Habits to Keep You Healthy and Balanced

From keeping a journal to working out, habits to keep you healthy and balanced can keep you from being overwhelmed by life's many ventures.

Photo via Ryan Moreno

Photo via Ryan Moreno

Many of us have a difficult time balancing all of the responsibilities of life. We are pulled in several different directions and expected to be successful in every venture. The pressure that comes along with these things can cause you to be less productive because of the lack of balance. Compiled are a list of things you can do to maintain and healthy and balanced life.

Meditate

Meditation is known to decrease the levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is also connected to weight gain. Meditation helps manage stress and aids in achieving overall balance, allowing you to focus on what's important. Meditation also helps clear your thoughts and calm your worries.

Rid Yourself of Toxic People

Having friends to help you get through tough times is important. Having friends that are "takers" and never "givers," however, can be draining. Making the tough decision to let go of someone that is close to you that drains you may be the difference between a healthy and balanced life and the beginning of a downward spiral. As hard as it is to let go of toxic people, it's essential to your own mental and physical health.

Take a Break from Social Media

Social media can be entertaining and also helps us stay connected to the world around us. However, there are times when news is overwhelmingly frustrating or sad, or the drama of your friends' lives is dragging you down. These are times when you may need to disconnect for your own mental health.

Photo via Phil Coffman

Photo via Phil Coffman

Go for Walks

Like other forms of physical activity, walking at a steady pace helps you release endorphins. Endorphins are linked to the feeling of happiness. If you take your walks from indoors to outdoors there is an added bonus. Being connected to nature has shown to alleviate symptoms of depression, and everyone needs some sunshine now and again to keep their levels of vitamin D healthy.

Help Others

The link between wellness and helping others is apparent. Helping others helps us to feel fulfilled and accomplished. Researchers have found that being of help to others is associated closely with the feeling that your life has a deeper meaning.

Practice Gratitude

Being thankful connects you to something larger than yourself. Take a person that is always complaining and compare them to a person that is grateful most of the time. The person that is grateful probably has an easier time getting through life’s difficult seasons. Practicing gratitude helps you keep things in perspective, helping you keep and healthy and balanced life.

Practice Positivity

Our brains are predisposed to see negativity over positivity, which means seeing things in a positive light does not always come naturally. On the bright side, you can rewire your brain to see the world more positively. You can do this by keeping a running tab of good things that happen during a week-long period. Consider picking a person to show appreciation to on a regular basis. Mix things up and spread the positivity to a different person every time.

Image via Cathryn Lavery

Image via Cathryn Lavery

Keep a Gratitude Journal

A great way to keep gratefulness at the forefront of your thoughts is to keep a gratitude journal. Consider recording something you're grateful for daily or weekly. When you're having a rough time, look back at your journal as a reminder of how fortunate you are. Not to mention, your gratitude journal can also be used to share good times with others.

Get Enough Sleep

Consider what happens when you’re extremely tired and you spill something. Now consider that same minor spill happens when you’re well rested. Your response may be different. Small things take on a more negative meaning when you don't get enough rest. When you sleep, your body and your mind rejuvenate. This is vital for your physical and mental health. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep daily. 

Perform Random Acts of Kindness

Plan to do something nice for someone on a regular basis to jump start the goal to help others. It can be someone you know or a total stranger. Helping others not only helps you feel more fulfilled, but also lifts your spirits. Take it a step further and do something kind for someone else on a day when things aren’t so great for you.

Photo via Abigail Keenan

Photo via Abigail Keenan

Stretch

Stretching not only helps you maintain a healthy range of motion, but is also a great way to get in some mediation time. Stretching also helps prevent injury, and decreases recovery time after an injury.

Eat Healthy

You know that eating right can affect your health, but did you also know that it can affect your balance? Because your brain affects your mood, it is important to feed your body and brain all the right stuff to increase your overall mental health and wellbeing. To protect your brain health and increase your overall happiness, you can do a few things to ensure you’re getting the most out of your daily diet. You can try to go organic whenever possible. It has been proven that the pesticides found in foods may negatively affect your brain health. Include enough omega-3 fatty acids, which are available in foods such as salmon. Avoid processed foods, which lack nutritional value and don’t increase your health and balance.

Workout

In addition to helping you feel healthy and balanced, working out can also boost your mood. Physical activity, which ignites the release of endorphins, helps your body create its own happiness. Endorphins, the feel good chemical that your body naturally produces, help to increase positivity and happiness, so much so that there are studies that recommend exercise and physical activity as an alternative treatment for depression.

Anything you practice for 21 days becomes a habit. Knowing that achieving a healthy and balanced life is based more on a decision to do so and action on your part makes health and balance easily attainable. Pick a few habits to practice for 21 days and you’re on your way a life full of health, balance and happiness. 

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Habits to Keep You Healthy and Balanced
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