Five suggestions for a more balanced life

64 unread e-mails, a never-ending to-do list and rushing to your next appointment while checking the voicemail on your smartphone. For many of us, this scenario is all too common. Hustle and stress are the order of the day. Although it would certainly be cool, you don't need a three-week yoga retreat in Bali. We have put together five simple suggestions that should help balance out your life. 

1.  Good friends count Our closest friends have an impact on our personal happiness - and on our health. This isn't just sentimental fluff, but a scientifically proven fact. Two long-term studies from Harvard University show that it's not the number of friends that counts, but the quality of relationships. Study participants who reported feelings of loneliness were in poorer health than those who felt their relationships were strong. So keep in touch with your close friends. Schedule fixed dates with them and keep your evenings free for a spontaneous get-together.

2. Step by step Exercise helps your body break down the stress hormone cortisol and render it harmless. You do not have to invest hours in strenuous fitness sessions. Walking, swimming or cycling is all it takes. Every activity counts. Use your lunch break for a walk around the block, go shopping on foot, plan a bike ride with friends on the weekend or check out the new swimming pool.

3. Tasty snacks can lift your mood If you are constantly eating sweets to fight stress, your blood sugar is on a roller coaster ride. Instead, see if you can find something tasty that also offers valuable nutrients. How about a slice of fresh melon or mango? Take some time out to enjoy a tasty snack with all of your senses.

4. The power of nature Spend regular time outdoors - whether in the woods, near the lake or up into the mountains: In nature, the parasympathetic nerve system is automatically activated. The pulse slows down and the senses relax; ideal conditions for a recharge. Find spots in your neighborhood where you can delight in the beauty of nature. Perhaps you have discovered that a walk down by the lake or through the meadow relaxes you. Integrate these little outings into your daily routine.

5. See who laughs last……laughs best. Laughter is the best medicine because it relaxes your muscles, releases endorphins and loosens you up in general. You can always find something to smile about. Be delighted by the elderly couple holding hands, the children's runny noses or just be happy you did not miss the train today! Learn to not take yourself too seriously – it is simply much healthier. Keep smiling!

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