5 Simple Ideas for a Healthier and Happier Life
Love your family. Love your friends. Love the people in the small area of the world you have been blessed to live in. The more love you give, the happier you will be. You can start by giving a simple smile to show you care about those around you. The more you smile the more people smile at you, and that can drastically change your view of the world. Show love to others by providing a tasty meal and conversation to someone in need or give a basket of fresh fruits and vegetables from your garden with your favorite recipe to a friend, neighbor or co-worker. My personal favorite is to create a surprise picnic basket lunch for your loved ones and take them to one of our beautiful local parks to enjoy. Don’t forget your book or the Frisbee to relax and have fun after lunch.
Take care of feeding your body with clean food. To avoid a lot of junk, buy certified organic. Want to know what’s in your food? Check out the INRFood app (INRFood.com), which helps you to know what all those mysterious ingredients are in each food product that you consume. Know what you put in your body, because it’s not like an old car that you can turn in after 20 years. We are responsible for keeping our bodies healthy by what we eat. Incorporate good healthy living into your daily life. For example, plan a fun date with a friend or loved one and explore all the new foods available at the natural market or the farmers market. See a vegetable you don’t recognize, buy it and find a recipe online. Don’t have time to grocery shop? Then sign up with a local CSA program and have fresh fruit and vegetables delivered to a convenient location. Consider growing your own food in planters or large garden beds, or even develop a community garden in your own neighborhood using a portion of neighboring front yards.
The best medicine is exercise. Exercise does amazing things for the body, heart, soul and mind. Exercise helps you control your weight, helps prevent diabetes and heart disease, reduces the risk of certain types of cancers, helps relieve depression and stress and increases your overall happiness and energy, to name a few. Want a way to track your progress or have a little fun, healthy competition with a friend or loved one? Look into purchasing one of the new high-tech tracking devices such as the Up by Jawbone, FitBit, Nike Fuel Band or Garmin.
Wisdom comes to those who value continuous learning and growth, and develop new understandings about themselves and the world. Many people stop thinking about learning and personal growth when they finish school, have children or retire. But all of us should continue to think and plan out big dreams about what we want to accomplish in our lifetime regardless of age. Think big with those dreams to create that excitement within yourself. Don’t ever let circumstances get in the way of living the life you want. How to get started? Grab a journal and write out those dreams. You might write by way of a list, a mind map or a narrative. If you are looking for a cool mind map app, check out MindNode.com. The best thing is to have fun with it and put concrete goals to the dream if you want to accomplish it. Share with your family and friends about what’s next on your horizon.
I have a challenge for you: Write out each day what you are thankful for. Grow that list for a week. As you concentrate on the things you are thankful for, you will feel blessed at where you are in your life no matter the circumstances. If you find this idea rewarding, make a basket at home and have your loved ones put slips of paper in the basket of things they are thankful for and then read them at a the end of the week over a shared meal.
In creating a healthy community we should always strive for being better for others and for ourselves. If we put in a little effort every day, over time that will aid in building healthy qualities that become part of our core person and lifestyle. With a healthy core and lifestyle, rewards and blessings will abound.
Jennifer Conley RD, RN, MS, PHN is a vice president and wellness director at ABD Insurance & Financial Services who holds degrees as a registered nurse, registered dietician and exercise physiologist.