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5 Powerful Healthy Lifestyle Habits to Support Mental Health

Christa King
CEO, Fitlandia & Soul River Inc Board Member

In a world that is all about “less” it is somewhat foreign to think about adding more of something in our lives. We are told to eat less, weigh less, own less…the list continues. But there are many healthy lifestyle habits that are positively powerful and could and should be increased in our daily lives. And believe it or not, they are easy!

These lifestyle changes can reduce our stress, add value to our daily experiences, or even help improve our overall health and wellness. Developing a healthy lifestyle is essential to leading a happy, productive and enjoyable life daily.

The other benefit to adopting, practicing and improving these 5 healthy lifestyle habits? Beginning with one or many of these changes will make it that much easier to have other incredibly healthy lifestyle practices stick, too!

Check out these amazing 5 healthy habits you should add MORE of in your life NOW…

1) Drink More Water

Water is a well-known essential nutrient for the human body. Our bodies use water for basic functions and requires continuous hydration to work properly.

Studies have shown that even slight dehydration of 1-2% can impair basic cognitive performance, critical thinking, attentiveness and even memory.

Drinking plenty of water can even help with weight loss. Another study at Virginia Tech suggests that drinking water before eating your meals can help increase metabolic rates and also encourage you to consume less calories!

Healthcare professionals suggest drinking at least half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day and drinking water before each meal. You will feel more energized when your body has the hydration it needs to perform at its best!

2) Get More Sleep

Sleep is the body’s way of hitting the reset button. We heal, we re-energize, and we fuel our bodies with sweet, sweet sleep. We not only need sleep for energy but also for cognitive function, physical wellness, and emotional well-being.

We all live busy lives but it is important to realize the implications of regularly having a lack of sleep. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep deprivation is linked to an increased risk in heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and even obesity.

It is suggested to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Give yourself one week of 8 hours of sleep each night on a regular sleep schedule and you will feel incredible benefits!

3) Stand and Walk More

Leading a regularly active lifestyle is incredibly important for your health. Sitting all day at your desk is not only hard on your body, it is hard on your brain and energy levels as well! Try using a standing desk for half of the day (or more!) and see how you feel.

Feeling like you have low energy today? Try taking a 10-minute walk to clear your head and re-energize your body and brain!

Fitting in regular walking or standing into your daily life can make a huge difference in your happiness, and help you burn extra calories, too!
4) Practice More Deep Breathing

Let’s face it. Our daily lives can be incredibly stressful. There are many things that cause this stress and a great deal are out of our control, but taking a moment or two to focus on your breathing can bring you inner peace and help curb that anxiety you are feeling.

Try taking a deep breath for a count of 8, holding it for a count of 3, and fully exhaling for another count of 8. Repeat this as many times as necessary until you feel more at ease and in control of your situation.

Sometimes just taking a moment to appreciate and focus on your breath can be incredibly healing and pleasant, and is a much healthier way to respond to life’s daily stressors.

And don’t just take my word for it, studies have shown than even just a few sessions of controlled breathing can significantly lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in our brains. Talk about powerful!

5) Eat More Small Meals

If you think back to our ancestors, there is very little chance that they survived by eating three square meals a day. They were foragers and continuously ate throughout each day to survive. So how can we integrate this principle into our modern lives?

Try allowing yourself to graze throughout your day. Pack healthy, nutrient rich snacks and small meals to eat while you are away from the house. So long as you make meal choices that align with a healthy lifestyle, you will gain boosts of energy from each serving and feel more energized in general. Studies have even shown this practice could help with weight management.

Your digestive system will thank you, too! Not overloading your body with too many carbs or sugars in one sitting does a world of good for a healthy gut!

You Can Do It!

Many of these changes may seem overwhelming at first, but don’t get discouraged! Take small steps to integrate these powerful lifestyle habits into your daily schedule and slowly work your way to larger changes. Try your best and your hard work will pay off and help these powerful lifestyle habits stick!

Who doesn’t want to drink more, sleep more, walk more, breathe more, and eat more?!

The best part? You get to do MORE of what makes you feel happier and healthier each and every day!

Ready for more healthy tips? Subscribe to the Fitlandia Podcast for a weekly dose of inspiration, expert advice, and Mind Zoning®.

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Soul River Inc

1926 N Kilpatrick St,

Suite B,

Portland, OR 97217

Phone. 503-954-7625

Email. info@soulriverinc.org