21 ways to be happier, healthier

Be social – Studies show that people who have strong network of friends tend to be happier and healthier.

Read – Books open up new worlds, and if nothing else, sitting with a good book temporarily slows down our non-stop pace.

Eat healthier – Food is our body’s fuel, and the better the octane, so to speak, the better we feel. Of course, that’s easier said than done.

Stretch – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told an ache or pain was the result of not stretching regularly.

Do a good deed – Helping others is good for the spirit.

Watch a funny movie – what better way to spend a couple of hours?

Talk – With countless demands at work and home, when was the last time you sat down with a love one?

Save for a rainy day – Experts say we should tuck away enough funds to cover 3 – 6 months of living expenses in case of job loss or inability to work.

Find a long-lost friend – There’s nothing like reconnecting with an old pal.

Listen to music –Music can relax, rejuvenate, renew — pick your favorite, whether it’s Springsteen or Maria Callas.

Take it outside – Go for a walk, do some landscaping, or just sit on the deck. Fresh air beats indoor any day.

Limit television time – TV informs, entertains, and educates us, but it also takes away time that often can be better spent.

Keep the glass half-full – Negativity is an easy trap to fall into, but making an effort to be positive pays off.

Be thankful – For the most part, our lives are pretty good, especially when compared to previous generations, many who walked miles to and work each day, just to put food on the table.

Plan to retire – The sooner you begin to save for retirement, the more time your money has to grow.

Choose your friends wisely – Hang out with people of integrity and character. It makes you a better person.

Think long-term – Trying to get back  into shape? Make exercise a part of your life, not a means to a goal. Too often, people who set —and reach — aggressive goals can’t maintain their intense exercise schedule and slide back.

Remember to have fun – There’s an old saying that reminds us not to be so busy making a living that we forget to make a life.

Cut people slack – My mother always said if a person acts badly, there’s generally a reason why.

Take risks – If you don’t try, you’ll never know how great you can be.

Count sheep – Lack of sleep has been linked to ailments ranging from memory loss to weight gain.

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