4 Tips for Developing Healthy Habits for a Healthy Life
As humans, the way we spend our lives comes down to one thing–our habits. We tend to unconsciously set schedules or routines for ourselves, and it becomes solidified in our lifestyle. Since this is the case, the foundation of living a healthy life is developing healthy habits. However, doing this is easier said than done. Here are some tips to help you along your journey to creating healthy habits:
1. Become aware of your current habits. In order to make a change, you need to recognize your own behavioural patterns. Identify what you want to change, and what could possibly trigger the unhealthy habit. This helps to uncover the root cause of the old habits, making it easier to stop it in its place while creating a mindset to develop healthier ones. For example, you notice that you tend to slouch after sitting at your desk for long periods of time. A possible solution to this would be to stand up and walk around for a bit before continuing your work.
2. Start small. A common misconception to forming healthy habits is that we need to make drastic changes to our lives right from the get-go. Begin your habit-setting journey by picking something easy that you know you can stick to. Consistency is key, and slowly making your way up to meeting larger goals helps to maintain motivation. Even something as small as doing 5 minutes of meditation in the morning or taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a great start.
3. Give yourself time. Habits are not formed overnight. Many of you might be familiar with the “21 day rule,” where it is said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. This has been disproven by several studies, and the time needed can be more or less depending on the difficulty of the change being made. Be patient with yourself, just because it takes a little longer for you does not mean you’re not accomplishing anything.
4. Think about the long-term benefits. As we age, the risk of declining physical, mental, and/or spiritual health increases. It is important to take care of the body, mind, and soul throughout life–through our habits, in order to maintain our well-being. While in the process of forming these healthy habits, think about how doing these things can enhance your life. It might feel not-so-amazing at the start, but over time you will start to reap the benefits of your hard work.
Written by: Tyfanny Ross, MSW
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