Thursday, May 12, 2016

3 Ways to Design a Happy and Healthy Life

African American Woman Drinking Cup of Coffee or Tea

Think design when you think about your own happiness and health. Take steps every day to design your healthy life. A happy and healthy life is about living blissfully, with passion and purpose, and it’s about designing your life, a life you love.

The great news is that you don’t need a complete overhaul — trust me, you don’t. Just like a fresh can of paint can easily make over a room, you can easily make over your life with simple tweaks. Take simple and tiny actions every day to design a life that brings you joy. Tiny actions can have a big impact on your health and well-being.

You can design a healthy lifestyle no matter where we are in your own health journey, whether you’re dealing with an illness or recovering from an injury. You can design your life to reflect a happy you, no matter the circumstances. Taking small steps can have a big impact. Here are three simple healthy habits to help you design your happy, healthy life:

1. Have a Positive Lifestyle Vibe

Just the way your living space has a certain vibe, so do you. What’s your vibe? Are you a positive force? Do you exude joy and bliss or do you resist? If it’s the latter, take steps every day to be a positive force in your work and life. Begin by pushing positive thoughts. Get rid of the negative self-talk.

Don’t underestimate the power of positivity and don’t become your own worst enemy. Critical self-talk can be destructive. Positive thinking is important for happiness. Surround yourself with positive people and push your own positive thoughts. Thinking positively can be as important as getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising. According to the Mayo Clinic, “positive thinking just means that you approach the unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.” Some of the health benefits of positive thinking may include:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

Every day, pay yourself a compliment. Why not? You deserve it. Focus on the moment and on all of the great things you have accomplished in your life. Don’t get sucked into gossip and negative talk from others.

2. Savor Sweet Sleep

Sleep is vital for your health and well-being. If you’re getting the right amount of sleep that is something to smile about. Lack of sleep is a public health problem that can wreak havoc on your health.

According to the CDC, “An estimated 50-70 million U.S. adults have sleep or wakefulness disorders.” Sleep helps your brain work properly. If you’re not getting enough sleep you may have difficulty making decisions, trouble controlling your emotions and behavior, and problems coping with change and solving problems. Lack of sleep has also been linked to depression and suicidal thoughts. Sleep can also help repair your heart and blood vessels. According to the National Institutes of Health, “Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.”

How much sleep is required? For adults, between 7-8 hours is recommended. How many hours of sleep do you get each night?

Simple Healthy Design Actions to Savor Sleep:

  • Design your bedroom so it’s your sanctuary — it should be calming, relaxing and clutter free. Use soothing colors to help make your room an oasis of calm.
  • Keep a sleep journal (write in your sleep journal before you get into bed, and in another room).
  • Darken the room.
  • Wear a sleep/eye mask.
  • Take out the technology (especially the TV). Put your electronic devices, such as phones and tablets, in another room. This way you won’t be tempted to use them.
  • Avoid large meals before bed.
  • Avoid caffeine.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Go to bed the same time each night.
  • Have a relaxing bedtime routine each night. Take a warm shower or bath, listen to soft soothing music.
  • Lavender oil can be a soothing and pleasant scent.
  • Keep your bedroom at a comfortable sleeping temperature. Choose a temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you’re concerned about your sleep habits and you recognize that it’s disruptive, talk to your doctor, nurse practitioner, or other health care professional.   

3. Be Grateful

Expressing gratitude can boost your happiness and health, according to Harvard Health Publications, and it is associated with increased levels of optimism and energy. “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

It’s important to express gratitude. Let the people in your lives know how grateful you are for them and that you appreciate them. Simply say, “I am grateful to have you in my life and I appreciate you.” Keeping track of what you are grateful for in a gratitude journal can help you focus on the positive and become more optimistic. I like to call my gratitude journal a bliss journal because by writing down things that I am grateful for, it immediately brings a sense of pleasure, bliss. But whatever you call it, it’s something very easy to do, so why not give it a try?

Taking tiny steps every day can help you design a life that brings you joy. You can design your healthy life.

The post 3 Ways to Design a Happy and Healthy Life appeared first on The Oz Blog.

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