Do you find it difficult to incorporate good habits into your daily routine? If you find yourself in this category, then look no further! In this article, we’ve compiled 55 positive habits that will increase mindfulness and pave the way to becoming a happier and healthier you.
1. Go for a walk. Walking is an underrated form of exercise that most people can fit into their day. Walking daily has been linked to reduced risk of heart disease, increased cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness and better muscle strength.
2. Keep an attitude for gratitude. Writing down what you’re grateful for each day can change our perceptions and allow us to see the good every day. Journaling has also been found to help to help change negative perceptions of ourselves into positive ones (Robinson, 2017).
3. Laugh. This one may seem a little bizarre to practise when there’s nothing to laugh at but laughing has been linked to reducing stress. This is because the act of laughing releases endorphins, which is the body’s ‘natural feel-good chemical.’
4. Dance. Like laughing, dancing also releases endorphins. Plus, it’s super fun, even if you’re a bad dancer like me.
5.Sing. Singing along to your favourite song can be an instant mood raiser.
6. Drink lots of water. Drinking water has an array of benefits; however, it is vital for regulating our bodies and keeping us hydrated. What are you waiting for? Go pour yourself a glass!
7. Read. Engaging in reading for 30 minutes a day has been proven to strengthen the left temporal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for language and intelligence. Researchers have also found that reading reduced stress by 68% in a controlled group. If you find yourself with a limited amount of time, listening to an audiobook is also a great alternative as you can still benefit from reading alongside doing everyday tasks.
8. Keep your home tidy. Clutter has been linked to increased anxiety, depression and reduced memory. Keeping your living space clean and tidy is beneficial for your overall health and wellbeing.
9. Eat at least one fruit and veg a day. If you’re struggling to get your 5 a day in, why not start with one? Breaking down this number will make it easier to incorporate one fruit and veg into your diet. Doing this habitually will naturally lead to more fruit and veggies being consumed.
10. Cook more. We’re all familiar with the feeling of dread that ensues after ordering food when we have ingredients in the fridge. Whilst it can be difficult to motivate ourselves at times, cooking is great as you can enjoy a variety of foods as well as knowing exactly what goes into your body. You’ll also be satisfied by closing down the food delivery app and opting for something homemade and nutritious. If you need extra motivating, you will also save a lot of money in the long run.
11. Eat sitting down. Eating sitting down keeps you full for longer and gives you time during the day to slow down and enjoy your meal. Sitting whilst eating also prevents rushing, which in turn prevents overeating.
12. Sleep early. Having a good night’s sleep is an underrated practise. Sleep not only regulates your mental and physical health, but can improve memory and can give us more energy. Having a good night’s sleep is also pivotal to how we begin the next day.
13. Wake up early. Whilst it may be a struggle at first, waking up early gives you more time in the day to do what you need to do. “If you win the morning, you win the day.” – Tim Ferriss
14. Get some sun. Don’t underestimate how important it is getting your daily dose of sun. Vitamin D that is found in sunlight supports our bones, our immune system and reduces inflammation. Researchers have also found a link between sunlight exposure and reduced blood pressure.
15. Invest 30 mins a day into a hobby. It’s easy to feel too busy throughout the day to engage in something you enjoy doing. However, spending time on a hobby decreases stress, depression and anxiety, which is equally as important as other tasks for your mental wellbeing.
16.Stretch. Stretching daily can prevent stiffness of joints, improves posture and reduces stress.
17. Talk to a friend. Even if it’s a ten-minute call, talking to friends daily not only boosts our mood, but can alleviate stress and improve our mental health.
18. Meditate. Set aside some time in your day where you have no distractions – just you and your thoughts. Meditation has been found to reduce stress & increase self-awareness. If you don’t know where to begin with meditating, apps like Headspace or Calm are great for beginners.
19. Smile more. Like laughing, smiling has also been linked to stress reduction. Try smiling at people you pass by (or give them smile eyes if you’re wearing a mask), you may just unknowingly brighten their day.
20. Journal before bed. Journaling before bed is a great way to reflect on what you’ve done in the day and a place to organise your thoughts and feelings.
21. Drink green tea every day. Green tea is a great addition to your daily routine. Green tea is high in catechins and polyphenols, which are high in antioxidants and can reduce inflammation in the body.
22. Play memory games. Playing sudoku and crosswords daily has been linked to sharper brains, improving memory and attention. The best part is they don’t take long at all, so you won’t have to make time to fit it into your day.
23. Keep your day organised. Using a calendar to plan your day gives you a visual representation of what you're doing. This keeps you organised and in turn you’ll never forget your plans for the day.
24. Write a list of to do things. If you find yourself forgetting tasks or finding more to do during the day, it can be hard to stay organised and prioritise what you need to do. Writing a to-do list at the beginning of each day, (or as I find, the night before works best for me) is great as you can visualise the tasks you need to do and tick them off in order of most to least important.
25. Affirm your day with quotes. Having daily affirmations has been highlighted by empirical studies to have a positive impact on us and keep us motivated. If you don’t know where to start, then Instagram accounts like werenotreallystrangers or thegoodquote are great.
26. Make your bed. Making your bed each morning sets you up for the day and means you’re less likely to jump back in it. Navy Seal William McRaven delivered a speech which reinforces how one small task can be impactful on the rest of your day. He stated, “If you want to change the world, start of by making your bed. Making your bed will reinforce that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right.
