Everyday Ways to Boost Your Well-Being

From Family Circle

Looking for ways to improve your daily routine? Sometimes simple adjustments yield big results. Try these healthful tips to make your day better.

Drink differently.

Not only does staying hydrated help prevent headaches and beat fatigue—it can aid weight loss, too. To whittle your waist, studies suggest drinking 16 ounces of water 30 minutes before your three main meals.

Calm your commute.

Traffic delays and unruly passengers can make getting to work rough. Try to turn the tables today. Create a peaceful playlist to bring tranquility to your train ride, or sniff lavender (or another essential oil) en route to decrease stress.

Sleep tight, thankfully.

Keeping a gratitude journal not only improves sleep quality but can also reduce diastolic blood pressure. Before you hit the pillow tonight, jot down three positives from your day.

Take it outside.

Avoid the same old scenery at the gym by getting in some steps outdoors. Not only are the routes endless, but research shows that just five minutes of exercising in nature can boost your mood and self-esteem.

Steep smarter.

How you brew your tea determines just how big a health boost your cup provides. White tea lovers should look to longer infusions (there’s no limit) to unlock its antioxidant properties. Black tea is best steeped in hot water for as little time as possible to preserve its antioxidants. Green tea, surprisingly, should be cold brewed for at least two hours.

Make a stand.

TV time and desk jobs are just a couple of the reasons we sit so much. But research shows that people who spend at least a quarter of their day on their feet are less likely to carry around excess pounds. “Being upright may naturally encourage more movement and burn more calories,” says Amaris Bradley, R.D., of Partnership for a Healthier America. Keep track of how much time you spend on your feet today.

Eat your way to optimism.

Who knew the path to an upbeat mood could be sitting on your plate? Carotenoids—a form of antioxidants found in spinach, carrots, tomatoes, kale and sweet potatoes—are associated with a more positive outlook.

Lighten up.

“Starting your day watching as little as three minutes of sad, depressing or disturbing news can lead to a 27 percent higher likelihood of having an unhappy day,” says Michelle Gielan, founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research. Instead, prep your day for success with inspirational podcasts, upbeat music or home improvement shows.

Consider cans.

Eating fruits and veggies doesn’t have to take a big bite out of your budget. Try subbing less expensive canned versions for fresh. Adults consume more vegetables and fruits at meals when including canned varieties in their diet, says a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Forgive someone.

If a person has wronged you—long ago or even in line at the grocery store today—write a letter that you never send or just say a silent wish to let go of your anger toward them. A study found that people who forgive others are less likely to be depressed. Research also shows making amends and forgiving yourself for committing a wrong can improve your immune system and fight anxiety.

Get super(food) rich.

Experiment with a superfood that’s new to you. Sprinkle spirulina, a protein-packed type of sea algae, in your smoothie. Punch up a veggie stir-fry with the gluten-free grain teff. It’s loaded with calcium and protein—and affordable, too. Or use 1 tablespoon of calcium-rich chia seeds as a salad topper.

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