Humans are creatures of habit. Once we get set in a routine, we tend to stick to it like a hamster on a wheel… for better and for worse.
But bad habits – from neglecting those around us, to biting our fingernails, from watching too much TV to nighttime binges – often have a side effect of guilt and disappointment. And let’s be honest, these are not healthy emotions to hang on to.
And really, why would you? There are so many super simple ways to create new, healthy habits in your life… you just have to make the decision to start! 🙂
If you’re ready to jumpstart your health and happiness, try working these in to your daily routine (if you haven’t already):
Healthy Habit #1: Set a bed time
For many of us, the beginning of the day is the most rigidly scheduled. We set an alarm at a very specific time to wake up, yet bed time varies according to stress, work, the big game, or which must-see TV shows are on that night.
But you can jumpstart your way to better sleep by being more consistent with the time you go to bed, than worrying about the morning alarm. By going to bed at the same time each night, your body will naturally adapt to your schedule and begin preparing for sleep before you actually lie down. This will put your body and brain at ease and will improve your quality of rest.
Imagine waking up every day feeling fully rested and ready to take on the day! When you listen to your internal clock and go to bed when it says to; your body and mind will thank you in the morning.
Healthy Habit #2: Drink before you eat
I’m not talking about alcohol, though a nice glass of red wine with dinner can have healthy effects. Right now, I’m actually talking about water. That’s right, H2O.
Water makes up just about everything in the Universe and is absolutely vital for our health. Just think… the human body is made of 70% water and water acts as the main transporter of nutrients throughout the body. In short, the human body relies on water to function.
When we ignore our need for water, we become drowsy and irritable. Our bodies crave water, but the message to our brain is often delayed due to external stresses and distractions. By the time we feel really “thirsty” our body is already deprived and dehydrated.
While you should always stay hydrated, drinking a full glass of water about thirty minutes before each meal has added benefits. Drinking water helps to release enzymes, which create the perfect environment for food to begin digestion. This same process also begins to trigger your satiation (which simply means how full you feel) and helps to keep us from over eating.
Healthy Habit #3: Succumb to cravings
Cravings are absolutely natural, so give yourself permission to eat your favorite foods in moderation without guilt! When we try to ignore our cravings, eventually the urge tends to catch up and cause a binge reaction. In the end, we end up consuming more than we even wanted in the first place.
The solution then, is not to ignore your cravings but to embrace them in moderation – the key is to limit serving size. Cravings can be appeased by relatively small amounts. For example, if chocolate is your achilles heel, try buying bite size candies rather than a king size bar.
As you create a healthier lifestyle, you may even notice your cravings change. Don’t be surprised if the smell of fresh fruit, roasted veggies, and other ‘good for you’ foods make your mouth water!
In fact, once we realize that our bad habits are nothing more than learned behaviors, it becomes easier to make conscious, healthy choices. And each smart decision will lead to an overall improvement in your health, which is so important for achieving a truly happy life.