10 KEYS TO HAPPINESSTheres all this talk of healthy living, but what does it even consist of exactly? Balancingall aspects of your life through mind, body and soul. So how do you accomplish this inorder to live a long, healthy and joyful life? Here are my basic top 10 keys to just that!
1. EAT CLEANThey say you are what you eat, and this could not be truer. Everything youput into your body reflects on who you are, or who you become. When itcomes to your bodys health and composition, nutrition is at least 75% ofthe equation. Eat fresh, whole, REAL foods whenever possible. The lesspreservatives and ingredients listed the better it is for you, and the betteryou will feel! There is no faster way to transform your life than the way youeat. Dont fall into the current diet crazes, anything promising quick weightloss is not going to do your body good in the long run. Think logically: Thereare micronutrients and there are macronutrients. The three macronutrientsare carbohydrates, protein and fats. These macronutrients are critical forthe human brain and body to function properly; you must balance these atevery meal for optimal results. Therefore any diet that consists ofeliminating or raising the intake of these macronutrients is not lasting andnot good for the body! I am so sick of hearing people say they are on a"low-fat diet" or even "no carb diet". It is all about BALANCE. If you havetrouble making smart food choices, you will find lots right here on our site!
2. EXERCISE REGULARLYThis is a no-brainer. Consistent exercise helps prevents diseases, controls weight, improves energy and mood, strengthen your muscles and bones, regulates sleep and reduces stress. The list of benefits that come as aresult of living an active life goes on and on! Get that heart pumping for AT LEAST half an hour three times per week. It is not about intensity but consistency. Even if you only have 15 minutes, it’s worth it! Your body will thank you and your mood will lift!
3. EXERCISE YOUR MIND, TOO! My friends laugh at me because I always quote a poster we had on our schoolroom wall, “Knowledge is Power”. This has always stuck with me. Your brain is there for a reason, use it! Increasing brain activity can make you more creative, energetic, sociable, smarter, and open to new experiences and ways of thinking. You are completely free to learn whatever you want and see things whichever way you would like, takeadvantage of what you are given. Read a book, go to an art gallery, listen tonew music, watch an eye-opening documentary, take new classes or learn a new language. You will be amazed at how good you feel afterwards, always keep your mind growing.
4. SET REALISTIC GOALSI often get asked what keeps me motivated, and my answer will always be the goals I set for myself. I have always had set, written goals since a young age; mini goals, short-term goals, long-term goals, lifetime goals. They are what I get up every morning for, what I replay in my head on the gym every day, and what keeps me going through the hard times. If youdon’t have goals for yourself start making them now! Write them down andput them somewhere you will see them every day. STRIVE towards them, REACH them, and REJOICE at how rewarding it feels!
5. TAKE TIME TO YOURSELF In this hectic world it is easy to get caught up in all your responsibilities, butdon’t let it forget who you are. You are on this Earth for a purpose, and whatyou do every day matters. But, you will not be able to do the things you do ifyou don’t allow time for your mind to relax. Set aside at least 15 minutesEVERY day for yourself. Stop what you are doing and reflect on how youfeel. Take a hot bath, put on relaxing music, try a yoga or meditation class,or did it on your own. Connect with your body and great things shall come!
6. VOLUNTEERThe happiest people are those who have invested their time into others, the unhappiest people are those who wonder how the world is going to make them happy. If you have never volunteered then go and try it. You will be hooked after the uplifting, peaceful feeling you have afterwards. There is nothing more rewarding than making a stranger’s day, than knowing you have made a difference. Take a couple hours out of your week to help someone in need. There is no faster way to happiness than performing a selfless act.
7. SUPPLEMENTATIONIdeally we would all be getting the nutrients and vitamins we need from our daily diets. Unfortunately, in this day and age this does not happen. Our foods are said to be about 10 times less nutrient dense than it was 100 years ago. The air has become polluted, the soil depleted along withoxygen and sunlight. Even if you eat completely organic and natural foods, it is a good idea to take a daily multivitamin just to make sure.
8. CONNECT WITH THE EARTH Take a walk through a park, go for a hike in the mountains, open your eyesand take a look at this beautiful planet we live on. It is an amazing feeling of peace, being with nature. We often take our environment for granted. Nexttime you are in a natural setting, look at all the different things the world has to offer. Ranges of colorful flowers, magnificent trees that keep us living, millions of blades of green grass, skies full of ever-changing clouds; this Earth we live on is magnificently breathtaking if you let it be.
9. RESTAs you sleep your body relaxes and repairs itself, allowing you to have the energy and alertness you need for the day ahead. If you have troubles getting a full night’s sleep try taking a hot bath before bedtime, reading abook or listening to relaxing music. Making sure you are going to sleep and waking up around the same time every day also helps. Getting enough sleep is a necessity for proper bodily function.
10. CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK This is an extremely broad statement and I will get more into this in thefuture. For now, I will briefly explain what this means to me. At some point in our lives, or for some our whole lives, each and every one of us are unnoticeably controlled by our fears. Fear holds you back, fills your ego, makes you think negative thoughts and even causes you to hurt others in order to protect yourself. It is the way we’re made; it is a human survival tactic. I truly believe if we all learned to recognize and stop our fears from leading us, and instead let love take control, we would be living in a world of peace. Every negative thought you have can be turned into a positive. Learning how to do this can take many years or even a lifetime, but it is the journey to peace inside us that is more than worth it. Recognize these negative thoughts, and then work towards eliminating them. The most harmful wars are not on the other side of the world; they are inside of us.
You may already incorporate some of these keys in your lifealready, and the ones you dont may seem like a lot of effort or work. Trust me, they work and they are most definitely worthyour time and efforts. Even if you work on one every so often,make reaching each one a personal goal and I promise you it will be well worth it! You will feel better inside and out. Yourconfidence will rise along with your energy levels and zest for life!