Being unsatisfied with your lifestyle is normal. Choosing to do something about it is the difference between a healthy lifestyle and an unhealthy one.
While it’s easy to say you are eager to establish a new routine with healthy habits for eating and exercise, it can be difficult to know just where to begin. Not to mention, it can seem like a hassle to create an entirely new series of behaviors when you already have a routine in place.
Keep in mind that you won’t change your routine overnight. Behavioral change is a gradual process, which means your daily life does not need to feel like it’s completely disrupted in order for you to begin instituting healthy change. Start by focusing on these three areas and you’ll find that change comes easier than you thought.
Think Before You Eat
Establishing new eating habits can seem like the hardest thing to do. Take it slow! Overhauling your diet is a shock to your psyche because food not only is meant for nourishment, but it is also an important trigger in your mind’s system of rewards and pleasure.
Start by documenting your meals in a journal. Write down what you are eating and when, so you can better assess what should stay and what should go in your new, healthy diet.
It will also be easier to prepare your meals in advance. Instead of feeling rushed each day to simply eat whatever is available, you can pick out a time to shop and make meals for the week. You’ll save money by bringing your own lunch to work and feel more relaxed knowing you are prepared for dinner later on.
Staying active in your daily life promotes physical and mental well being in the form of weight loss and self esteem among a host of other great benefits. More than lifting heavy weights and running long distances, the term exercise can be used to describe the little things you do each day to be more active.
Begin by taking small opportunities to choose the active route, as opposed to the easy route, like using the stairs instead of the elevator or taking the walk to your colleague’s desk when you could otherwise pick up the phone. If you work a job that requires you to spend much of your days at the computer or otherwise sitting down, make a habit of getting up every hour and a half. This is proven to improve circulation and increase productivity throughout the day.
Weaving exercise into your daily routine shouldn’t feel like a chore. Many people enjoy running regularly because it helps to clear their mind. For others, it can feel arduous and become daunting. Walking can be just as effective, if you treat it as a brisk exercise, as opposed to a leisurely jaunt. Find a friend to join you on your evening stroll and you’ll find peace of mind and additional motivation to maintain your healthy habit.
Meditation is not only for Buddhist monks and yoga lovers. Spending as little as 10-15 minutes each day meditating increases your happiness ten fold.
Find a quiet, calm atmosphere in your home or elsewhere and clear your mind of all of the turmoil and stresses that clog your daily thought processes. The report that is causing stress at work? Stop mulling it over. The bills that are piling up for rent and utilities? This is not the time to think of them. Instead, it is a time to establish solace. Then, you can make yourself available to feel gratitude for the great things you do have, instead of dwelling on that which you don’t.
It helps to sit cross-legged, on the floor with good posture, though you don’t need any candles, incense or spiritual hymns. This form of mindfulness is becoming very popular because it is so simple for anyone to do and the benefits are remarkable.