I have a few friends that are having a difficult time transitioning to a healthier and happier lifestyle! I have so much to share and want to help you all achieve your biggest goals, so here is a full-on guide that I’ve been working on for the past few months. I really hope this helps. I know it can be tempting to only read the headers, but trust me, I’ve got tons of advice and discuss my opinions in depth, so be sure to read! Let me know what you think in the comments below!
It’s true- you are what you eat! Eating the right foods can literally change your genetic makeup! It can change the way you physically express different genes. Dairy, in particular, can change the way you express your genes, respond to stress, digest your food, and so much more, simply because it is so foreign to our bodies. Yes, we have been ingesting it for many years, but how ironic is it that none of us can properly digest it? If there is one food that I believe everyone should try to eliminate from their diet for at least 30 days, it’s dairy. Also, choosing to eat real foods over processed foods will result in insane improvements in your well-being overall. Knowing and understanding your body’s needs in terms of nutrition is very important in maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle. It can determine your mood, your energy levels, and even the texture of your skin and hair. You could pay attention to everything else on this list, except for this one and it would be a significant loss!
Movement is so important. Many tend to put all of their focus on weight loss and body improvement when they think of exercise. However, that is the last thing that should be on our mind. Daily exercise, 30 minutes at the least, can do so much for you, both short term and long term. Do not make exercise a decision or something you’ll finish later. Turn it into ‘I am’ instead of ‘I should’. Your digestive system, hormones, organs, energy levels, mood….basically your entire body…will thank you. Workout while you’re cooking, getting dressed, going up the stairs, watching a show, and so much more! If you really struggle to exercise daily, at least get a 15 minute stretch going in the morning.
My cousin wanted me to recommend martial arts to you all as well. He says that learning how to control and manipulate your body in order to defend yourself has been very empowering. He is also really into yoga. He loves what it has done for his posture. Better posture produces a very positive, confident, and productive energy. He recommends rolling your shoulders back and reminding yourself to do so throughout the day.
There was one week this past year when I was going to bed very late and waking up very early. It was sort of insomnia, almost. It made me depressed, hungrier, and my stress had skyrocketed. I was extremely bloated with a lack of motivation. After getting it under control, it seemed like everything in my life turned around and began improving again. I turn off all electronics by 9, read a book and write in my journal before falling asleep between 10 and 11, and force myself awake around 7-8 in the morning. I have become a lot more productive by doing so.
SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
I would tell you to have no expectations, because that would give you ultimate freedom, but many people struggle with letting go of their expectations. So, instead, be realistic. By setting an unrealistic expectation, you’re setting yourself up for failure, you won’t reach it, and you’ll eventually give up. However, by setting a SMART goal you allow yourself to reach a maintainable goal that will continue to improve. Don’t expect to succeed more than you expect to fail. They go hand in hand. You cannot succeed without failure. The more failure, the better the success.
Many people are afraid to forgive because they do not want to forget. I have found that leaving something unforgiven keeps your mind in the past, instead of the present. This can also lead to anxiety for the future. Allowing yourself to forgive yourself and others frees you of this burden.
Laugh at yourself more often, make fun of yourself, be lighthearted. Learn to love your mistakes. Put yourself in other people’s shoes; everyone makes mistakes. Most importantly, think before you react. Chances are, whatever you might be going through at the moment, you’ll have a totally different outlook on it this time next year. Accept involuntary events, and produce positive voluntary choices to produce the best forgiveness. Every hardship you endure and overcome is pushing you further towards what you’re meant to become. Enjoy this life, it is much simpler than you may think.
If you don’t already have a few friends, begin developing a social group. Create relationships to establish a social network. Call an old friend and say hey. Try community outreach or an old sport you like. Be an active member of your family. Call up your parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, and ask if they need a helping hand. If not, ask if they’d be willing to help you plan a family get-together. Family is so important and maintaining the relationships within it is crucial.
Another good idea would be to get rid of toxic relationships. I have been distancing myself from people who aren’t committed, don’t want to succeed, are unsupportive, don’t put effort into a friendship, or that I have noticed use me for their own benefit. I have also been developing relationships with new people that are positive, compassionate, ambitious, caring, supportive, and take good care of themselves. These are people that I share commonalities with. I have never been happier and am proud of myself for developing and keeping relationships with the people that I truly want and need in my life.
I cannot stress the importance of belting out some songs…every day…at some point! Such a great stress reliever. For best results, use in combination with dancing.
Vitamin D is your best friend when it comes to avoiding seasonal depression. If it’s cold, sit by a window and let the light shine on you. Nature is so great at healing and restoring the body. Not only that, but being in touch with nature can lead you to a whole new level of spirituality.
IF YOU AIN’T GOT IT, FAKE IT
Faking characteristics will allow you to eventually develop the trait. You may be uncomfortable doing something, but if you appear or pretend to be comfortable with it, no one will notice your discomfort, and it will therefore make you more comfortable. I hope that wasn’t too confusing…For example, if you fake your confidence enough, you’ll likely develop the trait from doing it multiple times and won’t have to fake it anymore. In other words, get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Volunteer in your community, help out your parents, go on a mission trip, do things for others without being asked. Even the smallest of things can brighten someone’s day. I’ve noticed that saying something positive about someone else every day not only makes you, as well as them, feel great, but it also allows you to focus on their positive attributes. You therefore better the relationship between the two of you. If you’re in a rough patch with someone, this may be very difficult to approach, but it can improve your relationship and alleviate stress. Try it out! See what happens.
Be diverse with what you educate yourself on and expose yourself to. If you are generally a traditional person, venture out and research something you know nothing about. At the moment, I have been researching the paleo diet to better understand the people, their views, and the research. Research about a different religion, another culture, another country, read a new book. There is so much information we are not exposed to. Immerse yourself. Stay open minded. Explore! Understand where people come from. You’ll have a much easier time accepting the world the way it is by doing so.
BECOME A MINIMALIST
End the compulsive shopping. Instead of thinking about what to put in your space, think about what you need to get out of your space. clean. clean. clean. until you can’t clean anymore. Feeling stressed? Clean! Cleaning and organizing makes it easier for you to find places for your things. With less in your way or on your shoulders, the more room you have for peace. You’ll have less attachments. We are constantly manipulated by advertisements, telling us that we need this, we must have more of that, and that we will never find happiness without this item. I am here to tell you that happiness is not found in material items. It may be for a week, maybe a month, but it will not give you the kind of happiness that you can receive from a peaceful, clear mind. By doing so, you’ll achieve a better sense of appreciation.
This one takes patience. Do not worry about time limits. Two minutes or two hours, it doesn’t matter. Just focus on doing it at least every day; make it a daily habit. Put your conscious attention on your breath, understand that your mind will wander, but do your best to come back to your breath, as well as your third eye.
Be grateful and appreciate what you have. Gratitude for little things can help you see past negative energy. Write one thing you are grateful for in a journal every day for 30 days and document how your outlook changes.
p.s. Another big tip: Find something you’re good at and do it. Don’t second guess yourself.
And that’s it! I hope you all enjoyed this post. Let me know what your resolutions are in the comments. Hope you all have had a productive start to your new year!