Wellness Wednesday: Choose Happy & Healthy
Health and happiness are habitual. We don’t all have the same capacity for achieving an equilibrium in either—we all have different physical and mental health conditions to contend with, not to mention different qualities of life (be it finances, environment, or social support groups). One thing that we all do possess, however, is the ability to make changes in our day-to-day lives to make us a little more healthier, a little happier, and those improvements can snowball into great change over time with enough commitment and sustained effort.
Growth vs. Fixed Mindset
Fixed mindset: the belief that qualities like intelligence and talent are fixed traits. They are inherent and unchangeable.
- Growth mindset: the belief that qualities like intelligence and talent can be developed through training, hard work, and input from others.
These mindsets also have an effect on your health and happiness. If you believe that you are inherently predisposed to being unhealthy or unhappy, it’s much harder to get motivated to try and change that. As we touched on earlier, there are very real obstacles and preconditions that can get in the way of getting healthy and happy. Adopting a growth mindset, though, helps us cultivate an active outlook. It makes you ask questions like “how can I mitigate harm? What can I do to improve my situation right now? What are changes I can make in my life that will eventually pay off positive dividends?”
Growth Through Exercise
One of the fastest and most effective ways to improve your health and mood long term is to take up a regular exercise regiment. First things first: always consult a physician if you’re planning on doing anything high-impact, and make sure you learn proper form before doing any new exercises to minimize the risk of injury.
Exercise doesn’t have to be anything too intensive, though: even a daily walk of 5,000-10,000 steps can do wonders for your physical and mental health. For more information on how to find an exercise that works best for you, check out this piece on WebMD.
Things You Can Do To Cultivate Happiness
There are other simple activities and habits you can maintain that will foster good health and a more pleasant mood. These activities include:
- Spending time in nature
- Drink a little bit of coffee—it can improve your mood
- Set small and achievable goals—a sense of accomplishment can really perk you up
- Practice gratitude
- Read more fiction—an involving story can distract you and give you an outlet for your emotions
- Choose Mindfulness
Another way to develop a more positive attitude is to practice mindfulness. This can be done through either meditation or through “slow living” (taking time to focus on what you eat and watch and listen to, giving them your undivided attention and consuming them at an unhurried pace). Doing regular breathing exercises is also a great way to cut down on stress.