Call a Friend or Family Member Once a Day- Connecting with people you care about makes you happier. Calling a loved one not only helps you, but others as well!
     Use Your Lunch Break for Exercise- You obviously don’t have to do a full workout, but walking a block or two to get some healthy food is better than eating at your desk.

Respect Your Body

Being healthy isn’t just about habits, it’s also about respecting your body. Studies have shown that those who are the most conscientious tend to live the longest. That means not only respecting yourself, but other around you. This leads to more social behavior (which makes you happier!), and also better physical health. Happiness is contagious, and by respecting those around you, you’re also making everyone else’s day better!

About the Author:
 Mark Kirkpatrick is a blogger and tech enthusiast in Los Angeles, California. He hopes to help his readers stay ahead of shifting technology trends, and maximize their productivity. Follow him on Twitter at @KirkpatricM.

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