words Alexa Wang
Wanting to live a long and healthy life is an understandable aspiration. While there will always be events and happenings outside of our control, there are several things we can do every day to extend our lifespan and quality of living.
Here are five simple ways you can improve your longevity while still enjoying life.
Schedule Annual Check-Ups
Early detection and awareness make all the difference when treating an illness or disease. The unfortunate truth is that even the healthiest people are sometimes genetically predisposed to an illness. That’s why it’s so important to schedule annual check-up appointments and advocate for your health.
For those who tend to put off appointments due to inconvenience or inaccessibility, there are other options for screening and diagnostics. According to the experts at Easy Test Hub, you can use home tests to help screen for issues like colon cancer, heart disease, and metabolic disruptions.
Consider putting recurring reminders in your phone to schedule or conduct screening tests, so this important task doesn’t get put on the backburner.
Practice Gratitude and Conscientiousness
While it may seem like an abstract idea, practicing gratitude can improve your quality of life and even extend your lifespan. Gratitude for what you have and intentionally finding the good in the bad leads to better overall self-satisfaction and happiness. People who are happier tend to take better care of themselves and feel less stress, which reduces the risk of cognitive decline, hormonal disruption, and heart disease.
Similarly, being conscientious and connecting with others in positive ways is proven to improve one’s longevity. Making lasting social connections and giving back to the community is essential for long and healthy life.
Practice Mindful Eating
Many people are blindly told to lose weight or monitor their food intake to live longer. However, food and eating are so tied into our cultures and society that it’s difficult to make those changes without deep psychological work. Eating habits are impacted by everything from disrupted hunger cues caused by marketing to social pressure to trauma.
One effective way to improve eating habits without fixating on major changes or creating a restrictive mindset is to practice mindful eating. The goal is to restore natural hunger cues, so making broader dietary changes is more sustainable.
Start by removing distractions— like your work or phone— when you eat. Slow down your eating by setting your utensils down, counting to chew for five seconds, taking a sip of water in between bites, etc. Savor your food and make mental notes about how it tastes and why you like it.
This exercise can increase your connection with the food to help offset periods of emotional or binge eating. It also allows you to enjoy your indulgences without overeating or creating a negative guilt cycle.
Prioritize Sleep and Self-Care
Sleep is one of the most powerful tools we possess as humans. The restorative powers of quality sleep contribute to better motivation, immunity, hormonal regulation, stress management, cognitive function, and overall wellness. Getting less than six hours of sleep each night could reduce your lifespan by years.
Resting plays a powerful role in stress management (another silent killer), but it’s not the only consideration. Practicing self-care and making time for intentional stress management will also help mitigate the risk of heart disease and mental health issues.
Unplug and Venture Outside
We live in a digital world, where most people spend the majority of the day inside and plugged in. Spending more time outside has positive impacts on mental and physical health, both through stress reduction and fighting the common Vitamin D deficiency that almost half of Americans experience.
With these easy, attainable strategies, you can make your life happier, healthier, and longer.