Our health is one of those things that we totally take for granted; it is usually not until something bad happens that we fully realize what a gift it is. But, it does not have to be that way. We do not have to wait until we lose our health to try and gain it back. We can start making positive changes now, before it becomes mission critical. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done—we are working against lots of enemies from deeply ingrained habits to self-sabotaging tendencies. But, it can be done; I know because I did it. I went from one of those people who never gave much thought to being healthy to someone who has made it top priority and here are some strategies that helped me make this worthwhile transition.
Get Stress under Control
Stress in life is pretty much unavoidable, but this does not mean it has to rule our lives. We constantly complain about how stressed we are, and it seems like many of us wear it as some badge of honor. But, it is nothing to be proud of, and is probably one of the biggest obstacles to living a healthier life. It drives us to eat emotionally, zone out in front of the tv or computer for hours because they allow us tune out of life for a bit, and do a host of other things that are not good for us. If you work on managing stress, you will find it much easier to make healthier choices. A less stressed you is a happier you, a you that feels better mentally and physically. When you are feeling good, you will make choices that will keep you feeling good. Commit to meditation, yoga, or any other activity that will help you combat stress.
Define Your ‘’Why’’
If you are thinking about changing your unhealthy ways, there must be something triggering it. Maybe you are feeling down in the dumps about your appearance; maybe your weight is reaching a point where you are putting your health at risk; perhaps you just want to feel better. Whatever it is that is prompting this desire to change, it is important to get crystal clear on your ‘’why.’’ When you get at the core reasons for wanting to be healthier, it will be much easier to make the changes you need to make. If you want to lose weight, why? If you want to be healthier for your children, why? If you want to feel better, why? Keep getting at the reasons behind the reasons until you cannot go any deeper. Make copies of this list and put it everywhere.
Learn to Appreciate Your Body
Our bodies are pretty amazing when you really think about it, and if we really did think about it, we would probably take much better care of them. We totally take them for granted and heap tons of abuse upon this wonderful gift. When I really started thinking about my body and all the things that it does on a minute-to-minute basis, I saw it in a whole new light. I felt much more compelled to take care of it. Breaking bad habits did not seem as hard; I was highly motivated to exercise more and eat better. Feel the gratitude for the simple things like being able to walk or take a nice, deep breath.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things related to health; she recommends visiting www.kanetix.ca for more information on health and life insurance.