The tiniest little tweak can go a long way in its impact on your health, especially when it’s a tweak to your thoughts. Reframing our habitual ways of seeing health and going about our day can result in boosting our wellness. Let’s look at these nuanced perspectives to see what you can potentially gain for health benefits:
1. How can I squeeze in exercise today? vs. How can I move my body now?
Most people will tell you that when life gets busier, physical activity is usually the first thing sacrificed. Suddenly, there seems to be no time at all for that well-intended workout. With the busy schedules we have these days, we need to answer a different question. Once you ask yourself what you can do now for movement, you will find there are so many opportunities to move instead of sitting or standing still. For example, while talking on the phone, you could be getting up to walk around rather than staying seated. If you’re waiting to leave for that meeting in five minutes, try doing some squats. When it’s almost lunchtime, get up and stretch your body. Get creative and make movement a part of your lifestyle.
2. What do I want to eat? vs. How can I nourish my body?
Just repeat the question in your mind right now: “How can I nourish my body?” This has a unique ring to it and creates a new connection to our body and responsibility to do well by it. Were you maybe craving pastries but realized your body needs berries instead? Go with what truly feeds your body instead of satisfying cravings with less than healthy foods, perpetuating bad eating habits.
3. How can I get everything done today? vs. How can I get all the sleep I need tonight?
This daily battle is a reality for many with the to-do list usually winning out leading to sleep debt. Sleep is one of the most important aspects of health and there just isn’t any substitute. Putting sleep ahead of our to-do list can help re-prioritize what to do each day and promote overall wellness while providing the ample recovery time we are generally deprived of.
4. What’s the lowest cost ________? vs. What’s the best value ________?
Whether we are talking about supplements, treatments, programs – or any other service or product for that matter – consider aligning cost with benefit to get the most out of it. Putting cost above all else without consideration of the value or benefit leads to poor buying decisions. For example, getting a cheap multivitamin can not only be unhelpful, but it can be harmful. If you read labels closely, you may find petroleum-derived ingredients, artificial colours, artificial flavours, and more unwanted, toxic ingredients. In addition, the vitamins included may not be in the easiest to absorb format and may also be at levels below therapeutic dosage (i.e. below the dose that gives the desired health effect). Putting in the extra time to research cost and benefit is more likely to yield a higher quality product so you are getting the best value.
5. How can I get rid of this pain? vs. What’s this pain telling me I need to change?
Pain is something we are programmed to avoid as humans. But we’ve also been blessed with higher faculties to be able to go above just feeling and trying to avoid pain – we can look a littler deeper and learn from it. Instead of jumping to a quick-fix for pain, ask yourself what this pain is communicating. Is there repetitive strain happening? Do you need more rest and recovery time? Is your food intake creating pain? Is there an unacknowledged health issue that needs examining? The quick-fix option can often mask a bigger problem, leave it unresolved and bound to repeat making us reliant on the quick-fix. Questioning the source of the pain is often enlightening and will often guide us towards a change that promotes long-term health.