How to build and sustain healthy habits and behaviours within your daily routine to enjoy better health and happiness
You have probably noticed those people in your vicinity who are always motivated. Nothing seems to bring them down, ever. They seem on-the-ball pretty much all the time. They have an unrivalled passion for life, which leaves you scratching your head wondering…
‘Why aren’t I like that?’
We all know those people who have a spring in their step and a smile on their face, every day. These positive, happy people all share the same characteristics; they adopt certain habits and behaviours, which enhance their health and happiness from within, on a daily basis. The good news is that it’s now your turn to find out what these people are doing differently.
It’s time to wake up from your negative slumber and start being someone who WINS in life.
The first step to setting yourself up for a day of success.
Did you know, when we sleep, our bodies enter starvation mode due to your nighttime fast?
It’s true. When we wake in the morning, our brains are starved of glucose and essential nutrients; the best thing you can do? Eat a nutritious breakfast! A low glycemic carbohydrate such as oats is a great choice, as they will keep you fuller for longer. Add a scoop of protein to the oats for a tasty sweet treat and a teaspoon of peanut butter for some omega 3. You will feel energised, and ready to tackle the day ahead. In a study which fed two groups of students a low-glycemic breakfast and a high-glycemic breakfast, it was discovered that students with the healthy, low-glycaemic breakfast greatly outperformed the group who consumed the high-glycaemic breakfast on the measures of behaviour and performance
When we are stressed, our immune systems can become weak. The stress hormone we release (Cortisol) can have all sorts of negative effects on our bodies, including weight gain! Meditating helps to centre the mind and reduce stress, giving you a calmer, more positive outlook on life. Meditation not only improves your health but your happiness too. In a study by Brand, 2012, it was discovered that long-term meditators had lower levels of the stress hormone in their system, proving that meditation can have a direct influence on your health. Music listening can also be enjoyed as a form of meditation. So, if you are stressed or you are struggling to concentrate, make time for a little of your favourite music.
Regular exercise cannot only help you to stay fit and lose weight, it can also help you to de-stress and achieve a healthier body on the inside. When exercising, your body releases endorphins into your brain and these lift your mood and make you feel happy. Also, increased circulation to your brain makes you feel energised and alert, which is why going for a morning run before work is such an excellent idea. In a study on the effects of exercise on anxiety, depression and mood, it was concluded that improvements in the moods of participants were caused by an exercise-induced increase in blood circulation to the brain, and by an influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and, thus, on the physiologic reactivity to stress. Participants from this study were also found to have improved fitness levels and lowered blood pressure. The good news here is that the Battle Ready 360 app has plentiful structured workouts to work you from head to toe, as well as a private Facebook support group.
As Charles Duhigg shows in his book, ‘The Power of Habit’, by understanding habits, why they exist, and how to change the science of them, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our own lives for the better. A habit occurs when we put together a cue, a routine and a reward, and then cultivate a craving that drives the loop. So, if you have a bad habit, you can adopt the principles of mindfulness to change it. For example, if you are addicted to Oreo biscuits, and are struggling with your weight, change it for a healthier, sweeter treat such as an apple. Realise the apple as a treat, a sweet treat at that, and allow yourself to have it after you have done something like exercise so you can reward yourself with it. Try and switch up a few bad habits with some better alternatives.
This is an extremely beneficial and sustainable habit, which will enhance your life every single day. Do you spend days, possibly weeks looking forward to a holiday or event, losing the ability to enjoy the present moment? We are all guilty of living too long in the past or present, dwelling over memories and events in the future, instead of focusing on what is happening now. Eckhart Tolle in his book, ‘The Power of now’, teaches how we need to live in the moment with simple mindfulness techniques. Be grateful for the roof over your head now; think of the tasty food you are eating. Do you enjoy a morning walk? Do you really enjoy it, or are you too busy thinking about your route, getting home and what to cook for tea? Blank your mind and listen to the birds sing and hear the twigs crack beneath your feet. Being ‘present’ will improve your everyday life allowing you to feel joy in everything. The aim with being ‘present’ is to build a life so fulfilling and happy that you don’t need a holiday from it.
You are what you eat. This statement couldn’t be truer, yet some people don’t take it seriously enough at all. Nutrition and what we eat is responsible for every process in our bodies. Happy, healthy people ensure their nutrition is on-point every day. Is everything on your plate beige coloured? Add some colour to your plate! Get in your 5 portions of fruit and veg a day! Vitamin C strengthens the immune system and keeps it functioning properly, and antioxidant rich foods such as Goji berry help to fight off diseases. Ensure you have plenty of protein and all the essential amino acids in your diet, as these are the building blocks of all the processes taking place in your body. If your diet is lacking in essential vitamins and nutrients, then you will feel lethargic, stressed, down and unhealthy. Get into the habit of preparing meals in advance and snacking on healthy choices.
Do you make time to see your friends, and have a social life? Sometimes the stresses and strains of everyday life can take its toll on our ability to be social. The best thing you can do is stay in regular contact with your friends, give them a text and arrange to go out, or join a new social group? A study on social exclusion discovered that exclusion makes people less motivated to act pro-socially, so the more you stop making an effort, the less you will want to make an effort. Being sociable keeps you motivated, and helps to balance your working and social life. It is important to have an even balance or you will find your life becomes all work and now play.
Often the hustle and bustle of everyday life can get in the way and you can lose yourself in it all. It is incredibly important to set a little time aside for yourself each day to simply unwind. Be it reading a book, going for a walk, watching your favourite TV show or going for a lie down. If your life is a little on the quiet side, these YOU time activities will bring you action and focus; if your life is stressful, they will bring a welcomed distraction for you to just zone out for a while. Take some time to work out which is the one for you, and make sure it is a genuine decision, not one forced by anyone else’s desires or limitations. Have you thought about listening to some music to relax? In a study by North & Hargreaves 1996 it was discovered that music preference actually relates to arousal goals in a situation. Individuals preferred high-arousal music for aerobic exercise activity but preferred low-arousal music for guided relaxation. So if you want to lift your mood or chill out, select music which you think will help reflect this.
Sometimes emptying your thoughts, worries and ideas into a journal is one of the healthiest things you can do. A great time to do this is in the morning or night, so when you get on with the day ahead, or look forward to a night’s sleep, you can do so with a clear mind. Having a clear, worry-free mind will ensure you can enjoy a good night’s sleep and de-stress. A journal is a place where you can vent your emotions in a healthy way, let go of your inner critic, and get lost in your hopes, dreams and wonderful memories. Take your journal everywhere you go so you always have an available outlet for your emotions. Research indicated in the ‘Journal of Experimental Psychology’ indicated that expressive writing reduces intrusive and avoidant thoughts about negative events and improves working memory.
The Battle Ready 360 app gives you everything you need all in one place. You can enjoy excellent workouts delivered by professionals, nutritional guidance, recipes, and brain training. What are you waiting for?
BE BATTLE READY TODAY
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