Real health is about more than just eating your veggies and getting some exercise. It’s just as important to cultivate mental, emotional, and spiritual health as it is to take care of your body. There’s no magic formula to living your healthiest life, but these ten habits that healthy people have in common are a great place to start.
1. Commit To A Healthy Lifestyle
There’s a reason this is number one. Healthy people aren’t just born that way—they make the choice to live a healthy lifestyle one day at a time. Does this mean that healthy people never slip and revert to bad habits? Of course not. But healthy people know not to let one setback hold them down, and that a healthy lifestyle is a daily choice.
2. Make Yoga A Part Of Your Daily Life
Need we say more? Yoga can lower blood pressure, increase strength and flexibility, and improve posture—benefits that really add up over a lifetime. Yoga can even treat mild anxiety and depression, and there’s no better way to relieve stress than to devote your mind and body to your yoga practice.
3. Eat As Much As You Need For Nourishment, And No More
Eating right isn’t just about what you eat; it’s also about how much. Your body will let you know when it’s had enough to eat to nourish you. Healthy people are attuned to their body’s messages and stop eating once their hunger is satisfied—long before that uncomfortable bloated feeling kicks in.
4. Balance Work And Play
With 24/7 email access, many people never mentally clock out from their jobs, and our culture tends to praise an all-work-no-play-mentality. But healthy people know that while work is important, your work and health suffers when you don’t take time for yourself. Make sure to maintain a good balance between work and play, and make time to enjoy life’s small pleasures.
5. Know How To Say “No”
Being a good friend doesn’t mean neglecting yourself to take care of your loved ones, and saying “no” is an important part of respecting yourself. Healthy people are attuned to their own needs. They understand that you never need to justify why you’re saying no or taking some time for yourself. Your instinct knows when you’ve reached your limit—we just have to listen.
6. Drink Lots Of Water
Everybody knows they should drink more water, but healthy people actually do it. Drinking at least six glasses (8 ounces each) of water a day helps healthy people to better control their appetite and avoid chronic dehydration that many don’t even realize they’re living with. Healthy people know that by the time you’re thirsty, you’re already nearing the dehydration zone—so keep a refillable bottle with you wherever you go.
7. Say What You Mean, And Mean What You Say
Some of us learn at a young age to just bottle up our feelings and say “I’m fine” when we don’t really mean it. But truly healthy people say what they mean without letting their ego get in the way. Instead of giving fake smiles or passive-aggressive comments, healthy people communicate openly and honestly. This also means taking a step back to listen to what others have to say. Communication is always a two-way street.
8. Use Peer Pressure To Your Advantage
People who’ve achieved true health make a habit of surrounding themselves with positive people who share their commitment to a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Not all peer pressure is bad—your friends’ good habits can rub off on you just as easily as their bad ones. Healthy people understand that surrounding yourself with people who inspire you will also help you live your best life.
9. Practice Mindfulness In Your Emotions
Healthy people know that a thought is just a thought, and a feeling is just a feeling—these things come and go and don’t define you as a person. It’s easy to get carried away with anger or frustration, but healthy people know how to step back and simply observe their feelings without giving them power over their lives. They understand that even when they can’t control how they feel, they can always control how they react to how they feel.
10. Treat Others With Love, Kindness, And Respect
Healthy people simply live by the golden rule: treat others the way you want them to treat you. Cultivating a habit of kindness and respect will make you feel good about yourself and build strong relationships with the people around you. Healthy people never underestimate the power of a kind word or a thoughtful gesture. Small acts of love really can change your life—and it just might change someone else’s life, too.
It’s important to remember that nobody is perfect. Healthy people didn’t get that way by magic, or by some lucky draw from the genetic gene pool. Instead, they make a habit of doing these things, and all habits require reinforcement and practice.
Take it one day at a time and approach your journey towards health with compassion. You’ll be giving off that healthy glow before you know it.