health

5 Things To Give Up For A Healthier 2018

This past year was a rough one for me, and I know it wasn’t easy for many others. But here we are on the other side. Now, it’s time to turn things around for 2018.

 

This year, I’ve vowed to take control of the things in my life that can be controlled. And as I sat down to write a list, I realized there aren’t many things I can truly control. There’s really only one thing on that list: My outlook.

 

I’m motivated to make 2018 a great year filled with health and happiness, and I know it all starts with a positive outlook.

 

So with my sights set on a half-full glass, I decided to let go of anything that brought me down in 2017. If you have these things in your life, it may be time for you to give them up too.

5 Things to Give up for a Healthier 2018

1. Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the most dangerous addictive substances available, and that’s partly because it’s so available. You can’t get heroin at the grocery store, but you can almost certainly buy a 6-pack (depending on your state’s laws).

 

Here are a few facts about alcohol that may change your mind about having even one more glass in 2018:

Alcohol alters your brain chemistry

 

When you think about the dangers of alcohol, your mind may conjure images of car accidents and liver damage. And it’s true that alcohol can do some serious physical harm, but it would be naïve to think that alcohol only harms the body.

 

As a depressant, alcohol can disrupt a delicate balance of chemicals and processes that affect our thoughts, feelings and actions even after we sober up.

Alcohol can increase stress and anxiety

 

When you drink, you aren’t as aware of your surroundings as you are when you’re sober. This can lead you to misinterpret situations. Such misunderstandings can easily increase your stress and anxiety levels. Could this be why there are so many bar-room brawls? Even if you aren’t prone to fighting, it’s healthier to be in control at all times.

Alcohol can worsen depression

 

Alcohol works on the dopamine receptors in your brain to trick you into thinking you’re having the time of your life. Unfortunately, alcohol will also deplete your serotonin levels over time. Serotonin helps regulate your mood and keeps you feeling good.

2.      Overthinking

 

Overthinking seems to be at the root of many problems. At least, that’s the case for me. But overthinking can also be seductive. You tell yourself that you’re just trying to see things from all angles. And then you find yourself re-examining every conversation you’ve ever had. Or so it seems.

 

Overthinking also goes hand-in-hand with worry and anxiety. These are two things I’d like to avoid in 2018.

 

Here’s one practice I’ve recently learned that can help keep overthinking at bay:

 

When the thoughts enter your mind, ask yourself whether this is a problem you can solve. If you can do something about it now, solve it straight away. If it must be solved later, set a reminder to work on it at a future time. If you cannot solve this problem, try not to think about it all.

3.      Excessive caffeine

 

In our coffee-obsessed society, it’s easy to forget that caffeine is a drug. As such, it stimulates your central nervous system.

 

I’ve been in the habit of having at least three strong coffees each day. This may not put me in the danger zone for major health issues, but it does up my anxiety levels.

 

If you’re struggling with caffeine intake too, join me in replacing some of those cups with an herbal tea.

4.      Skipping breakfast

 

Yes, it’s cliché, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast can help boost your metabolism, set the tone for a healthy day and give you a quick fix of essential nutrients that will boost energy. With more natural energy, we should crave less coffee, so that’s another bonus.

 

Try adding something simple like avocado toast or overnight oats.

5.      Procrastinating

 

If you’re anything like me, you’ll procrastinate until the very last minute, and then rush to get everything done. But all that rushing causes so much unnecessary stress.

 

Create a calendar of all your daily tasks and try to check them off as early in the day as possible.

 

Although this list is very personal for me, I suspect many people struggle with the same harmful habits. If we can all make an effort to avoid these things in 2018, we may find it easier to handle whatever challenges await us in 2018.

 

What are you planning to give up to make 2018 a healthier year?

Tim Stoddart is the co-founder and current president of Sober Nation. Tim is a big believer in the power of thought, positive living, health, and kindness. A recovering addict and admitted adrenaline junky, Tim has found new and healthier ways to fill the void. He gives credit for his “spiritual awakening” to his loving family and reading thought-provoking books.

HIGHLIGHTS: Body and Health Questionnaire

One of the easiest ways to do a life audit is to just ask yourself ten questions for each area of your life and then give yourself a score to find out how to rate yourself.

 

Below I’ve outlined ten questions for your body and health life area so you can easily assess where you’re currently at – simply give yourself a score out of ten for each question with one being awful and ten being excellent, with no room for improvement.

 

  1. Do you do any form of exercise?
  2. If you don’t like exercise have you taken time to find a form of exercise that you enjoy?
  3. Do you exercise a minimum of two to three times a week?
  4. Do you have a good body image regardless of your weight? (I got a good body image by remembering my looks was the least important thing about me)
  5. Do you eat your five fruit and vegetable servings each day and drink plenty of water?
  6. Do you have a set number of calories you try to stick to each day and do you usually stick within your allowance? (Scoring: No = 1, Yes = 5, Yes and always stick to it = 10)
  7. Do you exercise more if you go out for junk food?
  8. Do you have a skincare regime?
  9. Do you ever treat yourself to face masks, massages or hair treatments?
  10. Do you feel your health and body could be improved upon? (Reverse scoring: Not at all = 10, Yes completely = 1)

 

Now add up your total score. Below is the scoring key:

 

1-10       =             1 mark out of 10 (poor)

11-20     =             2 marks out of 10

21-30     =             3 marks out of 10

31-40     =             4 marks out of 10

41-50     =             5 marks out of 10

51-60     =             6 marks out of 10

61-70     =             7 marks out of 10

71-80     =             8 marks out of 10

81-90     =             9 marks out of 10

91-100   =             10 marks out of 10 (amazing)

 

Crystal Clear Questions

 

Could you eat healthier?

 

Could you exercise more?

 

Could you be more disciplined with your skincare regime, nails and hair treatments?

 

If the answer to any of these questions is yes you may want to consider finding what type of exercise suits you best, what fruit and vegetables you most enjoy and / or putting an alarm in your phone to remind you of your skin, hair and nail beauty treatments.

 

If you would like to read a more in depth article on body and health please read my article titled ‘New Year, New You – How to Exercise Your Way to Well Being’ which examines the different types of exercise people find enjoyable and top tips to maintain a healthy diet.

 

Do you consider yourself to be healthy? Do you have any health or beauty hacks of your own which make light work of sometimes mundane tasks? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.

 

Why health equals energy and the impact it can have on your work life balance

I once heard a wise man say health = energy (the awesome Tony Robbins). To me this is so true, when I have been at my healthiest I have felt a vitality that was otherwise absent. It gave me more energy to do the things that were most important to me and provided me with more endurance and a greater zest for life.

 

When you have energy like this you are able to put your all into work and life, making you feel less run down by all that you need to do and more enthused to do your very best. It improves your social life because you are more up for meeting people, the pursuit of your passions is given a boost and generally your life outside of work flourishes. Work wise you feel more motivated and driven to perform well too.

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