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3 Easy Ways to Improve Health and Happiness

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Specializes in Whole Health and Behavioral Health.

What are some easy ways to impact our health and happiness?

There are immediate and easy ways we can change lifestyle habits that impact our health and our sense of wellbeing.

3 Easy Ways to Improve Health and Happiness

It is a basic human drive to thrive and experience a joyful, life filled with purpose. Yet, despite the influx of the latest and greatest life hacks, self-help programs, and wellness products flooding the market , it is time tested, no-cost , and overlooked measures that ultimately help us to enhance and foster more excellent relationships with ourselves.

Here are a few simple tips that any of us can apply immediately to improve our well-being, enhance our health, and restore our peace of mind.

1. Live Debt Free

At some time or another, most of us have learned the stressful nature of debt. Studies have shown that high levels of debt can lead to, among other things, anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, lowered immunity, and relationship issues.  All of these can rob us of our well-being and cause us to lose control over our ability to manage our health and happiness.

One of the fastest and easiest ways of turning the ship around when it comes to debt is to commit to using only cash for purchases and eliminating the use of credit cards. Living within our means gives us an appreciation and a sense of fulfillment when we apply the resources we have, limiting our consumption and not wasting our financial resources on items we do not need. Saving money provides a sense of accomplishment, security and improves well-being.

While it is wise to have a credit card or line of credit squirreled away for a rainy day, being disciplined in our spending habits and paying down our debt can often do more for our sense of well-being and health than following the latest health trends and may-be even starting an exercise program.

Eliminating the stress of debt accumulation is a vital act of self-care which we can easily apply and commit to. Studies show that chronic stress makes us sicker and can contribute to life-threatening events such as stroke and heart attack more so than any other lifestyle behavior. Additionally, paying with cash in hand versus charging a credit card makes us more conscious of the amounts we are spending, giving us the opportunity to ask ourselves two important questions: “Can I afford this?” and “Do I need this?”

2. Organize Your Space

In our consumption centered culture, we are bombarded daily with endless advertising and are urged to buy and consume constantly. Before long we can find ourselves with living spaces packed with all manner of “stuff”, a lot of which serves no immediate purpose in our lives and, in many instances, has been collecting dust for years.

It is supremely gratifying to clean out and organize our spaces.  Giving things away to the local thrift store or donating these unnecessary belongings to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, in addition to freeing up valuable room, also provides a greater sense of control and orderliness – all net positives for reducing stress and improving well-being. A study conducted by Dr. Nicole Keith of Indiana University found that out of a group of 998 subjects between 49 – 65 (a particular group of high risk demographic for heart disease), those who kept their homes orderly and uncluttered where healthier than those who didn’t.

3. Write Your Goals Down

We all have goals and dreams we want to realize.  Whether they are of a personal, financial, social, or professional nature one of the fastest, proven ways to achieve those goals and manifest our dreams is to write them down.  You can choose to keep them down in a journal or jot them on post-it notes or note cards and distribute them throughout your home or office. Prioritize your most pressing goal or need and spend a few minutes each day focusing on them. You can also elect to write positive affirmations toward the realization of your goal, reciting them several times day to keep it in focus in your imagination.

This inexpensive, proven method for creating the things we want in our lives can become an excellent life-long behavior, which is backed by research.  A study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews of Dominican University of 267 people found that those who regularly wrote down their goals and dreams were 42% more likely to achieve their dreams than those who didn’t.  When one goal is realized or achieved, we can identify the next important goal and work on that specifically, using our desire to program our unconscious mind to make our ideal real. After all, thoughts actually are tangible forms of energy or “things”. By repeatedly thinking about something, we can help facilitate its realization.

Vision Boards are also very popular and provide not only an opportunity to produce a creative expression of our thoughts, feelings and desires, but can also serve as a daily visual reminder of what our desire and dreams are for the present and future.

Everything was a thought before it became a physical reality – the chair you are sitting on was a thought in someone’s mind before it was created. We can and do create our lives with our thoughts – so, to use the title of a best-selling book: write it down and make it happen!

Resources

Dave Ramsey: Cash vs. Credit Card: Which Should I Use?

Health.com: 7 Ways Debt Is Bad for Your Health

Psychology Today: The Powerful Psychology Behind Cleanliness

HUFFPOST: The Power of Writing Down Your Goals and Dreams

Georgianna Donadio, MSc, DC, PhD, is the Director of the National Institute of Whole Health, and a health care visionary who pioneered the integration of Whole Health and Whole Person Healthcare within medical and holistic health organizations. Georgianna is one of only six Florence Nightingale Scholars in the U.S., an MNA award-winning Nurse Advocate and widely published Integrative Health expert and healthcare provider. Named “Best Integrative Healthcare Practitioner” in Boston, for 20 years she hosted the nationally syndicated, regionally Emmy nominated women’s TV programming, Woman-to-Woman®. She is currently the host of iHeart radio’s Living above the Drama which is heard globally, and an Amazon #1 Bestselling award winning author. She has been a regular contributor/writer for the Huffington Post, Dr Oz’s Share Care, Daily Strength and other national blogs.

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4 Comment(s)

tnbutterfly - Mary, BSN, RN

Specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

Thanks for posting these helpful tips for health and happiness especially during COVID.  

Dr Georgianna Donadio, PhD

Specializes in Whole Health and Behavioral Health.

Hi Mary,
Thanks so much for your comment and pleased you found them helpful. These are such stressful times for all of us that anything that can give us
a little lift and reduce stress is so welcome!
Many thanks !
Kind regards-
Georgianna

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience.

Thanks for the tips, all very true! I find decluttering very therapeutic. I don't even know how the "stuff" accumulates sometimes. I always give to local thrift stores because not only does it help others it gives me extra incentive to clean out and organize. It is amazing how much stuff we think we need!

 

Dr Georgianna Donadio, PhD

Specializes in Whole Health and Behavioral Health.

Hi Daisy,
I moved recently and decided that it was time to "start over" and either gave away, disposed of or sold most of the belongings that had been in the house for 26 years, bought in the effort to raise 3 children. So, you can imagine the piles of "things" that had to be disposed of.

It's very freeing and YES isn't it amazing that we think we need so many things when you realize half of what we have we don't use or even see for years on end! A great freedom in letting go ☺️

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and posting your comment.
Kind regards,
Georgianna