All of us are creatures of habit based on the way we all live. For example, we tend to wake up at the same time throughout the week. It is also a habit to brush our teeth and get breakfast before commuting to work. This is the pattern that most people follow for the best of their weeks. So, why should it be an issue creating a healthy habit? Scientists who are studying human behavior claim that people create healthy habits in the wrong way. For example, we come up with unattainable resolutions to lose weight from exercise. You are supposed to take all the needed steps towards becoming successful. Below are some tips on how to build healthy habits.
What are Healthy Habits?
A healthy habit is basically any activity that benefits your emotional, physical or mental well-being. In the first place, the slight changes may not seem to be that effective. All the same, when you put these small bits together, you can create a plan for a very healthy life. In this article, we are going to focus on how to build healthy habits.
How Can You Build Your Healthy Habits?
It feels very frustrating to have setbacks whenever you are trying to make some healthy changes and reach a goal. The good news is that after so many decades of research, it has been shown that a change is still possible. In this regard, there exist proven strategies on how to build healthy habits. Most of the things we do impact our health and the quality of our lives, not just now but in the Future. The best you can do for yourself is reducing the risk of common, preventable, and costly health issues. These include heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, stroke, obesity, and cancer. What you need to do is simply make healthy choices for yourself. Below, we have listed some healthy habits to start;
1. Know What Your Habit is
The things you do regularly, such as brushing your teeth and drinking each night, can turn into habits. These repetitive behaviors that always make you feel good might affect your brain in significant ways. This will create habits that might be very hard to change at the end of it all. You realize that habits become automatic with time, such that they happen without you giving them too much thought. One expert in behavior change recommends that the initial step towards behavioral change is awareness creation on what you regularly do. You need to identify your behavior patterns and what triggers the unhealthy habits you wish to change.
For instance, you might be joining a friend on the smoke breaks even though you do not need a cigar. You might also be having the habit of overeating food as you watch the TV. To counteract that, you can develop strategies that will disrupt the patterns and develop new ones. Based on the examples we gave, you can join friends for healthy activities like walk breaks. You can also switch off the TV till you are done eating.
2. Make a Plan
Your plan should involve small but reasonable goals and the actions you wish to take towards them. For instance, you might have the habit of passing by the vending machine as you head to work and order some junk food each afternoon. In this case, you can try taking a different route and come with your healthy homemade snacks. You should also consider thinking about the things you need for your success. Work towards changing the things that surround you to help you achieve your set goals. For example, you can stock on healthy food, find a particular relaxing spot and remove temptations.
Make sure to get your family and friends involved. It is believed that individuals’ health behaviors are a reflection of their friends and family. You can invite these people so that they can offer their support in helping you remain on track. Similarly, consider planning for obstacles. Think of how you can remain healthy choices even in stressful times or whenever you are tempted by your old habits.
3. Stay on Your Track
Involving yourself in positive activities will feel not only exciting but also rewarding. All the same, there comes a time when you wonder whether you can stick to these activities. Experts advise on identifying the negative thoughts and turning them into productive and realistic thoughts. In such instances, record-keeping is beneficial. You can make use of a mobile app, a computer program, or use a paper journal. With these, you will track your sleep patterns, diet, stress levels, and exercise. Studies show that people who shed off considerable weight are those who track their progress very closely.
Experts are working on digital technologies such as mobile apps to support you whenever you feel reluctant. This expert team uses technology to measure and increase the ability to control and monitor our behavior.
4. Think about the Future
The other approach in how to build healthy habits is thinking about the Future. It is believed that some people always have a hard time resisting their impulses. Epstein refers to this as delay discounting. It happens when you undervalue or discount the better benefits of waiting in place of some more minor but immediate rewards. Therefore, you end up overeating, shopping too much, risky sexual behaviors, and drinking and substance abuse.
According to Epstein, you can easily postpone your immediate gratification by thinking about the Future and the tons of positive rewards it has for you. This is one great way of strengthening one’s ability to decide better for your extended run benefits. Focusing on how a simple change can heal the body and enhance your life is going to help. For instance, when you quit smoking, the risks of heart attacks go low within 24 hours. Reduced stress, on the other hand, will eventually lead to quality relationships. You will also realize that slight improvement in your physical activities and nutrition will help. Simply keep learning how to build healthy benefits and their long-term benefits.
5. Be Patient
If you are looking to learn how to build healthy habits, you must learn how to exercise patience. You realize that you try so hard to catch a healthy habit at times, but other health issues pull you backward. For instance, there is a close relationship between anxiety or depression and unhealthy behaviors. In this case, the health experts will work together to help you address the underlying issues and make the change feel easier.
6. Reward Yourself
Rewards are essential in the formation of a habit. For instance, when we brush our mouth, the reward is instant, which is a fresh mouth. All the same, you need to realize that some rewards can take some time to be seen. These include weight loss or a physical change from exercise. In this case, it is essential to come up with immediate rewards in habit formation. You can listen to your favorite audiobooks as you run on the treadmill. Alternatively, watching a cooking show on the treadmill will help in reinforcing exercise habits. These are some of the things that will motivate you greatly in forming a habit. If you are looking to instill healthy habits for kids, this rewarding strategy will work well.
7. Take the Healthy-Habits Well Challenge
Given that you now fully understand how to build healthy habits, you can give the new well challenge a try. This one will give you a tip daily that will help you in moving more. With this challenge, you will connect with your loved ones and refresh the mind. Even better, the body will feel very nourished. All that you will be needed to do is sign up, and from there, you will receive an email for the next challenge. This can be simply be referred to as the healthy habits store.
You Have to Break Bad Habits for Good Healthy Habits
Cutting out the bad habits you have currently will not come quickly since forces pull you backward. For instance, you might be waking up to so much food while the main is to curb too much eating. You might also feel discouraged to exercise towards a fit body and a healthy lifestyle. Below are some of the ways to break these habits.
Choose a Substitute
Whenever you cut out something from your life, there will be a big gap left behind, which sometimes proves to be very hard to fill. Therefore, you feel as if you are missing something or feel that something is just not right. In this case, you need to have a plan for instances that these moments come your way. The best you can do is to have something ready to keep you occupied and the mind busy. For instance, you can try reading a book or taking a gentle walk-in to distract yourself.
Cut Out the Triggers
Breaking a habit on paper seems so much noticeable, but you should be wary of your environment. If the environment enhances these bad habits or makes them hard, you should change them. Among the things you can do is avoiding the sugary snacks from your kitchen cupboards. Delete all those phone apps that distract you, and also consider removing batteries from your TV remote.
Visualize Yourself Succeeding
Whichever lousy habit you wish to eliminate, you must visualize yourself succeeding with the same. Make sure to smile and enjoy your success so that you can imagine yourself making a new identity. In this case, the critical thing is to remember not to be too hard on your own self. Given the difficulties we are encountering in life, cut some slack. Whenever you are ready to begin working towards a positive routine, just take it to step after the other.
The Bottom Line
We are aware that making a healthy choice can help you in helping us in feeling better and also live longer. You might have tried eating better, getting more sleep or exercise, reducing stress, or quit smoking. The truth of the matter is that this is not a simple task. All the same, research has shown the strategies that one can deploy in building and sustaining a healthy lifestyle. We believe that this article has given you the insights you need to build healthy habits.