27. Take breaks. No matter what tasks you’re doing, remember to take a break. Taking breaks boosts productivity and reduces feelings of being burnt out. So, whether it’s a 10-minute screen break, one hour watching your favourite show or enough time to have a cuppa, do it.
28. Communicate more effectively. In a world where we communicate digitally more than ever, it’s easy to ‘talk’ to someone without really talking to them. Try and implement more meaning to your conversations and be fully present when someone is speaking to you.
29. Have fun. Make each day fun by doing something that you love. Whether it’s catching up with friends, watching a comedy or going out with family, do it.
30. Wear SPF. Whether it’s rain or shine, wear that SPF girl!
31. Take multi-vitamins. Multi-vitamins are great to give you the nutrients you need that you can’t always ingest from food. Whether you’re lacking iron, vitamin B or just want stronger hair and nails, take that vitamin!
32. Shower. This one is pretty self-explanatory!
33. Monitor screen time. Set time limits for apps you end up mindlessly scrolling on.
34. Give yourself a compliment. You, yes you! You’re looking real good today and are doing amazing.
35. Say no to things you don’t have time for. Whether you suffer from FOMO or you’re just too nice to say no, sometimes saying no is okay! If you miss that gathering or don’t take on extra work, it isn’t the end of the world.
36. Practice positivity. Whilst this one takes some time, learning to see the silver lining in situations can be a game changer. Perspective is everything.
37. Get plants to brighten up your living space. Adding a bit of greenery into your everyday space can open your room and make you feel grounded to nature, even if you’re inside
38. Moisturise. Your skin will thank you later.
39. Before bed put your phone away. Your device emits blue light, which suppresses melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating our sleep/wake cycle. Because of this using our phones too much before bed can throw off our natural circadian rhythm and keep us awake at night. Try keeping your phone on the other side of the room when you’re sleeping to reduce how much screen time you have at night.
40. Drink less alcohol. Whilst there’s no problem having a glass of wine or a beer here and there, drinking less alcohol daily can reduce your chances of cancer, heart, and liver disease, as well as boosting your mood
41. Do a form of exercise you love. Whether it’s following along to a dance workout, doing a Zumba class or just taking a walk, find out what works for you.
42. Create and consult a vision board. Having a visual reminder of your goals is a great way to stay motivated. By having a tangible manifestation of your dreams, it’ll keep you focused on what you want. Plus, they’re super fun to make.
43. Keep work outside of your bedroom. Like clutter, ensure your bedroom is void of work so you can have a space that is stress free.
44. Use the 5 by 5 rule. If it’s not going to matter in 5 years, you won’t spend more than 5 minutes stressing about it
45. Learn something new every day. Our brains are a muscle that need exercising daily too! With technology advancing the way it has, information is, quite literally, at the touch of our fingertips. Whether it’s watching a YouTube video, a TED talk, listening to a podcast or reading a book, learning is so easy and fun.
46. Have a morning routine. Having a morning routine doesn’t have to consist of a 5am start, meditating, going for a run, and having a protein smoothie all before 9am. All it consists of is what works for you in the morning. For me, my morning routine consists of moisturising, using my SPF and having some water. Doing things consistently for your morning routine will increase your productivity and prepares you for the rest of the day.
47. Do your most important task first. No matter how difficult, prioritising tasks is vital. Plus, it means you’ll get it out of the way faster.
48. Set intentions for the day each morning. Kelsey Patel, a leading meditation teacher states "Setting an intention is activating a part of your receptivity. If you were to go out in the day, and not have set any intention or created any type of prayer or manifestation of how you want the day to go, then you're getting on a bike with no direction. This can be great sometimes because you're allowing fate to happen to you, but if you know that you want to get somewhere, the power of setting an intention is going to help you get there."
49. Wear blue light glasses. If you find yourself working from a screen for most of the day, get some blue light glasses. They filter out the blue light from the screen and can help reduce retina damage from prolonged screen exposure.
50. Listen to something positive when waking up to set the tone. Practising affirmations in the morning has been linked to lowering stress and expanding one's self-worth. If you don’t believe me, you can read Kaitlyn’s testimony.
51. Carry a notebook and pen at all times Despite smartphones always being at hand, I believe carrying around a notebook and pen is a great practice. You never know when inspiration will strike and you’ll need to quickly jot something down or doodle something. Unlike the notes app, paper has no restrictions, meaning the possibilities of usage are endless.
52. Dedicate time to self-care activities. Whether your idea of self-care is drawing, cooking, or watching your favourite film, do it.
53. Celebrate small victories. It can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but don’t forget to take a step back an congratulate yourself on the small wins.
54. Practise breathing exercises. Breathing exercises are a great way to decrease stress, relieve pain and improve digestion.
55. Get outside. Reaping the benefits of being outside doesn’t always mean engaging in a vigorous form of exercise. Sitting in nature has been linked to reducing our blood pressure and heart rate.
Forming new habits can take time and can be difficult in the beginning, however your goals are 100% attainable. James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, deconstructs how habit formation happens, giving us insight into how to turn our desired habits into a reality. Check out his video below:
The 2 minute rule to building a habit
The key is identifying which habits you want to incorporate into your life. From there, you can work towards making consistent small changes that will eventually lead to these habit formations. It’s important to remember Rome wasn’t built in a day; you won’t get there overnight, so to be kind to yourself and take things slowly.