Most of the women I know personally and professionally work hard to create a life that they love, where health and happiness dominate most of the time and where there is a sense of joy, meaning and connectedness in everything they do. Though not everybody’s definition of “good health” and happiness is the same, there are certain behaviors and habits that have a direct and measurable positive impact on our bodies and minds. I’d like to introduce you to some of those habits.
- Exercise daily. Compared to less physically active individuals, more physically active people report greater general feelings of excitement and enthusiasm (Penn State University research). Exercise also increases immunity.
- Limit alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant AND increases the risk for certain cancers, including breast cancer.
- Quit smoking (or never start). Smoking is linked to many health problems, including depression, which is increased in smokers.
- Eat breakfast. Breakfast eaters have greater success maintaining healthy weight. Skipping breakfast increases women’s risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Embrace napping and prioritize sleep. 20- to 40-minute naps can help restore energy and alertness, and improve mood and clarity.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Helps to maintain positive mood, energy and health.
- Forgive others and your self. When we practice unconditional forgiveness, we release stress and negativity from our lives and extend our own longevity at the same time.
- Eat your veggies. Greater whole vegetable intake, especially dark green leafy veggies, increases our overall vitamin and mineral status and cuts our risk for a long list of diseases.
- Appreciate your body. After all, it’s the only one you’ve got. The more you love it, the more it will love you back.
- Surround yourself with positive/happy people. A robust social network (and I don’t mean Facebook) can exert positive influence and support in your life, and encourage you to make better life choices.
Dr. Debra Rouse is a Licensed Naturopathic Doctor and member of the Institute for Functional Medicine. She is a dedicated mother of two daughters, a passionate outdoor enthusiast, tennis player, and advocate and activist against human trafficking. Learn more about her at drdebrarouse.com.