Research has shown that self-improvement happens most effectively when you make small, specific changes

Needs-matched life insurer BrightRock’s Change Exchange has got 6 simple things you can do to be a better you – starting today.

Eat more fish

According to The American Heart Association, eating fish that’s rich in Omega-3 fatty acids twice a week will reduce your risk of heart failure, coronary heart disease, cardiac arrest and ischemic stroke. This could be as simple as eating 100g of grilled salmon or a tin of flaked tuna twice a week. Just remember, no frying!

Related: Tuna and butter bean fishcakes with lemon mayo recipe

Get good quality sleep

Mobile phones, laptops and other devices emit large quantities of blue light, which interfere with your internal clock and trick your body into thinking it’s still daytime. Turning off all your devices will let your mind to wind down before you go to bed.

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In contrast to this, maximize exposure to bright light during the day. According to a study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, two hours of exposure to bright light during the day resulted in two additional hours of sleep during the night.

Related: Boost your mood: Sleep or move rather than sit 

Practice better posture

Push your hips as far back into the chair as they can go, making sure that your feet are flat on the floor. This will force you to sit up straight and prevent your spine from settling into a dreaded C-curve. If you’re working on a laptop, you might suddenly find that this leaves you looking too far downwards – but that doesn’t mean you should go back to slouching. Rather invest in a stand for your computer so that the middle of the screen is at eye level.

Related: Improve your posture and burn calories 

Take more walks

Take a brisk 30-minute walk three times a week. How brisk? Fast enough to feel like you’re breathing a bit heavier – but not so fast that you can’t have a conversation. Studies have shown that regular walks lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, reduces stress and improves your memory, to name just a few of the positive effects. Work your way up to five times a week for the best science-backed body-benefits.

Take regular breaks from work

Take a 15-20 minute break after every 90 minutes of work. According to a study conducted by the US Army Research Institute, this will tap into your body’s natural rest-alertness cycles, increasing your energy levels and focus. Oh, and when you take that break, don’t just spend it on Facebook. Get up, get out or get into a conversation with someone in the real world.

Do workouts for your brain

Sign up to learn something new. Whether you decide to play a new instrument, speak a new language or develop a new skill, you’re looking for any kind of activity that makes you feel both challenged and satisfied. We may be creatures of habit, but as they say, the mind is like a parachute; it only functions when open.