Small Steps to Take Towards Achieving a Healthier Lifestyle

April 25, 2018

We are aware that we should focus our time and energy on ensuring that we are living the healthiest lifestyle possible. After all, if our body and mind aren’t in good shape, we’re going to struggle when it comes to living life. But we still struggle to do this. Day to day life gets in the way and in amongst the chaos of work, a hectic social calendar, and other responsibilities, our wellbeing can slip to the back of our mind. So, to help you along the way, here are a few small steps that you can take towards achieving the ideal healthy lifestyle!

Taking care of your body 

Let’s start by considering how to take care of the physical side of your being. We often grow used to our bodies, taking little notice of them while we’re in good health. But as soon as problems arise, they become the centre of our attention – we can’t focus on anything else when we’re physically struggling or in pain. So it’s important that we do as much as we can to stay healthy and trouble from the outset. As the old saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. Now, there are a whole host of ways that you can keep your body in peak condition, but let’s just focus on a few for now.

Quit Smoking

We are familiar with campaigns encouraging us to stop smoking. Governments are constantly increasing taxes on tobacco and smoking paraphernalia in a bid to discourage us from spending our disposable income in these areas. Laws have also been passed to ban smoking from public spaces as well as cars with children riding as passengers. We are well aware of all of the negative health effects that come hand in hand with smoking. It is a huge contributor to diseases and illnesses such as cancer, lung disease, and respiratory conditions.

We’ve seen how it dulls our skin and hair, yellows our fingers and teeth, and embeds a distinct smell into our clothes, furniture, and any other fabric surrounding us. Yet hundreds of thousands of us still continue to smoke. The reason? Well, often people find it hard to kick the habit because they are addicted to nicotine contained within the cigarettes. But not to worry. With willpower, you can overcome this habit. There are all sorts of techniques to kick this habit, but one definitely worth considering is vaping. Vaping is a smoking alternative that lacks the negative health effects associated with smoking, as instead of inhaling toxic chemicals, you are inhaling water vapour. All you need is a vaporiser and e-liquids. Learn more about buying e-liquid here.

Drink Plenty of Water

You may be surprised to know that the adult human body is composed of around 60% water. So it’s extremely important that you keep these levels topped up. Especially considering water contributes towards the normal functioning of your body by lubricating your joints, lubricating your eyes, eliminating toxins in the skin, and helping with proper digestion. It’s not surprising that dehydration, then, can prove problematic when it comes to your health. Chronic dehydration can result in problems with your organs. You may develop kidney stones, experience constipation, notice changes in your cholesterol levels, or suffer from liver, joint, and muscle damage. So, keep an eye out for it! Signs of dehydration include thirst, dark yellow or strong smelling urine, dizziness and lightheadedness, fatigue, dry mouth, dry lips, and dry eyes.

In terms of your appearance, it can cause your skin to become dry and flaky, triggering and emphasising pre-existing skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and transepidermal water loss. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s extremely important that you drink eight glasses of water a day. Maintain this as a standard. There are plenty of energy drinks out there that claim to rehydrate you effectively, but the truth is that there’s nothing better for you than water. Energy drinks are likely to be filled with unnecessary ingredients such as sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. This could prove detrimental to your health. While any tap water or bottled water should be fine, try to filter your water. 

Start Your Day With a Wholesome Breakfast

There’s a reason that people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It provides you with the necessary fuel to start the day on the right foot. If you start out with a healthy and wholesome breakfast, you set yourself up for a productive day. So, stock up on carbs to keep you going until lunchtime. A side of fruit that can contribute to one of your five a day or a smoothie which you could pack multiple fruits and vegetables into.

Take Care of Your Mind

In the past, the mind has often been neglected. But nowadays, with improvements in understanding and awareness of mental illness and other problems, we are starting to give the well-being of the mind the attention and concern. We are bound to run into some mental challenges and situations to overcome at some point. However, there are a few things that you can do to keep your mind in check regardless of what’s going on. Here are a few to consider for a better lifestyle.

Meditate

When we think of meditation, we often think of spiritual individuals sat in the lotus pose with their eyes closed. But not many of us know what they are actually doing, often assuming that they are sitting in silence. The truth is that meditation is actually just training your mind to be aware of the world around it. A big mistake that people make when trying to meditate is to attempt to completely block out the world. But this shouldn’t be the aim! When meditating you should be aware of everything that’s going on around you, but observe it without judgement. When starting out with meditation, focus on getting your posture right. You don’t necessarily have to sit in the lotus position.

Instead, you should focus on making yourself comfortable. Start by sitting on the floor with your legs loosely crossed (if possible).Your eyes should gaze just ahead of you, not focussing on anything in particular, or alternatively, you could close your eyes. Slightly tuck your chin to keep your spine aligned – keep things upright and natural. Ensure that your sitting bones are centred and stable.

Avoid keeping them too far forward or too far back. Allow your arms to fall naturally onto your thighs, and try to keep your knees below your hips. Don’t attempt to control your breathing. Breathe naturally, in and out, but also focus on it, noticing how your body moves and changes with each inhalation and exhalation. Whenever your mind wanders, make it return to observing your body in the simple act of breathing. These are the basics. To move on and forward, watch specialist tutorials online.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is often confused with meditation and there are areas of mindfulness that cross over with the aims of meditation. But they are two separate things. Mindfulness, in short, is the ability to be present in the here and now.

The best way to relieve ourselves from the pressures put on us by problems is to move on from them. But to do so, you have to tackle them head-on. Sure, this may seem relatively stressful at the time and it may seem easier to brush problems under the carpet, you’ll only find yourself building up unnecessary tension. The most commonly employed methods used to resolve conflicts are accommodation, compromise, and collaboration. Accommodation entails agreeing with the other individual for the sake of keeping the peace.  

Compromise means that you both alter your views and actions to meet in the middle. This agreement should benefit both parties to an extent, but nobody necessarily “wins”. Collaboration is perhaps the best method of coming to terms with one another. You sit and discuss the causes of the argument and identify what could drive you to a good or bad solution. Eventually, you can come to an agreement that you are both equally happy to settle on. This last method takes the longest time but it generally concludes with the best results for the long-run.

These are just a few different ways to work towards a wonderfully healthy lifestyle. There are, of course, plenty more activities, habits, and lifestyle choices that you could try out that would further improve your physical and mental quality of life. But these are a great place to start! So, get started today to reap the benefits sooner rather than later.

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