Are you wondering how to live a fuller, happier, healthier life? Although it might seem impossible to completely transform your life, learning how to make healthier lifestyle choices can make you look and feel brand new again. Here are four habits for long lasting health, so that you can get more out of your day-to-day routine.
1. Try New Things
The longer you live, the more life experience you have, which causes some people to have pretty strong opinions about what they like and don’t like–even before they try it. This “black or white” mentality regarding new adventures, foods, and even friends can cause people to get stuck in a mental rut, never trying new things.
However, research has shown that people who consciously try new things are more likely to accept new challenges, find new hobbies, and gain self-confidence. When people try new things, they have to accept the possibility that they might fail, which makes them think harder and approach challenges with a different mindset. This act helps people to stay mentally sharp and emotionally stable.
Openness to new experiences can also help you to function better in social situations, since you might have the opportunity to meet new friends and learn new skills with others around you. Over time, being willing to continue to grow and learn can help you to develop a strong self-esteem, as you gather skills and learn how to overcome new issues.
2. Spend Time With Your Friends
How long has it been since you hit the town with your friends? Sometimes as people get married and have families, they tend to focus on things like housework and raising kids and forget all about socializing with peers. However, spending time with friends is incredibly powerful.
One 2010 study that examined over 300,000 participants found that the effects of close social interaction and friendships with others were as effective at extending your lifespan as other life-changing actions such as quitting smoking. Surprisingly, the research showed that having friends was twice as effective at extending lifespans as exercising, because friends tend to discourage friends from self-destructive behaviors, such as participating in dangerous activities or using illegal drugs.
If it’s been a while since you hung out with your friends, or you find that you need to make some new friends, start small. Focus on quality over quantity, and try to establish close, meaningful relationships. To improve your chances of making and keeping friends, learn to accept yourself and others. Be positive, be willing to listen, and respect other people’s boundaries. Learning to make friends and to keep them can take a lot of practice, but your efforts are well worth the time and energy you will spend.
3. Meet With Your Periodontist
Everyone knows that you should dedicate a part of your day to exercise, but few people realize how much impact other factors such as tooth decay can have on your overall health. Gum disease starts when plaque and tartar accumulates on the teeth, harboring bacteria that inflames and damages the gums. Over time, this inflammation becomes so severe that the gum tissue starts to pull away from the gums, paving the way for bacteria and infection to infiltrate the jaw and enter the bloodstream.
If periodontitis is left unchecked, infections can worsen and cause life-threatening problems such as organ failure. As bacteria enters the bloodstream through the mouth, it can also cause inflammation throughout the entire body, which is one of the reasons periodontal disease has been tied to other systemic problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory failure. Periodontal disease has even been found to increase your chances of certain cancers, including kidney, pancreatic, and blood cancers like leukemia.
To ward off these serious systemic problems, the American Academy of Periodontology recommends meeting with your periodontist at least once annually to have a comprehensive periodontal exam, or CPE. Periodontists receive an extra three years of specialized training regarding the anatomy of the mouth, facial nerves, gum tissue, and teeth, as well as learning specialized treatments for gum disease and the placement of dental implants. During a CPE, periodontists will carefully evaluate your bite, your teeth, the condition of your gums, and your medical history. Using the information they collect during your exam, they will talk with you about your risks for periodontal disease or create a treatment plan to address your current condition.
A trained periodontist, such as Sergio A. Guzman DMD MSD of Dental Partners of Boston, will help you to approach your oral health proactively so that you can keep your entire body healthy and happy.
4. Take Time To Relax
Stress can be hard on your body, causing problems such as a decreased immune response, higher blood pressure, muscle tension, low fertility, skin issues, and even an abnormal heartbeat. To ward off stress and to improve your lifelong health, take the time to relax.
Set aside a period of time every single day to dedicate to rest, meditation, or prayer. Relax with your friends, enjoy some time outside, or hit that yoga class. Taking a time out can help you to regain control of your body.
For more information about ways to improve your health, make an appointment with your family doctor and Boston dentists. By taking the time to have your overall health, gums, and teeth carefully examined, you might be able to uncover hidden dangers that could disrupt your health. Dental practices, such as the Dental Partners of Boston, have a wide range of appointment times to cater to even the busiest patients.