Habits/routines you attribute to your overall health

I know on the forum we talk a lot about supplements, compounds, science, etc.
But I am curious, what habits/routines do you do that you feel attributes to your “healthy” lifestyle. Now by health , I am not just talking about biomarkers or metrics. I am talking about your physical, mental, spiritual, emotional health. It can even be things you do for your relationships or finances. I do not want people to talk about the supplements they take or the types of exercises they do(as we have enough of it on the forum), instead I am looking for your own subjective beliefs in what habits or routines you have, that you feel have contributed to your overall wellbeing.

For me personally( granted I am only 25 years old, so I have not lived as long as many here):

  1. I have always been big on my sleep and ensuring I get the appropriate amount of sleep needed each night for many years now. I find that this has helped me really be able to learn well and also just be in a good mood for my friends and family. I love sleep so much that I study it ( I am getting my PhD in biomedical sciences, with my focus being on circadian rhythms. I personally am working on a project involving how neuropsychiatric disorders are regulated by sleep. I potentially have found a link between an enzyme called Acetyl CoA Synthetase 2(ACSS2) and resilience to social stress. I plan to investigate its role in sleep and its role it plays with DeltaFosB regulation).
  2. I meditate daily, and have found this to be immense in my own emotional well being. I have used Sam Harris’s waking up app since it first came out and have found this to be one of the practices I will take with me throughout my life.
  3. I am always outside , everyday. I have a dog( 6 year old, 140 lb Leonberger) who every morning I take on a 2 -3 mile walk in the mountains. I joke that light doesn’t entrain my sleep/wake cycle, but instead its my dog and cats(because they wake me up when they are hungry). Due to this, I found I never need an alarm clock and get up everyday at the same time (5:30-6am). I also am very big on hiking and camping and just being in nature. One of the best practices I adopted was going on a 1-2 mile walk every day(if possible) with my wife, and we use that time as quality time for each other. We have no distractions and just walk and talk about stuff.
  4. I am a big reader! I read so much, I love it. I have learned so much out there through reading. I read everyday (books, fantasy novels, literature, scientific articles, etc). I also am very big on chess, its my way to relax funny enough.
  5. Exercise. I know I said not to talk about exercise, but I wanted to add this in here in the way I hope others talk about exercise. I have found exercising daily and doing yoga daily has drastically improved my overall well being physically and mentally. This is something I have done most of my life.
  6. Finally, I always send an appreciation text/call every other night to someone. Whether it is my family, friends, mentors, etc. I tell them how much I appreciate them, and how thankful I am for them being in my life. I thank them for all they have done for me and then usually personalize the message to whoever it is I am sending it too. I always end my nights this way. It helps me stay in touch with the people who truly matter in my life and also is a way to enhance my social connections.
  7. I have written in a journal since I was 12 years old. I find this to be very helpful with organizing my thoughts and planning out my day.

I have many others I could talk about, but I thought this would be a good start!

now you all can talk about whatever you want and as much as you want. My goal on this topic is to 1) to see what everyone else is doing and what has worked for them, 2) potentially add new routines/habits to my own life, and 3) give a different flavor to this forum, as it can get stale with all the intense debates/discussions that occur on there.
I just thought it would be a helpful topic to have in the forum so people can look at the different habits/routines people have and add them to your own life. I think we talk a lot about many different aspects of health and longevity(obviously, as this is the main point of this forum), but I believe this topic is also very important and would be of benefit.

I would like this to be more nonchalant. This is everyone’s SUBJECTIVE ideas on what they feel has helped them PERSONALLY. Please be respectful to everyone who posts in here. And PLEASE, if we can help it, don’t talk about all the million supplements you take or biomarkers you track… There is plenty of that in the forum already.


It’s virtually impossible to add anything to what you already do. Remarkable for someone so young.

I do everything on your list except for meditation. Don’t know how you do it. My mind instantly wanders, just can’t turn it off even for 5 minutes.

For me, sleep is the most important thing. Even one poor night and my focus and mood suffers for several days. My muscles even ache. I’m very dependent on good sleep.

Gratitude is very underestimated in its importance and I’m glad that you mentioned it.

This will sound corny, but loving relationships with family and friends is very important. There’s no substitute for loving and being loved in return. Well , maybe a good nights sleep !


I think it helps to be responsible for animals, but I can’t say why. Maybe it is similar to taking care of people, as in positive relationships with people. I had a small herd of dairy goats for years and it helps to have a routine and chores. People love their dogs, I’ve always had a dog, but can’t say I’m as attached as many are. I wish I had the time to train and spend time with her.

We have chickens off and on and of course now that eggs are the new steak, we don’t have any.

