Special Report

50 Easy Ways to Be a Healthier Person

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Surround yourself with happy people

Happiness may be contagious. So spend time with people who are positive and make you happy. Research by experts from Harvard Medical School and the University of California San Diego found that those who were around cheerful people were happier themselves and were in a better mood.

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A study involving 9,000 people published by Public Health Nutrition in 2014 found that those who cook at home often consume fewer calories than those who don’t cook as frequently. When you cook at home, you are using fresher ingredients, vegetables, and fruits, rather than consuming pre-made meals and processed food tend to be higher in calories, sodium, sugar, and fats. Learn how to cook fish, make soups, and how to choose healthier food options such as chicken over red meat and whole-grains over potatoes and white rice.

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Smell citrus fruits

There are large and small ways of dealing with stress. Some methods are as simple as using your sense of smell. The smell comforts through stimulation of the sensory system. Some research in people suffering from depression found citrus fragrance to be somewhat effective.

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Look at old photos

Some research has shown that nostalgia increases self-esteem. Reliving the past, with happy memories and experiences, may be positive to self-regard. Even though nostalgia can have a sad side, such as evoking bittersweet and sad emotions, the sense of continuity and meaning in one’s life is often the stronger emotion. That’s why nostalgia has been shown to offset loneliness, boredom, and anxiety.

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Go on a social media hiatus

In addition to the physical benefits, which include giving your neck and eyes a break from staring at your phone all the time, avoiding social media may benefit your mental health as well. Social media can increase stress levels by heightening awareness of stressful events in others’ lives, according to a Pew Research Center survey of 1,800 people. Women using social media report being more stressed than men.

Psychologists estimate that up to 10% of Americans meet the criteria for social media addiction, which is defined as being excessively concerned about social media, having an uncontrollable urge to use it, and spending so much time on it that other parts of one’s life are affected. The average smartphone user checks Facebook 14 times a day. And that’s just one social media platform.

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