Things You Can Do Every Day to Live a Better Life

Do you enjoy life but feel like there’s just something missing? Even if you generally enjoy your life, there’s always room for improvement. It’s easy to get caught in a rut and stay there for weeks, months, or even years. That may be comfortable, but life is too short to continue to settle for mediocrity. Here are some ways to live a better life.

1. Exercise

man going for a run

Exercising has so many benefits to your mind and body. | iStock.com

Consistent exercise will lift your mood and help you live longer. Physical activity can help manage or even prevent several chronic illnesses, including diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Keep in mind what Brian D. Johnston told to Merck Manual:

Exercise lowers blood pressure, somewhat decreases the levels of total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the bad cholesterol), and increases the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the good cholesterol). These beneficial effects in turn decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke, and coronary artery disease. … Exercise increases the body’s level of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that reduce pain and induce a sense of well-being. Thus, exercise can help improve mood and energy levels and may even help relieve depression.

2. Be kind

Smiling happy young woman giving her friend a lift in her car

It never hurts to be kind. | iStock.com/UberImages

The world is already a tough place, why make it tougher by being rude? Make an effort to perform daily acts of kindness. It could be anything from buying a stranger a cup of coffee to taking out the trash for an elderly neighbor. You might be surprised by how it leads to a happier, better life. Dr. David R. Hamilton offered some words of wisdom to The Huffington Post:

Acts of kindness are often accompanied by emotional warmth. Emotional warmth produces the hormone oxytocin in the brain and throughout the body. Of much recent interest is its significant role in the cardiovascular system. Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide in blood vessels, which dilates (expands) the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure, and therefore oxytocin is known as a “cardio-protective” hormone because it protects the heart (by lowering blood pressure). The key is that acts [of] kindness can produce oxytocin, and therefore kindness can be said to be cardio-protective.

3. Laugh

couple cuddling and laughing

Who doesn’t love to laugh? | iStock.com

Laughter is good for the soul — and your stress levels. Getting a good laugh has several health benefits, including lower stress response, better circulation, and muscle relaxation, according to Mayo Clinic. A consistent dose of laughter also has beneficial long-term effects. Generally, those who laugh often benefit from an improved immune system, less pain, and an overall feeling of happiness.

4. Drink more water

Row of water bottles

Water is your friend. | iStock.com/tezzstock

If you want energized muscles, great-looking skin, and more pep in your step, drink more water. Getting at least six to eight cups of water a day improves bowel function, keeps kidneys healthy, and maintains your body’s balance of fluids.

“Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60% of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues,” said Mayo Clinic.

If coffee is your beverage of choice, try to limit your intake to one or two cups a day. Too much coffee can cause dehydration and give you a pretty bad case of the jitters. Furthermore, being dehydrated will cause you to feel tired.

5. Get more sleep

man and woman fast asleep

Sleep is when your body heals. | iStock.com

A good night’s sleep can make a world of difference. Getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night can help stave off high blood pressure and diabetes. You’ll also feel more energetic and aid your body’s healing process.

6. Hug a pet

a dog with coconuts and water

Make sure to hug your furry companions. | iStock.com/ThamKC

They’re cuddly, nonjudgmental, and they don’t talk. What’s not to love? We could all use some love from a furry friend. One study showed that pet owners with high-stress occupations had decreased blood pressure when faced with stressful situations compared with those who were not pet owners.