You have the power to shape your daily lives, how you will end up in a decade's time and eventually your own destiny. How and where you will end up in the future is being constantly changed by your daily actions and decisions, no matter how small or big they may be. It's important to remember that you are the sole owner of your own life and you are responsible for it.
Can you think of some of the things you've done in the past that changed the entire course of your life? For example, I made the decision to move to Singapore. if I hadn't decide to do so, I'm very sure that I will be in a completely different situation today. Would it have been better for me to stay in New Zealand? I don't have the answer to that. But what I do know is this, my decision to move to Singapore have made an ever-lasting change in my life.
The new job offer you decided to turn down, your decision to start a start-up company or moving to a whole new country are examples of BIG decisions that bear immediate and inescapable consequences. But it's not only these big events and decisions that shape our lives. It's also the little things -- the way you respond to your co-worker's mistakes, your intentional motivation to wake up a little bit earlier today, and your decision to read that book you've been putting off -- they all have an impact on our lives to some extent.
Just like the ripples in the pond when you throw a small pebble; the most seemingly trivial thoughts, actions and decisions you make on a daily basis will have a consequence, changing the course of your life forever. Below are seven life transforming things you can do every day to ensure a much more happier, healthier and successful life.
1. Drink More Water
We've heard it all, over and over again that our bodies are composed of roughly 60% water and that nearly all of our systems cannot function optimally without proper hydration. But did you know that there's more life transforming reasons to drink more water?
According to an article published by WebMD titled, "6 Reasons to Drink Water: It's no magic bullet, but the benefits of water are many", drinking water helps us by:
- Maintaining the balance of of body fluids
- Controlling calorie levels
- Energising and fueling our muscles
- Making your skin to glow
- Improving kidney function
- And through maintaining a normal bowel function
But there's more!
The American Cancer Society suggests that drinking plenty of water and other liquids may reduce the risk of bladder cancer by 50%, colon cancer by 45% and possibly reduce breast cancer.
If something as simple as drinking water can lower the risks of developing cancer, make you more fit and even make your skin glow, then why not? I'm in! The importance of drinking water is easily overlooked, but it's a simple way to become better in so many ways.
2. Mindful Eating
How many of you sit down on a couch and watch the latest TV series while having dinner? Do you chug down the food as quick as possible to fill your hunger? Digestion starts in your mouth and to fully benefit from eating, we have to practice mindful eating. Mindful eating means that you eat with intention and attention. Paying attention to the colours, smells, texture, temperatures and even the scrumptious sound it makes when you chew your food.
The whole ethos of mindfulness is to encourage people to live their life moment to moment. Oftentimes we are haunted by the past events and busy chasing after the things of the future, forcing ourselves to mindless miss out on what's really happening in present time. By practicing mindfulness, we get to really experience every bit of our lives, living a much more fuller life. Mindful eating is the same -- it's not a special type of diet but a practice of being mindful when you eat. As you practice mindful eating and start to appreciate the food you consume, your body will also start to welcome food in much more meaningful ways.
3. Sleep Right
Sleeping is an essential part of our daily routines that aids in recovery and repair. Poor quality of sleep is closely associated with decreased productivity, enthusiasm and energy. But studies reveal that sleep deprivation can actually disconnect you from the emotional brain as well. A disconnect from your emotional brain is a huge loss in so many ways.
Emotions lead to action. In everything we do, our actions are intermingled with our emotions. You decide to quit your job because you are angry at your boss. You decide to kiss her on your first date because you feel confident.
Emotions are powerful feelings that make us take action based on how we feel. Oftentimes we make the mistake of allowing certain external factors or events that occur in our lives to determine our emotions. If your emotions are determined based on your circumstances, you are no longer in control and living your life, but you're being dictated and told what to feel and how to live your life.
Sleeping can also dictate our emotions too.
Studies show that sleep deprivation can produce an abnormal processing in our emotional part of the brain (Amygdala) and cause symptoms of depression. Amygdalae are a part of the brain's limbic system which is responsible for emotional reactions. The picture below reveals a study showing the difference in amygdala reactivity between well-slept versus sleep-deprived subjects. As the picture shows, the Amygdalae are much more reactive in people who are sleep-deprived.
Don't let your circumstances, events or the lack of sleep dictate to you how you feel. It's your life and you should have full control over how you feel and what you do. Getting good quality of sleep will not only you make you feel happier but make you so much more productive and healthier.
4. Practice Self-Love
"Take care how you speak to yourself because you are listening"
Self-love, self-respect, self-worth and self-confidence; there is a reason why they all start with "self." It's because you cannot find them in anyone else.
You need to value your worth and believe that you can do whatever it is you want to do in your life. This is something that nobody can do or give to you. It's solely up to you. You are the one responsible for your emotions, your actions and thus your outcomes. If you don't even believe in yourself, nobody else will. Learn to love and appreciate yourself first and naturally you will learn to do it for others.
5. Be Grateful
Writing a gratitude journal is one of the must do morning rituals for great minds such as Tony Robbins. Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation of all abundance.
The biggest tragedy in most people's lives is that: we know what we want in life but forget about the things we already have. We become so busy and caught up with our lives trying to chase after the things we don't have. But does this really mean that we are happy?
A good example is our good health. When we are healthy, we forget to acknowledge and appreciate our good health. But once something as trivial as a seasonal flu hits us, we immediately start to feel miserable and long to be healthy again.
There's so many things that you and I should be grateful for. The small things, big things and everything in between. Keep in mind that someone else is happy with a lot less than what you have.
Exercise has a profound effect on both the body and mind.
When we exercise, its positive effects on our physical bodies are both visible and measurable -- increased muscle mass, improved coordination and reflexes, reduced weight, and improved heart and lung function. But have you seen the positive effects of exercise on our brains? Not only are the results visible, but they are also measurable.
Exercise improves our minds; in fact, it's actually been proven to be an effective strategy to overcome depression. Havard Health cites a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, where they concluded that: "study found that exercise's effects lasted longer than those of antidepressants [and] found that the people who exercised regularly were less likely to relapse into depression."
Exercise makes us healthier, happier and much more productive. But why does this happen? When we exercise, it induces our body to release proteins and endorphins to make us feel happier. Look at the image below!
7. Put On a Smile
Smiling is infectious.
A child on average smile 20 times more than adults! Somehow we've forgotten to smile. Is it the hectic lifestyle or the growing burdens on our shoulders that took it away? Look at the infographics below that show some of the striking benefits we have been missing out on by simply smiling less. Let's put on a smile and make a difference in our lives.
Transform Your Life
It's the littlest things that add up to create big change in our lives
Remember, most of us already know what to do, and what not to do. The results don't come to fruition from knowing what to do, but can only be achieved through developing persistence in doing the right things. To make a long-lasting change in your life, you must develop habits out of the above tasks. What other simply activities/habits can you think of that would transform your life?