Try These Daily Habits To Improve Your Life This Year

Everybody’s an expert these days, with advice that ranges from drinking a shot of apple cider vinegar a day to waking up at 5 a.m. every day to be more productive. There’s so much advice out there today that it’s hard to separate scientific fact from passing fad. The following daily habits have been proven by a ton of research to improve your health, boost your mood, and lower your stress levels. You don’t have to eat anything weird, engage in physical exercises that would make Mr. Universe cringe, or change your schedule in any way. Give them a try for a week, and if you see no improvement, move on.


Eat the Same Thing Every Day For Breakfast
Research has shown that humans have a limited amount of energy to expend on making smart decisions, and once we expend that energy, we either start making rash decisions or give up deciding entirely. The best way to avoid “decision fatigue” is to make parts of your day routine, and that includes eating the same thing for breakfast each day. Instead of wasting valuable brain power trying to decide between a bagel with cream cheese or a bowl of cereal, pick an energy-packed meal and stick with it.

Schedule Some Standing Time
Although sitting isn’t exactly the new smoking, a growing body of research has found that sitting for 8 or more hours a day causes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, and unhealthy cholesterol levels. Standing for just 2 minutes every hour has been associated with a 33% lower risk of death. That’s reason enough to get off your butt and move every hour.

Take a Meditation Break
You don’t have to be a Buddhist or twist yourself into a full lotus position to reap the stress-reducing benefits of meditation. Studies have found that people who mediate have lower levels of anxiety, depression and insomnia. Pick a time of day when you can sit and be quiet. Focus on breathing — in with the calm, out with the tension — and do this for 20 minutes a day. In the very beginning, you can begin with 5 minutes a day and work up to 20 minutes.

Keep a Gratitude Journal
There’s mounting evidence that a daily dose of gratitude is good for lifting your mood, improving relationships, and cultivating patience. If you want to stave off depression, consider setting aside 10 minutes every. night to practice an exercise called Three Good Things. Each day, write in a journal three good things that happened to you that day. It can be something as simple as enjoying a great sandwich to something as momentous as the birth of a child.

Turn Off All Screens 30 Minutes Before Bed
Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do to improve your overall health, reduce stress, and boost daytime productivity. Unfortunately, we’re addicted to our screens. Electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, e-readers, TVs and computers emit blue wavelengths that suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps our body maintain a steady circadian rhythm. As a general rule, turn off all electronic devices 30 minutes before bedtime. It will not only allow melatonin to do its thing, it will give your eyes and brain a rest.