Now that springtime is officially here, how about some “spring cleaning” for your body, mind and spirit? Just follow these five tips for putting a little extra spring in your step!
(1) Learn something new. As Aristotle realized long ago, there is a difference between the pleasures of the moment (hedonia), and the satisfaction that comes from constantly developing and living your life to the fullest (eudaimonia). In recent years, scientists have finally begun to study eudaimonia (finding happiness in learning activities that draw on your talents, while challenging your abilities). Their research suggests that the greater sense of purpose and personal growth associated with eudaimonia correlates with lower cortisol levels, better immune function and more efficient sleep.
(2) Evaluate your daily nutrition. By analyzing your “daily bread,” you can identify any deficiencies and begin making appropriate improvements. Improvements that can range from the relief of symptoms such as chronic inflammation and depression, to controlling weight, or maximizing nutrition for more energy.
(3) Change up your workout. When you revise your exercise routine, your body will be challenged in different ways. In addition, a good change up will help to avoid repetition and burnout. Because many people quit their workout routines due to boredom or lack of results, perhaps it is time to change the intensity of your workout, the type of workout, or the time spent working out.
(4) Take time for yourself. When you focus on everything except yourself, you are almost always guaranteed to end up feeling angry, irritable, frustrated, disappointed and stressed. In other words, by not taking a little time for yourself, you might be less happy than possible. Start by focusing on yourself. Acknowledge that your own happiness is important and practice happiness-boosting routines. Rest is also an important – but often overlooked – aspect of a healthy body and mind.
(5) Reconnect with an old friend. Sadly, according to a study conducted by the American Sociological Review, over the past two decades the number of confidantes Americans feel comfortable discussing important matters with has shrunk by a third, and 25 percent of the respondents said they had no one with whom they felt comfortable in discussing important matters – which is more than double the percentage from 20 years ago. Getting back in touch with an old friend can be exciting. You already know that your personalities clicked once before. Many people find that despite years of no contact, the friendship has stood the test of time and they easily fall back into talking, sharing and being there for one another.