What is ‘Living Well’? Is it unfettered opulence and indulgence? The news is full of those who practice such a lifestyle and yet seem less than happy much of the time.
Is it the photoshopped, artificial and superficial ‘lives’ that we see on social media?
Surely, living well is spending more of your time doing what makes you feel happy, productive, contented and worthwhile. It is not endless hedonistic pleasure-seeking behavior, but it is not a never-ending daily grind either.
Part of living well is determining what truly does make you happy, then, importantly, not leaving it to fate, but actively creating the circumstances to enable it.
You can live well – being happier, more fulfilled, living longer – by developing habits that add to your joy of living and reduce the incidence and impact of circumstances and influences that detract from it.
Create Habits for Living Well
How can you improve your life so that it makes you feel as though life is worth living? Many people are heard to say that life isn’t worth living and that is a sad state of affairs.
So how can you change that and start to live well?
This can be answered in many ways, but one thing that can help you to lead a happier life is to create healthy, happy habits.
Develop Habits for Positive Changes
When you form a new habit it makes you act and behave in a certain way. The associated behaviors are then automatic. You don’t even have to think about it.
You need to develop the right habits that will bring positive changes to your life. Here are some of the different habits you can build on to start living better.
Build Healthy Relationships with Positive People
There’s an old proverb, ‘Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.’ If you are with people who are negative and unhappy most of the time, you will most likely be the same. You usually end up becoming like the people you spend the most time with.
If you surround yourself with positive people, you will develop healthier relationships that will help boost your mood, self-esteem, and confidence. Spend time with the people who will lift you emotionally, support you, and help you develop and grow.
At all costs, avoid toxic relationships, which can damage your self-worth. These types of people will not put you on the path to living well.
Spend Time By Yourself
It’s great to be surrounded by positive people, but you also need to spend some quiet time during the day, with just yourself. You need this time to reflect and relax. You can be more mindful of your day and how you are spending it. Use this time wisely as it is your time, no one else’s.
If possible, to get even more value from this quiet time, spend it outside if you can. Get some sunlight and breathe in the fresh air. Nature can boost your mental well-being, relieve your stress, and put you in a good mood.
When you are evaluating your time, distinguish urgent versus essential and things that can wait. You don’t always have to be busy to say that you’re living a meaningful and purposeful life. This is why you need to make some quiet time for yourself.
Love Yourself More and Embrace Your Imperfections
Nobody’s perfect on the inside or the outside, and that’s okay! We’re not meant to be. Don’t dwell on what you’re lacking or what mistakes you have made. Instead, embrace yourself, flaws and all, and love all your flaws while you are at it.
If you don’t love yourself, how can you love others, or let others love you?
Of course, embracing your imperfections doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to continue to improve yourself. You just need to focus more on the positive and continue learning. Learning is an eternal mission.
It’s important to keep on learning, trying new things, to challenge yourself.
You’ll lead a happier life when you can do what you want to do, even if that means getting out of your comfort zone. In learning, you’ll realize that you are even more capable of things you never thought possible.
As the saying goes, laughter is the best medicine! It boosts your mood and makes you feel positive. Aside from reducing stress and improving your emotions, laughter can also boost your immune system and reduce pain.
You feel motivated, hopeful, and less burdened when you laugh more. It makes your personality attractive to others, which helps you connect with the right people and build healthy relationships.
Find humor in your life every day, and you’ll live longer too! Imagine living longer because of living well and being happier. That’s certainly a win-win.
Practice Gratitude and Forgiveness
It’s in the little things that we find greater satisfaction. When you’re happy with what you have, you live well. The key is gratitude. Always be thankful for all that you have, no matter how big or small. You’ll realize that you are blessed and loved, and that’s enough to make your life worth living.
You also need to practice forgiveness, because if you want to live well, you need to avoid holding on to grudges. Learn to forgive others, and more importantly, learn to forgive yourself. Regrets won’t improve your life.
