Everyone wishes for a long, healthy life, and entire industries are dedicated to giving people tips on how to achieve this.
Nutritionists may tout the benefits of a healthy diet, and the fitness industry may offer you the best workouts to improve your strength or stamina, but prioritizing your health is about more than just diet and exercise.
It’s important to view our well-being holistically and remember that every single action, no matter how small, can contribute to your longevity and quality of life.
To help you get a holistic view of your health this year, here are three surprisingly easy ways that you can increase your life expectancy and improve your well-being.
1. Maintain Many Close Social Relationships
One of the best things you can do for your health is to surround yourself with a sense of community and support.
One study found that those who were socially isolated, or had three or fewer individuals in their social network, had an increased mortality rate compared to those who weren’t socially isolated. Humans are social creatures and we need social support to survive and thrive.
Relationships with close friends, family and significant others are important because they help us through the good and the bad times in life. Whether you need to adjust your work schedule or just put down your phone, make it a point to prioritize these close relationships and invest your time and energy into them. Not only will you help your well-being but you’ll be glad you spent more time with those you love.
2. Practice Positivity and Laugh Often
No one has unlocked the secret to immortality, but happiness might just be the next best thing. Research shows that people who are high in positive emotions, optimism and life satisfaction tend to have better health and longevity.
Even though it’s not possible to control everything that happens in our lives, one thing that we can control is our mindset. This year, make it a resolution to practice positivity in everything that you do. If something doesn’t go your way, do your best to honor your feelings in the moment and then reframe your perspective to find a positive light.
Optimism doesn’t always come easily though, so on the days when you find it hard to be positive, try seeking out laughter instead. Laughter is good for the soul and comes with a host of health benefits, such as reducing stress, relieving pain and even strengthening the immune system.
So when in doubt, laugh it out!
3. Spend Time in Nature Each Week
Time in nature is something we tend to take for granted, but dedicating time outside is one of the best ways to improve your well-being. A recent study showed that spending at least two hours outside a week…
Although we’re all still living through a global pandemic, it’s crucial to get out in the great outdoors regularly. Whether you go for daily walks with your dog in the morning sunshine or go out adventuring in a National Park on the weekends, just be sure to get your two hours. You can even challenge yourself to try something new like forest bathing or earthing and enjoy the many health benefits of being outside.
4. Remember to View Your Health Holistically
The key to living a long and healthy life is to remember that your health and wellness is about more than just eating right and staying active. Remember that the small, everyday things we sometimes take for granted can have some of the biggest impacts on our well-being, and that you want to evaluate your health holistically.
With this in mind, be purposeful in enjoying the little things in life like nature, close relationships, and laughter. They just may be the key to increasing your quantity and quality of well years down the line.