When it comes to lifespan, quality most certainly impacts quantity. And while improving your life can seem like a lofty goal, when cut down to size, it’s one that can be broken into actionable items that can help you improve as the days go on. Whether it be through better diet, more restful sleep or a more present approach to your day-to-day, the future is yours. Here are a few things you can look after daily to keep it looking bright.
Get up early
Not only is sleep part of a healthy routine, but it sets you up today to thrive through a better tomorrow. With busy schedules, it can be tough to get to bed early, but the benefits your future self will reap are outstanding. Science has actually proven that, on average, morning people are happier than night owls and have a lower likeliness of developing anxiety and depression. What’s more? People who gear towards exercise earlier in the day have also been deemed as more proactive in nature, better positioning them to think through decision-making and avoid stressful “reactive” situations. With the positive impacts this has on your immune system and health overall, it’s no wonder they’ve got something to smile about. For some of us, getting to bed isn’t the challenge but getting to sleep is. If you have trouble getting to sleep, supplements like melatonin are good ways to regulate your sleep cadence.
Focus on right now
Mindfulness is more than a wellness trend. Not only does it have a positive impact on your ability to focus, but it has been shown to help with memory, concentration and performance, and is even utilized as a psychotherapy technique for those who suffer from mental illnesses. Though putting it in practice may seem intimidating, we recommend the ”every-little-bit-counts” approach to becoming one with the (wo)man inside. No matter the amount of time you’ve got to dedicate to getting back to you, an easy way to get started wherever you are is by finding a quiet space, closing your eyes and focusing on the present moment without passing any judgement on yourself. Use this time to pay attention to your passing thoughts, motivations, breathing and overall disposition. Don’t be hard on yourself if your mind wanders – this is normal. Simply bring your attention back to your present state of meditation, or save your thoughts for later. Either way, spending some time in the present will surely help you from bringing some unnecessary ones into the future.
Treat yourself how you would treat others
We all know how the old adage goes: do onto others as you’d do to oneself. But we also know we are all our own worst critics. Being kind to yourself doesn’t mean making excuses, it means being the same friend to yourself as you are to those around you. Turns out being good does some good! Studies have shown that random acts of kindness can positively impact your health in a multitude of ways. It has been ascribed to slower aging, and even protecting your heart. Kindness often promotes feelings of emotional warmth₁, which releases a hormone called “oxytocin” known to help reduce blood pressure and encourage the dilation of blood vessels. In fact, kindness has been known to have such a positive effect on the self that through studies, the Harvard Business School deduced that in 136 different countries, altruistic people were happiest overall!
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
When it comes to self-image there is no better fast track than a healthy lifestyle. With your skin changing every 28 days, you are what you eat. A healthy diet helps nourish your body with the essential nutrients it needs, helping not only what’s on the inside, but on what’s on the outside, too. Add regular physical activity to the mix and you’re sure to up the self-content. With your goals in mind, remember that a healthy lifestyle means balance, and while every day may not be perfect, the important thing is to always strive to be the best version of you.
Did you know that there are scientifically-backed benefits to being consciously grateful? Swapping negative emotions out for appreciation is a good way to improve your health both inside and out. Studies have shown that that not only do grateful people sleep better, but they have higher self-esteem and mental strength on average. Practicing can be as simple as jotting down 3 things in a gratitude journal before bed, or simply recalling them regularly. What are you waiting for? Get started now!