Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Mind Also Matters in Healthy Living

Healthy living is not only about tucking into fresh fruits and vegetables, steering clear of junk and processed foods, and hitting the gym every other day. It is also about cultivating a healthy mind. In fact, healthy living starts with a healthy mind.

Get Your Mind Right

Everyone who has ever tried to stick to a diet plan or an exercise regimen will vouch for the truth of the age-old adage that the mind indeed rules over the body. The tenets of healthy living are simple-eat healthy, exercise regularly, and steer clear of vices like smoking and drinking-and there are not many who do not know these. But there are countless many who do not have minds strong enough to coax their body into abiding by these rules.

So, here are some rules that will help you win the mind game:

Don't let the weighing scale rule you. Losing weight and maintain your ideal body weight are usually the two most important goals of healthy living. But this does not mean that you should let the weighing scale stress you out. Instead attune yourself to the signals that your body sends out-do you feel fresh when you get up in the morning, have your energy levels got a boost after you have switched to a new workout routine, or do you find yourself craving less for sugary snacks after embarking on a new diet plan-and gauge for yourself your health and fitness levels.

Find a way, other than going on an eating binge, to cope with stress. Stress is an inevitable part of our daily lives so it really does not help your healthy living goals if your way of coping with it is to reach out for food. There are countless other ways of coping with stress-talk to a friend when down in the dumps, count your blessings when feeling depressed, or pick up a good read, put on some music that you love, or go for a walk in the park when feeling anxious. These are your ways of training your mind to seek refuge in something other than food.

Egg yourself on. You can be your best motivator; you just need to know how. To not fall short on your motivation levels, first make sure that you are striving for realistic goals-"I will fit into my old jeans by the end of two months" and NOT "I will lose ten pounds 4 days." Then look for small signs of improvement as you make your way along. For instance, if at the end of two months you find yourself barely managing to squeeze into the pair of jeans, do not mope but instead convince yourself that you are along the right track and if you keep up with the good habits, you will reach your goal in no time at all.

Positive and Rational

Healthy living is all about creating a positive mindset-being optimistic when the odds are low and being strong enough to listen to and steer your body towards healthy living goals that suit you and not what the book says.

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