10 easy ways to be healthier and happier

Man sitting on chair in living room drinking a glass or orange juice
Little changes: 150ml of Tropicana Orange Juice provides 60 per cent of the daily recommended vitamin C intake Credit: Getty

If you want to improve your health, you do not need to make huge lifestyle changes. Little habits incorporated into your daily routine can reduce stress and boost mental and physical well-being

1. Eat mindfully

It is too easy to wolf down food and not pay attention. Eating mindfully means focusing on your meal: its look, smell, taste and even sound. Remove distractions and you concentrate more on your hunger, so stop over or under-eating or snacking mindlessly. Studies1 have shown mindful eaters enjoy food more, feel less stressed and binge-eat less.

2. Walk like a boss

A Florida Atlantic University study2 reported that walkers who took long strides with arms swinging and heads held high felt happier after a three-minute stroll than people who shuffled along with slumped shoulders and heads down.

3. Have a bath

A study of 80 people by a University of Wolverhampton psychologist3 found those who had a bath a day for a fortnight felt more positive about their future and less stressed. Baths can improve circulation, relax muscles and ease aches and pains.

4. Follow the 20-20-20 rule

Designed to reduce digital eye strain, the rule4 decrees you should take your eyes off your computer every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away at least once an hour and close your eyes for 20 seconds every 15 minutes.

5. Soothe your aches with music

Music affects you physically and mentally. Research at the General Hospital of Salzburg5 in Austria claimed listening to gentle music for 25 minutes daily for at least 10 days can help calm the autonomic nervous system, which controls blood pressure, and reduce neck, shoulder andback muscle tension.

6. Blow up a balloon

When stressed we take short, sharp breaths. Blowing up a balloon forces slower and deeper breathing. It also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing heart rate and relaxing muscles6.

7. Read ‘real’ books at bedtime

Staring at a screen exposes you to blue light, which suppresses melatonin, the sleep hormone. A study7 found iPad readers took longer to fall asleep, felt less sleepy and had shorter periods of restorative REM sleep compared with paperback readers. They were more tired the next day.

8. Serve food on smaller plates

Reducing plate size to 10in from 12in can cut calorie intake by 22 per cent8. Big plates make portions look smaller so people tend to over-serve and over-eat.

9. Exercise with a friend

Partnering with a pal to exercise makes you feel more motivated and can help weight loss. Studies show you are less inclined to skip classes if you will be letting someone else down and you will work out harder9.

10. A daily glass of Tropicana

One little 150ml glass of Tropicana Orange Juice provides 60 per cent of the daily recommended vitamin C intake, as well as vitamin B9, potassium and the juice of 1½ oranges, meeting one of your five-a-day requirements.

Challenge Arabella

Arabella Weir is taking on a series of challenges to start the day in the right way. Visit tgr.ph/littleglass to read her weekly blogs and read her latest post here: 

Can eating seeds help you feel fuller for longer? »


1. Mindfulness-Based Eating Awareness Training (MB-EAT) for Binge Eating: A Randomized Clinical Trial by Jean Kristeller, Ruth Q Wolever and Virgil Sheets.

2. Research by psychologist Sara Snodgrass.

3. Psychologist Neil Morris, 2002.

4. The Vision Council 2015 Digital Eye Strain Report.

5. Published in Vienna Medical Weekly Journal.

6. US News - Health.

7. Researchby Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

8. Study by Dr Brian Wansink and Dr Koert van Ittersum: The Perils of Large Plates: Waist, Waste and Wallet.

9. Professor Shiriki Kumanyika and colleagues at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Archives of Internal Medicine Journal.