Sometimes it’s the smallest changes that deliver the biggest results. Here are eight little things you can try that will get you sleeping better, feeling great and protect your heart and brain. Most of these things are so simple you will hardly believe how well they work to improve your overall well being.
Take a Few Deep Breaths
Sitting in traffic, getting a call from your boss any number of triggers can make your blood pressure spike during the day and increase your chance of a stroke. Breathing deeply for just sixty seconds can take you blood pressure out of the danger zone and get your day back on track.
Reach out and Touch Someone
Humans are affectionate creatures by nature. Physical intimacy releases all kinds of feel good chemicals in our brains and makes us feel more connected with our loved ones. Taking the time to hold someone’s hand or give them a hug can reduce anxiety, improve relationships and contribute to an overall sense of contentment.
Find a sense of Purpose
You may not be able to change the world overnight but defining a goal or purpose for your life has been shown to greatly reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and helps ward off depression. Don’t be afraid to start small think of a way you can contribute to your community or help out a loved one; not only will you be helping others but you will improving your own life as well.
Stand up While Watching TV
A sedentary lifestyle can wreak havoc or your health. A recent study found that for every hour people spent watching TV their risk of a heart attack rose 18%. The next time you are on your lap top or watching your favorite show try standing at least part of the time and you can reduce that risk. Even better; use commercial breaks as a time to do a few sit ups or lunges.
Eat Fiber and Healthy Fats throughout the Day
To reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease load up on foods that will prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes. Eating foods like oatmeal, peanut butter, avocados and whole grains can reduce your risk of heart disease in half and will keep you energized and clear headed all day long.
Get Rid of Clutter
A littered desk or messy car can actually overwhelm nerve cells and cause physical pain in the form of migraines. Keeping your space orderly and clutter free can also reduce stress and help keep you focused.
Take a Vacation
In times when the economy is in perpetual crisis it may seem impossible to get away but getting out of town even for a night or too can lower blood pressure, relieve stress and improve your general outlook on life. Researchers have also found that people prone to heart disease that take at least one vacation annually are over 30% less likely to have a fatal heart attack.
Pat Yourself on the Back
Turns out that being aware of the kindness you show others can improve your own happiness. Take time everyday to keep track of the good deeds you do and you can ward off improve your mood and ward off depression.