Better living through nature
The start of a New Year evokes contemplating on the previous months and marks a clean slate for everything you want to see happen in your life. Who wouldn’t want to live life to the fullest? This 2015, cultivate healthy habits that will help you lead healthier and better lives. Here are eight mindful habits to help make 2015 your year.
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1. Buy Less; Help The Earth. Everybody has a duty to lessen their carbon footprint, the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the production of goods and services. According to Carbonfund.org, manufacturing products produce 4 to 8 pounds of CO2 for every pound of manufactured product. In a world that’s growing more and more materialistic, live simply by reusing and recycling whenever possible. Not only will it help combat global warming, it will make you realize that the best things in life don’t come with a price tag.
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2. Be Savings-Savvy. Money isn’t everything, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to live a comfortable life borne out of secure savings. Allocate your windfall earnings—a bonus, gift or extra cash—wisely, advises Reader’s Digest. Divide it into three parts: past, present and future. Use the first part to pay a debt, the second to spend on present necessities or even indulgences, and the third to prepare for the future.
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3. Change the Way You Look at Fitness. Most people only exercise when they feel like losing weight. While there’s nothing wrong with that, you should transform your perception of fitness. Instead of merely aiming to lose weight, strive for a healthy and fit lifestyle. Doing so doesn’t have to mean devoting hours to Spartan-style training. You just need to incorporate fitness in your daily regimen and tap the resources that you may already have right in your own home or community. Use the stairs whenever you can. Make use of yoga videos on YouTube and kick-start a healthier you right in the comfort of your own home. Need a fun and social way to getting fit? Just ask if your homeowners’ association or condo administration offer Zumba sessions.
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4. Spend Quality Time With Family and Friends. According to the 2006 study by Daniel Kahneman and Alan B. Krueger, both from Princeton University, interacting frequently with people is good for your mental state. It connects us with other humans and reinforces bonds. Moreover, being more social will bring forth good vibes and a strong support system that will surely come in handy whenever times get tough.
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5. Eat Right. Ending the previous year with a string of feasts may sidetrack even the most steadfast healthy eater, but no need to fret. Get back right on track by detoxifying and committing to supply your body the nutrients it needs. A healthful diet delivers benefits like helping in controlling weight, improving mood, combating diseases, boosting energy and improving longevity. Get all these health benefits and more by making small tweaks to your lifestyle. Bring packed lunches to work; munch on more fruits and vegetables; steer clear of junk food; rev up your body by fueling it with only the good stuff; and more.
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6. Let Go of Time Wasters. Time and again, proper time management is one of the most coveted goals. After all, people who efficiently spend their time reap results such as less stress; fewer mistakes; more free time and energy; and overall improved productivity. Evaluate what keeps you busy and whether these activities are really necessary. Sort out the trivial stuff and focus on the tasks that bring you closer to your goals.
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7. Push Yourself to Learn New Things and More About the World. Learning certainly doesn’t end in school. The National Health Service in the United Kingdom points out that learning throughout life leads to greater satisfaction and optimism, as well as an improved ability to get the most from life. For instance, a 2004 study found that people who pursued further learning had higher self-esteem and a greater ability to cope with stress. There are many activities out there to suit you. Take up a new sport; learn a foreign language; immerse yourself in travel; the list goes on. All you need is to open your eyes to the possibilities.
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8. Take Up Volunteer Work. Living better is not all about you. In fact, helping others is a surefire way to find and increase your happiness. There are many benefits of volunteering: Not only will you make a difference in other people’s lives but you will gain new skills and meet new friends. Your heart will also thank you for it. According to a 2010 study by Karina W. Davidson, the director of the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia University Medical Center, people with a joyful, positive and enthusiastic disposition—what psychologists call “positive affect”—are less likely than their gloomier peers to have a heart attack. Indeed, James Doolittle’s words ring true: “There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.”
It doesn’t take much to take up these eight habits, but if you cultivate them and make them part of your daily living, you will reap the benefits and experience the life you have always wanted. So go ahead, make every day of 2015 count!
Aby League is a medical practitioner and an Elite Daily writer. She also writes about business and other topics of great interest. She also writes a blog, About Possibilities. Follow her @abyleague and circle her on Google+.