Shouldn’t our ultimate goal be to live a really happy and really healthy life? I mean, what more could we want? I believe that being healthy is about more than just eating the right foods or doing the right exercises, it’s about thinking positive thoughts, having positive relationships, and being grateful. If we change our mindset from “I need to eat vegetables because I want to be skinny” to “I should nourish my body with good foods so that I can be the best version of myself” then our outlook becomes different and in turn, we become happier and healthier. Here are five key tips that I would tell anyone hoping to gain ultimate happiness and health.
- Nourish your body
You cannot be healthy in all other aspects of life without first being fueled. For me, nourishing my body means eating plant-based foods. Eliminating the toxic stuff like processed foods (i.e. most packaged products or products that are not in their original food state), meat and dairy. These three food groups are so highly processed, especially in the United States, that they just can’t be trusted. Animals are raised on hormones and additives, treated inhumanely and then slaughtered just to be packaged, frozen, and then sent to grocery stores. Dairy is treated very similarly, and I don’t believe that it has a large amount of nutrients that our bodies need. In turn, fuel your body with foods that are straight from the ground containing overwhelming amounts of nutrients. The foods that are most nutrient dense are fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains. I promise, if you keep sugar, processed, foods, meat and dairy to a minimum you will be incredibly nourished and feel so good.
- Spend at Least 30 minutes a Day Doing What You LOVE
I think this is something that a lot of people tend to push to the side or even forget about on an average day, but it is so important to do something that makes you happy. Whether it be painting, cooking, playing a sport, riding a bike, or gardening (or really anything else) you should make a point to fit this thing that you love into every single day! Doing this will help you to maintain mental clarity and stability. You will constantly feel rejuvenated and energized just by spending 30 minutes doing something for YOU.
- Keep Alcohol to a Minimum
Alcohol can be your best friend or your worst enemy. I’ll admit it, sugary cocktails sure are tasty and a tall glass of champagne makes everything a little more fun, but there are reasons why there is an age limit for who can and cannot consume alcohol. I could go on and on about why alcohol should not be a feature in your life but I will simply say this: it can do way more harm than good. It alters your mind, makes you lose control, and causes your mind and body to go way off track. I have a history of alcoholism in my family and I have seen first- hand what the extreme effects of it can do to a person. I’m not saying that the average weekend drinker is destined to become an alcoholic but I do know that alcohol is not inherently healthy. An occasional social drink is quite alright but your goal should certainly be to keep your consumption to a minimum.
- Cultivate Lasting Relationships
I have learned more and more over the past few years how important it is to have really sweet and loving people in my life. I am blessed to have the family that I do and realize that not everyone is that fortunate, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t seek out great relationships. It is so important to have a great support system around you. Having people who will lift you up when you’ve had a bad day, cry when you cry, and laugh when you laugh will change your world in the best way possible. If you have toxic people surrounding you, find ways to spend less time with them and more time with those who really love and care for you. You cannot go through life alone and will be ten times happier knowing that you are loved, and you have others to love.
- Exercise and Spend Time Outdoors
This is one of my favorite happy and healthy tips. I LOVE being outside and love few things more than sunshine. I also enjoy taking care of myself physically, mostly because it makes me feel so good. There are studies that show that spending just a few minutes outside in the fresh air everyday can increase your energy, motivation, and mood. Exercise does a lot for your body and mind. When you exercise you are reducing your risk for countless diseases and health risks. Even if you are just able to do a brisk walk for a few minutes each day, your body will thank you for it. Make it a point to breathe in fresh, outdoor air and exercise as much as you can. You will most certainly be much happier and healthier.
All photography by Cassidy Carson Photography
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