7 Tips for Improving Your Wellness
If you’re new to wellness, you may feel a little overwhelmed with the seemingly endless diet plans, supplements, exercise regimens, lifestyle choices, and even bedtime routines that promise to improve your overall health. It can be hard to know where to start, and even harder to stay on track.
While achieving wellness is not easy, it is important for a long and healthy life. Physical and mental wellness affects nearly every aspect of your life, from the ease at which you move around without pain to how well you respond to the emotional roller coaster of life.
Fortunately, you can do a variety of little things throughout the day that will be a huge difference in your wellness over time. Here are a few simple wellness tips to get you started.
1. Take a deep breath, and then take several more
Life is stressful, and stress can negatively affect wellness. Deep breathing sends a message to your brain to calm down, and your brain then sends this message to the rest of your body. When suddenly faced with a stressful situation, take a deep breath and hold it for 5 seconds before exhaling, and repeat two or three times.
To improve your overall wellness, take a few moments to do deep breathing exercises at least once a day. Try belly breathing: while sitting or laying in a comfortable position, put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Take a deep breath through your nose—your belly should move, but your chest should not. Purse your lips like you are whistling, and then exhale using your belly muscles. Do this breathing 3 to 10 times each session.
2. Create a manageable bedtime routine and stick to it
The Sleep Foundation says that sleep deprivation can contribute to obesity, heart problems, and poor insulin management that could lead to type 2 diabetes, a weakened immune system, sluggish cognitive performance, poor memory, mood problems, and other mental health disorders. The foundation suggests going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including on the weekends and when traveling. Aim for seven to nine hours each night.
3. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is a practice that helps you stay in the moment, without judging yourself or reacting to that moment. Practicing mindfulness can lower your blood pressure, improve your immune system, and may slow cognitive decline. This form of meditation can reduce depression, anxiety, PSTD, stress, substance abuse, and other mental health issues that can negatively affect your wellness.
4. Eat more plants and less meat
Research shows an association between plant-based diets and lower risk of cardiovascular disease and death from cardiovascular disease of middle‐aged adults in the general population.
While you don’t need to suddenly become a vegan or vegetarian overnight (or at all), eating more plant-based foods and fewer meat-based foods can help improve your overall health. Start simple by adding your favorite vegetables to your everyday meals; next, increase the serving size of the vegetables and reduce the serving size of your meat.
5. Find a healthy way to manage stress
If stress has taken a physical and emotional toll on you, you are not alone—77% of people in the United States regularly experience physical symptoms resulting from stress, according to the American Institute of Stress, and 73% say they regularly experience psychological symptoms associated with stress.
You can take small steps each day to reduce your stress. These steps can include:
- Reducing stress by asking for help, setting priorities, and declining projects as needed, setting realistic goals, pacing yourself, reserving time each day for self-care
- Avoiding alcohol, tobacco use, or overeating to deal with stress, and focus on healthy foods and beverages instead
- Exercising regularly
6. Address health problems, even the “small” ones
Certain conditions, like acne, sore muscles, and stiff joints, may not be life-threatening, but they can significantly decrease your quality of life and prevent you from engaging in healthy behaviors. A study published in late July of 2021 found that having acne can take its toll on a woman’s mental health and quality of life, for example, while a slow-healing wound or injury can prevent you from getting the exercise you need to stay healthy.
7. Use red light therapy
Red light therapy uses the power of light energy to help you achieve full-body wellness. Also known as photobiomodulation (PBMT), red light therapy can help you manage a number of conditions and health concerns, such as arthritis, certain tendon problems, nerve pain and nerve regeneration. Red light therapy can also promote the healing of soft tissue, support skin elasticity and appearance, and improve muscle performance and recovery.
For more information about wellness and tips for staying healthy, consult with your doctor, trainer, fitness coach, or red light therapy provider. The more you know about wellness, the better you will be able to incorporate wellness practices into your everyday life.