Break Bad Habits – Unplug from Technology
Being constantly plugged into an online source can drain your energy, physically and emotionally. Unplugging can boost your health and well-being, preventing stress and burnout. If you’re working from home, set a specific work schedule so you can separate your work and personal life.
Don’t be tempted to check your work emails when you’ve already called it a day. Stop browsing social media frequently, which can become a rabbit hole and a regular source of stress. Scrolling through feeds is like running in life. STOP. What others are doing is no concern of yours. Don’t let their bragging, stupidity, and problems affect you.
When you unplug, you allow yourself to breathe and relax. If you are someone that struggles with wanting to keep up with other people’s ‘showy days’ on social media, you will feel less burdened in trying to keep up with everyone else, once you learn to disconnect.
Living well depends on the habits you form in your life. Develop good habits that can lift you, boost your self-esteem, and allow you to love others and build great relationships. Break the bad habits that drag you down and cause you stress.
Habits for Living Simply Every Day
Do you accumulate material things, feeling as though they will add to your life if you do, yet, even when you can accumulate them, you are not as happy as you thought you would be?
It’s an unfortunate feeling for many people. It’s not how much we have in life that makes it worth living.
However, many feel it will fill the void of what they perceive to be missing in their life.
Minimalism is an essential part of living simply. It’s about keeping only what’s necessary and avoiding clutter. You can be a minimalist in many things in various areas of your life, such as in the possessions that you keep, your productivity, and how you organize your home.
You can live well with only the essentials, and be super happy! Living simply is where you live with less. You live with less clutter, less stress, less of everything, and you remove all the things in your life that do not bring you joy.
You also soon learn that when you have less it feels like you have more. You have more time and more money. You may have heard of the saying, ‘Less is more.’ It’s because you use what you have, and use it wisely, whether that be your time or your money.
Develop These Habits to Live Simply
You may find it difficult to get rid of what you have accumulated so proudly or to stop giving away your time on unimportant tasks. However, when you do you will feel lighter and less burdened.
Here are some habits to help you transition your life to living more simply:
Plan Your Day
One key to living simply is taking control of your time. Do you always rush in the morning? Do you feel like you haven’t accomplished tasks on your to-do list when you review them at the end of the day?
Rethink how to plan your day, and know that you can’t always finish everything you put on your to-do list. Instead, prioritize your tasks to complete the most important.
Plan your day based on what you can realistically do, and be content if you have to delay the last few tasks for another day.
Learn to Say No
Another reason that you feel swamped with things to do is that you probably find you can’t say no when asked to do something by another person. You have to stop saying yes to every request. Learn to say no!
Know when you have enough to deal with. Know when you can’t help other people no matter how much you want to. Your time is limited.
Also, learn to say no to the things that don’t make you happy. You don’t always have to join in on a weekend get-together, or attend a party just because you feel you should. If they don’t make you happy, stay home, or do something else. Say no to toxic relationships and negative people too.
Keep Your Home Tidy
It’s nice to come home to a clean, tidy house. When you wake up, start your day by making your bed. This simple habit can amazingly affect your life in so many ways. You are beginning your day productively and it can make you feel motivated to complete the next simple task.
Aside from making your bed, keeping your things tidy can also help you live simply. If you tidy the kitchen after breakfast, you feel organized. Make it a habit to put things where they belong so your place (and your life) will stay organized.
Did you finish your coffee? Wash the cup right away. It’s just one cup, so it shouldn’t take much effort to clean and put away. If you leave it in the sink, you’ll be tempted to put the next lot of dishes in there too. The more dishes you see there, the more it will feel tiring to clean them up.
As you can see, making the bed and tidying the kitchen are two acts that will help you develop three excellent habits – productivity, motivation, and organization.
Be Frugal with Your Money
Be mindful of how you spend your money. Being frugal doesn’t mean you need to buy only cheap items. It means spending your money wisely on things that will give you the most value for your purchase. Think before you buy. Do you need it, or do you just want it?