  1. Reading. Just what I enjoy the most - mostly nonfiction or what most would consider “dry” reading to learn how the world works, but it’s interesting to me. I also read up at least one topic in medicine or JAMA article every day to keep to the most up-to-date. I also enjoy reading patient perspectives to help understand the other side better.
  2. Exercise and high end gym with group classes (partly for social reasons). More than CDC official recs. Won’t get in-depth.
  3. Mutual gratitude - we think of 3 things to be grateful for while walking the dog with SO. Reduces “relationship risk”.
  4. Sleep and sleep hygiene/CBT-I. Have the occasional GAD-related insomnia bout with what I’ve mentioned before.
  5. Social events. Not going to avoid restaurant food or unprocessed red meat but simply will keep it very occasionally and I load up on acarbose and soluble fiber.
  6. Executive coaching/CBT with psychiatrist (cash pay). Might sound extra pricey because it is incredibly so, but I figured out how to have insurance cover it - I have a “Cadillac insurance” plan that covers almost all of it.
  7. Avoiding alcohol and tobacco. No amount is safe for me. ALDH2 enzyme issue and it instantly turns to aldehyde.
  8. Sex, effort towards basic physical attractiveness/tailored clothing, and basic hygiene. Not going to dive into this one - but it’s important for the relationship.
  9. HEPA air filter, HEPA vacuum, reverse osmosis system. Knowing I have clean air and water is important.
  10. Date night once a week and coop video games with SO occasionally. I guess I lucked out on partner enjoying video games.
  11. Not sure if you’d put this in the “supplement” side. ~25 mg psilocybin occasionally once a month or two months. I don’t take anything else that would be legally considered “illicit”. Really helps with overrumination.
  12. Buying back time by outsourcing bookkeeping and other repetitive work to personal assistants. Outsourcing to au pair. Anything I know nothing about or a lot about is usually worth outsourcing if I spend way too much time continuously for it.
  13. Basic teeth hygiene and green tea.
  14. Premium sitting-standing desk with memory function to do 1:1 sit and stand and premium chair with upgrade picks on ergonomics - not cost-effective.
  15. Squatting while defecating when feasible.
  16. Buy economic option out of semi-luxury SUV picks with the lowest empirical fatality rate, keep it well maintained, and avoid driving at risky times. 3x lower empirical fatality rate relative to sedans on average and further lowering of motor vehicle accident risk.
  17. Dogs. Adds some steps and seems to help with mood overall.
  18. Donating some money to causes I care about. Mainly judicial campaigns. It helps me feel good about myself and I enjoy interesting conversations with some folks in the court system to connect with the community and understand local social conditions better without getting into too hardcore political discussions that go nowhere.
  19. Volunteer free clinic. Extra clinical experience is nice and you get to see the direct effects of changing people’s lives drastically when it comes to those in really dire circumstances.
  20. This might sound dumb - but I practice describing my feelings using words in more intricate detail to really be “mindful” of all the changes I have in my body when I have a certain feeling - I do this because I have an old tendency to default to intellectualization with stress/anxiety/emotional situations and difficulty only with expressing emotions beyond just “knowing” that I have a feeling itself (I have no trouble recognizing other people’s emotions or empathizing) and I desire effort towards better open communication with others as fully understanding emotions is important. I tried meditation/mindfulness, but I find it hard.

Just off the top of my head.


Haha, I get that a lot when it comes to meditation. I used to struggle with it at first. I tried different apps, styles, etc. I think Sam Harris’s waking up app is a really good place to start. I also found just sticking with it, regardless if you feel you are actually meditating. After awhile, you will begin to understand what some of the concepts meditation teachers talk about and really begin to observe your thoughts. The goal of meditation(at least in Sam Harris’s app) is to just observe your thoughts, and figure out “where” they come from. It’s not about turning your mind off.

What are some things that you do to maintain your loving relationships with your family and friends? Or maybe things you felt help

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I agree about the pets. Thinking back on it, I always have had dogs. I was mostly the main caretaker, so I think it instilled some really good habits in me as a kid. One of my goals is to have a small farm with some goats, chickens, maybe a horse.

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Awesome list! My SO and I play coop games to(like Fall guys). I used to do psilocybin/LSD , but stopped as I became more interested in studying psychedelics. I tried microdosing for a bit, when it was a trend, but I think the bigger dosing is more impactful( I think they actually did a study about it). Originally what got me interested in getting my PhD was I wanted to investigate how psychedelics impact sleep, as no one did it(and to my knowledge, it still really has been done).

What kind of green tea do you drink? I love tea and coffee.
Also to your last point(#20), I also have a tendency to over intellectualize and find it very hard to express emotions(part of this is due to childhood trauma and also my parents never being affectionate people). Do you have any advice for someone who would be interest in trying to break that habit? For example, how did you first start out with describing your feelings? I am really big on communication and meditation helps a lot too, but I like what you say you do.


I love this thread! I’ve found the following things have improved my quality of life:
Resonant breathing
Sleeping inclined
Nature walks
Spiritual wellness practices
Caring for a feral cat colony in need (long story).
I think it’s important for us to feel we have a purpose and are doing some good in the world.


What type of spiritual wellness practices have you done?
Also , I am very interested in your feral cat colony story, if you wouldn’t mind talking more about how it has impacted you!

