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.

  1. 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.
  1. Limit alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant AND increases the risk for certain cancers, including breast cancer.
  1. Quit smoking (or never start). Smoking is linked to many health problems, including depression, which is increased in smokers.
  1. Eat breakfast. Breakfast eaters have greater success maintaining healthy weight. Skipping breakfast increases women’s risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
  1. Embrace napping and prioritize sleep. 20- to 40-minute naps can help restore energy and alertness, and improve mood and clarity.
  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Helps to maintain positive mood, energy and health.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Read more healthy habits here.

dr. debra rouse

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.