The “Collins English Dictionary” defines "lifestyle" as a set of attitudes, habits or possessions associated with a particular person or group. Your lifestyle can be healthy or unhealthy based on your food choices, activity level and behavior. A positive lifestyle can bring you happiness, while a negative lifestyle can lead to sadness, illness and depression.
In a 2009 issue of the “Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance,” Dr. Jeffrey Cherubini states that happiness refers to three paths or pursuits: the pleasant life, the engaged life and the meaningful life 4. When blended together, psychologists believe that happiness can be achieved. This newfound happiness can change your attitude and inspire you to make better decisions regarding your health and behavior.
Exercise can be used as a gateway to achieving a positive lifestyle. Dr. Mark Anshel, author of “Applied Exercise Psychology” reveals that physique self-esteem is related to exercise participation 2. A higher physique self-esteem can lead to greater self-confidence and motivation to live a healthier lifestyle. Incorporate at least 20 minutes of exercise into your daily routine. Take a short walk in the neighborhood, attend an exercise class, or plan a hike with friends.
Make the decision to live a healthier lifestyle. Identify the habits that have prevented you from obtaining a positive lifestyle such as unhealthy eating, inactivity, excessive spending, lack of sleep, or cynicism. Develop a strategy to help you overcome these negative habits. Ask for assistance from a doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer, friends and family as their support can serve as a powerful source of motivation.
A lifestyle change can be a long and arduous journey. Begin your pursuit toward a healthier lifestyle by taking small steps each day. Make your life more pleasant through positive reflection and meditation 4. Each evening think about your day and focus on your accomplishments and achievements. Sit down in a comfortable chair or lie down on your back. Inhale through your nose and allow your belly to rise. Exhale through your nose to release the air, as your belly falls toward the spine release any physical tension or mental distraction. Repeat this breathing meditation for 10 to 15 minutes a day.
A 1998 issue of the "Journal of the American Medical Association" revealed that medical triggers tend to promote long-term behavior change in behavioral medicine 1. Take a proactive stance toward achieving a healthier lifestyle to avoid the medical consequences associated with a negative lifestyle. You have the power to control your life experience. Start today with small steps.
- “Journal of the American Medical Association”; Teachable Moments Provide a Means for Physicians to Lower Alcohol Abuse; M. Mitka; Issue 279; 1998
- “Applied Exercise Psychology”; Mark Anshel, Ph.D.; 2006
- “Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition”; William Collins Sons & Co.; 2009
- “Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance”; Positive Psychology and Quality Physical Education: Help Students Lead the Pleasant Life, the Engaged Life, and the Meaningful Life through Physical Education; Jeffrey Cherubini; Volume 80, Issue 7; 2009
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