Take a minute to answer this question honestly: When it comes time to motivating yourself to workout, eat better, and make overall healthier decisions – do you tear yourself down, or build yourself up?
Time.com recently examined how positive thinking can make all the difference in an article titled “The Reason You Make Unhealthy Choices.”
The author explains:
People often think that they are motivated by self-criticism, but a burgeoning area of research suggests the opposite. Being kind to yourself, as opposed to tearing yourself down, leads to fewer bad feelings and, in turn, healthier actions.
One research example they give is an analysis 15 different studies and discovered a link between self-compassion and four key health-promoting behaviors:
- Eating better
- Exercising more
- Getting more restful sleep
- and Stressing less.
Conclusion: People who were more self-compassionate, practiced the above habits more often.
So what are some of these ways to practice self-compassion? Another Time.com article – 10 Ways to Gear Up for Weight Loss – gives some excellent tips.
- Don’t Beat Yourself Up: We all make mistakes, we all break a rule or two. We’re human! Acknowledge it, move on.
- Celebrate Every Success, this includes all the small milestones along the way to your goal.
- Don’t Focus Solely on Your Weight – examples improvements in sleep quality, mood, blood pressure, etc. (Check out 5 Reasons to Eat Healthier that Have Nothing to Do with Weight.)
- Find positive support – don’t let others tear you down either!
- Don’t set unrealistic expectations – just like in number 1, focus on progress.