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Simple Ways To Live a Longer and Happier Life

Simple Ways To Live a Longer and Happier Life

So how to live a happy life? Do these 5 things and you will live a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life.

1. Eat Healthy Foods
It’s no surprise that people who live longer tend to eat healthier. Yes, junk food tastes good, but the simple truth is this: the easiest way to live a longer life is to eat the right foods.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: make sure 80 percent of the foods you eat (or more) come straight from nature. This means “real food” like vegetables, fruits, lean meat and dairy, nuts, beans, and whole grains. Skip the processed crap and fast food. It’s taking years off your life (and life off your years).

2. Get Enough Sleep
If you want to be successful in life, don’t dismiss the importance of a good night’s sleep. Sleeping 5 hours or less per night may decrease your life expectancy by as much as 15 percent. So get a full 7 or 8 hours of shut-eye per night.

3. Quit Smoking Now
If you’re a smoker, you can expect to die 7 years sooner than the average person. And the sooner you stop, the more likely you’ll be to add years to your life.

4. Stay Physically Active
Fact: exercise can help you live longer and stay happier. Even if it’s just 15-20 minutes each day, a little goes a long way.
And here’s another reason to stay motivated: a study published in the June 2012 issue of the Journal of Labor Research found that people who exercise on a regular basis make 9 percent more in salary than their sedentary counterparts. Show me the money!

5. Be Social
Socializing is an important part of living a long and healthy life, even for you introverts out there. So plan a lunch date with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Call an aunt, uncle, or cousin you’ve lost touch with.
Force yourself to go to the work happy hour and have a drink. Get out there and interact with others and you’re bound to meet some fascinating folks who will bring joy into your life.

Reference: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-simple-ways-live-longer-and-happier-life.html

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How to Deal With Stress the Healthy Way

How to Deal With Stress the Healthy Way

Managing stress is not something we should practice when our limit of toleration is exhausted. Instead, stress management should be incorporated in our day-to-day activities so that we can overcome it before it becomes harmful to our health.
To start, let’s incorporate these healthy practices in our routine to deal with emotional and physical stress we go through.
1. Laugh
Whenever one is feeling anxious or stressed, it is very hard to laugh. Along with many other health benefits of laughing, it is a good remedy to relieve stress, as well. No matter how hard it may seem, try to get a good laugh in whenever you’re feeling stressed. Call a friend, watch a funny show, pull out an old photo-album, but don’t sit idle and overthink. Laughing relieves stress and tension by relaxing muscles as it boosts the immune system.
2. Meditation
Whenever you’re feeling stressed, don’t hesitate taking a break for a small meditation session. It can wipe away your stress and help you restore your inner peace and calmness. Even a 5-minute meditation break helps. It can eliminate the destructive thoughts and attain a positive attitude even in the worst situations.
A small meditation session can fill you with positive energy to carry out your day more calmly. It helps you gain new perspective about stressful situations and deal better with your problems.
3. Eat the Right Food
The food you eat has a huge impact on your mental health and stress levels. They can boost serotonin levels, which are responsible for calming the brain. Some foods may also reduce the adrenaline and cortisol levels, also known as stress hormones, in the body. Eating a healthy diet can effectively lower stress levels by boosting the immune system and reducing blood pressure.
Some good stress-busting foods include:
a. Fatty Fish
b. Spinach
c. Black Tea
d. Oranges
e. Avocados
f. Raw Veggies
g. Almonds
h. Pistachios