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Certainly! In mid 2021 someone dumped off a feral momma cat and 8 kittens from what appeared to be 2 back to back litters in our barn. We of course started feeding them because we couldn’t let them starve. We had no idea what we were doing and over the next couple of months I noticed the mom was pregnant again and a couple of the older female kittens were going into heat. That’s when I realized we were very quickly running into a desperate cat situation we couldn’t handle. I found a lady with experience in animal rescue who helped me get the kittens live trapped for care at the local low cost clinic. We had them all spayed/neutered and relocated 4 of the 8 kittens to a stable feral barn cat community in another county. We kept 4 here and the momma. She had her last litter in October of 2021. We tamed that litter them and got them into a foster program after they were weaned. They were all successfully adopted. Momma was fixed last and she’s very happy and healthy. It’s been very rewarding to see a tragic situation turn out good. We love them all very much.
For spiritual wellness I have a prayer rule that I do morning and night that’s quite meditative and sets a nice tone for starting and ending the day. I have others that I often pray during mundane activities that keeps my mind focused similar to a mantra. I also try to focus on doing helpful and kind things for others which helps me not be to focused on myself.


Matcha organic (not cost effective).

I’m not an expert in this field, but from talking to different researchers - I suggest looking at pictures of a range of facial expressions and have a partner help to spot you to exercise emotional expression in more detail. If it’s still hard, looking up some classic descriptions of emotions (ie butterflies in stomach) can help you more easily recognize several aspects of different emotions


Hiring someone to do your domestic chores. Working with toxic cleaning chemicals is damaging to your body. Plus the time saved can be used on better activities.


Interesting, I never thought of that. How long have you been doing that?

We’ve had a live-in domestic helper for about 5 years. They are quite common here in Hong Kong. They make about 10X what they could in their home countries as well as room and board. Its a win-win.

In Western countries some of my friends hire a weekly cleaning service and its not too expensive.


I’m very impressed with your wellness stack! I’ve gone on and off with a few of the ones you mentioned & definitely would want to check out Sam Harris’s app. Have you found it more effective than other types of meditation (Wim Hoff, TM, box breathing, etc.)?

This is what’s worked for me:

  1. Reading every day. I’ve found that if I block off an hour to read during peak “productive” hours, it forces me to concentrate my efforts & eliminate distractions while I’m working. I also listen to audiobooks while I’m commuting, cooking, or doing chores.

  2. Language learning. Picking up another language always gives me a fun “side quest” to my life. It’s mentally stimulating & the pay-off of being able to make new friends and connect with different cultures feels amazing. I aim for a few online lessons a week, listen to a language-learning podcast if I’m crunched for time, or replace any Netflix with in-language shows.

  3. Hard physical training. I’ve been strength training for years & recently started training MMA. It forces me to get out of my head and concentrate intensely on the moment. I always sleep significantly better after a hard training session as well.

  4. DJing. I started to learn DJing last year & would highly recommend it for a fun creative and social hobby. Having to concentrate on each beat pulls you into the present moment, which feels quite meditative. It also has the benefit, that everyone at the party wants to talk to you & you have an instant conversation starter. Huge social cheat code, especially if you don’t drink.

For me, the common theme here is doing things every day that have a beneficial compounding effect. That way, even if I feel unproductive or have a bad day, I can still say, “well, at least I’m a little smarter, stronger, and grew some new neurons.” Illusion or not, having a daily “habit stack” makes me feel inevitable. Keep grinding, keep the habits, and I can’t lose.

That’s what works for me – definitely want to be more consistent with journaling and meditation going forward.


DJing! that sounds cool, how would you recommend one go about learning about it if they were interested?
Also what language are you learning?
I did MMA for years( specifically Jiu Jitsu and Kickboxing), and love it. I still am up to date with the UFC and watching MMA. It is probably the only sport I really keep up with.

In regards to meditation apps, I found Sam’s app the best because he has an introductory course for beginners, but there is also a wide variety of different meditation practices and teachers that he hosts on the app. I did the WHM method for many years and got away from it, but it was beneficial for me when I did do it.


YouTube is a great place to start! How to DJ for Beginners (2023) - YouTube. Once you start learning, you never listen to music the same way again.

I’ve studied a bunch of languages over the years but working on Korean at the moment.


That’s funny, my wife and I are studying Korean as we have been big into Kpop/Dramas for awhile and want to go live there for a bit. I know a little Japanese as well.
Thanks for the video link!


Ha! My wife loves Korean dramas as well!

You should check out Goblin and You Who Came From the Stars. Both are excellent. The Penthouse is good if you want over-the-top catfight drama. Currently watching Reborn Rich.

I’ve always been into JPOP more than KPOP though.


I watched Goblin and You who came from the stars! both are great, Ill check out the others you recommended.
Check out:
" its okay to not be okay"
“backstreet rookie”
my wife and I keep a running list of all that we have watched(shes watched way more than I, I think shes watched almost 50 different Kdramas and some Cdramas) and those ranked really high on our list

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