These are tough times to live through, and stress, for most of us, has increased over the last 15 months. But science has found that we can boost our physical and mental health significantly without taking much time at all to do it. These five easy actions can improve your well-being in five minutes or less.
Take Your Vitamin D – Doctors say taking 2,000 IU of Vitamin D daily can support the immune system—especially important in the age of COVID—and may lower the risk of developing several types of cancer.
Pet Your Dog – A Harvard Medical School study showed dog owners had lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than non-owners—differences not explainable by diet, smoking, or body mass index. Scientists believe dogs have a calming effect that lowers blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Make a Gratitude List – Take time each day to write down five things you’re grateful for, such as your health, your job, your friends, and even your cup of morning coffee. Studies show that expressing gratitude causes the brain to produce more dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter in the brain, and this simple exercise has been found to improve mood.
Call a Friend – Feelings of loneliness and isolation can increase the risk of a heart attack, according to a study in the journal Heart. People who reported poor social relationships had a 29% higher risk of coronary disease and a 32% higher risk of stroke than people who have solid friendships. So, pick up the phone and call a friend you haven’t talked to for a while.
Stretch – Take a few moments every day to limber up. It can benefit you more than your muscles. Sports medicine doctors say stretching a few minutes a day will do wonders for your health, like better bone and joint health, improved balance, better flexibility and mobility, and lowered stress. That’s because stressed muscles are tight and tense, and simple stretching helps to relax them.
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