Seven New Year’s resolutions that we never make and which are also good for our health
December 18, 2020
Losing weight, quitting smoking, eating healthy, drinking less alcohol and keeping fit are some of the healthiest resolutions that we make every New Year and which aim to radically change our everyday habits. In most cases they are a set of overly ambitious goals that are never met. According to various studies, less than 10 per cent of people achieve these goals set. However, there are many other simple resolutions that we never make and which would also benefit our own health greatly if we did. Health insurer Cigna explains what they are:
- Laugh even when things couldn’t get worse. Laughing improves your mind and helps to prevent heart disease by acting as a vasodilator for the cardiovascular system. And on top of that, as it releases serotonin and endorphins, it decreases stress, is a natural form of pain relief, reduces the feeling of nervousness and, ultimately, improves our quality of life.
- Socialise more. According to Brigham Young University in the United States, having no interpersonal relationships is equivalent to smoking more than 15 cigarettes a day or drinking six glasses of alcohol a day. This study also reveals that social relationships have a greater impact on premature mortality than exposure to environmental pollution or obesity. Further research also shows that sick people who interact regularly with their friends have shorter recovery times. So interacting continuously with our inner social circle is good for our psychological and physical health.
- Listen to more music. Music therapy falls under the category of recovery medicine, acting as a remedy for or means of controlling stress, socialisation problems and physical, mental and emotional disorders. There is in fact therapeutic music for insomnia, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, headaches and stomach illnesses. And if combined with singing and dancing, it would also bring both emotional and physical benefits, as working your muscles relieves stress and releases endorphins.
- Let go of perfectionism. Cortisol, a stress hormone, is directly linked to pushing yourself too hard. This causes frustration and, in the long run, affects your mood, which can lead to depression. To overcome this temptation, you should always have a positive attitude when you make a mistake and remember that there is always something to learn from them. Working hard, without putting pressure on yourself, always pays off.
- Plan ahead more. If you don’t plan ahead, you will not achieve your goal. So, the first thing to do at the end of each day is to write down all your tasks for the next day –both work-related tasks and those to be carried out in your spare time and family time– from the most important to the least important, and how long you think it will take to do each one of them. Cross them out as you do them. What you achieve in just one day will reduce stress and increase your quality of sleep.
- Show more feelings. This is called "emotional ventilation" and involves reducing tightness in the chest as much as possible caused by not expressing your opinions or feelings. Experts say that "hiding things" decreases our health. The solution is not saying what you think all the time, but finding someone you can trust, who you can pour your heart out to and get rid of all the negative (or positive) feelings.
- Get up from your office chair every half an hour. According to research by Columbia University, there are two cumulative effects that lead to a deterioration in health. They are the amount of time we spend sitting every day and no physical activity. According to the study by this university, a person's metabolism changes when they sit for more than half an hour, so it is best to get up every half hour to reduce the negative impact of a sedentary lifestyle on our health.