How to Stay Healthy Both Inside & Out
Happiness is the ultimate goal we strive for in life and in order to get there it all starts with being positive. But first let's talk about positivity's enemy, negativity. It's the stormy cloud that lurks up above, corrupting our mind and causing us to get a heavy yet empty feeling inside. People with difficult lives or stressful jobs know this feeling all too well. Your thoughts and what you believe can also alter your health by shortening your lifespan or causing a disease. This is all the more reason to be positive. It won't necessarily be easy to instantly start jumping for joy, but here's how you can start...
1. Are you getting enough vitamins and minerals?? Being deficient in major vitamins and minerals can significantly alter your mood and energy. About a year and a half ago I was severely deficient in iron and vitamin D. I noticed that after jogging for only seconds or even something as simple as walking up a flight of stairs caused me to start breathing heavily because my body wasn't getting enough oxygen due to the lack of iron (although I hadn't realized that at the time). I also started experiencing depression-like symptoms because of my low vitamin D levels. Those two deficiencies combined made me out to be a pretty lazy and sad human being. I was miserable and I didn't even realize it. Thankfully after I visited my doctor and got my blood drawn, they put me on a high dose of iron and vitamin D to get my levels back up and I have been taking a multi-vitamin ever since. I felt like a completely different person. I no longer felt depressed and the occasional outbursts of anger that I had gotten during that time was now gone. So just make sure all of your levels are up (which can be done by a simple blood draw) because that could be the first step towards a more positive lifestyle.
2. Exercise and stay hydrated Exercise and proper hydration are also key factors towards a positive life. According to the Mayo Clinic exercising can boost both your energy and your mood, combat health conditions and diseases, and promote better sleep. Hydration will help the heart more easily pump blood to your blood vessels and they help the muscles work efficiently.
3. Laugh at yourself once in a while Whether you've done something completely idiotic or tripped up the stairs, laugh at yourself once in a while (as long as you don't get seriously hurt lol). They always say "laughing makes you live longer" and whether it does or not, sometimes you just need a good laugh to realize that the stresses of the day aren't all that bad (obviously with a few exceptions). Another trick is to smile when your stressed or nervous because it may help alleviate some of that stress.
4. Have a job that you are passionate about One common reason people are negative is because they hate their job. And considering they spend 8+ hours at it per day, it's understandable how that could affect their life for the worse. Some questions you need to ask yourself is do you love what you do? Do you have a passion for it? Would you do it even if you weren't getting paid? I know the last one is hard because we would all like to just have endless money without working at all while we sit next to the pool drinking out of a coconut, but it's something to consider. For example, my brother knew what he wanted to do since he was practically 2. My mom bought him a Thomas the Train toy and he absolutely loved it and has been obsessed with trains ever since. He is now the operations manager at my local train depot all by experience and no college education. He engineers the trains once in a while and also teaches engineer classes. It's something that while at times stressful, he still loves to do. You can't choose what your passionate about, but he was lucky enough to find out what it was at a young age. It's never too late to find your passion and go for it.
5. Dance to your favorite song while wearing a fun pair of socks Yeah I know, it sounds weird and specific but if you've never tried it can you really judge? Dancing will get your heart pumping, the music will stimulate your brain with happiness, and the fun socks will make you feel young and silly (you will also score some major cool points). It all adds up to one super positive experience and may even become one of your daily rituals.
6. Remember to love yourself This so so important. If you keep thinking that you're just an ugly potato with a doomed future, you will never find happiness. You need to look in the mirror and say 1 thing you like about yourself each day to help build up your confidence if you feel this way! You're a pretty potato!!!
7. Get a dog/cat They're furry, warm, love unconditionally (most of the time) and so cute! Maybe one of the reasons you're not positive enough is because you feel lonely. If you live alone, it might be a good idea to get a pet. This way you'll always have someone to come home to, you will probably be more motivated because you have new responsibilities, and they're bound to make you smile. They can cuddle with you when you watch tv and also when you go to bed. I have two cats and honestly if being a cat lady is wrong I don't want to be right! They entertain me and improve my life just by existing. Definitely something to think about if you're feeling lonely or just want a new pal.
8. Eat healthy but also remember to reward yourself A healthy diet has a big impact on your mood which is why you should try to stick to meals that include lots of fruits and vegetables. With this being said, rewarding yourself once in a while for making all those healthy choices is important too otherwise you might get crabby. Moderation is key! Maybe you can reward yourself with a bottle of soda for eating healthy for 2 days straight or something like that!
9. Cut out the negative people in your life Aka the fun suckers, the back stabbers, the mean girls, whoever they are just cut them out of your life because the only thing that they are giving you is a headache. Don't let them control your thoughts/actions or cause you to have a negative outlook on life. It's not worth it!
10. Make a subtle change, then a bigger change Sometimes all we need to get going is a little push. For example, if my friend hadn't pushed me into applying into a college I thought I wouldn't get into, I would not be going there (but now I am!). But maybe that push is making a simple change in your life like dying your hair or switching out your wardrobe. Then, you can go for bigger changes and eventually achieve a life you thought would only be in a dream.
All of these things will help form you into a more positive person. It's definitely not easy especially if you struggle with low self esteem and anxiety, but if you work at it I can guarantee you will see an improvement. As you can see, we live in a world clouded by all kinds of negative energy but you can help to let the light seep through the darkness if you believe in yourself and others. Don't give up on yourself and the world won't give up on you. :)