We don’t think much about our habits – the behaviors we engage in frequently without even realizing it. According to neurobiologists, from 40-95% of our lives are driven by habit, so our habits play a huge role in shaping our health and wellbeing. We are often so ingrained in our habits that we are totally unaware of most of them. Becoming aware of your daily routines and making a change to just one habit can set you on the path towards better health.
What Are Habits?
Let’s first define what habits are. Habits are actions you take routinely, often daily, without giving them much thought. Hitting the snooze button multiple times, stopping for a coffee on the way to work, snacking from the office candy bowl, watching TV after dinner – these are common habit loops. They become so ingrained that you do them automatically.
How Habits Influence Health
While habits seem minor, they have a cumulative effect on your health. Eating fast food multiple times per week consistently leads to weight gain and nutritional deficiencies over time. Not taking the stairs or getting up to walk around shapes your cardiovascular fitness. Scrolling on your phone before bed impacts sleep quality and mental health.
The key is that habits take hold subtly. You may not realize the consequences of your routines until much later. It’s crucial to bring awareness to the habits that may be holding you back from feeling energized, mentally clear and physically fit.
Change Habits For Better Health
The good news is you absolutely can change your habits, even if you’ve been doing them for years. It takes commitment and patience. But by focusing on one new routine at a time, you start to disrupt old patterns.
Some ideas for healthier habits: laying out your workout clothes the night before, packing nutritious snacks to avoid vending machines, putting your phone away 30 minutes before bed, drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning.
Start small and be consistent. Over time, these new cues become wired in your brain. And as your daily habits shift, so will your overall lifestyle and health indicators.
Paying attention to the habits that make up your day is key. Are there 1-2 routines you can swap for healthier alternatives starting today? Real change happens slowly, but it all begins with awareness. Make the habits work for you, not against you, on your journey towards wellbeing.
I work with my clients to help them make small, meaningful, incremental changes that, over time, create massive change foe the better.,
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