THE BLOG
11/12/2014 09:31 pm ET Updated Jan 12, 2015

4 Ways To Improve Your Life Today

It is easy in life to become sidetracked or distracted by things which aren't important, are out of your control, stress you out or make you unhappy. When this happens, there is the need to pause to refocus your energies and care for your own wellbeing.

Time to reflect, exercise, eat well and rest is often compromised to accommodate other things we perceive as being more important. However, reports by organizations like the National Sleep Foundation have shown that refocusing your energies on important activities like diet, exercise and sleep -- which are sometimes seen as luxuries in your busy life -- actually allows you to do more, be happier, become more successful and live longer.

Once I committed to living a more balanced life including time to think, regular exercise, eating better and getting appropriate sleep, my life flourished.

Below are four simple actions that have improved my life and will do the same for you today.

Take A Break

After you read this article, take a ten-minute break. Use the time to think, reflect, meditate, stretch, nap and clear your mind. Remember to turn your phone, smartphone and computer off.

Studies show that performance improves after a break of any duration, even 30 seconds.

Make a practice of scheduling regular breaks throughout your day. Most suggest pausing at least every 90 minutes. This time will make you more alert, focused and productive.

Taking at least a half-hour uninterrupted lunch break is also helpful to improve your performance throughout your day. For me, lunch outdoors with time to people watch or simply gaze over a beautiful view while thinking about the world re-energizes me. Personal lunches with family, friends or co-workers can also do the trick.

Meditate

You may be surprised to learn we each meditate everyday. Meditation is simply the act of deeply focusing on something.

The problem is most people meditate on the wrong things in life: worry, stress, disbelief and negativity. These themes ring over-and-over in our head as a mantra, depleting our energy, our will and our confidence.

Use one of your scheduled breaks today for positive meditation. It can be as basic as finding a quiet place to close your eyes and think of happy and positive moments in your life, or to focus on people you love. Thoughts of my 18-month and 6-year-old daughters giggling always makes me smile, feel good and improves my day.

If you need help concentrating during your meditation, try a guided meditation or relaxation recording. There are many available for free download, including instructions on how to meditate on sites like The Guided Meditation Site or by searching the web. You may also be interested in my new guided relaxation, Surrender to Your Purpose, to help you connect to your purpose in life plus build personal confidence.

A daily practice of positive meditation will clear your mind, rejuvenate you, and make you feel happier and healthier.

Exercise

Use one of your breaks today to take a walk. Getting outside is always helpful to your mental state, but walking indoors will give you the same physical benefit. If you have the time, ability and equipment, go for a run, swim or workout.

Do at least 20 minutes of physical activity everyday. Exercise has been proven to provide you more energy, reduce your stress, make you feel better about yourself and give you more confidence.

Perform An Act Of Kindness

When you do something nice for someone, your body produces oxytocin resulting in lower blood pressure. Your brain produces chemicals that increase positive thinking, making you feel good.

Take a moment to think of someone you could praise for their good work. Perhaps you can assist with someone's struggles to lighten their load. Do it now. This act of kindness will improve your day, state of mind, lower your stress and be good for your health. Something as simple as sending a nice text or email to someone to brighten his or her day makes me feel good.

Repeated acts of kindness will make you happier and improve your health. A 1979 study showed that charity workers were actually happier because of their focus on helping others. And studies show that happier people live longer.

By taking the recommended time to refocus your energies and care for your wellbeing, you will experience more happiness, health, productivity and success in your life.

For additional help and guidance, check out my new book How to Find a Job, Career and Life You Love (Second Edition) at LouisEfron.com.