Have Your New Year’s Resolutions Already Become History? Here Are Ten Easy Ways to Improve Your Life Right Now.
About 40 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, most of which deal with improving our health and well-being. Unfortunately, most studies show that only a small percentage of people are successful in reaching their goals. If you’ve already abandoned your 2018 resolutions, we’ve got some good news for you. There are simple things you can do that will help improve your health – and we think you’ll find most of them are fun to do!
One of the major benefits of laughter is that it reduces stress – almost immediately. Have you ever been in an awkward situation that was broken because someone cracked a joke? Laughter releases a plethora of beneficial hormones while reducing the level of stress hormones. According the Mayo Clinic laughter may strengthen your immune system, relieve pain and ease depression.
Spend time with friends
As we grow older, keeping connected with family and friends continues to be critically important to our overall well-being. Several studies have shown that people who are more social get sick less and have healthier minds. A study from the Rush University Memory and Aging Project concluded that a higher level of social engagement is associated with better cognitive function.
Explore the world – or even your neighborhood
It’s a big, beautiful world out there, just waiting for you to appreciate it. Getting up off the couch and going outside has all sorts of benefits. It makes exercise feel easier, so you’ll be inclined to do more. It can increase creativity, reduce stress, and may even help us age more gracefully. Those who get out of the house more often have significantly fewer complaints regarding pain, sleep problems, and a decline in the ability to perform activities of daily living.
Get a puppy
Studies have shown that pet owners are healthier than those who live without pets – they provide companionship, unconditional love, and a quick pick-me-up after a hard day. They also provide an opportunity play, walk and get off the couch.
A study conducted by Robert Emmons, University of California, Davis, and Michael McCullough, University of Miami, discovered that people who practiced gratitude regularly were more optimistic, which led to an increased sense of well-being. By practicing the simple act of becoming aware of what we have to be thankful for, we can drastically improve the quality of our life.
Bring the green indoors
Indoor air is often more polluted that the air outdoors. Many common houseplants help purify indoor air, reducing carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, benzene and xylene. As a bonus, plants add beauty to almost any space in your home.
Take a nap
We recently discussed the importance of sleep. If you have trouble getting the sleep you need in a single 8-hour span, try taking a nap. A team of researchers at Saarland University in Germany conducted a study of the effect of napping on memory. According to the study, “even a short sleep lasting 45 to 60 minutes produces a five-fold improvement in information retrieval from memory.”
Have a glass of wine
In moderation, red wine has been shown to improve heart health. Red wine is high in antioxidants, raises HDL cholesterol (that’s the good cholesterol), reduces the formation of blood clots, and, according to the Mayo Clinic, may help prevent coronary heart disease.
Drink more water
Our body is composed of about 60 percent water and needs constant replenishing in order to perform at its peak – it effects virtually every part of your body, including the brain. A University of Connecticut study showed that even mild dehydration can alter a person’s mood, energy level and ability to think clearly.
Meditation is a practice with a long and rich history. While its roots are in religious traditions, it has evolved to become a mainstream practice for anyone looking to reduce stress, improve their job or athletic performance, sharpen their mind or simply improve their overall health and well-being.
This article is reprinted with permission from Careage Healthcare.