4. Spend Time With People Who Care
Getting social support from friends and relatives helps in getting over stressful times. Talk to them. Help them understand what you’re going through. They may or may not be able to solve your problems, but they won’t let you go through it alone. Having someone gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, especially during these hard times.
5. Write It Down
The other way to manage stress is penning down your feelings in a journal or a diary. In that case, you can also write down the things you are grateful for. Gratitude may help you cope with stress and anxiety by filling you with positive energy and things to count on.
6. Drink Milk
Milk is a stress reliever, especially when a warm glass of milk is drunk before bedtime. This is because it offers calcium, which helps treat anxiety and depression and has been shown to naturally relax the body.
7. Use Herbal Supplements
Several herbal supplements can be used to manage stress. They can help you improve your mental health, especially in those who have mild to moderate depression. These herbal supplements tend to reduce the anxiety produced by stress. Valerian root is commonly used to manage stress as it has a calming effect. It is recommended that you consult with your doctor and ask them about stress-relieving supplements to help you find what will work for you.
8. Get Exercise
Doing exercises is one of the vital things you can do to manage stress levels. Getting regular physical exercise relieves physical as well as mental stress. You can work out by going to the gym, jogging, or doing yoga in your garden. Aerobics or random dancing are also great ways to incorporate physical exercises in your routine.
If you don’t like exercising as such, you can pay more attention to your hobbies that involve physical movements. For example, many people like gardening. Researchers say that people who do gardening regularly tend to recover quickly from the stress and are less likely to feel stress. Similarly, you can pursue hobbies like playing outdoor games, walking pets, dancing, etc.
9. Aromatherapy
Lighting a scented candle and using essential oils can also help reduce stress and anxiety levels. This process is called aromatherapy. It involves inhaling certain herbs and fragrances to calm your mind and put your body at ease. You can find a number of soothing fragrances to relax your mind, body, and soul. Below are some of the most common calming fragrances:

a. Bergamot
b. Lavender
c. Vetiver
d. Roman Rose
e. Chamomile
f. Neroli

10. Take a Walk
A simple walk can fix a lot of things and open your mind to a new perspective about the same situation. It helps you slow down, unraveling thoughts that destroy your peace of mind. Also, getting fresh air and vitamin D can help boost serotonin (the feel-good hormone) and improve your mood.
Indulging in different sights and sounds may also shift your focus from your problems to real life. If you can’t go outside, invite the outside in. Get more plants and flowers in your house. Studies show that staying close to nature and greenery helps in reducing stress levels.
Final Thoughts
No matter how hard a situation seems right now, everything is temporary. Every situation is going to change at some point, so do your best not to fall into the trap of chronic stress. Focus on the present moment and improving it in whatever way works for you. Once you learn how to deal with stress, you will find life naturally gets easier.

Reference: https://www.lifehack.org/568108/how-deal-with-stress

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Affirmations to Stay Fit Physically and Mentally

Affirmations to Stay Fit Physically and Mentally

Health affirmations, in particular, are simply affirmations centered around your health: mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. You can imagine how this can be an incredible game-changer when we think about our health regimen.
We are often too hard on ourselves and lose steam when we’re working out or hitting a plateau on our weight loss journey. Implementing affirmations steers us away from digging ourselves deeper into the negative “rabbit hole.”
It alters the direction of our mind into a more positive mental state, which helps us deal with depression, anxiety, and other mental health illnesses.

Health affirmations serve best when said out loud, in the present tense, and with positivity.
Some people like to say them before they meditate or while meditating to help anchor their thoughts into their mindfulness. Others like to say them while working out or when they feel challenged in an exercise regiment.
The affirmations help guide them back to their center and to why this regiment matters in the first place. It’s a powerful shift in perspective!
Another empowering and healing way to use health affirmations is by stating them to yourself in front of a mirror. By seeing yourself and meeting your own gaze, your affirmations are intensified.
Imagine that you are sending yourself these words and that the energy of them are cleansing, healing, and supporting you. If you’re starting this practice for the first time, it may feel awkward, forced, and inauthentic. Keep going and saying them, anyway!
Decades of poor mental self-talk is not something that can be reversed overnight. By continuing your practice with health affirmations, you are not just re-building the way you self-affirm who you are, you are also learning how to be deserving of who you are. Be kind and gentle with yourself.

