Here are three daily habits that you can incorporate into your routine, starting today:
1. Sleep to reduce stress.
Ever wonder what happens to all of the stress we accumulate during the day? That car that almost hit you? Your child screaming at you? Even the unconscious stress of self-judgment? Where does it go?
Your beautiful brain collects it and saves it for when you dream to process away. Let me repeat: When you sleep, you process stress and trauma. So, one of the simplest and most effective things you can do is to get your full seven to nine hours of shut-eye each and every day.
2. Rise with the sun.
Your brain uses a cluster of nerve cells called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, located in your hypothalamus to regulate something called “circadian rhythm.” Circadian rhythm is the “master clock” in your brain that syncs all your body’s clocks. Abnormal circadian rhythm is associated with obesity, diabetes, depression, sleep disorders, hormone dysregulation, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder.
In other words, wake up when the sun does—no more sleeping in! If you are a parent, this habit will come naturally as most kids naturally wake with the sun and are happy to be your alarm clock.
3. Make yourself uncomfortable.
Your brain needs novelty to grow. How do you know when you’re doing something that’s “new enough”? When it feels uncomfortable, awkward, weird, strange or it scares you. By doing things daily that are out of your comfort zone, you allow your brain to develop new branches on its neuron tree (also called dendritic pathways) instead of shriveling up into a sad dried out tree stump.