It can be hard work to make lasting changes in our lives, even when it regards our health. We all know that eating better, exercising more, and caring for our wellbeing is essential, but it is easier said than done. How many of us have attempted the latest diet or somehow altered our lifestyle, only to find ourselves reverting to our old habits a few weeks later?
Humans are, by nature, creatures of habit. Once we find a comfortable routine, it can be hard to break out of it – even if we know it's not good for us. While making lasting changes to our health and wellbeing might take some time and effort, the rewards are more than worth it.
What Is a Healthy Habit?
A healthy habit is any behaviour that helps you maintain or improve your overall physical and mental health. There are endless possibilities for developing healthy habits, but some of the most common ones include eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and managing stress.
Why Are Healthy Habits Important?
Our lives can be hectic, and it can be easy to let our health fall by the wayside. But if we want to feel our best and enjoy a long, fulfilling life, it's important to prioritise our wellness. Healthy habits help to:
- Improve our physical health by promoting healthy eating and exercise
- Boost our mental health and wellbeing by reducing stress and anxiety
- Increase our energy levels and mood
- Help us to focus and be more productive
- Give us a sense of accomplishment
How to Build Healthy Habits
Now you know why healthy habits are so important, it's time to start building some of your own! Here are a few tips to get you started:
Ask Yourself 'Why'
Knowing our motivations is very beneficial when we embark on a journey to develop a new healthy habit. Why do you want to make this change? What are your goals? Once you know where your journey is taking you, it will be easier to stay on the right track, even if you hit a bump in the road.
Assess the Habits You Want to Change
Before you can remove an unhealthy habit, you need to identify it. This can be harder than it sounds – sometimes, we're unaware of the behaviours we need to remove from our lives.
You could try keeping a diary for a week or two and write down everything you eat, drink and do each day. Once you have a better understanding of any habits, you can start to make a plan to change them.
If you are fully aware of the bad habit you want to break, such as smoking, look for any triggers that make you want to do it. Is there a specific time of day or feeling that makes you welcome the bad habits? Once you know what these are, you can start implementing strategies to avoid them.
Make a Plan
Now you know your 'why' and what habits you wish to break, it's time to start planning how you will make this happen. If your goal is to eat more healthily, for example, you might want to start by making a grocery list of healthy foods to buy. If you want to drink more water, invest in a reusable water bottle you can take everywhere.
Whatever your aim, it helps to have a plan in place so that you can stay focused and on track.
Don't try to revamp your entire lifestyle overnight – it's not sustainable, and such a vast shift can cause overwhelm. Instead, focus on making one little change at a time. When we feel overwhelmed, it can lead us back to our old ways.
If you're trying to eat healthier, start by adding one extra serving of vegetables to your diet each day. Or, if you want to put your wellness first, incorporate something simple, such as aromatherapy, into your morning routine. Once that becomes second nature, you can move on to the next healthy habit you'd like to develop.
Make It Accessible
If your healthy habit is inaccessible, you're far less likely to stick with it and make excuses. For example, if you want to cut sugar out of your diet but don't have any appropriate food in the house, it will be challenging to make that happen. Similarly, it will be much harder to get started if you're trying to exercise more but don't have any comfortable workout clothes.
It's too easy to think, 'I'll try again tomorrow, or 'I don't have time today. To improve your chance of success, ensure you have everything you need to make your healthy habit happen.
Manage Your Expectations
When trying to develop a brand new healthy habit, it's important to manage our expectations. Change doesn't happen overnight, and there will inevitably be setbacks along the way. Don't beat yourself up if you have a terrible day or slip up – just pick yourself up and start again tomorrow.
Instant gratification when building healthy habits is unrealistic, but slow and steady progress is much more sustainable in the long run.
Get Others Involved!
There is always strength in numbers, so share your goals with your friends and family and enlist their support. It can be incredibly helpful to have people around to hold you accountable and cheer you on as you make progress. You could even start a healthy habits challenge with your friends or colleagues to make the journey more fun!
Building healthy habits can be a challenge, but it's definitely worth it when you see the positive impact they have on your life. Take things one step at a time, and don't forget to celebrate your successes along the way.
Building healthy habits is also a brilliant foundation for improving your wellbeing and overall sense of wellness. You are the key to your own success, so why not get started building healthy habits today?
If you're looking for an easy yet effective healthy habit to start you on your journey to wellness, aromatherapy is a wonderful option. We have a fabulous range of expertly crafted essential oils from only the highest quality ingredients. Why not check out our range and see for yourself! With benefits for your mental health and it can easily be incorporated into your routine, what's not to love?