13 everyday habits that can make you live longer, according to psychologists

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So, you want to live longer? Well, that’s a great goal to have in life. After all, we only have this one life, and we might as well live it to the fullest. 

Luckily, there are many behaviors and habits that can add years to your life expectancy. And the good news is that you can easily implement many, if not all, of these things. 

So, let’s jump in and discover what everyday habits can make you live longer, according to researchers and psychologists.

1) Laughing often

Even on tough days, finding something to laugh about can instantly improve my mood and make challenges feel more manageable.

And psychologists and neuroscientists have extensively studied the effects of laughter on health and well-being. 

They’ve found that laughter triggers the release of endorphins, which are natural mood enhancers. 

It also reduces levels of stress hormones like cortisol, leading to decreased stress and improved overall health. 

This, in turn, can make you live longer, especially if you already don’t smoke and drink, have good sleeping habits, and have a healthy diet.

2) Doing puzzles or brain teasers

I’ve started doing crossword puzzles and Sudoku as a way to keep my mind sharp, and it’s become a fun daily challenge. 

It’s giving my brain a workout and knowing that I’m investing in my long-term cognitive health.

Cognitive stimulation through activities like puzzles and brain teasers has indeed been linked to a lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults. 

Psychologists emphasize the importance of lifelong learning and mental engagement in maintaining cognitive function and overall brain health throughout life.

3) Maintaining strong social connections

Connecting with friends and loved ones – whether it’s grabbing coffee or simply sending a text – has become a priority for me. 

It’s amazing how much better I feel after spending time with the people who lift me up and make me laugh.

You see, social support is a well-established predictor of health and longevity. Psychologists have found that strong social connections provide emotional support and encourage healthy behaviors, among other benefits. 

And studies have shown that people with robust social networks often live longer and experience better health effects.

4) Meditating daily

Taking a few minutes each day to meditate has become my go-to weapon for managing stress and finding inner peace. 

I’m hitting the pause button on the chaos of life and giving myself the space to breathe and be present in the moment.

Mindfulness meditation has been broadly studied for its benefits on mental health, stress reduction, and overall well-being. 

Psychologists have found that regular meditation practice can lead to shifts in brain structure and function, resulting in improved attention, emotional regulation, and resilience to stress, all of which contribute to longevity.

And here’s something that many of you will love to hear. 

5) Napping regularly

 As someone who’s always been a bit skeptical of naps, I was surprised by how much better I felt after incorporating short naps into my routine. 

I see them as giving my brain a mini vacation and coming back feeling refreshed and keen to tackle the rest of the day.

While some cultures embrace the practice of napping (siesta), scientific research supports the benefits of short naps for cognitive function, mood enhancement, and cardiovascular health. 

Brief naps can improve alertness, memory, and performance, potentially leading to better overall health and longevity.

6) Taking cold showers

Okay, I’ll admit it – the thought of a cold shower initially made me cringe. But after trying it a few times, I actually started to enjoy the refreshing feeling. 

When I take a cold shower in the morning, I’m feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes my way.

While the evidence for cold showers specifically is still emerging, researchers have studied the health benefits of cold exposure in various forms, such as cold-water immersion and cryotherapy. 

Studies suggest that cold exposure can improve circulation, boost the immune system, and increase metabolic rate, potentially contributing to longevity.

7) Sipping green tea

I’ve swapped my afternoon coffee for a cup of green tea, and I’ve noticed a difference in my energy levels and overall well-being. 

Plus, there’s something soothing about the ritual of brewing a cup and taking a moment to relax and recharge.

Numerous studies have examined the health benefits of green tea, attributing its effects to its high content of polyphenols, particularly catechins. 

These antioxidants have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and cardioprotective properties, leading to improved health outcomes and potentially longer life expectancy.

8) Practicing gratitude

Taking a few minutes each day to reflect on what I’m grateful for has become a grounding practice for me. 

It helps me shift my perspective and focus on the positive aspects of my life, even during challenging times.

Positive psychology research has demonstrated the significant impact of gratitude practices on mental and physical health

Studies have discovered that regularly voicing gratitude can lead to improved mood, enhanced relationships, better sleep, and reduced levels of stress and depression, all of which are important to overall well-being and longevity.

9) Volunteering

Giving back to my community through volunteering has been incredibly rewarding. Not only does it feel good to make a difference, but it’s also a reminder of how interconnected we all are and the power we have to support one another.

Research on the health benefits of volunteering has shown that giving back to others can lead to improved well-being and longevity. 

Psychologists suggest that volunteering promotes a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and connection to others, which in turn brings about better mental and physical health outcomes.

10) Walking barefoot

There’s something grounding about feeling the earth beneath my feet – whether it’s walking on grass or sand. 

It’s become a simple yet meaningful way for me to connect with nature and take a moment to slow down and appreciate the world around me.

While the scientific evidence for grounding or earthing is still emerging, some studies suggest potential benefits such as reduced inflammation, improved sleep, and enhanced mood. 

Psychologists emphasize the importance of spending time in nature and connecting with the earth as part of overall well-being. So, let’s talk about that for a minute. 

11) Spending time in nature

Whether it’s going for a hike or simply sitting in the park, spending time outdoors has become essential for my mental and emotional well-being. 

The therapeutic benefits of nature exposure have been well-documented in psychology and environmental science.

Research suggests that spending time in nature can reduce stress, improve mood, enhance creativity, and promote physical activity, all of which are key to better overall health and longevity.

And then we have this left-field habit. 

12) Eating fermented foods

I’ve started incorporating more fermented foods like yogurt and kimchi into my diet, and I’ve noticed improvements in my digestion and overall well-being. 

I see it as giving my gut a little extra love and knowing that I’m supporting my body from the inside out.

The gut-brain connection is an area of growing research interest in psychology and neuroscience. 

Fermented foods rich in probiotics have been shown to promote gut health, which in turn may influence mood, cognition, and overall health. 

And, of course, psychologists emphasize the importance of a healthy gut microbiome for mental and physical well-being.

13) Drinking plenty of water

I’ve made a conscious effort to stay hydrated throughout the day, and I’ve noticed improvements in my energy levels and overall health. 

It’s giving my body the fuel it needs to function at its best and knowing that I’m taking care of myself from the inside out.

You see, hydration is essential for optimal physiological function, and psychologists highlight the importance of staying adequately hydrated for overall health and well-being. 

Studies have shown that good hydration can improve cognitive function, mood, physical performance, and kidney function, ultimately contributing to longevity.

Final thoughts

When I look at all these habits together, it’s clear to me that they’re not just individual actions; they’re pieces of a puzzle that fit together to create a healthier and more fulfilling life.

What’s remarkable is that many of these habits are simple and accessible to everyone, regardless of age, background, or circumstances. 

Whether it’s taking a moment to appreciate the little things or making small changes to our daily routines, we all have the power to incorporate these habits into our lives and reap the benefits.

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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