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Trying to live a healthier lifestyle seems like it would be a simple thing, but it can get surprisingly complicated sometimes, especially when it comes to food.
If you do any reading or researching online, you’ll likely find dozens of different recommendations for the ideal healthy diet or for foods that you should either add to your diet or eliminate from your diet if you want to improve your health.
Since food can be such a confusing topic at times, I wanted to talk about some of the simple and easy ways to get healthier that have absolutely nothing to do with food at all.
So, if you’re trying to improve your health but you’re not sure what foods you should or shouldn’t be eating, these eight things can help you to live a healthier lifestyle even if you don’t change anything about your diet.
8 Easy Ways to Get Healthier Without Changing What You Eat
1) Clear Out the Clutter
For most of us, clutter equals stress. Whether it’s the stress of not being able to find the things you need or the more subtle stress that comes from living in a cluttered environment, clearing out the clutter can improve your overall health and well-being. Clutter is one of those things where you never realize how stressed it was making you feel until it’s gone. I always feel so much more peaceful in an uncluttered environment.
If you want to learn more about how to get organized and clear out your clutter, The Clutter Trap is an awesome resource for helping you to figure out why you have so much clutter in the first place and how to get rid of it for good.
2) Take a 5-Minute Deep Breathing Break
Most of us don’t realize how often we tend to take shallow breaths, especially when we’re feeling stressed. Deep breathing, though, has a lot of health benefits, and can help to reduce stress, promote relaxation, improve blood flow, increase oxygen, relax muscles, help with detoxification, and release endorphins.
By taking a 5-minute deep breathing break, you can help your body to switch out of the fight-or-flight response and into the relaxed parasympathetic mode so that you can take advantage of these health benefits.
3) Spend Time Outside
The Japanese call the practice of spending time in nature “forest bathing” and have studied the effects of forest bathing on our health. Spending time outside, especially near plants and trees, has been linked to a stronger immune system, a healthier heart, lower blood pressure, and reduced stress hormones. And, as an added bonus, spending time outside also allows your body to make Vitamin D from the sunshine, too.
4) Take a Nap or Go to Bed Early
One of the best (and easiest!) ways to improve your health is to get more sleep. If you’re trying to be healthier, changing things in your diet or trying new supplements can be very hit or miss. They might help, or they might not. But getting more sleep always helps, and it can benefit every system of your body. Sleep is the body’s time to rest and focus on repair and healing, so give yourself permission to take naps and to go to bed early or sleep late if your schedule allows.
5) Learn Your Energy Type
A big part of holistic health involves understanding yourself and learning more about your own individual nature and tendencies. When you’re able to know more about who you are (and, more importantly, accept who you are as a person), you’re much better able to make lifestyle choices that will be the right fit for you.
That’s why I love the Energy Profiling system from the Dressing Your Truth program so much. When I took the free energy profiling video course, I learned what my Type of Beauty is, and I also learned about how my Energy Type influences the way I interact with the world. I have a much better understanding of myself now, and I know better now how to work with my natural tendencies rather than trying to force myself to be someone that I’m not.
You can read more about my experience with Dressing Your Truth in this post: 4 Ways Knowing My Type of Beauty Improved My Health
6) Learn Your Personality Type
Learning your personality type goes along with learning your energy type. There are several different personality typing systems out there, and those can all be very helpful in learning more about yourself and your natural tendencies. For a start, though, it’s good to know the broader category of whether or not you identify as an introvert or an extrovert. I talk some more about the difference between the two (as well as some of the common myths) and how knowing your personality type can affect your health in this post.
Knowing whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert can help you to understand yourself a lot better for one thing, but it can also help you to recognize your needs for rest or activity and for socializing or for solitude. Learning about my introverted nature, for example, has helped me to realize that I need more downtime and a slower-paced schedule than an extrovert would need, and I can try to plan my day accordingly.
7) Create Some Relaxation Routines
With our busy schedules, it’s so easy for us to go from one activity to the next and forget to take time to relax. When you’re running on adrenaline all the time, it can be hard to slow down, so one of the best ways to make sure you get enough relaxation time in your day is to create some relaxation routines since we’re a lot more likely to do something that’s an established routine.
One of the best times to try to create a relaxation routine is at bedtime to help you unwind from the day and get ready to sleep. Other good times are in the morning to help your day get off to a good start, and at lunchtime to give you a “reset” after a busy morning and to help you get through the rest of the day. Your routine doesn’t have to be long or involved, and it can be anything that you enjoy doing that makes you feel relaxed. Spending time outside and doing some deep breathing like we talked about above are both great relaxation activities and so is going for a walk or reading a good book.
8) Make Time for Creative Activities
Creative activities could overlap with the relaxation activities we just talked about because doing something creative is a perfect way to feel more relaxed. Doing creative activities has been linked to lower stress levels, increased neuron growth in the brain, and even a stronger immune system. And being fully engaged in a creative activity allows you to enter a state of flow that effects your mind and body in a way that’s similar to meditation.
Doing anything creative that you like will give you these benefits, whether you like to paint, draw, play music, write, dance, sing, knit, quilt, bake, etc. And, even if you don’t consider yourself to be an artist or a musician or a crafter, you can reap some of these same benefits just by appreciating the creative activities of others. So make some time in your day to listen to some beautiful music or read some poetry or spend an afternoon visiting an art museum.
If you try to incorporate some of these eight things into your lifestyle, you can do a lot to help to improve your health even if you don’t change what you eat.