One minute of leafing through a magazine or scrolling through your social media will show you numerous articles about healthy habits you need to have if you want to live a long life, be successful, get rich, etc:
- 12 Habits of Super-Healthy People
- 7 Healthy Habits for a Healthy Life
- 30 Healthy Habits Fit People Live By
- 11 Simple Health Habits Worth Adopting Into Your Life
- 10 Healthy Habits for a Longer Happier Life!
- 10 Healthy Habits of Fit People
It’s intimidating, right? Personally, in my weaker moments, these articles make me feel like I need to do better. While in reality, I already have quite some healthy habits and not all of these healthy habits will work for me.
Let’s look at it from the other side. What are some healthy habits you already have?
What are healthy habits?
According to Merriam-Webster, a habit is “a settled tendency or usual manner of behavior”, “an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary”.
So a healthy habit could be described as:
A healthy habit is any regular activity or usual manner of behavior that can benefit your physical, mental, or emotional well-being.
Remember that healthy habits can be different for everyone. What benefits you, may not benefit someone else.
Also, when changing habits, what is healthy progress for one person might be unhealthy for someone else. I like this example from Develop Good Habits: “Pretend you have an unhealthy habit of eating two bowls of ice cream every night. Cutting this down to one bowl or even just half a bowl is making progress towards the healthy habit of cutting down on unhealthy food. However, for someone who doesn’t eat these foods to begin with, eating a bowl of ice cream a night would not be considered a healthy habit.”
When I ask you about healthy habits that you already have, what is the first thing you’re thinking about? Can you write down five healthy habits? How about 10?
Habits are habits because we don’t have to think about doing them. So when we read these lists of habits of successful or healthy people, and they say they exercise every single day, we don’t remember that we walk our dogs every day, go to the gym two times a week, and work in our garden during the weekend. That totally counts! All we’re thinking while we’re reading it, is how we don’t get to the gym on a daily basis.
And even if we don’t get that amount of exercise, I’m sure there are plenty of healthy habits you have that you’re just not realizing are healthy habits.
How about these examples of healthy habits?
Common healthy habits you may not realize you have
- Regular exercise
- Walking or cycling anywhere you can
- Wearing SPF every day
- Brushing your teeth
- Drinking water
- Starting your day how it works best for you
- Home cooking
- Being kind to others
- Setting boundaries
- Doing comfort activities
- Eating your fruits
- And veggies
- And fiber
- And protein
- Having established bedtimes
- Putting your phone on do not disturb
- Keeping in touch with loved ones
- Being active throughout the day
- Getting out of bed every day
- Learning something new regularly
- Working with your signature strengths
- Positive thinking
- Eating breakfast
- Listening to your body
- Catching 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night
- Going outside daily
- Eating whole wheat bread/pasta
- Counting your blessings
- Setting goals
- Daily showers
- Working on your goals
- Going to see your doctor on the regular
- Keeping your living environment neat and clean
- Using a standing desk
- Making your bed every morning
- Focusing on yourself instead of others’ behavior, thoughts, and opinions
- Healthy coping methods when stressed
- Seeing the dentist every 6 months
- Trying new things (meals, places, activities)
- Keeping an eye on your mental health
- Saying thank you