Sometimes thinking positively is easier said than done. It’d be a lot easier if your mental and physical wellbeing was such that the positive thinking came naturally. There are many steps you can take to help that happen, and none of them have to mean radically altering your life. Take smoking: replacing tobacco with Phoenix eliquid and an atomiser is easier than you think. If Lindsay Lohan can do it, you certainly can.
Here, we’ve rounded up ten points to consider. Simply devote five minutes of your day to any of these and, with some daily reinforcement, you’ll start to feel a difference – and all without the need for a reality-show camera crew.
1 Eat your greens…
… And your reds, yellows, oranges and browns… Five portions of fruit and veg a day will ensure you have a healthy diet that could help reduce the risk of a number of different types of cancer. Eat them raw or steamed if possible so you get as many nutrients as possible.
2 Eat like a kid
If the idea of preparing all that extra veg doesn’t appeal, why not stick the easier stuff into your lunchbox? The easy, finger food types that we try to get our kids to eat – carrot, celery and cucumber sticks, berries, nuts and so on.
3 Get active
Half an hour of exercise every day can vastly improve your ‘body age’ – the age your body appears according to biomarkers – in just a few weeks. Whether it’s taking a brisk walk each day (perfect if you’re just starting to exercise as it involves almost every part of your body) or training for the marathon you just signed up for, you’ll help yourself live better and maybe longer.
4 Sleep better
Just had a fitful night’s sleep? Not only does that make the next day harder, your body will be denied the time it needs to reduce aches, pains and inflammation. Try to avoid screens or artificial light for at least an hour before bedtime. And when your eyelids do start to droop, hit the sack, even if it’s earlier than usual.
5 Aim for satisfaction
Another point probably simpler to say than do, but when you prepare your meal, try to go for foods with higher nutritional values. You’ll feel fuller for longer afterwards.
6 Give yourself a break
Sticking to a demanding workout routine, yet still seem stuck at a certain weight? Try giving your body a break. The chance to recover from fatigue will break your body out of its plateau and re-energise you. Varying your activity is almost as good as a couple of days’ break, too.
7 Sign up for an event
Sometimes we work better with something to aim for. Knowing a team will be counting on you in a cycle ride, or that you’re running for sponsorship cash, acts as a kind of deadline to push towards.
8 Verbalise your plans
Sometimes trying something new works better if you share your plans with those you trust most. Talking through what you hope to achieve will help you put things into perspective, and you’ll feel more committed once you’ve told someone.
9 List your excuses
What’s stopping you from making the changes that could help you live more positively? List the changes you want to make but feel you can’t. Then write down why you think you can’t do each one. You might just encourage yourself to think your way around any barrier.
10 Think small
Start off with the small changes and you’ll prove to yourself that it can be painless. Focus on one thing at a time – those healthy finger foods instead of a Mars bar at snack times, for instance. Hopefully, you won’t feel overwhelmed by your list of things to change.
Still after more life-enhancing advice? Check out these tips for mental wellbeing from the Mental Health Foundation.
* This is a collaborative post *