We all wish that we could lead a healthier life, but it seems like too much work! We just don’t have time to prepare healthy meals, exercise as much as we want to, or meditate every day.
The good news is that you don’t have to make a big commitment or dedicate a lot of time in order to live a better life. Try these 9 simple hacks to improve your mental, physical, and emotional health with barely any effort.
Drink More Water
You might be tired of hearing this, but drinking water is the single best thing you can do to improve your health. Water is a natural detox. It flushes out the toxins in your body, helps your metabolism work smoothly, and increases your brain power.
Another great reason to drink water is that it helps you to eat less. Often you might think you’re hungry, but really your body is thirsty. Water helps stave off hunger pangs and stop you from mindless eating.
Eat Fresh Produce
Eating fruits and veggies is important, but they are so much more effective when you eat them raw. When you cook or process produce, you destroy most of the fiber which is important for a healthy digestive system. You also lose out on the unique vitamins and minerals that are locked into raw fruit and vegetables.
On top of that, your body consumes more calories digesting raw food than it does digesting processed food. That means that even the food you eat can help you lose weight.
You’re always breathing, all the time, which means that you probably don’t think much about it. The trouble is that most of us don’t breathe very deeply. We constrict our chest muscles and don’t inflate our lungs all the way, which makes it hard to take a full, deep breath.
Deep breathing has a lot of benefits. It encourages your lungs to trade more incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide, and oxygen is what your body needs. Deep breaths can slow your heartbeat and stabilize your blood pressure.
Most of all, deep breathing is good for your mental health. It’s the core of every type of meditation because it helps you to concentrate and feel calm.
Smile (Even If You Don’t Feel Like It)
Nobody likes it when someone tells us to smile, but the truth is that those annoying strangers might have a point. Studies have found that when you smile, it triggers your brain to release endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine.
Together, these hormones are very powerful. Endorphins are your body’s natural painkillers and they also boost your energy. Serotonin helps you relax and can lower your stress levels, and dopamine is your natural happy drug.
On top of that, it’s been found that smiling boosts your immune system and lowers your blood pressure.
Experience Fresh Air
Fresh air really is good for you. Even if you live in the middle of a busy city, find your nearest park, riverside, or beach and spend some time there. Breathing in the fresh air helps to clean pollutants out of your lungs. You’re more likely to breathe deeply when the air around you is fresh and clean, too.
Don’t feel that you have to exercise in order to spend time outside. Simply spending time in nature is good for your mental health. Something inside our brains responds to the natural world, helping reduce depression and improve your mood.
Probiotics are the bacteria you want to have in your body. Your gut is full of “good bacteria” that help eat pathogens and detox your body, but whenever you get sick and take antibiotics, you kill them off.
A lack of good gut bacteria, also called gut flora, is connected with digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease and sensitivities to certain foods. Probiotics feed your gut flora and strengthen your immune system. Plus they are quick and easy to drink. What’s not to like?
Wash Your Hands
Thanks to the novel coronavirus, we’re all a lot better about washing our hands than we used to be, but most people still don’t wash their hands enough.
Your hands are the main reason why you get sick; if someone who is sick touches their mouth, nose, or eyes, and then touches a surface, they leave traces of their germs on it. If you touch it, those germs stick to your hands, and then when you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth they get inside your body and make you sick too.
It’s not enough just to wash your hands after going to the bathroom. You should also wash your hands:
- Before you eat anything
- Before preparing or handling food
- After touching anything dirty, like garbage, animals, or anything handled by someone who is sick
- After you sneeze
- After you’ve been outside your home
Once this becomes a habit, you’ll be amazed to see that you get sick a lot less.
Bring Plants into Your Home
Greenery is good for you, and that doesn’t just mean eating it! Plants are nature’s air purifiers. They help to absorb the toxins floating around in your home, and produce more oxygen for you to breathe in deep.
It’s been scientifically proven that having plants at home boosts your concentration and productivity by up to 15%, and they also reduce stress and help you feel happier. There are many houseplants that can thrive without much care and attention, so take a trip to your local garden center and invest in plantlife.
Take Vitamin Supplements
Many of us are missing out on vital nutrients that our bodies need to be healthy, but we don’t even realize it. Because our food today is so highly processed, plus most of us spend most of our time indoors and out of the sun, we can’t get all our daily needs just from the food we eat.
For example, many women have low levels of vitamin D, which plays an important role in regulating your mood. Vitamin C helps boost your immune system, and thiamin, or vitamin B1, helps your body convert food to energy and improves your nervous system.