Healthy habits are always on our lists of New Year’s resolutions: exercising regularly, doing pilates or yoga, sleeping and waking up at earlier hours, dieting, losing weight, eating healthier, and quitting eating junk food or smoking…
As part of your lifestyle, all of these habits can improve your health, levels of happiness, and general well-being. On the other hand, bad habits like waking up in the afternoon, having a sedentary lifestyle, or smoking lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety.
Let’s delve into the world of habit forming by understanding what counts as healthy habits and how to build better habits.
- 1 What are healthy habits?
- 1.1 Sleep
- 1.2 Nutrition
- 1.3 Moving your body
- 1.4 Adequate hydration
- 1.5 Mindful eating
- 1.6 Stress management
- 1.7 Social connection
- 1.8 Limiting screen time
- 1.10 Regular medical check-ups
- 1.11 Limiting processed foods
- 1.12 Practicing gratitude
- 1.13 Positive self-talk
- 1.14 Continued learning
- 1.15 Time management
- 1.16 Limiting alcohol and avoiding smoking
- 2 How to build healthy habits
- 3 Last words
- 4 Lose weight with fasting
What are healthy habits?
According to researchers at Duke University, habits form 40% of our behaviors on a daily basis. That’s why it’s so important to build healthier daily habits. If you want to create new healthy habits but don’t know where to start, check out our simple but very effective tips along with the most important healthy habits that you should develop.
To create healthy habits, here are the first three to start with, which are the most essential ones:
A good night’s sleep’s benefits range from healthy brain functions to improved cardiovascular health, better mood, and higher concentration levels during the day.
If you’re facing sleep problems like insomnia, check out our tips, or seek medical help.
“You are what you eat” is a well-said phrase that healthy eating habits have a big impact on your overall health and even on your work/school success. The right foods will give you energy, improve your mood, and strengthen your immune system, whereas constantly eating junk food with low nutritional values has the opposite effect.
If you’re looking for the answers on how to build healthy eating habits, whether for losing weight or for being healthier, our healthy eating guide briefly explains everything.
Moving your body
When we mention moving your body, you don’t have to sign up for a gym membership. The options are countless. You can do home cardio exercises, follow Fitness Kompanion‘s bodyweight workout plan, dance with your favorite music, go outside for jogging, brisk walking, or cycling or you can even turn the vacuuming task into a quick cardio session at home.
Drinking enough water throughout the day supports digestion, circulation, and overall bodily functions.
Paying attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, and eating slowly, can help prevent overeating and promote healthy digestion.
Practicing stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, mindfulness, yoga, or engaging in hobbies can improve your mental and emotional health.
Maintaining healthy relationships and spending time with loved ones can provide emotional support and reduce feelings of isolation.
Limiting screen time
Managing the time you spend on screens (TV, computer, smartphone) can help improve sleep quality and reduce eye strain.
Regular medical check-ups
Visiting healthcare professionals for routine check-ups and screenings helps detect and prevent health issues early.
Limiting processed foods
Reducing the consumption of junk food and foods high in added sugars, sodium, and unhealthy fats supports better overall health.
Cultivating a sense of gratitude by focusing on the positive aspects of life can improve mental well-being and outlook.
Replacing negative self-talk with positive affirmations can improve self-esteem and overall mental health.
Engaging in activities that stimulate your mind, such as reading, learning a new skill, or pursuing a hobby, supports cognitive health.
Organizing your time and tasks efficiently can reduce stress and help you achieve a better work-life balance.
Limiting alcohol and avoiding smoking
Reducing alcohol consumption and avoiding tobacco products significantly improve your health outcomes.
How to build healthy habits
1. Start with achievable and clear goals
Define specific, realistic, and achievable goals. Having a clear target will give you direction and motivation.
Let’s say you would like to add exercise to your daily routine. The first thing is to set yourself small and achievable goals. Do easy exercises for short amounts of time for the first week. Rather than starting with 50 push-ups per day, start with 5 push-ups.
If you would like to meditate every single day, don’t expect yourself to meditate for 20 minutes in the first few weeks, or even months. Just try to meditate for 5 minutes maximum.
Make sure these new habits are so easy you can’t say no to doing them.
2. Be consistent
The more you do this new habit, the quicker it will feel like a natural part of your daily routine. For example, the more you meditate every single morning, the quicker it will feel like a normal part of your day.
3. Use triggers
Associate your new habit with an existing routine or cue. For instance, if you want to develop a habit of drinking water, do it every time you sit down to work.
4. Positive reinforcement
Reward yourself for sticking to your habit. This can be as simple as treating yourself to something you enjoy after successfully completing your habit.
5. Create a routine
Design a daily routine that incorporates your desired habits. A structured routine makes it easier to stick to your goals.
6. Improve your habit step by step
Don’t overwhelm yourself when you’re trying to add a new habit or routine to your life – that way you won’t end up hating it.
Start with small changes in your habits and improve them gradually, rather than trying to do them fully and perfectly from the outset. This slow but consistent improvement will result in more success in building a new healthy habit.
You may also try to split the new habit into different parts as you work on improving it. If your goal is to take 10,000 steps every day, split it into two parts, one for your morning walk and one for your evening walk.
7. Track your progress
Keep a journal or use a habit-tracking app to monitor your progress. Seeing your improvements can be motivating.
8. Be patient
Habits take time to form. Don’t expect your habits to change in a few days. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks or slow progress. Stay committed and keep going. Consider your personal pace, lifestyle, and daily routine while dreaming of the change you want to happen in your life.
This may be the most important tip in building a new habit. Don’t quit trying too soon. You can make incredible progress if you are consistent and patient enough.
9. Adapt and evolve
Be flexible and willing to adjust your approach as needed. If a certain strategy isn’t working, try a different approach.
10. Learn from setbacks
If you slip up, don’t be too hard on yourself. Use setbacks as learning opportunities to understand what triggers your lapses and how you can avoid them in the future. Embrace a growth mindset. Believe that you have the ability to change and improve, even if progress is slow.
Whether your goal is to create healthy habits to lose weight or to improve your business or personal life, any change is possible when you dedicate yourself to the change while also showing compassion to yourself. Focus on the long term. Remember that healthy habits are about making lasting lifestyle changes, not quick fixes.
Last but not least, don’t forget to rest while trying to build new habits. Don’t exhaust yourself in order to be more healthy. Surround yourself with people who support your goals. Engage in communities or groups that share similar aspirations.
Bear in mind that health always comes with an easy and anxiety-free mindset. Do yoga, cook your favorite cookies, rest on your couch while listening to music or a podcast, or just stay silent and inactive for a while.
Last Updated on August 24, 2023