Needs and wants are two different things. You don’t need a lot of money or possessions to live well. There are many things that you can buy with little money that will give you great joy.
Take Your Time
Taking things slowly can simplify your life too. Take your time in doing things and avoid rushing. You’ll feel less stressed and overwhelmed. Eat slowly. Drive without rushing. Don’t multitask. You’ll notice the small things and learn to appreciate them when you slow down your life.
Living well can often mean finding greater meaning in the simple things of life. It’s time to appreciate the small things, as often these are the joyful things you may be missing.
Develop Frugal Habits to Live Well
You don’t need a lot of money or possessions to live well. You can live exceedingly well if you learn how to budget and not waste money. The key to doing that is to develop frugal habits.
Being frugal is not about buying inexpensive, low-quality items to save you money. That can be detrimental to your goal. Being frugal is to determine what you need, and get what you need for the best price.
Many people buy things they don’t need at all. They just think they do because they see it being sold at a cheap price or on sale. You have to remember, a bargain isn’t a bargain if you don’t need it.
Here are some tips to help you practice frugal habits for living well:
Make Your Savings Deposit Before You Spend
Many people find it hard to save and feel their paycheck won’t even cover the expenses they have already. If you want to live well, you should safeguard your future with savings.
Yes, it may sound impossible to you if you can’t make ends meet already. However, it’s not hard to set aside money for your savings once you get into the habit. There will be things you spend money on right now that you can stop doing.
Make a list of your expenses, the necessary and the not so necessary, and see what ones you can remove. There will be some that you now deem as necessary, but won’t be.
For example, the purchased coffees, snacks, and lunches. How much is that costing you per day, per week, per year? Are you a drinker or smoker? Work out what that is costing you!
The key is to make your saving deposit first. Set aside a portion for your savings before allocating money to your ‘not-needed’ expenses. You can automate this so that you don’t have to worry about it. Out of sight, out of mind. Your savings will grow before you know it!
Now that you have paid into your savings bucket, you will see what is left to pay your expenses. Live frugally. ONLY buy what you need. You will soon learn to budget your money more efficiently than you thought possible.
A bonus is the sense of security it will give you if an emergency arises. There are many times in life when unexpected expenses occur. It could be damage to a vehicle, hospitalization, an injured pet, etc. All these things cost money and if you haven’t put any money away for a rainy day, the stress can be huge!
Financial advisors recommend you have at least three months pay put aside in case of dealing with any type of disaster. This can sound monstrous, but it is doable if you develop frugal habits.
You don’t have to set aside a massive amount in the beginning. You can start with a small amount that you feel comfortable with. That may be only a few dollars. The key is to get into a savings habit, and then increase your savings installment whenever you can.
Don’t Eat Out, Eat Nutritious Meals at Home
One frugal habit that is not only good for your pocket, but you will also live well too, is to eat healthy meals at home. Eating out all the time is not good for your budget or your health. Dining in restaurants is a pleasant experience, and that’s fine to do once in a while.
If you do the cooking you have complete control of the ingredients you use, and you don’t need to add any artificial flavorings or preservatives. Of course, you will save money too.
Don’t Be a Fashion or Trend Spender
If you find yourself ‘wanting’ to buy the latest fashions or trendy items just because your friends are, you will be affecting your budget and your health! This keeping up appearances mindset is stressful and can hurt your emotional health.
If you want to live well, you have to avoid stress. You don’t have to ride the trends. You don’t have to get the latest iPhone if your current one is still working.
You don’t need new brand-name clothes just because your best friend has them. You certainly don’t need to buy to impress people on social media. You can’t live well if you live like this. Be frugal. Buy what you need, not what you want.
Check Your Entertainment Spending – Of Time and Money
Do you have cable TV, go to the cinema every week, or subscribe to Netflix, HBO, Disney, and others? If so, it’s time to cut back on these entertainment channels if you want to develop frugal habits for living well.