Below is a list of powerful health affirmations that you can choose from, for your physical and mental health:
1. I am happy, healthy, safe, and free.
2. I trust my own wisdom.
3. I listen to my intuition; it always steers me right.
4. I believe in myself.
5. My body is healthy and thriving.
6. I am strong and capable of great things.
7. I am loved and supported.
8. I am exactly where I need to be.
9. I choose to be happy.
10. I fully accept and love myself.
11. I am resilient, strong, and brave.
12. I am doing my best, and my best is enough.
13. When I fall, I am motivated to get back up.
14. I am brave and not afraid to keep going.
15. I am safe and protected.
16. This, too, shall pass.
17. I am the sky, not the clouds.
18. I love you (do this one as you gaze at yourself in the mirror).
19. I am beautiful.
20. I am on a journey, ever-growing and developing.

There are many sources from where you can gather more affirmations.

Reference: https://www.lifehack.org/875446/health-affirmations

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Tips for Overcoming Challenges in Life Like a Pro

Tips for Overcoming Challenges in Life Like a Pro

Life is all about the continuous effort required for overcoming challenges. Every day brings forth new hurdles, and you always have to be on guard to dodge these hurdles if you wish to live a relatively smooth, successful life.
The consistent motivation required for overcoming difficulties in life can be easily lost, even by the most successful people. It can be difficult to dig deep and find the courage to face challenges, but once you do, that strength never leaves.

1. Shift Your Perspective
Every challenging situation, right off the bat, affects your perspective first.
Let’s say, this morning you woke up to an email from your boss that said that you have to work through the weekend. You had planned to meet your friends after months this weekend. Of course, you’ll instantly start to feel angry and sad.
Next, you open the fridge to make some eggs for breakfast, but the eggs have gone bad. You’re also out of cereal. Later on in the day, you have to go out grocery shopping, but your favorite, most comfortable jeans are dirty. Although this inconvenience is minor, it could possibly be the last straw.
Apparently, your entire day has gone in the wrong direction. However, the real issue is not that minor challenges got to you back-to-back. Instead, it’s your perspective.
From the moment you read the email, you put a negative twist on everything. Since then, everything was perceived as a bigger problem than it actually was. You already knew that you were out of cereal. You also probably knew that the eggs would go bad by this day.
Despite that, your negative mindset made your overreact.
Make it a habit to never let negativity take over. No, you shouldn’t force yourself to be positive but at least try to focus your negative energy on the real challenge. Ignore the minor inconveniences like you would on a good day.
If you let your energy go to waste on such small matters, you’ll be drained of energy before you even begin to figure out how to overcome your challenges.

2. Figure out a Solution
There’s a solution to almost every problem you’ll face as you seek success in life.
No matter how big of a mountain you think has come in front of you, it won’t kill you. You can reach its top with the small steps you take every day.
If you’re thinking of ways of overcoming challenges, you’re already on the right track. Only with a mind that wants to overcome an issue can you actually do it. So, start thinking of all possible and impossible solutions to your problem.
For example, if you’re currently going through a financial problem, some solutions include shifting to a better-paid job, working more than one job, taking out a loan, winning the lottery, robbing a bank, and the list goes on. By simply acknowledging that there are so many solutions to your problem, half your worries will be eradicated.
The next step is, of course, to work on a realistic solution. Once you’re figured out the most feasible route for yourself, you need to start taking baby steps towards it.
Let’s say you decided to change your job. You’ll start by looking out for career choices that pay well and are also relevant to your skills and experience. Next, you’ll apply to places that have open vacancies, and so on.
With a focused goal, you won’t lose your sense of direction amid all the hindrances.

3. Compartmentalize
Do you know what pulls people down during a tough time? It’s not that one challenge, but the fact that this one challenge overshadows everything and makes it difficult to overcome life challenges along the way.
An issue in your career reflects on your behavior with your partner, keeps you from hanging out with your friends, strains your motivation to stay fit, and basically harms every other aspect of your life. All of this is because that one challenge is all that’s on your mind. You’re unable to distract your brain to think of other things.
This behavior is harmful not just to you, but also to those around you. Keep the challenges of your life restricted. If they take over, you won’t be able to overcome them. To solve one problem, you need to continue to live normally in other parts so that you don’t lose your strength.
How do you overcome challenges?

