What Habits Are Helping or Hurting You

The Good, the Bad, and the Unhealthy

Habits are a part of daily life. From morning until night, your body goes through the motions to get you through the day. From eating, to sleeping, to the way that you do your hair, there are patterns of behaviour that you repeat day-after-day that form your habits. These habits don’t always stick out in our mind – in fact, many times we carry them out quite subconsciously. As described by Wendy Wood, there is a “dual mind” at play. In short, our minds will respond either with intention or with habit. Intentions can be changed and sculpted to fit the situation and get the desired outcome. However, habits are an immediate response to a situation in order to get the same outcome as previously experienced. While there are many healthy habits present in our lives, there are also quite a few unhealthy ones as well.

Food For Thought

The how, what and when regarding our eating habits can certainly make the difference between a healthy body and an unhealthy one. An assessment published in The Lancet Global Health explored the diets of men and women, both regionally and nationally, over a 20 year period from 1990 to 2010. In this study, it was found that healthy eating was more common among the older generations, while unhealthier diets were fairly consistent within their younger counterparts. Regardless of your age, it’s valuable to take a mindfulness approach to how, what and when you nourish your body.

Charging Your Self-Control Batteries

Much like the way in which you eat, the method in which you gather your 7-8 hours a night is indeed habitual. In a study done at Clemson University, the link between sleep habits and self-control was explored. Self-control is a process in the brain that drains energy quicker than it can be replenished, which makes rest incredibly important to keep this process in check. It was shown that over time, individuals with poor bedtime habits (i.e. not enough sleep, not getting restful sleep, etc.) were more likely to experience problems with self-control compared to those who had good sleeping habits. The breakdown in self-control can lead to a variety of problems in all aspects of an individual’s life.

Turning the negative into a positive

Bad habits are something that can be changed, but you don’t have to wait until New Year’s to get started. While repetition contributed to creating a less-than-optimal habit, it is the same recipe to forming a healthier alternative. If you need any support, we encourage you to call 416.921.CARE (2273) or email us and set up a complimentary one hour consultation with a member of our health team.

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