1. Up Your Iron
No not as in lifting weights. Although that’s not such a bad idea either. According to the Mayo Clinic, an iron deficiency can leave you feeling sluggish, irritable, weak, and unable to focus.
Boosting your iron intake can also reduce your risk of anemia. You can up get more iron by eating lean beef, kidney beans, eggs, tofu, dark green vegetables, nuts, and peanut butter.
Or, if you have a strict diet or would rather keep things simple, you can also take a quick and easy Iron Supplement.
2. Increase Your Fiber Intake
Research suggests that by eating 25-30 grams of fiber per day you can reduce the risk of developing heart disease and high blood pressure.
Which is great since heart disease the leading cause of death in the USA. You can increase your fiber intake by eating more fruits, vegetables, and beans. Just like taking an iron supplement, there are a plethora of fiber supplements and ways to increase your fiber intake if you don’t want to just do it through food.
I always get these really good fiber bars from the store but you could also get a powder supplement and mix it in with water or some other beverage you regularly drink.
3. Find Ways to De-Stress and Relax
Let’s face it; stress and anxiety are an unfortunate part of life. I think we all know the effects of prolonged stress. More prone to disease, lowered life expectancy, and so on. This is why it is paramount for anyone to learn ways to relax their mind and body when it feels like a NASCAR race is going on inside of your head.
A great tip I learned years ago is to re-frame stressful situations. I will ask myself what can I learn from this experience or how can this benefit me in the long term. I also re-frame the stress with the thought that yes this may be stressful, but it is stressful because it matters.
You can also take a minute and take deep calm breaths while trying not to focus on anything aside from your breathing. I’m really not an expert on meditation, but these guys are, and many my friends swear by practicing meditation daily. I really need to commit to the practice more. And finally, laugh more. Watching your favorite comedian on YouTube for a little bit can go miles for the way of how you will feel.
4. Cut Back On Processed Foods
If I could name 2 of my favorite things it would be doughnuts and crispy french fries. I’ll bet I love junk food just as much as you do. But the unfortunate reality is the less junk food we eat, the more likely we are to be happy.
According to a study done at the University College of London in 2009, the odds of depression in people who ate a lot of processed food was 1.58. Compare that to only 0.64 of people who identified themselves with eating more ‘whole foods’ like fruits and vegetables and lean meat.
5. Stay Optimistic
Optimism may just be the secret to long life. A study conducted at the University of Michigan linked optimism to lowering your risk of a stroke. Another study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that as an optimist ages, they tend to get fewer disabilities and live longer than optimists.
So if you don’t see the world as sunshine and rainbows, you can still change your view. Elizabeth Lombardo, PHD and author of A Happy You, argues that pessimism is a learned behavior; which means anyone can also learn to be optimistic. Similar to reframing stressful situations, you can, and should, Reframe your frustrations.
The University of Kent found that people who saw the positive side of things in an otherwise frustrating scenario were happier and more satisfied at the end of the day.
6. Walk Outside in Nature
I think we all know a good walk outside can clear your head. But now researchers have linked walking outside to have some great benefits to your mind and well being.
In several studies, volunteers were asked to go for two walks at the same time or distance. One of the walks was done inside, either on a track or treadmill, and the other walk was taken outdoors.
In almost all of the studies, the volunteers reported enjoying the outside walk more and, when the participants were given psychological tests at the end of the walks, scored significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure, and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression, and fatigue after they walked outside.
7. Drink More Water
Water has the great benefit of having no fat, calories, sugar or carbs, and will curb your thirst and appetite naturally. Studies show that individuals who drink more than five to six glasses of water a day are 40% less likely to suffer from a heart-related death.
Lack of fluids in the body can also take a toll on your energy levels. According to Amy Goodson, a dietitian for Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine, being even slightly dehydrated, as little as 2% of normal fluid loss, takes a toll on energy levels. Scientists at Vanderbilt University Medical Center also discovered that water increases sympathetic nervous system activity.
Which is responsible for activating the body’s responses to stress, raising blood pressure, energy use, and alertness. When I first really focused on drinking water I partook in a lot of carbonated water. Which also seriously curbed my Diet Coke consumption (another benefit). Now I like to use those water flavors like these so I’m not going through a case of carbonated water in 3 days.