Discover a Happier, Healthier You

In these busy times, there are many demands and expectations placed upon us.  It can be draining just trying to navigate your way through them. Expectations have never been higher, and the 24-hour nature of social media contributes to the notion that you can and should have everything, that your life should look a certain way, and that you are failing if it doesn’t. In fact, much of what you see online is highly edited, but this does not stop it from putting pressure on people, resulting in a negative effect on your happiness and self-esteem. Try to increase the positive messages in your life on a regular basis, taking time for the things that make you happy, and work out how to overcome any obstacles that may be holding you back. Follow these top tips for a happier, healthier you.
Turn Off

Power down, switch off, and turn your machines off. In contemporary society, there is no end to distractions. Everybody has a smartphone and rarely are they out of people's hands. Having such a powerful tool at your fingertips can be amazing, allowing you to find your way wherever you are in the world using a map app, play games, chat with friends on the opposite side of the globe, and share high-quality photos with the simple push of a button. However, there is a definite downside as reliance on technology is rewiring people's brains, limiting their ability to concentrate and weakening memory skills. With constant interruptions, push notifications, beeps signaling messages and app updates, these tech-based disruptions make it difficult to focus on one task, and can lead to an increase in stress and anxiety.

There is also worrying evidence that people are learning and retaining less information due to a greater reliance on the internet and Google as the source of all knowledge. There have been dangerous cases of people trusting a small screen even above what is right in front of them, such as following an online map over their intuition and driving straight into a lake. 

To combat the negative effects of permanently being switched on and connected, try going tech-free for one day per week and reconnect with friends and family in person. Ask all your family members to join you in a tech-free Sunday, for example, and get together outside and take in the fresh air, do something fun like going for a picnic or playing a game of soccer. Going tech-free at set times will also enable you to enjoy mealtimes as a place to share events that happened to you that week and no longer a silent space with each member staring down at a small screen. 

Make sure that you switch your phones off at night. Not only can shutting down any screens well before you go to bed increase the quality of your sleep, as blue light emitted from screens interrupts the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone, in your brain, but it can also make for a happier, healthier you. Looking at a screen before you go to sleep can make it harder for you to fall asleep and result in less REM sleep, leaving you more tired the following day.

Slow Down

In the same vein as disconnecting from the online world for set periods of time to help quiet and calm your brain, taking up a calming activity such as yoga, tai chi or mindfulness can increase your focus and improve your concentration, as well as relaxing you in body and soul. Undertaking a mindful, meditative practice daily can alleviate feelings of stress or anxiety, resulting in increased mental clarity, as well as numerous positive effects on the physical body too. Even just ten minutes a day can help to counter the negative effects of a stressful job or personal and financial worries.

Overcome Obstacles

Take an honest look at your life and what could improve it, and identify where things are holding you back. Whatever these obstacles are, now is the time to work out the best ways to overcome them. Are finances an obstacle for you and do you wake up each day with worries over money issues hanging over your head? If you have a bad credit rating and fear that you will never be able to get a loan or mortgage, then investigate getting a payday loan, but remember to be realistic about what you can afford to pay back and within what timescale. Check out more here for further information on your options. 

Perhaps you could benefit from having a professional to talk to, to gain help resolving past issues that you feel may be holding you back, be that in relationships or your professional life? Look up local therapists and try to get personal recommendations to find one that you will click with, as so much is based on personality and building a long-term relationship of trust.

Sleep More

Maybe you have gotten into the habit of going to bed late, kept up by household chores, catching up on the latest box set series or reoccurring worries that keep you awake? Resetting your body clock and adjusting your routine so that you have a regular earlier bedtime can help to ensure your body is getting the sleep it needs, thereby allowing your brain and body to function at their best. 

Not only can a good night’s sleep improve your mood, but it can also boost your creativity and brain function and help to ward off illnesses, making you healthier. If you have a busy schedule or small children who make getting a solid eight hours sleep a night impossible, then try slipping a regular twenty-minute power nap into your daily routine. This can help to give you the benefits of sleep, such as a boost to your cognitive ability, memory, and energy, without letting you slip into a state of deep sleep. Power naps can also help to undo the negative effects of long-term sleep deprivation, so if you’ve got twenty minutes to spare then get hold of a pillow, set the alarm and let your body re-energize as you power down.

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  1. This is why I don't blog on Saturday and or Sunday, I step away and recharge, I also have no alarm set on the weekend and get up when I wake up


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