Are you looking for simple yet effective ways to improve your health that go beyond just what you eat?
Sometimes, the smallest changes can make the biggest difference. In this post, we’ll explore five micro habits that have the power to transform your overall well-being, and they have nothing to do with food.
What is a micro habit? A micro habit refers to a small, specific behavior or action that you incorporate into your daily routine. These habits are often simple and easy to do, but they can have a significant impact on your overall well-being over time.
Micro habits are focused on making incremental changes and are designed to be sustainable and achievable. By consistently practicing micro habits, you can create positive changes in various areas of your life, such as health, productivity, or personal development.
Let’s dive in!
1. Practice Nasal Breathing Over Mouth Breathing
Breathing is something we do naturally without much thought. However, making a conscious effort to practice nasal breathing instead of mouth breathing can have numerous benefits for your health.
Breathing through your mouth for long periods of time can activate your sympathetic nervous system, or a “fight or flight” state. Breathing through your nose instead of your mouth stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system, or “rest and digest” state. Parasympathetic activity is crucial for recovery.
Nasal breathing also helps filter and warm the air before it reaches your lungs, reducing the risk of respiratory issues. It also promotes better oxygen absorption and can even help you relax and reduce stress levels.
2. Drink Water First Thing in the Morning
We all know that staying hydrated is important, but did you know that starting your day with a glass of water can kickstart your health journey?
Your body loses water as you sleep through breathing and you often wake up slightly dehydrated.
Dehydration can lead to low energy and decreased mental clarity, so it’s important to hydrate first thing in the morning. Drink a full glass of filtered water as soon as you wake up to start your day hydrated.
Drinking water first thing in the morning helps rehydrate your body after a night of sleep and supports optimal digestion throughout the day. It’s a simple habit that sets a positive tone for your overall well-being.
3. (Safely) View Morning and Afternoon Sunlight
To set (or reset) your circadian rhythm for optimal sleep, view sunlight by going outside for 10 minutes (20 minutes on a cloudy day) within 30-60 minutes of waking. Do that again in the late afternoon, prior to sunset.
Do not look directly at the sun, simply go outside without sunglasses to allow the natural light into your eyes. This “wakes up” your circadian clock. It’s OK to wear regular glasses or contact lenses. (Source: hubermanlab.com)
Sunlight is not only a mood booster but also an essential source of vitamin D. Spending some time outdoors in the morning or afternoon sunlight can provide you with the necessary dose of this vital nutrient while improving your mood and overall mental well-being. Remember to protect your skin by wearing sunscreen and sunglasses when necessary.
4. Turn Your Phone to Greyscale Mode
In today’s digital age, it’s no secret that we spend a significant amount of time staring at screens, especially our smartphones.
Greyscale mode simply removes all colors from your smartphone screen, making everything appear grey, which makes it much less appealing to scroll through. If you struggle with too much screen time, turn your phone to greyscale mode to deter over-use. Every phone is different; you can Google how to do it for your phone. On my iPhone, it’s under Setttings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size > Color Filters (Toggle on) > Greyscale.
One habit that can positively impact both our mental and physical health is turning our phones to greyscale mode. This grayscale display reduces visual stimulation, making it easier to disconnect from technology and unwind. It can also help reduce eye strain and improve sleep quality.
5. Touch the Earth with Your Bare Feet as Often as You Can
Regular contact with bare earth is a basic health practice that’s been lost over the last hundred years.
“Grounding,” also known as “earthing,” allows your body to exchange electrons with the earth’s surface, which can result in rapid positive physiological changes. Practice this by walking barefoot in the grass or on the beach. Gardening (safely) in the ground without gloves also has the same effect. Inexpensive grounding mats are also a healthy alternative.
Connecting with nature is not only soothing for the soul but also beneficial for our health. Taking off your shoes and walking barefoot on natural surfaces like grass, sand, or soil allows you to ground yourself, literally. “Earthing” or “grounding” has been linked to reduced inflammation, improved sleep, and increased overall well-being.
By incorporating these five micro habits into your daily routine, you can take significant steps toward transforming your health beyond just what you eat. Remember, it’s the small changes that add up over time and lead to lasting results. So why not start today? Your body will thank you!
Now it’s your turn: which of these micro habits are you excited to try first? Would you add anything to this list? Let us know in the comments below!
Also, a note for our grammar nerds: Both “micro habit” and “microhabit” can be used interchangeably, and both are commonly used in the English language. It’s important to note that there isn’t a strict rule for this, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference or style guidelines. So, whether you choose to use “micro habit” or “microhabit,” both forms are acceptable.