4. The Takeaway
Overcoming challenges in life requires a balanced way of tackling the problem without letting it affect healthy parts of your life. It not only requires physical effort, but also mental strength.
The tips you learned today are a good balance between both. They keep you mentally strong so that you can give your maximum physically. Altogether, you can put up a strong fight against the hardest challenges. No obstacle can stop you from living your life to the fullest.
All you’ve got to do now is stay determined and push yourself by implementing these tips in your life. Then, notice yourself looking forward to new challenges instead of dreading them!

Reference: https://www.lifehack.org/882627/overcoming-challenges

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How to Strengthen Family Bonds When You’re Staying at Home

How to Strengthen Family Bonds When You’re Staying at Home

Staying home can be isolating, especially when we hole ourselves up in different rooms than our other family members. Make an effort to spend quality time together. Sitting in the same room on different electronic devices is not quality family time. Put down the elections, join together in one room, and do activities together.

Your family bonding becomes stronger when you spend time doing activities together. Below are 10 ideas you can do with your family and loved ones.

1. Create Photo Albums
If you are like most of the population, you probably have lots of photos and very few physical albums. My parents generation always had photo albums. I can go to my parents’ home in Florida and find at least 20 albums from the lives of my parents and my childhood that I can flip through and reminisce. Physical, tangible photo albums are always cherished.
Look back at the past five years of your life. Were there meaningful trips that you took as a family or major life events such as a Baptism, marriage, or birth of a child that happened in the past few years? Do you have photos of the event stored somewhere digitally such as social media, on your phone, or on a computer? If you do and you want to savor those memories for years to come, then you may want to think about creating some photo albums.

2. Indoor Camping with Sheet Forts
What kid doesn’t love a good sheet fort? Sheet forts are the kind of memories that make a childhood great. If your kids don’t have any sheet fort memories, then now is the time to start making them!
All you need are some sheets. The bigger, the better. Flat and fitted work just fine. Fitted sheets can be helpful to secure under legs of tables since they have elastic corners and are gathered. We like to use tables, chairs, and sometimes couch cushions too. You create a space using the furniture and then cover the furniture with sheets. You are essentially making indoor tents.
My kids like to play inside their forts for hours once they are created. I help with the creation, to ensure that things don’t fall over and hurt anyone, but once that is done, I let them play. They will take books, little action figures, and their stuffed animals into their fort to play. Feel free to climb into their fort with them too! They will think you are the best parent ever!

3. Play Board Games Together
I come from a family that plays games together. Even as adults, we love to play Boggle, Scrabble, Rummikub, and a variety of card games.
My kids have caught the game bug too. When we go camping or are home over the weekend, we will play Uno, Connect Four, Dominoes, and Memory. These board and card games are inexpensive and provide hours of entertainment. It is also a great way to bond as a family and create memories.
Some of my favorite memories from childhood are sitting at the kitchen table playing games with my siblings and parents.
For very young children, you can start with games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. From there, you can move onto slightly more challenging games for their minds such as Uno, Monopoly Junior, Memory, War (basic card game), and Connect Four.
My kids started playing Candy Land at the ages of three and four. From there, they have been hooked on family game time ever since. They ask often to play together and now is a great time to teach them to play even more games. The entertainment, laughs, and memories are priceless!

4. Learn an Instrument Together
No time better than the present to start learning to play that instrument you have always wanted to play.
Have you always wanted to play the guitar? Then, look online for a basic learning guitar that isn’t expensive, yet has good reviews. We did that for my daughter and purchased a decent quality ukulele from Amazon that was intended for beginners while still having a quality sound (it wasn’t some trinket from a tourist destination that wouldn’t hold a tune.)
We found lessons online from an instructor who would conduct lessons one on one using Skype. Many instructors use this technology or other free software that allows quality video communications from their home to yours.

Reference: https://www.lifehack.org/871697/family-bonding

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