7 Simple Daily Rules for Health and Happiness
Today I want to bring you my best tips for feeling great, both physically and mentally. You might think these simple ideas can’t make a big difference for your health, movement, injury rate, or experience of pain. But let me tell you, they really and truly can. Most people need to read and re-read these, and more importantly, apply them in daily life.
So take a look, and make an effort to implement these guidelines into your daily practices.
1. Laugh Often
I love to laugh, and anyone who knows me can attest to this. You need to laugh every single day. And I mean really laugh. Laughter relaxes the whole body, triggers the release of endorphins, relieves stress, improves mood, and just makes you feel good. And I don’t think I need to discuss how bad stress is for your body, both physically and mentally.
2. Train With Friends
Working out has countless positive effects on our lives. And as you already know, so does laughing. So meld the two together and work out daily with friends. Go to a gym that is a community, somewhere you love going and being. Make this a priority in your life and you will feel amazing on a daily basis.
3. Break Your Electronic OCD Loop
Have you found yourself checking the same websites over and over, even though you were just on them? Have you noticed that the second your phone makes a noise you have to grab it and see what’s going on?
Thanks to powerful mobile devices and social media, we live in a super connected world. I am the first to admit that I couldn’t live without my phone. But when you get in this loop, it can be difficult to have good, productive, consistent thought patterns.
This electronic OCD loop can also lead to fatigue, stress, and anxiety. You’ll find you feel “busy” all day, even though you have nothing to show for it. Once you are distracted by something like an email popping up on your phone, it can take up to 4-5 minutes to re-focus on your first task. That’s a lot of time lost if you add up all of the emails you check in a day.
So how can you decrease this stress and become more productive? The answer is simple, but perhaps not easy if you are in the habit of constant checking. Turn off the alerts on your smartphone. All of your emails, Facebook posts, and messages will be there waiting for you when you are ready to take a break and read them. Preset email and social media breaks into your workday so these distractions don’t interfere with your productive thoughts while you are working.
4. Stop Sitting So Much
We’ve all heard the headlines, and heck, I’ve even written on the topic before - sitting is the new smoking. Studies show a huge number of negative physical and mental health effects of extended periods of sitting. Something as simple as sitting less can make you feel better both physically and mentally.
I realize this is easier said than done, especially for those of you who are chained to a desk for long hours each day. Consider these simple, positive steps you can take:
- Use a desk that converts from sitting to standing.
- Get up for frequent breaks.
- Stand during meetings.
- Walk around the office when you talk on the phone.
5. Do Daily Mobility Work
This one is simple. Grab a foam roller, lacrosse ball, or a piece of PVC pipe you have laying around and spend five minutes a day doing some soft tissue work. If you have problem areas, focus on them. It may feel uncomfortable as you do it, but you usually finish feeling much better than when you started.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is critical recovery time and also protects you from illness. While you sleep, your body secretes hormones essential for muscle mass, bone strength, energy, and a strong immune system. This obviously does not happen if you don’t sleep. Think about that.
"While you sleep, your body secretes hormones essential for muscle mass, bone strength, energy, and a strong immune system."
So, how much sleep is enough? There is no straight answer or consensus to this question as everyone is different, but it is generally recommended that adults sleep 7-9 hours every night.
7. Walk Tall
Not only does good posture have many positive physical effects, but it is also good for your confidence. In fact, research shows that walking tall improves your confidence, energy, and mood, and can also decrease your sensitivity to pain. Poor posture, on the other hand, can lead to feelings of stress and helplessness. So walk with your head up high.
Take Time Every Day
If you read through these ideas and feel like there’s nothing revolutionary there, you are right. But how many of them do you genuinely put into practice on a day-to-day basis? Every one of these points will improve your athletic performance, movement, productivity, and most importantly, your happiness.
More Like This:
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- The 5 Key Mindset Qualities of Successful Athletes
- Mental Strategies from Professional Strength and Conditioning Coaches
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1. Biswas, et al. “Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality, and Hospitalization in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” Annals of Internal Medicine 162 (2015): 123-132.
2. Brinol, Petty and Wagner. “Body posture effects on self-evaluation: A self-validation approach.” European Journal of Social Psychology, 39 (2009): 1053-1064.
3. Carney, Cuddy, and Ya. “Power posing: brief nonverbal displays affect neuroendocrine levels and risk tolerance.” Psychological Science, 21 (2010): 1363-1368.
4. Seguin, R. et al. “Sedentary Behavior and Mortality in Older Women.” American Journal of Preventative Medicine, 42 (2014): 122-135.
Photo courtesy of Michael Brian.