Happy Mind, Healthy Body

Posted: Jun 11 in Health And Wellness by
Woman in Yellow

Many people continue to erroneously believe that their body size is simply the result of how much they eat and how much they move. Of course, reality is seldom so simple. Why people eat how they do and move how they do is far more interesting.

Many patients come to see me hoping that if they lose weight, they will be happier. Unfortunately, I think this is backwards – I think oftentimes we eat comfort foods because we are stressed, tired, unhappy. In this case, controlling our eating or increasing activity may lead to further unhappiness, and in the end, pour gas on the fire.

Why not get our ducks in a row and focus on being happier first, then seeing if that helps us eat healthier, because by improving stress, energy, and mood, we won’t be drawn to comfort foods in the first place? Instead of forcing ourselves to exercise when we are exhausted, we will move more because we have more energy and want to get up and go?

Witht that in mind, here are 10 tips to improve happiness:

  1. Do nice things for others. Research has shown that we get more out of giving than receiving.
  2. Practice gratitude – keep a gratitude journal. Focusing on what you do have brings more joy than focusing on what you don’t have.
  3. Find your core values: know what matters to you most – your work? Family? Spouse? Kids? Friends? Music? A Sport? Religion? Find your “why” to improve drive and purpose.
  4. Do what you love. Every day. Life is about finding time for your priorities, and not spending all your time on other people’s priorities.
  5. Learn to say “No.” If it doesn’t appeal to your core values and isn’t something you love, do you need to do it?
  6. The past doesn’t equal the present. Just because you’ve always done it in the past doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do moving forward.
  7. Without health, what do you have left? Focus on getting plenty of sleep, finding time for joyful movement, enjoying healthy foods, relaxing, and even breathing.
  8. Make the most of each day! Don’t lie in bed all day staring at the phone – get up and go!
  9. Keep it simple. Making things too complex is the enemy of progress.
  10. Don’t be a perfectionist. Celebrate your victories, and don’t define your victories as a failure because it wasn’t enough.

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