Dr. Debra Rouse shares more advice on behaviors and habits that have a direct and measurable positive impact on our bodies and minds. Read Dr. Rouse’s first 10 ideas here

  1. Practice gratitude. Those who practice gratitude experience more joy and happiness, and stronger immune systems.
  1. Volunteer. When you volunteer, it can enhance the feeling of gratitude and elevate your mood.
  1. Laugh often. Laughter is a natural “high” – it’s an energy booster and also an immune system strengthener, so ditch the drama and indulge your comedic side.
  1. Meditate. Science continues to demonstrate the many benefits of meditation, including increasing our resilience to stress, decreasing blood pressure, increasing immunity, improving mood and helping reduce and relieve pain.
  1. Drink green tea. Drinking green tea has been shown to reduce the risk for stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers, and improve mood.
  1. Power walk. It’s the number one best exercise in the world – and it’s basically free (minus the cost of shoes). Helps to strengthen our bodies and minds, reduce stress and elevate mood.
  1. Join a spiritual community. Being part of a community with a spiritual focus and foundation can support the growth of gratitude and enhance the feeling of interconnectedness of all things.
  1. Take regular vacations. Studies show that women who take regular vacations live longer and experience better sleep, less stress, healthier physiques and better sex lives.
  1. Spend time in nature. Recent research suggests that avoiding the sun puts us at greater risk of premature death than smoking. Sunlight hitting the skin helps create and activate vitamin D in the body. Greater levels of vitamin D lead to better mood and lower risk for osteoporosis, heart disease and certain cancers.
  1. Hug it out. Hugging for a 10 seconds helps increase feelings of belonging and love, and increases levels of dopamine (the feel-good hormone and neurotransmitter). Hugging also increases the hormone oxytocin, aka “the love hormone,” and lowers levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

Dr. Debra RouseDr. 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.