Transformation Tuesday – Building A Healthier YOU
Transformation Tuesday – Building A Healthier YOU: Tips For Ending Bad Habits And Improving Your Overall Health
Our overall health is impacted by many different components of our life, from relationships, to exercise, to eating, to friendships. When things are going smoothly in our lives, both our mental and physical health may be in solid shape. However, when we are not feeling our best, it is time to step back, take stock of things, and pull together the self-discipline to make some changes and sacrifices to improve our situation.
Switch up your focus
Habits are hard to break, but by switching up your focus, you can push back against your desire to resort back to old ways and turn your attention to something more positive such as your fitness. In fact, working out can actually help you kick your bad habits. When you exercise, your brain is flooded with feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine, leaving you with the same high you would feel after taking part in a bad habit. In addition, exercise dulls withdrawal symptoms by redirecting your attention and curbing the craving.
Looking for a way to get your sweat therapy started? CrossFit is an intense fitness program that combines all your fitness needs into one: aerobics, body-weight exercises, cardio, and weightlifting. By mixing the training together, you can enjoy a range of benefits such as improved stamina, flexibility, strength, coordination, and balance. The best part is workouts take no longer than 20 minutes, so it can easily fit into a busy schedule, and the varied exercises prevent boredom and the possible return to your negative habits.
End toxic relationships to improve your overall health
When it comes to relationships, there are some telltale signs that things have become unhealthy and that it may be time to end things. Reader’s Digest details that if you are uneasy around your partner, and things feel explosive, dramatic, or contentious much of the time, it may be best to go your separate ways. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize what a toll a toxic relationship can take in other ways.
The San Diego Union Tribune points out that a toxic relationship can lead to issues focusing and getting tasks done, a weakened immune system, anxiety, and depression. Sometimes addiction issues surface as people try to cope with a troubled partnership, and addiction issues with drugs, alcohol, food, or nicotine can cause additional problems. Making a break can be difficult, but the sacrifices that come from ending a problematic partnership are usually a short-term problem and in the long-term, your overall mental and physical health will benefit.
Form better habits by examining your bad ones and building a plan
When you are working to end bad habits or a bad relationship, a first good step is to take stock of the current situation and formulate a plan. If your habits are related to eating or exercise, for example, start a log or diary and track your daily food and exercise so you can find patterns and set some goals. If you are facing the end of a bad relationship, forming a plan becomes important here as well.
Once you have a general plan or goal, experts recommend breaking things down into smaller mini goals and action steps. One large goal can feel impossible and like too big a sacrifice. However, if you break it down to small steps you can tackle every day, with achievements you can celebrate in a matter of weeks or a few months, the sacrifices don’t seem too great and the self-discipline needed won’t feel so grand.
Make your home your oasis
Home is where you spend a majority of your time, and if it’s a toxic living space, your hard work to kick bad habits could go down the drain. Your environment directly impacts the way you think, feel, and act. Mental and physical health are extremely important, so your home environment should create a positive environment to facilitate healthy choices that impact all areas of your life.
The first step to achieving a stress-free home is to tackle the clutter. A cluttered home reduces your ability to focus and leaves you feeling overwhelmed. What is the first thing you do when you feel stressed? You probably turn to a habit whether it is smoking, eating junk food, or forgoing your exercise to retreat to your room and ignore the mess. Once you’ve decluttered, designate a happy spot to go to where you can regroup and relax such as a meditation corner with a soft cushion and your favorite essential oil.
Take things one step at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed
As Entrepreneur points out, tackling small steps will typically be more effective than trying to achieve one grand challenge. If you are ending a bad relationship, take things one day at a time and think of small action items that will move you toward a healthier place. Try one new fitness class or activity, or schedule a date with one friend to try a new restaurant. Over time, your self-discipline will build and you will be comfortable looking forward rather than back toward your bad partnership.
If you are working toward losing weight, break a large goal of dropping pounds into small goals of a few pounds at a time, or focus on breaking one unhealthy habit. Keep track of your progress and set up small rewards for yourself that will keep you motivated and less likely to feel as if you’re having to sacrifice a lot in the short-term in order to reach your long-term goals. For example, Eat This, Not That! Suggests rewards like a subscription to a healthy meal service, new workout clothes, or a healthy mini-vacation or getaway.
Long-term change, whether it is related to weight loss, ending bad relationships, or changing bad habits, takes self-discipline and sacrifice. When you are working on improving your overall health, examine your current situation, build a plan, and set up small goals and rewards for yourself to build your self-discipline and motivation. The process may not be an easy one, and you may experience setbacks along the way, but the benefits in the long run will make the work worth your while.
Jennifer Scott shares stories about the ups and downs of her anxiety and depression at SpiritFinder.org.
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