Every family on the planet wants to be healthy. Everyone desires to feel full of life and energy. So why are some families healthy and other families not? One thing I have noticed is healthy families create healthy habits. A habit is not something new you decide to do and give it a try for a week. A habit is something you have adapted into your life and you now do it without effort. It has created a pattern, a rut so to speak in the neurons in your brain and it’s now part of your life, for good.

Here are 13 Practical Healthy Habits you can start doing today

1. Drink more water!

Your body is 60% water. Water flushes out toxins, lubricates joints, keeps our skin healthy and helps us loose weight. Replace your soda or juice with glasses of water and see how different you feel.  There are times when you may feel hungry but your body is actually just thirsty. Replenish it with some fresh water!

2.  Get Direct Sunlight.

Sunlight on our skin promotes vitamin D3 which is essential for hormone production and bone health. Take a few minutes a day and expose your face and arms to some sunshine. The sun is also a great mood enhancer and fights depression. Sunlight helps melatonin production for a good nights sleep.

3. Examine your stool.

Yes I actually said that. The shape and color of your stool is a great indicator of your health. Is there blood in your stool which can look like coffee grounds? Keeping an eye on this can save your life. Is your stool lumpy and dry? You might need more water and fiber in your diet. Make it a habit to check on how your digestive system is doing everyday.

4.  Eat More Vegetables.

Your mom probably told you to eat more vegetables growing up and she had good reason.  Vegetables particularly raw ones, contain enzymes, vitamins and minerals for your body. It’s essential to cellular health to get colorful vegetables into our diets. Make it a habit, maybe one veggie per meal, if that’s a stretch for you make your goal one vegetable per day. Just make it a habit!

5. Belly Laugh Everyday.

Laughter is so important to your health. It reduces stress chemicals in your body and increases “feel good hormones”. It also increases your immune system! You have to let go of negative emotions to laugh. Laughter is freedom. If you need help getting started watch a funny movie or video.

6. Stop Using Your Microwave.

Your microwave radiates your food and your kitchen. It kills any live enzymes in your food and microwaving food in plastic is dangerous, as the plastic toxins leach into your foods. The label “microwave safe” isn’t regulated so that’s not a guarantee that your food is safe. We use a counter convection oven as a replacement.

7.  Forgive People!

This sounds like a no brainer but you would be surprised how many people walk around arguing with people in their heads. Feeling negative emotions when they even think of those people. This is such a dangerous thought pattern. Bitter people seem to radiate an atmosphere of bitterness even when they are not trying to. You can forgive someone without trusting them. That’s what healthy boundaries are for. You can forgive an abuser but not let them back into your life. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you agree with their behavior, it means your not holding them captive in your heart anymore. Your free to live! Do whatever you need to do to find forgiveness today!

8. Stop Eating Sugar.

Seriously! This is probably the most helpful habit in the whole book. Studies have shown sugar is as addicting as cocaine to the brain and sugar is in EVERYTHING.  Giving up sugar is something you won’t regret and you will watch the pounds fall off. Sugar causes your body to produce fat. If you have no idea where to start I have a resource to help you. Crack Your Sugar Cravings

9. Start Reading.

Reading this book is a great start! Self education can never be underestimated. Whatever area of your life you feel is lacking, grab yourself a book and get reading. No one is going to force you to learn anymore, it’s up to you! Never Stop Learning! Knowledge is power and your not a victim. Even a chapter a day is better than nothing. Get reading and change your life!

10. Start Earthing.

Earthing is placing your feet directly on the earth, in the grass or sand. Earthing or Grounding allows the body to balance out all the positive and negative electrons. It reduces inflammation in the body, helps with sleep and benefits the immune system. If you don’t have access to the ground or sand you can purchase an earthing mat for your feet or even a blanket to sleep with, achieving the same benefits.  You can grab this one.

11. Be Thankful!

Taking a few minutes everyday to stop what your doing and think of what you are thankful for will greatly reduce stress and help your brain think positive thoughts. By telling our mind we are grateful for what we have, it creates a blessed attitude and shuts down that anxious fight or flight mode. We do Thankful Thursdays at hour house where we go around the room and say what we are thankful for. It’s a great habit for the kids to get them focused on the positive.

12. Slow Down.

We live life rushed, acting busy even if we are not busy, because it makes us feel like we are accomplishing something. If your actually extremely busy it may be time to prioritize your life and cut out a few things that are not serving you but draining your energy. Enjoying the “now” is a much healthier way to live. Plus, the only moment that is real is this one right now! Yesterday is gone and tomorrow hasn’t come yet. Slow your roll and enjoy right now.

13. Journal.

Journaling is a cheap but very valuable resource for your overall wellbeing. Journaling allows you to vent on paper, get out those negative emotions in the form of writing. You can use your journal to look back and see how you have overcome situations, which gives you more strength for your future. You don’t have to be the greatest writer to scratch down how your feeling or how your day went. You will be glad you started this habit at the end of the year when you can look back at all the good and bad memories and see how far you have come. It helps bring you perspective on your life.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life so start making the best future for yourself mentally and physically. You don’t have to do all these healthy habits at once, set small goals for yourself that are easy to achieve. Place post-it notes on your fridge, do whatever you have to do to remind yourself to live the best life.