Creating Healthy Habits

It is that time again when we bring in a new year with new resolutions to improve something about our lives. Whether it is losing weight, working out more, or improving one’s relationship, there is a lot to be said about resolutions. They can be good and bad, but why can changing these things seem so hard.  Well our brains are wired by the habits we create and that is why it can be hard to break certain habits or create new ones.   We almost have to rewire how our brain fire to be able to create new pathways or habit.  The encouraging thing is that it can be done and there are a couple of things that play a major roll into one’s success. 

First is the full desire of the new habit.  Why do you really want it and how is your life going to be improved once you have created that habit and it is part of your routine?

Your stress level at the current time.  When we have high stress, our brain craves dopamine and oxytocin.  This is why we reach for sugar, alcohol, or other thing that stimulate dopamine releases.  However, there are many other ways to help decrease stress and increase your capacity to handle stress. 

  • First and foremost, if you are not getting adjusted that would be the first thing, I would suggest it is the fastest way to regulate the body’s stress response. 

  • Have sex.   We don’t talk much about this topic but it is critical to one’s health.  It is a great way to reduce stress and enhance a relationship. 

  •  Exercise!  When you move your body there are a vast variety of beneficial physiological changes that take place, but it defiantly helps to reduce stress. 

Lastly you if want to create healthy habits you must have the capacity to consistently choose what you want in the long run to what you want in the moment.  This is also known as self-discipline.  There are experts that state that we only have a finite capacity to make decisions aligned with our core values before our habits override our conscious choices.  This is why we can be really good in the morning or the beginning of the week but as time goes by it seems that our habits start to want to take over the conscious decisions and we falter.  One of the most critical things you need to have better capacity to make decision is proper sleep.  When we lack proper sleep, it inhibits our conscious decision-making ability.  I highly suggest naps and proper sleep when it comes to changing habits. 

 

My last bit of advice would be to pick one thing and work on it for 30-90 days.  Don’t try to change too much too fast our brains can’t handle that.  Focus on one thing and once that is a habit itself and part of your routine focus on the next.  Here is to a Happy and Healthy New Year.    

Christopher Scrivner