Science-based, actionable resolutions for 2022
Ignore the cliched New Year’s Resolutions such as weight loss and “be nicer.” If you’re looking to lose a few pounds, go for it, however here are ten actionable New Year’s resolutions that focus on creating a happier and more fulfilling life, along with the science behind each one.
Writing Letters to Your Loved Ones
In today’s fast-paced world of instant messaging, emails, and phone calls, good old-fashioned snail mail has lost its charm. Time and effort are often the best ways to show someone you care about them. Not only does handwriting a letter instead of sending a quick text show both, but it can also make you smarter.
Dr. William Klemm states, “studies reveal that multiple areas of the brain become co-activated during the learning of cursive writing of pseudo-letters, as opposed to typing or just visual practice.”
Cursive writing stimulates more areas of the brain, in addition to showing that you care for someone enough to take the time to write them. Write a letter to someone you care about, whether it is a family member or a friend. Work on your penmanship. Tell them something you learned or a happy memory. Include a photo or a recipe for that bread you perfected in 2020. Your loved ones will appreciate the effort and your brain will benefit from the exercise as well.
Spend 5 minutes a day expressing gratitude
A study published in Psychotherapy Research found that people who engaged in a gratitude writing exercise experienced significantly better mental health than those who did not.
Rather than focusing on the news or the state of the world in 2022, let’s focus on gratitude. Sit down and grab a blank notebook or journal. Use a timer if you like and start writing.
Here are a few prompts to get you started:
- What’s something I’m proud of today?
- Is there anything I am thankful for?
- Is there anything I enjoyed about today?
They don’t need to be large things. Taking pride in your accomplishments does not require climbing Mount Everest. Perhaps you did the dishes. Maybe you enjoyed a hot shower before going to work. Maybe you are thankful for your health, your family, and the sunshine. Anything goes. Though it may seem simple, five minutes of gratitude can change your perspective.
Invest in a New Plant and Watch It Grow
We spend the majority of our days inside, whether at home or at work. Nature, on the other hand, has restorative properties.
“Nature rests the part of the brain that is used in effortful concentration,” explains behavioral scientist Ming Kuo. “If you spend time doing something mentally relaxing, you feel rejuvenated.” Furthermore, some plants can help filter the air by removing harmful toxins.
The top air-purifying plants include:
- Spider plants
- Bamboo Palms
- Chinese Evergreen
So adopt a houseplant and enjoy the pleasure of having a bit of nature at your fingertips.
The turn of the year is often seen as a time where people have to implement big changes, making New Year’s resolutions stressful. We’ve already had enough stress in 2021.
The following three resolutions are easy, inexpensive, and conducive to happiness:
- Handwrite letters to loved ones.
- Write in a gratitude journal.
- Adopt a house plant.
Which will you choose?