Healthy Habits: 8 Good Habits to Have in Life
These are the habits that get you closer to living your best life. Good habits help you become more productive and energetic. These habits help us move forward. If you are unsure how to develop good habits, read on to know the eight good habits you can apply in your life.
What are habits?
Habits are daily behaviours that you do by default. These are the actions you repeatedly do that can shape you and can positively and negatively affect you.
Did you know that 40 percent of everything we do is habits? Mind-blowing, right?
8 Good Habits to Have in Life
Forming good habits takes time. It's not something that happens overnight, so please don't set unrealistic expectations for yourself. What matters is you are doing what you can.
Here are simple, effective habits that you can start today to improve your quality of life:
1. Drinking Water
Did you know that you are mildly dehydrated when you sleep?
Drinking water right after you wake up helps rehydrate your body, regulate your body temperature, and replenish your nutrients.
Water is also one of those non-negotiable, essentials in life to keep your health in check. Staying hydrated throughout the day will improve your mood and sleep, so try to drink a glass of water in the morning to boost your overall health.
Try these tips to make this a daily habit:
- Add a reminder on your phone to drink water
- Leave a glass or bottle of water on your bedside to drink right when you wake up
- Bring a water bottle with you everywhere
2. Meditation or Mindful Breathing
Action item to try right now:
First of all, know that there is no right or wrong way of doing this.
- Sit upright in a quiet, comfortable place. Focus your mind on breathing, and simply notice your inhales and exhales, counting them from 1,2,3...
- Try to quiet your mind. If you start to have racing thoughts, come back and focus on counting your breath. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, though. Simply pull your attention back in a gentle, loving way to your breath again.
- When you're ready, take a deep breath in - hold it for 5 seconds - and exhale deeply. Repeat this for 3 times.
You just practiced mindful meditation! How easy was?
Meditation, or mindful breathing, is an simple and scientifically-proven way to promote optimism, calmness, lessen anxiety, and boost May it be for one minute, or 10 minutes, allowing your mind to slow down and focus your present will help you improve your overall health.
Here's how to get started on meditation, for free!
- Use Apps - Download a meditation app and try to use it at least once a day
- Use YouTube - Look up a guided meditation for beginners that you like. Here's our recommendation.
- Focus on your breath - Take 5 deep inhales and exhales. This is great when you don't have much time.
3. Getting Active
Physical activity prevents diseases like diabetes, strokes, heart problems, and more. Something as simple as walking and getting your steps in can make a huge impact on your health. Experts recommend that adults do at least 2.5 hours of active movement every week.
Try these to be more physically active:
- Try to take a 10-minute walk every day
- Share your goals with others for accountability
- Walk to your destinations of the day if they are in walking distance
- Join an exercise group, or find friends to do activities with you
- During winter, try these activities
4. Eating Fresh
Vegetables and fruits contain essential vitamins and minerals that support your body's basic functions. Eating healthy in a no-brainer for combatting diseases, aging, immunity, and more.
Tips for eating healthy:
- Use couponing or flyer apps like Flipp to check when fresh produce is on sale
- Buy canned or frozen produce when fresh produce is unavailable
- Buy in-season produce for a cheaper option
- Have easy-to-access staples for every meal - lettuce, celery, carrots, canned peas, etc.
- Try new and healthy recipes to spice up your roster
5. Use Nature as Therapy
The sounds of nature and relaxing music can help reduce stress. These are easy to find through YouTube or whichever platform you listen to music.
It is recommended to listen to calming sounds at least once a day, and it reduces the stress hormone called cortisol.
When winding down at night, try listening to rainfall, riverside sounds, autumn leaves, or any music that calms you down.
6. Learn Something New
Keeping your mind active and busy with interesting, productive information can make a huge impact on your mental health. By being selective with the content that you intake daily and diverting your attention and energy into something that you enjoy and find exciting will not only reserve your energy for what matters to you, it will also filter out information that may make you feel low and anxious.
Here are some resources for daily learning:
8. Connection with Loved Ones
Our basic instinct and hard-wiring with humans is to have meaningful connections. Family and friends can act as emotional support. Spending time with family or a loved one reduces depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. The more you spend quality time with them, the more you feel connected and have a higher sense of belonging.
Try these ideas on how to spend time with people:
- Play a "Never Have I Ever" game
- Be curious about them, and ask questions you are interested in learning more about
- Find a common activity you both enjoy - cooking, sewing, walking, exercising, etc.
Final note: Sleep Hygiene
Sleep is probably the single most important way for your body to reset, detox, and heal. Having good sleep hygiene and getting ample hours of sleep impacts everything in your day-to-day life such as energy levels, emotional regulation, physical functioning, and mental capacity. When you wake up feeling well-rested and refreshed, it's a good day!
Follow this advice on how to sleep better:
- Limit phone use 1 hour before bed. This helps with melatonin produces, which is a hormone that helps you sleep.
- Try setting a regular sleep schedule and sticking to it.
- Limit daytime naps as a way to regulate your schedule.
How to Make Habits Stick?
Remember: It’s a matter of striving for progress, not perfection.
It takes about 2 months to form a new habit, says psychology researcher Phillippa Lally. After 2 months of consistency, you are more likely to do the new behaviour automatically.
If you want to be more physically active, you can start by stretching for 1 minute and build on that.
After 2 weeks, say out loud what your habits are and why you are doing it. This can help you remember why you started and keep you motivated.
When you focus on yourself, you increase productivity and problem-solve effectively. This is because you have your willpower rooted in you, not in other people.
How many of the habits above have you already worked into your life? Which ones will you apply right away?
Services that could help you build healthy habits: