Good habits benefit our physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health. These are the habits that get you closer to living your best life. Good habits help you become more productive and energetic.
These habits help us move forward. If you are unsure how to develop good habits, read on to know the eight good habits you can apply in your life.
What are habits?
Habits are daily behaviours you do by default. These are the actions you repeatedly do that can shape you and can positively and negatively affect you.
Did you know that 40 percent of everything we do is habits? Mind-blowing, right?
8 Good Habits to Have in Life
Forming good habits takes time. It's not something that happens overnight, so please don't set unrealistic expectations for yourself. What matters is you are doing what you can.
1. Drink water in the morning
Did you know that you experience mild dehydration when you sleep? Drinking water right after you wake up helps rehydrate your body. Drinking water every day helps regulate body temperature and give nutrients. Staying hydrated also improves your mood and sleep. The effects of water, eh? So, try to drink a glass of water in the morning to boost your overall health.
Try these tips to make this a daily habit:
Add a reminder on your phone to drink water
Leave a glass of water next to your bedside table so you can drink it upon waking up
Bring a filled up water bottle with you
2. Meditate daily
Try this for a moment. Focus your mind on your breath as it goes in and out. When your mind wanders around, try to return your focus to your breath. Take a deep breath in. Hold it for 5 seconds and breathe out. You just practiced mindfulness meditation. How easy was that?
Meditation is a time to be still. You spend time with yourself in a quiet environment and practice awareness.
Whether it be for 1 minute or 10 minutes, try to meditate daily to help you be calmer and more optimistic. People who meditate daily are less anxious and have better mental health and overall health.
Here’s how to get started on meditation:
Download a meditation app and try to do an activity once a day
Follow this 10-minute meditation for beginners YouTube video before sleeping
Take 5 deep breaths in and out. This is great when you don’t have much time
3. Walk outdoors or do a physical activity
Walking or any physical activity can help prevent diseases like diabetes, stroke, heart diseases, and more. Experts recommend adults do at least 2.5 hours of active movement per week.
Plants release aromatic compounds that help you have better immunity. This can make you feel refreshed when you pair physical activity and time outdoors.
Try these suggestions to be more physically active:
Set a goal of a 10-minute walk every day
Tell your goal to others who can hold you accountable
Walk if your destination is within a walking distance
Join an exercise group or find a friend who can walk with you
4. Eat more vegetables and fruits daily
Vegetables and fruits have lots of vitamins and minerals that can help you physically and mentally. You can have better skin as a bonus.
Check out these tips for healthy eating:
Buy fresh vegetables and fruits when on sale to save money
Get canned or frozen vegetables and fruits when fresh greens are not on sale
Purchase in-season produce for a cheaper and fresher option
Have lettuce, celery, or canned peas handy for an easy add-on to your meals
Try these healthy recipes
5. Listen to nature sounds or relaxing music at night
Nature sounds and relaxing music can help reduce stress. It is recommended to listen to calming sounds at least once a day. It reduces the stress hormone called cortisol. You also wind down when you do this at night. Tonight, try listening to leaves rustling, flute, wind blowing, or any music that calms you down.
Here are a few relaxing playlists and music stations:
Johnnielawson on YouTube
Nature Sounds on Spotify
Soothing Relaxation on YouTube
6. Learn something new every day
Our memory becomes rusty when we age. One way to combat this reality is to learn something new every day. Whether you like to know about healing from trauma, self-care, or aliens, it is essential to discover a new topic. You can read a book or a blog post about a matter that interests you. You can also listen to podcasts or watch documentaries if you are not fond of reading.
You don’t have to finish a course to check off this box on your good habit list. One fact a day is good enough.
Here are some sites to learn something new:
7. Spend quality time with a loved one
Family can act as emotional support. Spending time with family or a loved one reduces depression, anxiety, and other mental concerns. The more you spend quality time with them, the more you feel connected and have a higher sense of belonging.
Quality time means actively engaging with loved ones - no phones, no iPads. Give your full attention to your loved ones while talking with them.
Try these ideas on how to spend time with people:
Play a Never Have I Ever game
Ask questions you have never asked them before to feel more connected
8. Get enough sleep
Sleep plays a vital role in healing and repairing your heart and blood vessels. This means that lack of sleep may increase the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. You may start hallucinating if you are very sleep-deprived.
Follow this advice on how to sleep better:
Stop using your phone 1 hour before sleeping. This helps your body produce more melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep.
Stick to a sleep schedule
Limit daytime naps
How to make habits stick?
Remember: It’s a matter of striving for progress, not perfection.
1. Do it for at least 2 months
It takes about 2 months to form a new habit, says psychology researcher Phillippa Lally. After 2 months of consistency, you are more likely to do the new behaviour automatically.
2. Start with one easy task
If you want to be more physically active, you can start by stretching for 1 minute and build on that.
3. Remind yourself
After 2 weeks, say out loud what your habits are and why you are doing it. This can help you remember why you started and keep you motivated.
4. Do it for yourself
When you focus on yourself, you increase productivity and problem-solve effectively. This is because you have your willpower rooted in you, not in other people.
How many of the habits above have you already worked into your life? Which ones will you apply right away? Reach out to your EFAP for support or to access counselling or coaching to build healthy habits into your life. We're here to help.