Getting stuck in a rut is all too common, and it can be very frustrating. The problem is that falling into routines and habits is very easy, and once those habits have had time to develop, they can be even harder to break free from. The key thing to remember is that sitting and feeling bad about those habits is rarely going to make matters better. The good news is that even some minor changes to your life can have dramatic and very positive effects. If you can’t face making major life changes, here are some minor ones you can start today that might have a bigger and more positive impact on your life than you might think.
You don’t have to go for a daily five-mile run! However, getting outside for even ten minutes can make you feel a lot better. It can boost creativity, make you feel more positive, and can even improve your memory. Suppose you can find some green spaces to take a walk in, all the better because multiple research studies have shown that even five minutes in a forest brings a huge range of physical and emotional benefits. From improved concentration to stress relief, going outside once in a while is something that everyone can do. You don’t have to exert yourself physically. Take your time and absorb your surroundings. You will return home feeling infinitely better.
Stop Drinking Soda
This can be tricky to tackle if you’re used to drinking multiple cans every day. While the occasional can or bottle of cola isn’t too bad for you, if you’re drinking multiple sugary drinks every day, then you’re doing a lot of harm to your body. Both regular and diet versions of sodas will damage your teeth, and they are terrible if you’re trying to take control of your weight. Look at alternatives to drinking another can of soda. Water, fruit juice, and cups of tea will all be much better for you, and you’ll start to feel the difference very quickly.
Don’t Shop Hungry
Pretty much everyone has tried to do their weekly shop without having something to eat first. The results are always the same. You end up at home with a lot more food than you were planning to buy, and a lot of that food is snacks and treats. There have been a lot of studies comparing the buying habits of people who are hungry against those that have eaten, and the results have varied quite a lot. However, one constant is that those who go shopping without having something to eat first will tend to opt for more high-calorie foods, especially snacks and candy. Those that take the time to eat before the weekly shop will tend to gravitate more towards the fruit and vegetable sections. Stop shopping on an empty stomach, and your cupboards at home could end up being a lot healthier.
Smiling benefits us in many ways, even though it can sometimes be hard to muster a good smile if you’re still staring at the news and wondering about the state of the world. However, the importance of your smile should not be underestimated. Not only do we gravitate more towards people who smile often, but there are some very positive health benefits as well. From reducing stress to lowering blood pressure, reminding yourself to smile can be an easy habit to adopt, and could transform your daily mood.
Read a Book
We all know that if we want a healthy body, then we need to exercise it. The same is true of your brain. While there are many ways to give your brain a good workout, there’s nothing quite so amazing as picking up a good book. You don’t have to torture yourself with classics, and you can avoid those depressing Russian essays on crime and punishment. Think about the stories that you enjoy and start looking for recommendations from family, friends, social media acquaintances, or even reviews online. It can be tough to pick up the habit of reading regularly, but the more that you do it, the more that you will get the benefits. You will develop a stronger brain, increase your empathy, improve your sleep, and it might even make your lifespan longer!
Having toxic people in your life is harmful in many ways. Unnecessary drama, non-stop complaining, and gripes about their daily lives are just an endless stream of negativity, and that will inevitably start to affect you too. Most people have a few toxic personalities in their social circles, but because they are part of a friend group they can be hard to avoid. The trick here is to start by limiting your interaction with them. Don’t hang out with them if there’s nobody else there to soak up some of that negativity. If you can get those toxic personalities out of your life completely and instead surround yourself with encouraging, positive personalities, you will notice the benefits immediately.
Learn to Budget
If there’s something that’s bound to cause you some high levels of stress, it’s your money. No matter how tight your finances right now, the key to worrying less about your money situation is to have a budget. Knowing how much you can afford to spend on the essentials means knowing when and how much you can treat yourself to the little pleasures. There are many different strategies for improved money management. Still, it’s never been easier to find a budgeting app that you can download to your phone and personalize to your finances. Money is going to be one of the biggest stressors in life, but by budgeting, you might even be able to start saving. Having money to fall back on in emergencies is a life-changing feeling.
Look for the Positives
It’s easy to fall into the trap of endlessly complaining. Whether it’s your job, your neighbors, or even your health, complaining is very easy to fall into during even the most positive discussion with friends and family. The problem is that complaining about something never actually helps. If you realize that you spend more time complaining about your job or your relationship, then it’s usually a sign that you’re just not happy. Change can be frightening to consider, but if your complaints are consistent, then it might be time to start looking at practical ways to adjust your thinking. Leave that loveless relationship, change that job that you loathe, and your life will improve in every way.
Manage your Social Media Use
Studies have shown that spending too much time on social media is bad for you. There have been multiple studies carried out on the effects of prolonged social media use, and it has been proven again and against to cause anxiety, depression, and loneliness. In some cases, social media can even lead to self-harm or suicidal tendencies. That should be enough to convince you to limit your time doom-scrolling on Twitter or being bombarded by adverts on Facebook. There are apps available where you set the time that you can open certain apps on your phone, but the key is simply to find something else to do at the time of day when you usually start that infinite scrolling.
Have a Glass of Water
The medical advice is to make sure that you drink eight cups of water a day, but a lot of people ignore that advice. Dehydration can cause some serious health issues, and gulping down a few extra glassfuls of water every day can make more of a difference than you might think. Not only will regularly drinking more water to improve your memory, but it can dramatically improve your mood as well. Great for anyone trying to manage their weight, high levels of water consumption can even help to prevent future health issues like bladder infections or kidney stones. Never underestimate the importance of water, and try to drink as much of it in the day as you can.
Have a Goal
You don’t have to drift through life. Everyone should have a goal, and having something to aim for means that you will immediately start to adapt your life around that goal. Setting goals is a proven way to boost productivity, and it works just as well in life management as it does in the office. Think about your short and long-term goals and then work out a plan to make sure that you can always work towards those goals. Whether it’s a dream vacation, a career change, or to finish that book that you started writing years ago, having goals is beneficial for everyone.
Even the smallest changes in your life can have long-lasting positive effects. Think about how you spend your days, what you could be doing instead, and slowly remove all of the bad habits and people that are holding you back. Start with small changes, and you could find yourself looking back and wondering just why it took you so long to make such positive improvements to your life.