Positive health behaviors
Did you know that having and practicing healthy behaviors can really keep you away from many illnesses? It is no brainer; It is something that we might already know, but still we choose to stick to our not so healthy behaviors. Why do we behave or continue to indulge in those practices that can directly harm us physically and mentally. There have been so many researches that constantly try to provide us with evidence that how maintaining healthy habits could make us happy as well as healthy. It is very important to understand that what exactly is a positive healthy behavior?
Healthy behavior is the activity taken up by individuals for the purpose of maintaining or enhancing their health, preventing health problems, or achieving a body positive image (William. C Cockerham). We all have unique bodies and the way they react to multiple things is also very different. Here, the focus will be on how positive healthy habits can keep you mentally happy. It is interesting to see that how harming habits can continue to persist and keep on becoming stronger and hard to change. For instance, people know how harmful it is to smoke, even the packet itself has a picture that could be triggering for some people, but still, they continue to do it. It could be that they are addicted, for them it might be rewarding in some ways; Also, it can be simply satisfying for them or the easiest option available to be used as a stress buster. The dependence on a particular choice related behavior shows how attached we are to a specific behavior. We can question things endlessly, but we need to see how beneficial it is for us. Somewhere or the other you must have heard this statement, “healthy body leads to a healthy mind”; It is truly a proven statement in different ways and many different links have been established for the same. What can be the few common healthy behaviors which we avoid consciously or that can be practiced easily in day to day? At the end, it is largely about lifestyle. Exercising, eating healthy, sleeping early, maintaining proper hygiene are just few of them.
Things that you just read, are probably not new or something which you are hearing for the very first time, but still you know how it works. We read and know things, but don’t really seem to think about it. According to a 2009 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes 18-245 days for a person to form a new habit. The study also concluded that, on an average, it takes 66 days for a new behavior to become a new habit. It might take you some time to make the choices and see the changes, but it is worth trying. The habit won’t be formed immediately, but you will start feeling good. Here are few things which have been missing out but are essential and need to be fixed.
This is probably the thing that we all mess up a lot, ending up compromising on it. It’s good to perceive that sleeping is quite, silent, everything is calm and one can get a lot of alone time during the night when sleeping. Take a moment and think, after sleeping uncomfortably or having a disturbed sleep, when you woke up the next morning, you must have be feeling tired, have low motivation, low productivity level, lack of coordination and concentration, impaired memory and a highly irritable mood. It could become a barrier for you that is invisible, that’s why do not even realize. According to a research done at Johns Hopkins, sleep is vital for brain plasticity and helps with the removal of waste products from brain cells. Next time when you think of compromising with your sleep, just to watch one more episode of show, think! “Is this episode more important than my sleep? Would compromising on my sleep help me the next day at work? In a paper published by Harvard Medical School, sleep and mental health are closely connected. Sleep deprivation affects our psychological and mental state and those with mental health problems are more likely to have insomnia or other sleep disorders.
Stop! Drink a glass of water. Remember that day when you had a headache because of which your mood was not good? Did you drink enough water that day? Yes! Not drinking enough water can sometimes give you a pain and that further can influence your mood. Drinking enough water keeps our brain away from having the effects of dehydration and allows you to think more clearly and actively. We are made up of 70% of water. If we do not hydrate ourselves properly, it makes us feel physically tired and our thinking and productivity slowly decreases. Dehydration can really make us struggle with focusing on work and our concentration and motivation to complete the tasks. Water is important in making our brain perform its functions on a cellular level. If the body does not have enough water, then it decreases the production of serotonin. Serotonin is the happy chemical; It is the neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of well being and happiness.
We all know what benefits a healthy body can give us. It goes beyond. It can really help in boosting our self esteem and confidence. Getting up to exercise is itself an achievement because, that “Monday” finally came, and we are all set and awake to get on the move. When you see yourself getting active and getting in that body shape about which you thought, it helps you in forming a positive body image and you feel good about it. You develop confidence and perceive yourself in a better manner. There is nothing like an ideal body shape, any shape that is keeping you healthy both physically and mentally, is what is best for you. A paper in the Journal of Research in Personality, concluded that, greater physical inactivity at baseline is associated with deterioration in personality 2 decades later. Studies have also shown that exercise can have profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD and more.
It is really important for us as individuals to think and educate ourselves about such things, because we don’t realize how important these things are. They are all essential necessities that we should be taking care of. Initially, it could take some time to start, but as it is said that it’s never too late. Start and you will see the difference in your mood and health. Developing habits that positively impact us, create a sense of motivation to become more and more aware about the things that are good for our body and brain. All you need to do is start. Take small steps, nobody is asking you to turn your life upside down, but the thing that is important right now is you initiative. At the end of the day, it is your body and mood, so the way in which you will treat is also in your hands. So just think and start bringing the required changes. Stay healthy and happy.