The ABC's of Living a Happy and Healthy Lifestyle

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Jump for Joy Photo by Rumble Press (Flickr)

  • A - Acknowledge that you deserve to lead a healthy and happy life. If you can acknowledge the need, you'll be more likely to take the steps needed to make it happen.
  • B - Break away from old habits that are preventing you from being as happy and healthy as you desire.
  • C - Challenge yourself to do more. Whether it's to laugh more, enjoy family and friends more, or simply smile more frequently, create a challenge — you're up for it.
  • D - Dance! Get out and move to the music. Dancing is the ultimate way to enjoy happiness while being healthy, and it has been shown in numerous studies to improve health by reducing stress, improving strength, and boosting energy.
  • E - Explore the great outdoors.
  • F - Fresh air is a great mood booster, so get out there and enjoy the sun, rain, or snow.
  • G - Give your time and attention to those in need. Volunteering to help those less fortunate than you can help you to recognize how fortunate you truly are.
  • H - Hug your loved ones as much as you can. A hug is a great way to show that you care and can go a long way in making your day or the day of someone who you care about.
  • I - Initiate important conversations to keep dialogue open between yourself and the important people in your life.
  • J - Just do it! Don't let fear or procrastination stop you from accomplishing your goals.
  • K - Knock down the walls of your comfort zone and let nothing hold you back.
  • L - Love yourself first. Look in the mirror and love the person that you see there, faults and all.
  • M - Meet new people and make new friends or get reacquainted with an old one. Believe it or not, some studies show that having an active and full social life can boost your life span.
  • N - Notice what you do have. It's easy to look at the thing that we don't have, isn't it? But we often overlook the good things that are right under our noses. Take a moment to look around you and recognize and appreciate what you see.
  • O - Open up your mind to new experiences and opportunities. Whether it is listening to unfamiliar music, trying a different type of food, or learning about something outside of your comfort zone, give it a try.
  • P - Pet your pet. If you have a favourite dog or cat, you know the joy that they can bring. That happy, relaxed feeling isn't a fluke. Petting an animal actually releases hormones that help you feel good, and it also lowers stress hormones.
  • Q - Quit smoking. It's a well-known fact that cigarette smoke creates a number of health problems. Quitting may be difficult today, but it will be worth the improvements in your health and it just might prevent you from having a heart attack or stroke.
  • R - Read a good book. Whether it's stretching your imagination or learning something new, a book is a great way to relax and unwind.
  • S - Start a hobby.
  • T - Treat yourself to the foods and flavours that you love. Don't attempt to cut out all of the things that you enjoy simply in the name of eating healthy or you'll run the risk of bingeing.
  • U - Unplug. For better or worse, technology is a major part of our lives. If you're like me, it's hard to escape the trappings of our digital world. From cell phones to laptops and desktop computers, it's what makes the world go 'round. However, find a few precious moments a day and enjoy the calm.
  • V - Vacation! - Has it been a while since your last vacation? Plan a vacation for yourself alone or for the whole family. Choose a locale that you've always dreamed of visiting or look for somewhere that's guaranteed to be a lot of fun, and you'll benefit from lower stress and blood pressure.
  • W – Work out daily. Squeeze in a workout even if it's as little as 30 minutes a day. Physically and mentally, you'll feel amazing!
  • X - X out the negative from your life. Whether it's people, thoughts or behaviours, cut the negative elements from your life and focus only on the positive.
  • Y - You deserve to be number one. When it comes to your happiness, the wants of others shouldn't always come first.
  • Z – Zzzz... Okay, so that might not actually be a word, but it does represent sleep. Catch a few more extra Z's and you'll feel better because you did. There are many benefits to catching a little more shut-eye, such as improved memory and skills and better focus. I won't leave out that it also improves one's health and body weight.Need more healthy ideas? Check out these sites: