It’s a funny old life. On one hand, we have more opportunities and more choices than any other generation before us. On the other hand, we’re exposed to a unique set of challenges. In an increasingly digital world, we feel pressure to keep moving and respond to stimuli straight away. For example, emails, texts, and social media posts. We are encouraged to share many aspects of our lives on social networks and hold them up to scrutiny. It’s not surprising then that we often feel dissatisfied and unfulfilled, and you’re certainly not alone in this.
It might surprise you that there are several small tweaks you can make to take control and improve your life right now.
1. Listen to your body.
Take a day out of your life to pay attention to your body. When you wake up in the morning, how do you feel? Are you tired and groggy and hit the snooze button? Are you looking forward to the day ahead or do you have a feeling of dread in the pit of your stomach?
Throughout the day notice when you feel hungry and thirsty. Pay attention to any aches and pains you have. When we’re busy, it’s easy to overlook these things, and so it can be a bit of a revelation when we notice what our bodies are telling us.
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2. Get enough sleep.
This sounds simple, but it is something that is often taken for granted and overlooked. How many times have we stayed out for one more drink, instead of going home to bed? How often do we say yes to one more Netflix episode? Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for our health and wellbeing.
Take your sleep patterns seriously and make sure you get between seven and nine hours most nights. Create an optimum sleeping environment and invest in a good quality bed. See The Bedroom Store for new info on beds and mattresses to suit your frame and sleeping position.
Get tough on your diet plan. Ditch the take-out and processed foods, and replace them with fresh, healthy options. A few treats now and then are fine, but keep them to a minimum.
4. Drink water.
Most of us need to increase our fluid intake. We know this, and yet we fail to do it. Ensuring your body is adequately hydrated each day has countless positive benefits.
5. Give your relationships the attention they deserve.
We’re not just talking about your husband or partner here. We’re talking about all your relationships with family and friends. When life gets busy, it’s easy to put things off and let our friendships slide. Think about all the important people in your life. How often have you put off that coffee with your friend? When was the last time you went out on a proper date with your partner?
Contact friends and family and arrange a catch-up. Put it in your diary and don’t let anything else get in the way. When you get home tonight, ask your partner about his / her day. Spend time talking with no TV and no phones.
6. Get outside more.
Fresh air and sunlight have several positive effects on the body. The last time you went for a walk, did you notice how you felt afterward? Being exposed to nature can improve your mood and is linked to a reduction in stress and depression. Get outside as much as you can. Even a quick stroll during your lunch break can leave you feeling rejuvenated and will set you up for the afternoon.
7. Take breaks.
In a competitive world, it’s easy to fall into the trap of constant work. We start work early and finish late. Lunch tends to be a quick bite at the desk. And when we’re not working we’re checking emails. Even when we go to bed, we’re still thinking about it. This routine is not sustainable. The reality is that working longer hours leads to a reduction in productivity. Eventually, you will burn out and become ill.
Assess your work life and make changes. If you need to stay late on occasion, that’s fine. Plan a couple of nights a week max, where you can stay a little later. However, put a time limit on this and make sure you’re out by a certain time. For the rest of the week, make sure you leave on time.
Take regular breaks throughout the day. Stand up, stretch and walk around. And make sure you take a proper lunch break away from your desk. You’ll find that your output will increase, and you will be much happier.
8. Pay attention to our emotional and mental health.
When we think of good health, we usually think of physical health. In step one we talked about listening to our bodies. It’s also important to listen to our minds. If you’re feeling unhappy or dissatisfied in some way, the answer often lies within. Think about how you’re feeling and how you would like to feel. Does this feeling occur all the time or just part of the time? Look for patterns.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and find ways to deal with stress. If you’re able to deal with issues yourself then consider seeking professional help. Therapists and coaches can help you find resolutions to problems.
9. Review your career.
The majority of our life is spent working. It is, therefore, important to find a job that you enjoy. How happy are you in your working life? Are there changes you would like to make? Are you ready for a career change?
10. Give thanks.
Write down three things you are grateful for each day. Studies have shown that people who practice this regularly, have greater levels of happiness. There is evidence to back this up.
There are lots of little things you can do to improve your life. This is just a taster. The most important piece of advice is to listen. Listen to what your mind and body are telling you. This takes practice, but it is extremely worthwhile. Listen to your internal voice and you won’t go far wrong.
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