Change Your Life in 2 Minutes

In the November 2008 issue of PINK, we list 23 ways to change your life and health in two to three minutes. Here are eight more:

1. Clear away clutter. Your office should be your sanctuary. Fewer items can mean less frustration.

2. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen when you sit in the sun for more than a few minutes. Ultraviolet radiation from sunlight is the major risk factor for most skin cancers, according to the American Cancer Society.

3. Take a multivitamin, especially when dieting. A number of medical studies have shown that stress can deplete important nutrients – particularly the B complex and C vitamins, and sometimes the minerals calcium and magnesium.

4. Stretch. Stress makes your muscles tense up and can cause headaches, a stiff neck, sore shoulders and a knotted back. Full-body stretching will help your muscles relax and help you to breathe more deeply. Hold stretches for at least 10 seconds and concentrate on elongating the muscles.

5. Be kind to someone who is cranky. Hold a door open for someone at work, give someone directions if she looks lost, make a point to compliment three people at work. Small or big, directed at friends or strangers, random acts of kindness make the person performing the kind act happier, according to Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., an experimental psychologist at UC-Riverside.

6. Darken your bedroom. “Sleep is one of the critical foundations for good health, and research shows that dark rooms enhance the quality of sleep,” Hewitt says. “Humans can sense light even through closed eyelids. Spending two minutes removing or covering unnecessary lights can enhance your sleep quality.”

7. Stand on one foot. Balance is often a forgotten component of fitness. However, it ultimately becomes the most important, because a fall later in life could easily result in a hip fracture, which starts a cascade of negative health consequences. We lose balance as we age not because of physiological changes, but rather from lack of patience.

8. Hold mindfulness beads. As you touch each bead, breathe and say a one- to three-word affirmation or prayer. This creates immediate calm.

Share this Article