The Winning Ticket to a Healthy Lifestyle

Written by Lifebook contributor Paige Johnson

For some people, it seems like a healthy lifestyle comes naturally. No matter what stressful event life throws at them, they never seem to be thrown off of their health game. Day in, day out, they stick to a healthy diet, avoid unhealthy habits, and exercise. They even find a way to smile about the whole ordeal. This begs the question, how do healthy people stick to their lifestyle?

It starts with a smile

Being happy about your current lifestyle may not be a realistic choice right now due to a few bad habits that you possess. Despite this, you could find something to smile about, like the fact that you are reading this and hoping to learn what the winning ticket to a healthy lifestyle is. The benefits of smiling can be vital to the success of your healthy lifestyle goal, thanks to the way that smiling promotes positive feelings.

This trick will work regardless of whether or not the smile is real, and it may help you maintain a good mood throughout the day. The uplifting mood a smile generates is nothing to scoff at either. Your happy, smiling face can aid you in alleviating stress and tension on a molecular level. Over time, the physical relaxation you feel could make you more productive, meaning that you may find yourself a bit more eager to go on a walk or hit the gym.

Where to improve

Now that you have your go-to energy booster, it is time to decide on which unhealthy habit you would like to eliminate from your daily routine. Make the first habit you pick as specific as possible, and preferably something you can change right now. By focusing on removing one bad habit at a time, the odds of succeeding greatly increase. If you opt to choose a habit you can alter right now, it becomes more probable that you will start your healthy lifestyle transition today.

When the absence of the chosen bad habit becomes second nature to you, be on the lookout for a new area you would like to improve, or try to find a way to incorporate one healthy habit with another. For example, if you find that smiling makes you feel more energetic, you could capitalize on that energy by finding a physical activity to indulge in.

According to the American Heart Association, a hobby that increases your heart rate — like turning pool time into exercise time — can provide you with a plethora of amazing benefits, such as improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Supplementing your daily routine with this new pastime may provide you with delightful side effects. However, if you do not find the activity fun, you may not wish to continue doing it, so it is vitally important that you choose a hobby that you actually enjoy doing.

Gloomy days

As you make progress toward your goal, you may eventually have a really bad day when nothing seems to go right and you need a pick-me-up. Rather than fall back into your old habits, treat yourself to something new and stress relieving. You could work out at home rather than drive to the gym, sample a new flavor of tea that is known for its relaxing effects, or find an essential oil that smells great and makes you feel wonderful. If it works to alleviate the stress, keep it in mind for those overbearing times.

Encouraging yourself to go further

What you discover along the way to achieving your healthy lifestyle may surprise and even delight you. For example, your favorite physical activity may actually be dancing instead of jogging, you could totally love the anxiety-reducing effect of orange essential oil, or you may learn that you absolutely hate tea. Regardless of what you find out about yourself, enjoy the journey. That’s the real winning ticket to a healthy lifestyle.

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