It isn’t uncommon for people to set goals and make life changes at the start of a new year, whether they are switching careers or improving their lifestyles. As per a survey of 1,200 U.S adults conducted by YouGov Direct in November 2021, about 38% said they wanted to lead a healthier lifestyle. Although there is no overnight formula for true health and happiness, you can do a lot to set yourself on a true path to being a better and happier person over time. Here are some lifestyle changes worth considering for a better and happier you.
- Shed some extra pounds
If you are struggling with your weight in America, you are definitely not alone. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey’s (NHANES) data, 42% and 30.7% of American adults were obese and overweight in 2017-18. Being overweight or obese has been linked to various health complications like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. Consequently, shedding those extra pounds will improve your health and significantly lower your risk of disease and death. Furthermore, losing weight can improve your appearance and make you feel good about yourself, eliminating any self-esteem issues related to being obese or overweight.
- Be more social
Many medical experts agree that loneliness is quite dangerous, perhaps even more lethal than obesity. Indeed, loneliness can kill you. Researchers discovered that lonely or socially isolated individuals had an increased risk of premature death by 26% to 32%. Therefore, consider being more social to live a happier and healthier life. Social interaction can lower depression symptoms by reducing feelings of anxiety and isolation. In addition, confiding in friends can work wonders for your self-esteem and confidence, making you happier. If you are battling a disease, social interactions can allow you to enjoy your daily life and feel as close to normal as possible. You can try being more social by chatting with strangers in-person or through one hour chat lines. In addition, consider signing up for a class to meet new people who share a similar interest. Also, it would help to develop your listening skills since being a better listener is more vital to making connections than speaking. Finally, keep an open mind and commit to doing things you ideally would avoid. For instance, you can accept an invitation to attend a party this weekend or spend time in a public space to put yourself in social situations and sharpen your skills over time.
- Practice mindful eating
Multitasking while eating is certainly the new normal. Many people pass the time when eating by watching their favorite TV show, working at their desk, or scrolling through social media. However, eating this way often leads to less awareness of your food, consuming more than necessary, and reduced satisfaction with meals. Luckily, you can practice mindful eating, a technique to help you eat slower, improve your awareness of foods, develop healthy eating behaviors, and build a better relationship with food. Mindful eating can reduce stress, lead to healthier food choices, eliminate binge eating, ensure better digestion, and promote weight loss.
- Declutter your space
Americans reportedly have more possessions than any society in history. According to a 2015 National Association of Professional Organizers survey, 54% of households are overwhelmed by clutter, and 78% don’t know what to do with it. However, it is crucial to note that clutter significantly impacts your mental health, making you more anxious and stressed. In the long run, too much clutter will make your home more difficult to clean, stressing you out even more. Therefore, consider purging your house of unnecessary items and quit hanging on to sentimental things you will never use. You will feel more focused after decluttering since clutter is distracting and makes it almost impossible to concentrate on anything in the space. Also, you will feel less out of control if you stay organized, boosting your feelings of pride and competence. Furthermore, the various items strewn across your home constantly accumulate several dust particles, leading to eye irritations, coughing, asthma attacks, and other undesirable reactions. Therefore, decluttering is one of the best ways to improve your air quality and well-being.
- Reduce your screen time
Nowadays, it is easy to get lost in technology and neglect the outside world. After all, technology has made it quite easy to communicate with people from all over the world and increased entertainment options. However, too much screen time comes at the cost of loss of human interaction, addiction, and a desire for social validation. As such, consider reducing your screen time to boost your awareness of moments in real-time. Also, screens can get in the way of a good night’s rest, particularly if you are behind them a few hours before bedtime. Therefore, putting your phone or laptop away about an hour before bed might be all it takes to help you sleep better. In addition, the complete richness of human interaction is best-discovered face-to-face, not through screens. Consequently, talking to people in person is best to help you have more meaningful conversations and develop empathy.
- Devote more time to hobbies
It is estimated that more than 50% of Americans have poor work-life balance. Burnout and dissatisfaction are two common consequences of having an unhealthy work-life balance, so it would help to devote more time to your hobbies. Hobbies are excellent for your mental health, and they also offer opportunities to expand your social circle, build confidence, and develop new skills. You can make more time for hobbies by making them a part of your daily routine. For example, if you are learning a new language, devote 20 minutes of practice each morning. You can also schedule your hobbies in advance to prioritize them and overcome the friction of starting. In addition, you likely skip hobbies to scroll through social media, watch television, or engage in some other time-wasting activity. As such, consider limiting your time-wasters to have more time for leisure.
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