Top 5 Tips to Happier and Healthier Living

It just seems to me that Dr. Mehmet Oz is freaking everywhere. I turn on the television and there is his show. I sign onto my computer and there he is in Xfinity's news feeds. His face is on practically every magazine at the supermarket checkout. As a matter of fact my sister just passed along a bunch of old magazines to me yesterday, and wouldn't you know it...there on the cover of this past January's issue of "O" magazine is good old Dr. Oz smiling at me.

So why is he so ubiquitous these days? He must have something the people want right? For me personally I think what he has is a good handle on how to live better. He takes a holistic approach to life, it's not only about eating right and making sure to get regular exercise which is already a given, but he also is concerned with emotional health and overall mental well being. And being in the health care profession for as long as I had, I must say...he's definitely right on the money!!

I learned about the holistic approach to well-being when I was studying nursing...and that is simply because this is the approach of which nursing itself is based upon. You treat the whole patient not just part of the patient which happens to be sick.

So with that being said I would like to share my top 5 ways to achieve and maintain healthier and happier living.

 I know myself if I don't get the sleep I need I feel run down and irritable the next day. And did you know that adequate sleep on a regular basis can also help to aid in weight loss? Normal stress in daily life cannot be as easily dealt with when you are sleep deprived, therefore stress levels will be greater and this will cause your cortisol levels to rise. Cortisol or "Stress Harmone" is normally excreted onto the bloodstream when the body goes into a "fight or flight" mode, then it will reduce in secretion as the body relaxes. Higher and prolonged excretion of this hormone will have a number if ill-affects on the body, one of them being increased abdominal fat which has been linked to a whole slew of health issues like diabetes, strokes and heart attacks.

Ways to help you catch your zzz's can include regular sleeping hours so go to bed and get up the same time each day; implement a calming bedtime routine, it works for the kids what not for us; limit both noise and light in the room; watch alcohol intake and limit caffeine as the effects of caffeine can linger for up to 3 hours.

Bottom line...make sure to get your sleep!!!

I know when I worked in the hospital setting, most days by about 3pm the cafeteria or snack bar would enjoy a sudden in flux of hospital workers from administrators to doctors as well as nurses, all there to get their mid-afternoon caffeine pick-me-up. Did you know that caffeine is really a diuretic? While the caffeine may give you a sudden burst of energy, it is also zapping you of precious water you need in your system. And many times the reason why you may feel sluggish at certain points during the day is probably due to the fact that you are to some extent dehydrated. So instead of reaching for a cup of old Joe, try reaching for a cup of water or hitting the water fountain for a nice long drink.

Yes that means letting the kids and hubby fend for themselves every so often. Spend some time with yourself...read an article or chapter of a book you have been to busy to sit down and look at. Pamper yourself with a nice long bubble bath, go out for that walk or jog, take a few minutes a day to just meditate in complete quiet. It's OK to say that this piece of time during the day is just for me. You are important too. This time will give you the chance to recharge or reset yourself. It is mood lifting and as every one already knows..."If mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy!"

Being healthy spiritually is just as important as being healthy physically. Your spirit is what helps you to make meaning out of the world around you. It's your sense of purposefulness, and that you are content to have found a place for yourself in the world. It is often equated to some type of organized religion, but it can also be in your personal relationships with others and allowing them to grow and deepen. 

Find a way to keep connected with your most inner sense of purpose. Volunteer at your child's school or help out with a clothing drive. I did some volunteer work at our local food pantry before becoming more active in my church. There I joined several ministries including teaching religious education and working in the church gift shop. Thoughtful prayer and quiet moments of contemplation are other ways of keeping good spiritual health. There is a unity of mind, body and spirit, and by keeping this unity healthy you will live a much more healthy and peaceful life.

By this I mean take time to sew or build or clean or cook using methods from the days of Mary Ellen Walton or Laura Ingalls. How about planting and maintaining your own garden? Growing your own garden will definitely help to put the most nutrients possible on the table with off of the vine freshness, not to mention that it will help to save a little money, but most importantly it will tap into your own sense of accomplishment. This is something not lacking in the DIY world...no wonder why we are such a happy bunch!!!

Studies are being done right now on the relationship between doing menial tasks with your hands and a type of neuro-chemical feedback which floods your brain with happy chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals also happen to be natural anti-depressants. I know that whenever I have finished one project I am always super eager at that time to move on to the next one. This most likely due to the fact that these chemicals, when released, act as a reward for ourselves and as a motivator to keep us going and wantiong to do more.

Linking up to these parties...

{Junk in their Trunk}



  1. Barbara: A great post and love your photo subjects to prove the point. You are so right in your thinking. Really simple, common sense things, if you think about it, but not many take the time to do that. Think, I mean..Happy Wednesday..Judy

  2. Yes what an amazing post. Thank you, I am sure we all know we could all do with living a better life so thanks for sharing all these positive insights. Cheers SpecialK XoXo

  3. love your simple five featured thoughts for living a fuller life. Concise and with spot on images to exemplify your point. So true.
    Thanks for sharing this helpful post on BeColorful


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