Tuesday, December 8, 2009

6 Ways to a Happier, Healthier YOU

Today I got to thinking about the little things in life that simply make you a happier, healthier, more content person. You know, the little things in life we sometimes forget to make time for. The best part is, none of these things are very time demanding at all.  If you take a few extra moments a day, you'll be on your way to a more fulfilling life! 
1. Friends: Yup, surrounding yourself with lots of friends actually benefits more than your social life. Studies show that the more friends and social networks you have, the happier you are... and happiness ultimately leads to a healthier YOU. I've always been a firm believer in this, because my great grandmother lived to be 99, and had more friends than anyone I know. Up until the day she passed away, she had visits left and right from close friends and family. So, embrace the social butterfly in you and it can benefit your health in more ways than you may think!
2. Making lists: Not only can lists motivate you to accomplish daily tasks and goals, but they can also make you feel a lot better about yourself! Lists don't always have to be monotonous "to do" notes left on the refrigerator door to make you feel stressed about your life. Lists can also be an outlet for you to write down little thoughts throughout the day. For instance, I often make little lists of things that make me happy, or things that I love and appreciate about myself/my life for an extra feel-good booster!
3. "Me" Time: "Me time" used to be something I cherished so greatly, as I've always been one to appreciate my alone time to catch up on Rachel. However, since I've moved to Boston, I've been super busy and not making enough time for "me," something I'm definitely going to work on. Whether it's taking yourself on a mini shopping spree, meditating in your room alone or making time for the gym, "me" time can work wonders for your mind and overall health! Take your "me" time to do the things that you love, things that make you feel absolutely fabulous. For example, my favorites include going to the gym, browsing endlessly on the web and walking around the city!
4. Play time: Just as importantly as "me time" is play time. As we get older, we often forget to make time to do the things we loved a a kid, or just let loose altogether. Don't be afraid to let out that inner youth, whether that's booking a fun getaway trip with a friend, or baking cookies all day long (and eating the batter too!) Just this past weekend, I hopped on a bus to NYC to visit some friends, and it felt great to just get away, have fun and not think about anything other than the moment!
5. Listening to Your Body: Sometimes, life gets so crazy that we forget to listen to our own body, something we all need to make more time for. Make a personal note of how certain foods make you feel after you eat them i.e. tired/bloated/energized/moody, etc. By listening to my own body, I found out that I'm extremely sensitive to dairy and wheat products. I used to get such bad stomach aches growing up, sometimes to the point where I was so bloated and uncomfortable I'd have to lay down, but I ignored the symptoms. Then, I recently found out that I have a sensitivity to wheat and dairy, and ever since I cut them out of my diet (or eat them extremely sparingly) I've felt  better than ever, and have lost a few pounds in the process! Listening to your body also means when you feel something is "off," don't be afraid to go to the doctor to get it checked out. Most of the time, it's nothing, but it's much better to be safe than sorry! Too many women ignore what their body is telling them, and it may hurt them in the long run. So stay on top of your personal health!
6. Love: It amazed me what a simple hug can do for your mood! Seriously, a hug from a friend can lift my mood up to the highest of highs. Make more time to be intimate with your husband or boyfriend, snuggle with your kids or just plain give more hugs. Try it out today and see what a difference it can make!

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