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Nathanael Garrett Novosel, April 8 2020

6 Simple Habits for Greater Meaning

Being stuck inside during the coronavirus is tough.  Worse, it can lead to slacking off on the daily life maintenance that maintains your health and well-being.  One of the difficult parts of life is that improvement and deterioration are incremental, so you don't always notice them.  For example, you don't always stop exercising, eat only fast food, reduce your sleep hours, and don't leave the house all at once.  Instead, you usually miss one good night's sleep, which leads you to have an unhealthy meal, which leads you to feeling like you are not up for exercise, which leads you to staying at home and watching too much TV.  The deterioration builds one bad decision at a time, and then the negative emotions like anxiety and depression build to the point where you wonder how things got so bad without anything major going wrong.

If you want to maintain your health and well-being or turn around a downward spiral, the cheapest, fastest, and easiest (i.e., as in "just need to do it") ways to stop is a combination of exercise, fresh air and sunlight, meditation, sleep, and slightly healthier eating.  It sounds like boring advice and more time-consuming than taking a pill, but understanding why this combination works will hopefully help you see how it's the path of least resistance and motivate you to adopt the above practices.

Assuming that it’s not a brain wiring/chemistry issue (note: if you think it might be, please see a healthcare professional), why do people start to feel negative emotions such as depression and anxiety in life on a regular basis for seemingly unknown reasons?  Well, body and brain health are intertwined, so not conducting regular maintenance for both will lead to people feeling worse on a day-to-day basis without any clear, acute causes.  Worse, you might exaggerate any small issue and make it seem much worse than it is.  Negative emotions from physical and mental ailments bring down your entire worldview, affecting your desire, beliefs, experiences, and—as a result—your sense of meaning in life.

Let's go through each life maintenance habits that will help you maintain health, which will allow you to live with a greater sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.  Each habit has a scientific explanation as to how it affects your well-being and what happens when you don't perform these activities:

So, each one of these actions/activities contribute to your well-being, and not doing them could be contributing to your negative attitude or other issues.  Best of all, they are all either free or, in the case of healthier food, have no-to-minimal additional cost to what you were already spending (note: the idea that eating healthy food has to be more expensive is a myth; frozen veggies and bananas are as cheap as frozen french fries and hot dogs).

Now, I know that these can seem more difficult to do than taking a pill or some other "quick fix" solution, but it’s actually much, much easier if you can overcome the change-resistance to get the habits started.  It costs less, you don’t have to drive anywhere to do/get them (unless you go to a gym), and you will feel better without adding more than an hour or two of extra stuff to do per week while saving hours and hours of misery in bed obsessing over or dreading the day’s events.

Change these six things about your life, and they will change you.  You will be a completely different person.  A better person.  A healthier person.  A less negative person.  The healthier experiences, emotions, beliefs, and desires will lead to a greater sense of meaning and fulfillment in your life.

Written by

Nathanael Garrett Novosel

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