Do you ever feel pressure to be healthy?
If so, you’re not alone! Not only does it come from other people, but our own minds can generate it. We feel like we must eat ten portions of fruits and veg each day to get our quota. Or we must spend at least five hours exercising per week.
But this psychological approach to wellness isn’t ideal. It’s a lot of pressure. And it turns being healthy into a kind of chore. Eventually, the mind rebels and you find any excuse that you can to get out of it.
Changing Your Mindset
The trick here is to….. change your mindset towards health.
It’s not about gritting your teeth and just using willpower to get through it. It’s about seeing a healthy lifestyle as something that you’re just trying out. In other words, you’re “leaning into it.”
One of the biggest mistakes people make is saying to themselves “I can never eat donuts again.”
This type of thinking creates a deprivation mindset. The moment certain items of food are off the table, it creates a sense of loss. It’s hard to say to yourself that you’ll never eat a certain type of food again. That’s limiting life’s possibilities, isn’t it.
Tell Yourself It’s An Experiment
Instead of taking an all-or-nothing approach, tell yourself that what you’re doing is an experiment. You might say something like “I’m going to try this for three weeks to see how I feel”.
This way, you totally change the psychology. Suddenly, it’s not about deprivation at all. Instead, being well is just a fun project that you’re trying out. Then, when you hit the end of three weeks, you can reevaluate and say to yourself, “I feel so good, I could probably try this for another three weeks” and so on.
What you’re not doing is giving yourself a deprivation mindset. You’re also not forcing yourself to do anything. There’s no gritting of teeth involved. You’re just going along with it and, hopefully, making it easy.
Keep It Delicious
Instead of focusing on what you can’t have, explore what you can have. Sure, okay, donuts are off the menu, but there’s a world of foods out there that you might not have explored.
For instance, you could start easy by making healthy smoothies with fresh ingredients you wouldn’t normally include in your diet. You could then move on to exploring the fascinating world of herbs and spices and the many ways they can tremendously enrich the food that you eat. You could also teach yourself some new recipes using healthy ingredients.
Don’t Push Your Exercise Too Hard Too Fast
Lastly, if you’re not used to it, exercise is going to feel horrible at first.
But there’s really no reason to push it. Any movement is good for you, so start with something that feels challenging, but is still pleasant.
This way, you can train your mind to actually enjoy physical movement, encouraging you to keep doing it in the future.
So, will you try to force wellness? Or will you lean into it?
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