Good health is so fundamental to being able to get the most from our lives, yet very few of us make it the priority it should be. There aren’t many physical ailments that can’t be improved by eating a healthier diet and being more physically active, and many of the mental stresses so prevalent in modern societies could be eased significantly by adopting a healthier lifestyle and learning relaxation techniques.
Even though people are aware of these facts intellectually, emotionally, it can still be hard to give up the old habits like comfort eating, flopping in front of the TV, and using nicotine and alcohol as support mechanisms. If you want to feel better in every way, the answer is to embrace the healthy lifestyle option.
There first psychological barrier you’ll face in attempting to change bad habits for good ones is getting started. Dieting, exercising, eating healthier foods, practising relaxation techniques; all these components of a healthy lifestyle that you promise to incorporate in your life very often end up being postponed to the next day, or the next week, or some point in the future when you’re not so busy, or so tired, and so on. Next thing you know months, if not years, have passed, and you’re still promising to take action soon.
If you don’t want to be still failing to do something about your health when you’re old and grey, or you’ve been diagnosed with a serious illness, you have to start making changes. There are several techniques for accomplishing this, and in just the same way that a smoker has to find the method that works for them personally from all the different options, so you have to try different techniques to change your lifestyle.
1. Changing overnight
One method is to decide to change your life overnight. From a specific date, you’ll do all those healthy activities, eat all the right foods, and start meditating every day. It works well if you’re the kind of person who responds well to a clean break rather than gradual change. Some people find trying to alter their habits gradually just makes them feel like they have a licence to slip back into their old ways, whereas if they say no to all the bad habits in one fell swoop, it gives them far more motivation to keep it up.
2. Changing gradually
Another method is to change gradually; altering one part of your diet at a time, then introducing small amounts of exercise, and building up to the goals you’ve set yourself. This method tends to work more effectively for people who dislike change or struggle with anxiety. Putting too much pressure on yourself to change at once can be too stressful if you’re feeling vulnerable, and any small lapse may feel like a complete failure.
3. Finding information
When you’re thinking about a healthier lifestyle, don’t fall for the miracle cures that you see advertised on the Internet. The promises of taking years off your appearance, or losing all your excess weight by following one simple action are what’s known as clickbait. They are adverts that sound so enticing people can’t resist clicking on them to find out more. What you get when you click is typically a sales page or even a scam designed to trick you out of your money, and giving you little of value and, in some cases, nothing in return.
Stick to information that’s evidence-based and provided by experts in their field. There are many misconceptions and myths circulating relating to health, and if you want to cut through to the factual information that can really help you improve your wellbeing, only take notice of genuine, verifiable sources.
4. Help and support
One of the main reasons people fail in their efforts to change their bad habits is lack of motivation. You’d think that knowing if you eat well and exercise your health will improve and you’ll look and feel tremendously better would be enough to motivate people to take action. However, as you may well know yourself if you’ve tried to change your life before, human brains are far more complex, and there are many influences on your ability to make changes.
Research into motivation relating to health and fitness shows that having practical and emotional support can make a significant difference to people’s achievements. If you have a partner who helps out at home so that you can spend an hour at the gym in the evenings, that’s going to make you far more inclined to keep up your gym attendance. Likewise, a supportive friend who encourages you and doesn’t say unhelpful things like “Go on, one more (cream cake, glass of wine, chocolate bar or another item you’re trying to cut down on) won’t hurt you!”
If you haven’t got someone in your life to help you reach your targets, or you need help with the scientific side of eating a balanced diet or creating an ideal exercise regime, then professional help could be a good idea. Personal trainers, nutritionists, and life coaches can all help you achieve your lifestyle changes, as can joining a fitness, mindfulness, or yoga class.
If you’re worried about finding the money to afford one of these services, bear in mind that this is an essential investment in your health. Being well and strong will save you money in the long run and help you enjoy your life far more, as well as living for longer. If spending money on a nutritionist helps you to avoid diabetes and heart disease in later life, what is that worth to you? If you want to explore finance options to help you reach your health improvement goals, talk to a broker like Bonsai Finance, who can help you find the most cost-effective loans or credit cards to cover your costs.
There’s no magic pill that can make you instantly fit and healthy. Like most things worth having in life, good health needs to be worked at, but if you want the effects of a magic pill, then adopting a healthy lifestyle is the best course of action.