Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your health goals?
We live in such a rush-around modern society that sometimes our excitement to get healthier is totally obliterated by the to-do list to get there.
The human brain can only hold onto so much at once. We have work commitments, extracurricular schedules, families, pets and households to care for. There’s finite hours in the day, and we can only do and think about so much.
Trying to do too much, too soon, is one big reason why our health goals falter despite our best intentions. If we try to change everything, we often change nothing. And what bigger buzz-kill is there for motivation than failure?
Small, steady changes tend to be far easier to sustain. A softer path of self-kindness and slow change will actually get you further… and make for a much nicer journey.
We’ve picked 5 habits that will sky-rocket your health, without needing to overhaul your entire life. These are the changes that will give you the greatest return of wellness from your investment of effort!
1. Stay Hydrated
Do you feel chronically tired and sluggish? You might have considered the more obvious reasons like stress, sleep or poor nutrition. Yet your solution might actually be a lot more subtle… Are you getting enough water?
At a fundamental level, water is used in one of our body’s main biochemical processes to produce energy. Water is literally required to release energy in our cells for many, many bodily functions.
Water is our lifeblood. It forms at least 60% of our bodies and the kidneys will begin to shut down after 24 hours without it. Although there are recorded cases of some people surviving without water for a week, most people will perish after 3 days of no H2O.
Whilst mortality is a serious consequence of severe dehydration, our body will not work at full capacity unless it is well hydrated. Even at lower levels of dehydration, your body cannot produce optimal energy, flush toxins from your kidneys and function at your highest mental capacity.
The solution? Drinking more might sound easy but many people do struggle to fit in the recommended 0.5 to 0.8 gallons (2 to 3 liters) per day. Here’s some of our hints to hit up that H2O!
- Drink 2 glasses first thing upon rising.
- Use meal times to remind yourself to drink. Whilst it may not be ideal to drink with large meals, it’s still preferable to being dehydrated. If you aim to drink a glass of water before and after each meal, that’s 6 glasses towards your daily quota!
- Keep a drink bottle within easy sight to remind you to drink.
- Set a timer or reminders on your phone.
- Flavor your water naturally. Did you know that only some people are ‘water tasters’. That is, not everyone is born with the tastebuds to detect the flavour of water (yes, water does have a natural taste!) Non-tasters may therefore find water harder to get down. If this sounds like you, try lightly flavoring your water with some mint, ginger, berries or citrus to give your mouth a little pop of somethin’ somethin’.
Still unsure if you’re getting enough water? Check out these 10 signs you may be dehydrated.
2. Keep Clean Teeth (And Try Oil Pulling!)
Our mouths are a living, breathing, petrie dish and home to millions of bacteria.These germs get a direct ticket into our body through the mouth and and can cause inflammation, disease and dental decay. Therefore, whilst this bacteria occurs naturally, it does need to be kept in check with good dental care.
In addition to regular brushing and flossing, oil pulling is an amazing daily ritual to care for your teeth and overall health. It is an ancient Ayurvedic tradition that simply involves swirling oil in your mouth for 5 to 20 minutes before spitting it out. The oil is naturally antibacterial and ‘pulls’ germs, bacteria and toxins from the mouth. This frees up your immune system to work at its absolute best.
Your mouth is also linked quite directly to your gut. If the microbiome in your mouth is out of balance, some experts believe that this will negatively impact your friendly gut flora. Therefore, caring for your mouth may also improve your gut health!
Furthermore, there is some evidence to suggest a link between gingivitis and heart disease. When your gums bleed, this opens up a door for the bacteria in your mouth to hitch a ride into the bloodstream. These bugs may attach to fatty plaques in your arteries and contribute to cardiovascular disease. All the more reason to brush up, floss and learn more about oil pulling!
3. Set Positive Intentions
Healthy, happy and high-performing people typically practice mental techniques that help them achieve success and vitality. Science is also recognizing the validity of the mind-body connection and the incredible power of our thoughts.
There are a wide range of mental techniques that are very simple, easy and fun to implement in daily living. Here’s our fave tips for dialling up your positivity and channeling the incredible mental potential that resides within all of us…
- Flip It To The Positive. Try to practice a little more mindfulness of your overall thought patterns, particularly in areas of your life that you are struggling with. When you catch yourself slipping down a negative thought spiral, flip a recurrent ‘bad’ thought with positive, solution-oriented affirmation. You may not believe it straight away but with consistent reinforcement, your outlook will start to shift.
- Get Your Zen On. There’s a very good reason why people have been practicing meditation for centuries now… It’s effective for reducing anxiety, depression and stress and improving mental clarity and focus.These benefits ripple out into all areas of your life, including work, relationships, sleep quality and well being. But you don’t have to become a hard-core yogi to experience the benefits! Start with as little as 2 minutes per day and be kind to yourself as you work towards longer lengths.
- Visualizations & Affirmations. These practices are very closely related to positive thinking and meditation, offering similar benefits. Whilst positive thinking is best practiced in daily life, visualization requires you to hit pause and dedicate specific time towards imagining a positive outcome. Likewise, affirmations usually take some directed energy. You may like to write positive statements or say them out loud. Both techniques work synergistically to improve your outlook and rewire your brain into solutions mode.
4. Enjoy A (Healthy) Daily Treat
All work and no play makes life a little dull, doesn’t it? In our quest to be healthier, it’s so easy to slip into seriousness. But at the end of the day, humans are designed to be happy, playful and joyful and it’s important to honor this need in ourselves.
Additionally, when your health goals are positive, exciting and unique, you will feel naturally drawn to fulfilling them. They will become an aspect of your day that you actually look forward to!
Whilst we encourage you to find a treat that deeply feeds your soul, here’s some ideas to start some inspo:
- Enjoy a raw dessert
- Indulge in a quality coffee or exotic herbal tea
- Shout yourself a massage
- Treat your nails with a full trim, buff and shine!
- Burn your favorite essential oil
- Read a chapter of a book you love
- Take a bath with epsom salts
- Enjoy a clay mask treatment on your face
- Go for a walk outdoors purely for the joy of it
Your daily treat doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy, it just has to feel right for you!
5. Get A Little Green On Your Plate.
As far as vitality is concerned, green foods have an X-Factor that few other foods can match.
Brimming with chlorophyll, iron, fiber and bioactive compounds, greens alkalize, detoxify and supercharge your cells. They are also low in energy, yet incredibly filling and nourishing, so help to satisfy hunger and maintain a comfortable weight.
Our bodies require a high intake of veg to truly thrive, and adding greens to your main meals is an easy option to help top up your daily veggie quota. If you’re not up to making a full salad or cooked vegetables, simply toss a generous handful of greens over your meal. Baby spinach, rocket, radicchio, lettuce, dandelion greens and baby kale can all be easily added to lunch and dinner with zero fuss.
If you’re feeling really pressed for time, Superfood Greens make the perfect supplement for your green veggie intake. Simply mix into a little water and enjoy the vitality boost!