Hopefully, you are not spending hours in front of the big screen either, as that is not good for your health. If you must, choose one form of entertainment. That way you will certainly get the most value for your money.
However, you don’t need cinemas or subscriptions. There are many other free forms of entertainment. Use your imagination and you will be able to make a huge list. Remember, entertainment doesn’t have to mean watching a screen, although there are plenty of free videos and movies on YouTube.
You can be entertained by watching people in the park, walking around a shopping center, visiting numerous historical buildings or centers, camping in the backyard, reading a good book… I could go on and on… can you think of more?
Spend Time on You – Stay Healthy
Finally, spend time on you. Spend time exercising, eating healthy foods, avoiding bad (expensive) habits such as alcohol and cigarettes, and making sure you sleep well. You can save yourself visits to the doctor when you’re healthy, and therefore save money from medical bills.
Living well doesn’t need to be expensive. You can live well on a budget by developing frugal habits. You will definitely save money, but you’ll also realize that you’re happier with what you have.
Good Habits for Living Longer
Do you want to live a long life? Who doesn’t? Living longer means you’ll have more time to do all the things you want to do. Unfortunately, there’s no magic pill you can take to ensure that you’ll still be alive in the following decades.
However, you can develop good habits to help you live longer.
Your everyday habits can contribute to your longevity. Do you have good habits to help you live well, and long? If not, it’s not too late! You can start developing the following habits for living a long healthy life.
Develop Healthy Eating Habits
What you eat and how you eat affect your life and health in too many ways to mention. So make sure you start by eating healthy foods. It’s no secret that eating fruits and vegetables are a must if you want to live longer. Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and help boost your immune system.
Make sure you’re adding green leafy vegetables and fruits to your diet. Don’t forget to eat whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans. However, just eating healthy foods is one part of your new habit. You need to eat your food slowly. There is no reason to eat your food quickly. Be mindful of what you eat and how fast you eat.
When you chew your food well, you are helping your body digest it and use it, which helps keep your weight manageable. That brings us to the next part of the new habit. Eat only the amount of food that your body needs. When you overeat, you’re going to gain weight, which can put you at risk of developing unwanted diseases and decrease your mobility.
Therefore, limiting your calorie intake can contribute to a longer life. It can help you reduce weight and excess fat. When you’re healthier, your immune system is healthier and can better protect you against serious diseases.
Aside from the food you eat, it’s also essential to stay physically active. Aim to complete at least 150 minutes of exercise every week. Start small, but let your new habit grow! Start by putting on your walking shoes and walk outside, even if it’s just to your letterbox. Do that every day until you want to walk further, and further and further.
Before you know it you will be wanting to start exercising earlier and earlier too! Don’t forget to stretch your body when you wake up. Stretching is excellent and just as important as exercising.
Stretching and exercise will improve your flexibility, mobility, strength, and endurance. You’ll have a healthier heart, muscles, and joints too. Exercise will also help you maintain a healthy weight which can extend your life expectancy.
It’s easier to move around if you lose any excess weight because you’re full of energy and there’s no pressure on your joints. It also keeps chronic illnesses at bay and helps you sleep better.
Create Healthy Sleep Habits
Sleep is one of the most taken-for-granted health habits. Sleep is one area many of us abuse, and it affects other areas of our health. If we are busy and run out of time in a day, we eat into our sleep time as a way to catch up. However, quality sleep is associated with a longer life expectancy.
You need at least 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep every day to allow your body to heal and recover. Sleep gives you the energy you need for your tomorrow. It also boosts your mood and helps you to manage any stress. Stress is one of the most common causes of chronic illnesses.
It can cause heart disease, stroke, depression, and cancer. People who are constantly stressed are more likely to die prematurely. As you can see, getting quality sleep can help you relax and destress, and live longer.
We know stress is a normal part of your life, and in irregular amounts that can be recovered from, it can be good for the body. It’s just that it is important to find ways to manage your stress and prevent it from becoming chronic, for example by getting enough sleep.
