It was an absolutely gorgeous day.
As my girlfriend and I set up our chairs to face the ocean, the breeze was gently blowing our hair.
The temperatures were ideal, and the sounds of the surf and the seagulls were soothing.
Leaning back in her beach chair, my friend popped open a Diet Coke, took a deep breath, and said, “Oh, this ministers to my soul!”
“Ministers to my soul.”
What ministers to your soul?
What makes you feel GOOD deep down inside?
That’s what we are thinking about today (and all month).
~ You can catch last week’s post by clicking this link: “How to become more Healthy and Happy in 2018.”
Today, let’s think about how to be more happy and healthy deep down in our souls.
Some may call this mental health or emotional health.
Others will refer to it as healthy balance in your emotions.
In the Bible, the writers would often use the word, “heart” to describe the core of the human life. The heart usually refers to the entire inner person – mind, will, and emotions.
Solomon discussed the heart a great deal in the Proverbs.
Two verses that stand out are:
“A happy heart is like good medicine [brings healing], but a broken spirit drains your strength [ dries up bone].”
“A calm and peaceful and tranquil heart is life and health to the body,”
Today, let’s consider some very simple and practical ways to have a more healthy and happy heart in 2018.
I invite you to look over the list of suggestions and choose 1-2 items you would like to try. Begin to put these items into practice that week.
Then, next week, come back and see the new suggestions.
For more on this topic, you can check out the first post in this series HERE.
Choose a few of those to try. By the time this month is over, you will be taking small steps toward big victories!
18 practical ways to be more healthy and happy this year:
1] Figure out something you love to do and do it.
Maybe you can go back to something you enjoyed as a child. You might jump on a trampoline, roller skate, or jump rope.
It could be that you once loved to explore in the woods. Why not take a walk or a hike in the woods this week?
Possibly you used to paint or sculpt or sew. Why not get some materials and try one of these activities again?
It could be that you once loved to explore in the woods. Why not take a walk or a hike in the woods this week? Click To Tweet
2] Read! Find a new author and enjoy a new book.
Recently, I was talking to my dad as he was looking for a new author to read. He’d read everything his favorite author had written.
You could be in the same boat. You may love to read, but you haven’t found a new author.
One idea, try a search on “What Should I Read Next?” This is a free library website that allows you to type in an author you like. Then, they suggest several similar authors for you to check out.
You can link HERE to get to this free service.
3] Finish one project you’ve been meaning to finish.
Completing a task can bring great joy and satisfaction to your life!
So, clean out that closet, organize that garage, write those thank you notes, go see that old friend.
What is that thing that you have been putting off doing! Why not do it this week!
4] Work a puzzle of some type.
Try your hand at a pencil and paper puzzle — maybe a crosswords puzzle, a Sudoku puzzle, or a word search.
Download a puzzle game on your mobile device or computer to play.
Dig out an old jigsaw puzzle and put the pieces together. It’s good for you!
According to USA Today,
“Solving puzzles help reinforce existing connections between our brain cells. It also increases the generation of new relationships. This, in turn, improves mental speed and thought processes.
Jigsaw puzzles are especially good for improving short-term memory. Our short-term memory helps us remember shapes and colors and visualize the bigger picture to figure out which pieces will fit together.”
5] Take time to breathe deeply each day.
Set a time each day and take 5-10 long, deep, cleansing breaths in and out.
Breathe in for about 10 seconds and then breathe out for about 10 seconds.
I have an app on my phone which encourages me to do this each day. Honestly, I’d rather not always stop and breathe, but I’m always a little more relaxed after I try it.
6] Take time for yourself to do something that is relaxing and enjoyable.
If you like to read, give yourself some time this week to read. Or, if you love to take long walks, schedule a few on your calendar this week.
Perhaps you enjoy hot tea or an afternoon cup of coffee. Give yourself the time to enjoy afternoon tea or coffee this week.
7] Repair or fix something that needs to be repaired.
Change those lightbulbs, fix that squeak in the floor, or adjust the leaky faucet.
Or, you might paint that wall that’s in need of a fresh coat of paint.
8] Plan a trip.
Even if the trip date is way off in the future, you will enjoy the process. Half of the fun of taking a trip is the planning and anticipation.
So, choose a destination, start saving, and begin to plan for a future trip or vacation.
So, choose a destination, start saving, and begin to plan for a future trip or vacation. Click To Tweet
I just started planning one myself. It may take us 18 months to actually save up for the trip. So, I’ll get to dream, ponder, and plan for over a year. Just the idea of the trip excites me greatly!
9] Adopt a pet from a shelter.
Animals add so much fun, joy, and companionship to our lives. Why not stop by a local shelter and look for a pet you can adopt.
Both of your lives will be enriched by this gesture.
10] Sign up for a continuing education class at a local college or community center.
Most of these classes are very reasonably priced, and you can enjoy such fun training.
Why not take a class on photography or basic computer skills? Or, you could branch out and learn to play tennis or golf or bowling.
11] Try something you’ve never tried before.
Take a risk and try something new.
Force yourself to get out of your comfort zone and venture out into the great unknown this year.
- Eat at a new restaurant.
- Climb a rock wall.
- Reach out to a neighbor that you’ve never met.
- Take a ballroom dancing class.
- Join and gym and start lifting weights.
According to The Huffington Post,
“When you try new things, you put your brain into unique situations that force it to really think. This stimulates creativity, which eventually rubs off in other areas of your life. As a result, you begin to think about everything in a new light.”
See the whole article HERE.
12] Take a few moments to be still and enjoy the view.
When you are driving, actually look around and enjoy the view. Enjoy the blue skies and the people moving around you. Breathe deeply and take it all in.
As you are outdoors, look around and notice the world around you. Enjoy God’s creation.
Put your phone away and enjoy the view around you again!
13] Laugh out loud!
Actually, giggle until you are laughing. Laugh until it really is funny! You might be amazed to hear the sound of your own laughter. (It’s a wonderful sound.)
If you need a little help, get around some little children. They laugh without any restraints.
Or, watch a funny movie, video, or gif.
You might be amazed to hear the sound of your own laughter. (It's a wonderful sound.) Click To Tweet
14] Plant something and watch it grow.
Add a plant to your garden. Plant something in a planter on your porch or patio. Then, wait for and enjoy the blooms.
15] Read with a child or to a group of kids.
Take time to read to your children or grandchildren. Or you can volunteer at a local elementary school or library to read to the children.
This will be good for you and for the kids!
Or, you can volunteer at a local elementary school or library to read to the children. Click To Tweet
16] Watch a favorite old movie.
Think back to a movie you loved as a teenager or young adult. Look for the movie on Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix.
Then, plan a time, pop some popcorn, and enjoy the movie! (You can even sing along or quote the movie as it plays!)
17] Clean out your car really well.
Take your car to get it washed and vacuumed out (or do it yourself.)
Clean the tires, the rims, and all of the siding. Detail the dashboard and even clean out the cup holders and the glove compartment.
Driving a really clean car makes you feel so good!
18] Eat something that you loved to eat as a child or a teenager.
Think back to your childhood. What did you love to carry in your lunchbox? What did you enjoy that your mother fixed for you to eat? Also, what were your favorite snacks?
Then, go to the grocery and get these items. Take them home and enjoy!
That’s it for this week’s list on how to be more healthy and happy emotionally and mentally in 2018.
What did I miss?
What are some things that you do that minister to your soul and make your heart healthy and happy?
I’d love to hear from you!
Want more encouragement for a healthy and happy life?
Encouraged by what you read?
Would you share this article with a friend, co-worker, or family member?
Maybe you can send it to a friend or family member?
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