You’ve no doubt heard of all the most common vices, they may even play a role in your own life. How do we shake ’em off to live a healthier, happy life?
The modern world has us living a go-go-go lifestyle that’s full of to-dos but short on fulfillment. These busy (yet, somehow mundane) days have us hungry for happiness, but the more we wish for it, the more it seems to escape us. In fact, we’re probably more likely to find our very own sherbet-pooping Squatty Potty unicorn than peace and happiness.
Unicorn sherbet would be pretty awesome, but happiness is actually easier to achieve. That makes for both good news and bad news, though.
The good news is productivity and fulfillment boils down to our habits and behaviors.
The bad news? Those habits and behaviors have to be changed if we want to get different results.
Changing things up to support our desires means missing out on the things we know and love. Even scarier, that requires us to embark on unfamiliar territoryinstead of sticking to what we already know so very well. But while the unfamiliar is intimidating, it doesn’t have to involve pain or deprivation. In fact, if you can switch up your relationship with society’s most common vices, you’re sure to feel better than ever.
Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Candy Crush, and on and on (and on). There’s a limitless source of distraction courtesy of the Internet and—thanks to those damn smart phones—our shortened attention span only gets shorter as we go.
Time spent plugged in is time and focus taken away from our family, partners, friends, and co-workers. Most importantly, it’s time we take away from ourselves. Whether you have Facebook Syndrome or not, real-life people and situations and personal needs shouldn’t be put on the back burner so we can check comments on yesterday’s selfie or finally get past that damn level on Cookie Jam. Yeah, it’s fun and the distraction is a welcome change of pace to a burdened mind, but real life can give us that and then some.
Instead of losing all this time to internet and TV, we should be making time for the things that give us fulfillment—whether that’s dancing, snowboarding, or pursuing our dream of blogging, we can find at least 10 minutes a day. We should really be finding more time than that as these are the things that make us happy and—hello—that’s the whole point to life. Starting or ending the day with 10 minutes of “me time” is sure to make a day 100x better. Facebook time and TV binges can be fun, but that time is always better spent indulging the body, mind, and soul.
Everyone wants to eat healthier, but who has time? That’s what fast food, pizza, and packaged foods are for… right?
Truthfully, most of us feel more busy than we actually are, but the demands of the busy, non-stop, fast-paced modern world has us growling with a hunger for convenience. We know we should be eating healthier foods and cooking our own meals, but we’re starving for something that doesn’t give us one more thing to do. And if we don’t have cooking experience, forget it! We’re more likely to open a fast food franchise than we are to take up cooking.
It’s easier to stick with the habits and behaviors we already have because it doesn’t require us to step outside our zone of comfort. That means suffering the same fatigue and extra weight we’ve grown so tired of, so change is very necessary. Luckily there are little health cheats that can get us healthier with minimal anxiety and effort.
Whatever our health goals may be, we need to determine what it is we really need. If it’s food on the go with zero prep, look to fast snacks courtesy of nature—a few handfuls of pumpkin seeds, or a scoop of chia seeds in some coconut water offers a quick fill that comes with bonus protein and vitamins. If health issues are cause for better choices, squeeze herbal tea into your day to get the health benefits of healing and medicinal plants.
Whatever the health goals are, there’s an easy “healthy choice” that can be folded into our day. The step may seem small, but one change can lead to another change, which can lead to an even bigger and better lifestyle.
There’s nothing like a good drink after a long day. Or after another work week…. Or after another day that happens to end in y… Alcohol is anywhere and everywhere and used by everyone, so naturally, anyday and everyday is a good day for drinking.
Alcohol certainly comes with its benefits in washing away stress and loosening us up, but (as with all things)it’s best in moderation. In order for our bodies to digest alcohol, it has to first turn ethanol into the toxic acetaldehyde—a toxin which poses great harm to the brain, liver, and pancreas. Drinking multiple drinks in a short period of time will allow for acetaldehyde to accumulate, which will cause far more potential harm than good, but even “light drinking” won’t get us off the hook.
Putting poison into the body on a regular basis keeps our organs from getting a day off for important regeneration and repair. With the current definition of heavy drinking set at 15 drinks for men in a week and 8 drinks for women we should keep drinking below this number and make sure to give our livers some time off.
Alcohol may seem like the one and only gateway to relaxation and happiness, but its effect is due to an initial rise in endorphins, and serotonin production isn’t exclusive to beer and wine. There are alternatives that can work for you—all it takes is an evaluation of what it is that alcohol gives you.
If tipping one back and putting your feet up is about taking time for yourself, put your focus on this “me time.” If it’s about melting away a dark mood, shake off some negativity with exercise, time with a great friend, or your favorite comedian (I swear by Jim Gaffigan). Whatever you may want to turn to alcohol for, take a moment to ask yourself what you need to be happy. Unlike drinking, this approach will have you tuning in to your real needs in life, which will produce different needs each and every day. One day you may need the soothing heat of a bath. Another day it might be a large satisfying meal. Still other days it may be time connecting with your partner or your kids. Plug yourself into your realneeds and just see how fine wine or specialty brews compare to that.