There has never been a time when we were more aware of our personal health and happiness. It seems that every other day a new study comes out about how to lead a more healthy, vibrant and meaningful life. With so much information at our fingertips, our problem isn't that we don't know what to do, but that we're too overwhelmed to do anything.
If you want to make a change in your life but aren't sure where to start, here are 5 pillars for leading a happier, healthier life:
Relationships:In today's world of digital connectivity, many people are finding it hard to connect with people in real life. A 2018 survey reported that as many as 3 in 4 Americans struggle with loneliness, but even more startling, loneliness has been shown to reduce longevity even more than drinking, smoking or obesity. The first thing that you can do to live a happier, healthier life is to focus on creating meaningful relationships with friends, family, co-workers and even neighbors.
Food:We all know that the food we eat affects our bodies. Eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain and diabetes. Eating too much fat can lead to clogged arteries. However, in addition to our bodies, food can also affect our mind and moods. While different individuals may be able to pinpoint different foods that make them moody, in general, eating too much sugar and carbs can send your blood sugar (and mood) spiking. To maintain an elevated mood, eating protein, fruits, vegetables, and foods high in fiber is the way to go.
Exercise:Eating the right food isn't enough for a happy, healthy body — exercise also plays a key role in our overall health. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults practice at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week.
Sleep:Most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep to stay healthy, but for many, it's challenging to get more than 6. As we all know, the benefits of continual nights of healthy sleep are undeniable. Getting enough sleep has been proven to reduce stress, improve memory, lower blood pressure, help maintain your weight, elevate your mood and more.
Self-care:Self-care is an umbrella term for doing things that will make you feel good. It's a mindset that allows you to do things that will help you re-energize, as opposed to doing things that sap your energy from you. Self-care isn't about being selfish, but it is about taking care of yourself. In addition to the things mentioned above, self-care can include accepting help when someone offers or saying "no" to someone when you feel overextended. It can be turning off your phone so that you can get enough sleep, and it can also be going to see a movie after you've had a stressful week. Everyone's self-care is personal and making a self-care plan is a great way to get to really know yourself.
Transforming into a healthier, happier, and more productive version of yourself isn't something that happens overnight. Rather, it's a journey, and it's undoubtedly one with ups and downs. As with any journey though, if you keep your sights on the goal, you'll eventually get there, even if you run into obstacles along the way.
One of the few areas where you can quickly improve your quality of life is when you buy life insurance. With the right life insurance policy, you are buying peace of mind that your family's finances will be protected no matter what the future may hold.