Do you want to live your best life? Do you want less stress, more confidence, and more energy? These six habits, based on research and proven to help you create a sustainable healthy lifestyle, can help get you there quickly so you can live your best life!
Habit 1: Exercise
Make exercise a priority. Research shows that exercise is beneficial not only in lifting our mood but also in decreasing stress, preventing chronic diseases, increasing mental clarity, and boosting energy. With all of these benefits, it is vital to make exercise a part of your daily routine. Exercising in the morning can be a powerful way to start the day and getting 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity a week can help you feel your best. Find a type of exercise you truly enjoy and you’ll be more motivated to do it. There’s nothing like exercise to boost your confidence and make you feel great.
Habit 2: Sleep
Sleep is foundational to good health. Most research indicates we need at least seven hours of sleep to maintain brain health. Continuous lack of quality sleep can take a toll on our health over time, contributing to heart disease and diabetes as well as affecting our memory and mood. Create healthy sleep habits by establishing a bedtime routine. Get approximately ten minutes of morning sunlight to set your circadian rhythm, wake up and go to sleep around the same time every day, and avoid caffeine after noon to improve your quantity and quality of sleep.
Habit 3: Develop a Strong Mindset
You can do this by journaling about things you’re grateful for and to release emotions. Try focusing on three to five things that you’re grateful for every day and you will be amazed at how your life will transform. You will start seeing the cup as half full instead of half empty. Focusing on gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to create a positive mindset and is an incredibly effective way to boost your mood. A gratitude practice trains the brain to focus on the positive aspects of life and what we choose to focus on then expands even more. If you commit to making gratitude a daily practice for at least the next 30–66 days, as it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit, you will give your brain an opportunity to form new neural pathways toward more thoughts of gratitude. Every time we think a grateful thought and focus on the cup as half full, we are creating new neural pathways in the brain that help form the habit of gratitude.
Counting your blessings takes very little time, and the benefits are so powerful. There is growing research that shows that dopamine is released when a person expresses gratitude. Making journaling a regular practice can help you think strong and when your thoughts are strong, you will see great results in all areas of your life. As Marcus Elliot said, “when you can master your mind, you can master your reality.”
Another effective way to cultivate a positive mindset is to become aware of your self-talk. Consistent defeatist self-talk can turn into internalized feelings and cement your negative conceptions of yourself. Many of us run on autopilot and aren’t even aware of our self-talk, but it is imperative that you catch yourself when you think a negative thought and transform it into a positive one. Once you start noticing your thoughts, you’ll get into the habit of focusing more on the positive. Our self-talk is based on our self-image, which is based on our core beliefs. Focus on empowering beliefs instead of limiting beliefs, question the beliefs that no longer serve you, and remember that you are capable of more than you can ever imagine.
Habit 4: Do Something Each Day to Relax
Make time in your daily schedule for an activity such as meditation, yoga, riding your bike, going for a walk, or reading a book. It will look different for each person but it’s important to do something regularly that helps you be more in the present and mindful during the day.
Habit 5: Eat Nutrient-Dense Foods
Avoid highly processed foods and foods with a high sugar content. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Choose lean meats. When you make a commitment to eating healthier you will not only look better, you will feel better and have more energy.
Habit 6: Allow Time for More Joy, Play, and Creativity in Your Life
Schedule in things that give you happiness. We all have an inner child, so think about what you loved doing when you were a kid. It is so important to schedule things in your life that give you joy. Maybe it’s a sport you love, joining a club, painting, dancing, listening to music—anything that gives you that spark of happiness.
These six habits can help you live your best life. By making these habits a priority you’ll improve your overall well-being and avoid the myriad of chronic health conditions that can result from excess stress in our lives. Cultivating a healthy lifestyle requires commitment and consistency, but the results are worth it. Make these habits a priority and you’ll have more confidence, less stress, greater energy, and improved health.
Dr. Samreen Mongillo is a Success Coach and Doctor of Physical Therapy. She is the founder of Live Your Best Life Now, Coaching by Samreen. She specializes in helping individuals live their best life by mastering their mindset and creating healthy habits with her 7-Step System to Unlock Your Potential.