Habits and actions, habits and actions. Are you thinking it’s too much – that maybe you need a complete overhaul? Or maybe you’re thinking if you can only tweak some small things, it will make a huge difference for you and your health.
Whatever your relationship with forming new or better habits and taking action is, what if there was one powerful thing you could do so you wouldn’t have to make so many changes?
That one powerful thing is your mindset. Your mindset is an important health influencer.
Mindset is sometimes called “the story we tell ourselves.” It’s our attitude toward things in our life. And we have control over our mindset.
In fact, research is showing that it may be far more powerful than we thought.
Here’s a quick story about a fascinating study on the healthy mindset.
In this study, researchers at Stanford University examined participants’ health and wellness lifestyle habits, as well as health markers.
What they found was that the people who thought they were a lot less active had a higher risk of death than the general public. And, they also had up to 71% higher risk of death than people who thought they were more active. Even if they actually weren’t less active!
How is this possible that people who simply thought they were less active had higher risks, even if it wasn’t true?
There are a couple of ideas that may explain this. One is that maybe if we feel like we’re less active, it may make us feel more stressed. And stress isn’t good for our mental or physical health. Second, there may be a bit of a mind-body connection where the body embodies what the mind visualizes.
Although researchers don’t have all the answers, what matters to us is the importance of maintaining a positive health mindset. So let me give you a couple of strategies to boost your mindset for health.
Health mindset strategy #1 – Aim for good enough.
Almost no one eats perfectly seven days a week. It’s inevitable that obsessing over the quality and quantity of everything we eat or drink isn’t necessarily a great mindset to have.
It can bring on binging, shame and guilt. None of these are great ways to get healthy. We want to get healthier by making better choices and building better habits. And these are usually best done incrementally, one step at a time.
Instead of having a black and white approach where everything is good or bad, why not try aiming for “good enough” to empower ourselves to make better choices, instead of perfect choices.
Health mindset strategy #2 – Stop making tradeoffs.
When you attempt to earn a gluttonous weekend by eating clean during the week, you’re making a tradeoff. You’re telling yourself that, as long as you’re good most of the week, you can go wild on the weekend.
What you have in this case is a mindset that is jumping from one extreme to the other. You’re controlling what you do all week, and possibly thinking about how to indulge over the weekend.
The solution is to live as though you’re trying to do well every single day. Act like you care about your health and wellness. You’re doing your best, and that’s good enough. A positive mindset for health can be a powerful tool for better physical health. There’s a proven mind-body connection that research can measure.
Thinking positively and dropping the black/white and good/bad labels can help you reach your health goals.
So now tell me, how is your mindset for health? Which one of these tips resonates with you the most? How are you going to implement these tips in your life? Please let me know in the comments section below. We always like to hear from you.
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