7 Tips to Feel Better NOW

You may have been making progress towards living healthier, or maybe you’ve hit a wall and something just HAS to change… no matter where you are on your health journey, sometimes a few little tips can help you focus on the basics to continue forward.

Here are 7 simple ways to start feeling better right now!

1) Breathe Deeply. Make time for at least 3 minutes in the morning (it’s okay if it’s not first thing) and at least 3 minutes in the evening (even if you’re already in bed) to close your eyes, be still, and breathe deeply. If you can, do some stretching along with it.

Try this: The 4-7-8 breathing exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.

  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.

  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.

  • This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Note that with this breathing technique, you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.

This breathing exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it, but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned; it will pass.

Once you develop this technique by practicing it every day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens – before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension or stress. Use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it!

2) Drink more water! If you’re not already drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces (for example: at 160lbs, drink at least 80 oz), start doing that asap. Use a bigger bottle/cup and even a straw to help you drink more. Drinking water BEFORE meals helps tame overeating & aids in digestion (as opposed to drinking water during meals).

I have personally learned so much about how to up my water game from reading the book SUPERLIFE, by Darin Olien, and here’s a link to a fabulous blog post he made about water… prepare to have your mind blown!

3) Create the opportunity for better sleep! Look, especially if you’re a parent, getting enough sleep is more difficult these days… I know it’s been my biggest area of struggle for a while. BUT, we do have more control than we realize, and it’s possible to set ourselves up for better sleep. Here are bonus tips to help you improve, not just the duration of sleep, but the quality of sleep.

4) Purge! Whether it’s expired or spoiled food, that pile of clothes you’ve been meaning to donate, or even negative relationships in your life… throw it out. Or maybe it’s knocking some of the small stuff off your to-do list. You’ll feel like a weight has been lifted and free up some mental space as well!

5) Fill your headspace with positivity! Create the habit of listening to a positive, helpful, or self-improvement audiobook, podcast, or meditation daily. I throw on my Bluetooth headphones to listen to at least one podcast episode, one audiobook chapter, or one meditation every single day. By listening to less news channels and more personal development, I’ve been able to stay in a positive headspace more easily, which trickles down to all areas on my life. The Podcast app & subscribing to podcast channels is FREE… do it!

Podcast Channel Recommendations: The Chalene Show, Rise Podcast, Mind Your Business, and Awesome With Alison

6) Eat more veggies! I know… how tired are you of hearing that advice?! BUT, most of us are nutrient-deprived, so start by adding at least ONE veggie to every meal. Certain minerals & vitamins that we get from vegetables are key to releasing toxins, weight loss, sustained energy, and mental clarity. You don’t even have to stress about cleaning up what you’re already eating at first, just add in more veggies. If you can eat more of the veggies first, you may end up eating less of the not-so-healthy stuff. This is where phasing my supplementation has come in handy as well, because I don’t eat 100% healthy!

7) Perform a Random Act of Kindness! It could be something small like holding a door open for someone to something big like leaving a sizable tip for your server at a restaurant… all acts of kindness are worthy & add up. It seems people are more aware of doing this during the holidays, but I challenge you to make it a year-long habit. 

I hope you found these tips helpful and please share with a friend!

Jessica Sanford