There are few things that most of us in this world seek and value more than health and happiness. In an attempt to attain health, we go through diet after diet, workout routine after workout routine trying to figure out what works best for us -and in many cases will keep us interested long enough to attain results. To find happiness we look externally for things such as a great job, the perfect relationship or an active social life to create the exact balance that best works for us in feeling good consistently.
Rather than perpetually trying, why not learn by example? Even though we are all unique and no set thing works for all of us, here are 6 common things that healthy and happy people do every day. Or at least the ones that I've talked to.
1. Drink Plenty Of Water
Rather than getting into the statistics of how much water is enough, one common trait I've found amongst the healthy and happy is that they pretty well always choose water. Water is at the core of our health, so ensuring that we consume enough of it daily seems to make sense. Drinking a sufficient amount of water has been connected with helping to maintain a balance of bodily fluids, energizing muscles, keeping skin looking young and feeling good, maintaining your kidney health and ensuring normal bowel function. (1)
Ever since I've become more "water conscious" I've found myself less prone to headaches and also more energized throughout the day. For those concerned with a lack of flavour, opt to squeeze some fresh citrus into your water rather than going for a concentrated juice or pop -which are likely to be loaded with unwanted sugars.
2. Spend Time Outdoors
We all lead busy lives, and to those of us who already find daily life to be a juggling act, the idea of incorporating some regular time outdoors may seem literally impossible. However, nothing is impossible and spending time outside is definitely something worth trying out. Being outdoors during the day connects you to the sun, the world's greatest provider of the very powerful vitamin D -which helps to fight certain conditions from osteoporosis to cancer to depression. (2)
Even when the sun isn't shining, outdoor air is more often than not the cleanest air you can breathe. To help incorporate this into your life don't be afraid to start small, a quick 5-minute walk or a few minutes of fresh air after a meal can do more than we might give them credit to.
3. Take Time Away From Technology
Technology is at the core of pretty well everything that most of us do, our computers, cell phones and televisions always seem to be playing some form of a role in every moment of our lives. In speaking to those who are the healthiest and happiest, I've found that most of them ensure that they spend a sufficient amount of time away from these devices daily.
Ideally this time away would be both substantial and uninterrupted, but given how dependent most of us have become even something much less significant would probably feel fantastic. Easy ways to incorporate this are opting to read rather than watch television, choosing to prepare or eat meals without some form of entertainment on, or if you have kids, playing with your children.
4. Don't Skip Breakfast
We are all very familiar with the old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and even though some argue that statement, it's certainly worth considering. Those who skip breakfast tend to make less healthy decisions later in the day by either overeating at their next meal or nibbling on unhealthy snacks throughout the day. (3)
Rather than looking for quantity in your breakfast, focus on quality -in both what you eat and the love and time you put into preparing it. A well-thought out smoothie may seem like an inferior option to a much heavier stack of pancakes but the nutritional value of that smoothie will often energize you far more. Breakfast often tastes delicious anyways, so why not take the time to make sure you have it?
5. Spend At Least A Bit Of Time Doing Something You're Passionate About
We all have a number of things that we are passionate about. If you don't know off-hand than I highly suggest you take some quiet time to really think this through and remind yourself. For myself, my passions include playing sports, public speaking, eating healthy, filmmaking and writing, and I can honestly say that going through any day where I don't get to play with at least one of them is usually not overly enjoyable.
At first, finding any amount of time to incorporate your passions daily is a great step, but ultimately it would be great to work towards building a life that at least 51% of your day in some way involves a passion of yours. This may sound impossible but it becomes a lot easier when you find ways to incorporate passions into already existent daily things like work or meal preparation.
6. Value The Day
This may sound fluffy and impractical, but there are far too many of us that do not appreciate every day that we have here on earth. Think of how many of us for example "live for the weekend." We go through the motions of our Monday to Friday life, often eager for it to pass. One common thing I found amongst the happy and healthy is that they are grateful for and present with every day of life, no matter what day of the week it is.
The easiest way to start applying this to your daily life is to catch yourself the next time that you find yourself complaining. Look at what it is that you are complaining about, realize that it's not worth your time and choose to be present in whatever it is that you are doing.