10 extremely simple daily habits that will change your life
Some people think that changing their live something that requires a total overhaul of every aspect of their lifestyle. Others believe ‘fresh starts’ and clean slates’, which often involve moving towns, are the only ways to turn their lives around.
Let’s face it, we’ve all been both sets of people at one time or another, and it’s really not our fault.
The truth is, change is a lot less complicated than we think, although it’s a gradual process. Like any other gradual process, you will find that there’s a lot of repetition within the process of change. It’s, therefore, no surprise that change and habit-forming (or habit-kicking) behavior go together quite well.
Changing your life is a cumulative effort of all the positive habits you adopt and maintain throughout the process.
Over time, these seemingly small habits become ingrained in your routine, and sometimes may even become second nature. Small as they may be, their benefits to the mind, body, and psyche of an individual are not to be underestimated. Herein are ten habits you should form to transform your life for the better.
1. Drink water in the morning
What is the first thing you did this morning after smacking the alarm off and rolling out of bed? Did you make a beeline for the coffee or did you first chug a glass of water? If you did the latter, that’s a habit you will want to keep, and here’s why.
Drinking water first thing in the morning is a great way to jumpstart your body. It not only jolts the brain to action, but it also helps your body to rehydrate and to expel toxins that accumulated overnight.
Your body spends eight to ten hours every day sleeping. That’s eight to ten hours without rehydration despite the fact that water is still being used up. When you wake up and rehydrate immediately, it rejuvenates the organs as well, kicking your body into high gear. Some even say that drinking water in the morning helps boost their productivity by helping the brain focus for longer periods of time throughout the day.
2. Go for a walk
The health benefits of walking are numerous, and enough reason for anyone to get their walking shoes on at least once every day. Walking improves heart health, lean muscle growth, metabolism, and keeps the body fit. A brisk morning walk will also have you feeling more alert, and sharper, not to mention it will give you your daily dose of exercise.
So if you can spare the twenty minutes or so it will take to go round the block (or create some room for walking during your daily commute) once a day, walking is a habit that can drastically improve the quality of your life.
3. Take breaks
As counterintuitive as it seems, taking regular breaks will improve your workflow and can potentially increase your productivity. Taking a break allows your mind to recoup lost energy and helps to break the monotony of working constantly. If you’ve ever been sucked into the desperate boredom that accompanies hours of mind-numbing work, then you will appreciate the reprieve five minutes of rest affords your brain.
Teach yourself to space intermittent breaks throughout your day to prevent burning out prematurely or suffering from headaches and migraines. This is especially important for those who spend their daily lives working in front of a monitor. Work techniques with ingrained break periods are also at your disposal if you’re looking for better ways to balance your work and breaks. The Pomodoro Technique is an effective one, but it’s not the only way.
4. Add fruits
The importance of a balanced diet in the day-to-day life of an individual remains largely unrecognized especially as our schedules become more hectic and we find less and less time sneak in a simple snack, let alone an entire meal.
If you’re like everyone else, then your productivity is hinged on how you’re currently feeling. Hunger can make you slower, grumpier, and more prone to making mistakes. And because empty calories like sweet pastries rarely have enough nutrition to keep us sated for long enough, eating a balanced meal — or even just grabbing a banana on your way to work — is a habit you will want to build on. If nothing else, your mind will benefit from the extra boost of energy we get from the natural sugars found in fruit.
So next time you’re in the grocery isle, don’t head straight to the dairy section. Take a stroll down the fresh produce isle instead. Your body will thank you.
In this fast-paced digital age, it’s easy to get lost in screens and touch-pads. The benefits of routinely disconnecting yourself from your digital life go beyond better sleeping habits and improved social skills. Switching off allows you to reconnect with yourself and with your environment.
Putting away our distractions is by far one of the hardest habits to pick up, but it’s during these moments of self-reflection that we get to assess ourselves and figure out ways to be better. What’s more, even with all the shortcuts that modern communication has brought, the allure of a good old-fashioned face-to-face conversation remains.
6. Stop and listen
After learning to put away distractions, another habit that will change your life, particularly how you relate to other people and to your environment, is the art of listening.
These days, too many people are concerned about appearing observant rather than actually being alert. Listening is a great skill to master and it puts you in good standing with a lot of people. After all, who doesn’t appreciate a good listener?
Plus, if you’re keen enough, listening lets you pick up on things that aren’t blatantly apparent, such as changes in the tone of voice, emphasized words, and even emotion, making you even better at hearing and deciphering the information you get from people.
7. Wind down
Before bed, it’s important to take about thirty minutes to an hour to relax and wind down before you go to bed. To be clear, you will not be sleeping, neither will you be catching up on the latest Game of Thrones episode. The wind-down period is a period when you put away all distractions and simply let your mind unwind from the stressful day.
The benefits of winding down are many. For one, it allows you time to resolve or at least stowaway thoughts that would otherwise not let you sleep. Secondly, blue light is the biggest culprit of poor sleeping patterns, simply because it affects the circadian rhythm (the body’s natural sleep rhythm). Giving yourself time away from screens and devices that emit blue light allows the natural sleep hormones to take action, giving you much more restful sleep.
8. Go to bed early
Going to sleep early can help restore your circadian rhythm and drastically improve the quality of your sleep. The body’s sleep cycle is delicate and can be affected by just about anything we do during our sleeping hours. Therefore, sticking to a fairly regular bedtime routine which involves giving yourself plenty of time to catch some Zs is a good way to keep your sleep cycle in check. The improved sleep quality that comes with making this a habit will easily reflect in your day-to-day life.
9. Wake up early
If you wake up early regularly, your body will become accustomed to being active during the earlier period of the day, and as you may already know, morning hours are the best for creativity and productivity, so capitalizing on your well-rested mind will always play to your advantage.
Waking up early enough gives you the chance to meet the day head-on. If you get more accomplished during the first half of the day, chances are you will spend the rest of it feeling better about yourself and even more incentivized to remain productive. As such, don’t be too tempted to press that snooze button next time. If you have trouble getting out of bed, a cool glass of water should jolt you right into the action.
10. Stay positive
It’s easy to wonder how staying positive can help make your life better. Well, think about it this way: when you’re positive, you deal with disappointments better and are therefore more likely to manage stress in a healthy way. This alone is enough reason to learn how to stay positive especially when everything seems to be falling apart.
Staying positive also curbs your fear of trying out new things. A person with a positive attitude will be more confident about applying for that job, and as we know, confidence is key during these interviews.
Positive thinking leads to healthier living since individuals are more concerned about what’s good for them and what isn’t. Positivity is, therefore, a more beneficial skill than you might think.
Simple habits have the most impact, so don’t worry about making life-changing decisions overnight. Change is gradual and it happens through repeated motions that we eventually turn to habits.