Small Changes that Will Make a Big Difference in Your Life

Small changes in your daily routine that make a big difference in your life

When it comes to improving your health and wellbeing, you don’t need to overhaul your entire life. Small changes in your routine can make a huge impact when practiced consistently.
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How does a regular day in your life look? Do you start your day purposefully or do you just wake up and rush through your mornings? Do you eat your meals on time or during erratic hours? Do you have a sleep schedule or are you a night owl? More often than not, you tend to ignore these ‘little’ questions when you have ‘bigger’ things such as your work, household chores and life goals to worry about. However, these little things make a big difference and allow you to live a happy and healthy life.

When it comes to improving your health and wellbeing, you don’t need to overhaul your entire life. Small changes in your routine can make a huge impact when practiced consistently. “When changes are too big, they may be too overwhelming,” says Ellie Krieger, author of Small Changes, Big Results: A 12-Week Action Plan to a Better Life. “People don’t want to start, or they don’t know where to begin so they don’t at all.”

By making small but significant changes in your diet, activity and lifestyle, you can completely transform your life without feeling overwhelmed. If you find yourself struggling to create the changes you want in your life, start by identifying why you want that change and what it will bring you. Then try to figure the smallest way in which you can nudge your behaviour in that direction. You will be surprised how small changes can make the biggest impact on your life.

If you require some inspiration, here are seven small but effective changes you can incorporate into your life that make a lasting impact.

Eat healthy and mindfully

It is important to eat nutrition-rich foods that boost your energy and keep you healthy. An ideal diet should be easy to maintain because if you like what you are eating, you don’t need to force yourself to stick to it. Also, focus on eating your meals slowly and mindfully. Mindful eating is about being attentive and aware of how you feel when you eat something. It means devoting the food your thorough and undivided attention as you savour each bite you take. Don’t sit in front of the television or scroll through your phone when you are eating. This small change can go a long way in improving your eating habits through less binge eating, better digestion, weight management and even reduced depression and anxiety.

Stay hydrated

One often overlooked aspect of healthy living is hydration. It is necessary to stay hydrated since you lose water during the day through breathing, sweating and digestion. Also, after waking up in the morning, our bodies start becoming dehydrated. Hence, it is important to replenish the water content in the body in the morning. A study found that dehydration reduces performance in activities lasting longer than 30 minutes. Staying hydrated hand increases awareness, elevates your mood and boosts cognition.

Engage in physical activity

Ask any dedicated exerciser why they work out, and the answers will vary.  Some will say it helps them control their weight, keeps them healthy, or makes them more energetic. But a common response is that exercising makes them feel good. When you are in good shape, you think positively about yourself and your life. You feel more alert, energetic, and ready to take on the day. The important thing is to find an activity that you enjoy doing. It could be brisk walking, running, swimming, or yoga. Explore the options available and try different things to remain physically active and fit every day. Regular exercise strengthens your immune system, builds stronger muscles and bones and improves your cardiovascular health. It also reduces anxiety, eases depression and elevates your mood.

Sleep better

An easy way to change your life for good is by changing your sleeping habits. A good night’s sleep is not just about the number of hours, but also about the quality. If you stay up late or wake up multiple times during the night, you won’t feel well-rested in the morning. A lack of good sleep can deteriorate mental and physical health and it can even lead to a breakdown of the body in the long run. Set a sleep schedule and try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Doing so will help set your body clock, giving time to your body for muscle repair, memory consolidation and release of hormones that regulate growth and appetite.

Spend time outdoors

Spending too much time indoors is harmful to your physical and mental health. A research conducted by the Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory at the University of Colorado has shown that artificial lighting and an absence of natural light can upset your internal rhythm and disrupt your body’s circadian clock that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. Another study by the University of Rochester found that being outdoors in the natural environment can boost your vitality by nearly 40 percent. Additionally, being outdoors activates your vitamin D levels, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and improves your mood and focus.

Embrace positive thinking

Challenging situations and setbacks can derail your sense of optimism in life. However, positive thinking allows you to approach an unpleasant situation more productively. You choose to deal with a difficult situation by identifying what can be done to make things better instead of dwelling on what went wrong. You can develop a positive mindset by practicing gratitude, focussing on the good things in life, spending time with positive people, and turning failures into lessons. The health benefits of positive thinking include an increased life span and immunity, lower rates of depression, stress relief, and improved coping skills and resiliency.

Manage your stress

Although it is impossible to avoid stressful situations altogether, it is possible to keep your stress under control. Prolonged stress can have a huge impact on your home and work life. When you are stressed, you lose your ability to think clearly and make rational decisions. Accepting when a situation is beyond your control, opening up to people close to you and setting reasonable expectations can help keep stress at bay. In addition to the aforementioned healthy lifestyle choices, you can also try relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and deep breathing to deal with stress and recenter your mind.

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