Happiness and health are more closely related than you might think! A healthy lifestyle can improve your mood and increase life satisfaction while a positive mindset can extend your life and help you avoid unhealthy habits. Start by reframing your mindset into an optimistic and active perspective. Your diet, habits, and social networks can also affect your mental and physical health.
How to be healthy and happy
Creating the Right Mindset
1. Focus on the positive.
Positive thinking is a big step towards creating a happier mindset. Instead of focusing on the negative, change your mind toward optimistic thinking.
Try to avoid self criticism. Every time you start thinking negatively about yourself, rename it as a positive comment. For example, if you think, “I don’t believe I’m so stupid,” just say, “I’m smart! If I focus on that, I can learn anything!”
If you make a mistake, consider it a learning opportunity. For example, instead of thinking, “I was so upset that I didn’t get the job,” you might think “Maybe I can ask them for feedback so I can do better on the next application!”
2. Don’t compare yourself to others.
It’s easy to make side-by-side comparisons between yourself and your peers because of social media. Know that public life may not reflect their personal lives. Be thankful for what is good in your life that is contrary to what is good for others.
You can use comparison as a motivation for self-improvement.
3. Manage stress in your life.
tress can affect your mood and physical health. This can cause anxiety, anger, and irritability and headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, and sleep problems. To avoid stress, consider what activities you can lose in your life.
Stress can accumulate slowly over time. Watch how your body reacts to help determine when you are stressed.
Learn to say “no” to the responsibilities and commitments that you cannot handle. Set strict limits with your coworkers and friends about doing too many additional tasks.
If you cannot reduce responsibility and commitment, change how you respond to stress. If you are overwhelmed, stop for 5 minutes. Do deep breathing or stand and walk around the room.
People handle stress differently. Don’t let others tell you that you don’t need to be stressed if you feel it.
4. Find time to relax.
Set aside at least one hour every day for self-care and relaxation. Make a routine for yourself, so that relaxation becomes a daily ritual. Don’t schedule anything else so far.
Meditation, deep relaxation, yoga, tai chi, and other conscious practices are great ways to relax tension and release stress.
Find exercises or activities that calm you, like taking a bubble bath or reading a book. This is a great way to pamper yourself while providing a way for you to decompress.
5. Establish healthy and manageable goals.
The goal gives you something to fight for, which can give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment. You can use your goals to help you achieve a healthier life too. For example, your goal might be to run a marathon or find new friends.
Destroy your goals into smaller, manageable steps. For example, if you want to write a book, give a daily number of words to yourself or join a writing group. When you finish something, you will feel pride and achievement that will give you confidence to continue.
6. Express gratitude for the good things in your life.
Gratitude can help you think more positively, and it can also have a positive effect on your mental health. By expressing gratitude, you can increase the strength of your relationship and feel more satisfied.
Keep a thank you journal where you write 1 thing every day that you are grateful for. When you feel unhappy or stressed, read this journal for motivation.
Thank you to the people in your life who are important to you. Let them know how much they mean to you.
7. Meet a mental health professional if you feel depressed, anxious, or want to commit suicide.
If you consistently feel sad, hopeless, numb, empty, tired, or anxious, meet a therapist. A therapist can help you uncover the source of your problem and provide counseling to help you feel better.
If you feel like suicide, seek help. In U.S., contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or send SMS HOME to 741741 to reach Textline Crisis. In the UK, contact Samaritans at 116 123. In Australia, contact Lifeline Australia at 13 11 14.
Eat for Health and Mood
1. Practice eating attentively to increase satisfaction.
Every time you eat, slow down to chew. Take a moment and enjoy the taste. Try to appreciate each different taste and texture on your tongue. This is called attentive food. This can help you enjoy your meal more.
Eating attentively can help you feel full faster, reducing how much you eat. This will also increase your satisfaction with the food you have just eaten.
2. Eat 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients that will keep you healthy and happy. A diet that contains lots of fresh products is the basis of a healthy diet.
The size of one serving of vegetables is 75 grams (2.6 ounces). This is about the same as 4 asparagus spears, 2 medium-sized whole carrots, 20 green beans, or 16 small broccoli florets.
One serving of fruit is 150 grams (5.3 ounces). This can be 1 medium apple, banana, 32 grapes, or 1/8 melon.
3. Choose foods high in fiber.
Fiber is a great way to satiety faster, and also helps maintain your intestinal health. This, in turn, can affect your mood and mental health. Change your processed white grains into chocolate, whole grains. Women must eat 25 grams of fiber a day, and men need 38 grams a day. Look for high-fiber foods, such as:
Whole wheat pasta
Beans, lentils and other nuts
Vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and artichokes
Fruits like berries and apples
4. Find sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Lack of Omega-3 fatty acids can cause feelings of low or unhappy. Omega-3 fatty acids provide various benefits, including a stronger heart. Target at least 1.1 grams a day for women and 1.6 grams for men. Look for foods that are rich in Omega-3s, such as:
5. Avoid processed foods and fast food.
Fast food may be an easy choice, but it can have a negative effect on your mood and health. Processed foods are often higher in calories, sodium, and unhealthy fats. Cook your own food or eat fresh choices if possible.
It’s okay to enjoy snacks occasionally. It’s just that, don’t make it an ordinary habit.
6. Replace unhealthy ingredients with healthier choices.
If you crave a beloved comforter, see if you can replace some ingredients to make it healthier. For example, replace ground beef with ground turkey or sour cream with Greek yogurt.
In baked goods such as cookies, you can replace butter or margarine with apple sauce and canola oil. Use whole wheat or whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour white.
Instead of eating all eggs, why not just cook egg white? You can make egg white omelet or scrambled egg white.
Replace full-fat milk with skim milk or use non-milk substitutes, such as almond milk or soy milk.