By Jené Luciani
This article first appeared on the U.S.-version of SHAPE.com
It sounds obvious. Drink more water, get more sleep, stop complaining, and your life will improve. But sometimes we need a little reminder that a few simple steps can make a huge difference in our ultimate happiness and overall health.
We reached out to renowned life coach and nutritionist Ana Alexandre to find out 10 simple tips for a happier and healthier you!
1. Eliminate Clutter
Ever wonder why those people on Hoarders look so miserable? Climbing out from underneath piles of stuff can also mean emotional freedom from items that could be mentally weighing you down.
“Get rid of all the things you don’t need or that are not good for you,” Alexandre says. “Ditch clothes you never wear and create more space to see the clothes you do actually wear.”
And from your closets to your kitchen, get rid of unhealthy foods too. “Clean out your cupboards, and get rid of all processed foods like those containing white flours, sugar, and unhealthy oils,” Alexandre says.
2. Supplement Your Life
“Take an omega-3 supplement,” Alexandre says. These amazing fats found in salmon, flaxseeds, and walnuts purportedly give you glowing skin, fight stress, and reduce inflammation in the body.
3. Just Add Water
You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating. It’s important to drink eight to 10 glasses of water every day to keep our bodies functioning properly.
“Water keeps you hydrated, eliminates toxins, and keeps you regular. Always keep a bottle with you. If you see it, you will drink it!” Alexandre says.
4. Forget the Complaint Department
“Stop complaning about never getting what you want, and instead, create what you want,” Alexandre says.
She suggests setting at least three clear goals per year. “Set goals that excite you, that are tangible, and something with a finish line. Write your goals in the present tense (I go to gym every Tuesday and Thursday). This will get you believing that they can be a reality!”
5. Create a Daily Ritual
If you set aside just 10 minutes a day for yourself, Alexandre says, it will do wonders in eliminating daily stress and anxiety.
“Meditate for five minutes in the morning to start your day. Take the additional five minutes to relax before bed. Read a book that inspires you, take a bath, or drink a cup of herbal tea in a quiet setting.”
6. Just Move It!
Exercise not only makes you more physically fit, it also boosts your mood, increases your energy, and it can even improve your sex life.
“Find an activity you like and actually want to do. Take a dance or yoga class, go hiking or rollerblading,” the life coach said. “It doesn’t really matter. Just get your body moving.”
7. Improve Your Penmanship
If you’re thinking “I’m too old for a diary,” look at this this way. “Writing in a journal daily helps you clarify your thoughts and feelings, reduces stress, and helps you resolve problems more effectively,” Alexandre says.
Write down the highlights of your day, something you learned, or just one reason why you’re grateful for the things you have.
8. All You Need Is Love
It may sound cliche, but love truly does make the world go round.
“Find ways to get more love in your life,” Alexandre says. “Make time in your schedule to see the people you love. Play with a child, hug your friends, tell someone you love them, and smile at someone you don’t know. These small gestures can make a big difference.”
9. Eat Your Veggies
Vegetables are an abundance of necessary vitamins and minerals that help keep us healthy and energised. So stop making excuses and eat some everyday. Doctors recommend at least five servings a day.
10. Sleep It Off
Most of us need at least eight hours of sleep a night. That’s need, not want. There’s a reason why we need a sufficient amount of rest.
“Sleep improves stress, reduces inflammation, and allows cells to re-charge and repair damage,” Alexandre says. It also keeps us functioning at our optimum levels both mentally and physically.
To make sure you get enough sleep, Alexandre suggests shutting off computers, cell phones, TVs, and anything else creeping in from the outside world at least one hour before bedtime.