Every journey begins with a single step, said Maya Angelou, echoing Lao Tzu’s words of wisdom. Who could better understand the power of small changes than the founder of Taoism? The main principles behind this philosophical tradition can be boiled down to simplicity, naturalness, and spontaneity. In the same vein, the most effective way of improving the quality of your life and achieving big goals is by taking baby steps. People tend to underestimate various simple activities that could actually make a big difference. No matter how busy or tired you are, you can always find 5 minutes to do something good for yourself.
Do the Dishes
A kitchen sink full of dirty dishes is wrong on many levels. All that greasy mess is not pleasant to look at, while it’s also a breeding ground for cockroaches and other bugs. Doing the dishes right after you eat will keep your kitchen clean and pest-free, and it will help you overcome procrastination which is one of the most frequent obstacles that stands in the way of your personal growth and development.
Even a quick yoga workout in the morning will improve your circulation, wake you up, and relax your muscles. This is especially beneficial for people who have sedentary jobs. Yoga stretches can do wonders for stiffness, as well as for back and neck pain. Kick-start your day the right way and set an energetic tone. If you need help determining the best exercises for you, professional advice is hard to beat. Yogis from Santosha Yoga Institute can be really helpful when it comes to figuring out your workout plan since they provide online lessons, meaning you can have a professional course in the comfort of your home.
Drink Lemon Water
All you need is a glass of warm water and the juice of half a lemon. Drink this refreshing potion in the morning and watch it work its magic. Apart from boosting your energy levels and lifting your spirits, lemon water will also detox your liver, flush your kidneys and hydrate your body. In other words, it will balance your metabolism, which is why it’s great for weight loss. A research has shown that replacing caloric beverages with lemon water can result in a loss of 2.5% of body weight.
Start Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is an ancient practice that stimulates the lymphatic system, unclogs the pores, and helps the body eliminate toxins by stimulating the kidneys and the liver. This procedure will definitely refresh and rejuvenate your skin and make it glow. Women can greatly benefit from dry brushing, as it’s one of the inevitable methods for reducing cellulite. As its name says, dry brushing is performed on dry skin, and the movements should be directed towards the heart. After you’ve finished, take a shower.
Look After Your Plants
You don’t have any? Do something about that and get at least one. You don’t need to have a green thumb or be an expert in gardening. Growing herbs isn’t that complicated and you’ll always have fresh dill, coriander, basil or mint for cooking. Looking after plants can also have therapeutic effects, as it’s a calming and relaxing activity.
Appreciate the Little Things
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t dream big, but you need to establish the right perspective on things. It’s essential to enjoy the little things, as they’re the ones that make your life beautiful and worth living. Setting a low bar for happiness is the first step towards a good and fulfilled day. Have a cup of coffee with a close friend, go for a walk, watch a movie, or listen to your favorite music. And don’t forget to be happy about the things you have, instead of setting unrealistic expectations.
Being creative doesn’t necessarily refer to artistic activities. You can also express your creativity in the kitchen and experiment with various recipes for sweet treats. Why settle for commercial baked goods (which are, by the way, associated with a higher risk of depression) when you can make your own, healthy cookies? Commercial household cleaners are toxic and can be especially dangerous if you have kids or pets, so rolling up your sleeves and making your own, efficient and yet non-toxic solution is both useful and in a way creative.
Whenever you feel that annoying urge to judge or criticize somebody, try putting yourself in their shoes and show some understanding. Instead of judging, it’s better to try and find something positive about the people you meet. Giving a sincere compliment will definitely make both you and the other person feel good. In the same manner, hug the people you love every day, because physical intimacy reduces stress and increases feelings of warmth and emotional security.
According to Kaizen, a Japanese business philosophy, big goals can be achieved by systematically introducing a series of small changes. It takes only 5 minutes a day to improve your life and there’s no excuse for not at least trying to do it.
This week I welcomed Nicole to our Live Naturally blog to share her tips on 5 minute activities that can make your life better. Nicole is a lifestyle blogger passionate about yoga, fitness and healthy living. She enjoys sharing her experiences and ideas on how to lead a happy and healthy life. If you want to read more from Nicole you can find her on Twitter and FB.