No one can predict how long you are going to live, but practicing healthy habits can help increase your life expectancy. Ensure that you eat healthy foods, stay physically active, avoid unhealthy vices, and get plenty of quality sleep. These habits can help you add years to your life!
Habits for Living a Happier Life
Happiness is subjective for every person. It can mean different things to different people. Seeking happiness may sound simple, but it can be complicated.
You can be instantly happy about something, but it can quickly fade away. Being happy means staying happy more times than you are sad.
‘Smile and the whole world smiles with you.’
Develop Happy Habits
One thing you can do to lead a happier life is to be intentional about it. It’s your choice to be happy or sad. Therefore, you can choose to be happy by developing the right habits to make you happier.
Here are a few habits you can cultivate to make you feel happier in life. You can do each one every day!
Don’t Get Frustrated at The Little Things
Do you find yourself easily frustrated? It can be the littlest things that drive us crazy. Many things can get on your nerves if you let them. You have to learn to not let them!
So what do you do? Let go. Don’t sweat the small stuff. You can’t control some things, or prevent them from happening, but you can control your reaction. You can only control yourself and your emotions.
Practice not getting frustrated. This new habit will help you remain cool and calm and enjoy your day more.
Be Kind and Compassionate
If you are kind and compassionate to others, it makes you happy. It makes them happy. It boosts your confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. It helps you stay connected with people and builds better relationships.
Avoiding negativity can help you live a happier life, so minimize your exposure to negativity, whether that be certain people or the news. Yes, it’s important to many people to be updated with what’s happening around them, but unfortunately, the news is full of negativities.
War, financial crises, politics, death, and destruction. These topics usually fill the news slot. You don’t ever see a news program full of love, light, and happiness! So if you must, check what’s happening once, but don’t repeatedly fill your day with bad news.
If it’s negative people, don’t let their opinions and negative views fill your head. Fill your thoughts with happy thoughts. Don’t worry if people think you wear rose-colored glasses. There will be others who support your positivity, so spend more time with them.
Make Time for What Makes You Happy
This is a big one! Most people have something in their life that makes them happy. It may be reading a book, painting, sailing on the ocean, or even watching someone they love being happy. However, doing these happy things often means having to make time to do them.
Making time for whatever you love doing can make your life more meaningful and happier. You can call it your happiness goal. So whatever it takes, take the time for yourself, and spend it doing what makes you happy.
When you develop the habit of gratitude, you appreciate every little thing that you have, making you happier. You can acknowledge what you’re thankful for any time of the day.
You can also make a habit of keeping a gratitude journal. Every day, list down five things you appreciate having or doing in your life. They don’t have to be epic. Start with the small things.
Spend Time with Friends
People are social beings. Even if you are an introvert, you still need friends or someone special to hang out with.
Surround yourself with happy people, and have fun. Have coffee, invite them to your home for lunch, or watch a movie together. Friends make our lives more meaningful, and it’s important to stay connected with the ones that bring you joy.
Take care of yourself, it’s one of the keys to a happier life. Self-care makes you feel good about yourself, boosts your mood, and leads to a happier perspective and outlook.
A happier life isn’t hard to achieve if you become proactive. Be intentional with your actions and thoughts. Practice the habits you know will make you happier.
The freedom to engage in the pursuit of happiness is a wonderful thing, but the attainment of that happiness is another step beyond.
Most people have, at some stage, experienced a small, nagging fear that they will get to the end of their allotted lifespan and wonder if it was all worth it.
Almost everyone, wherever they may be, is struggling with the same problems, although specific details will of course vary.
We almost all wish for more control over our environment, more autonomy, and more self-direction. However, life is full of randomness, unforeseen events, and the inconstancies of other people.
Living well means taking greater control of the things that are within our sphere of influence, and giving less focus to the things that aren’t.
That means working on ourselves. By making and keeping better habits, we can improve our inner and outer worlds, and learn to truly ‘live well’.