Building Sustainable Healthy Habits: Creating a Positive Mindset

Written by Susan Brady

Building sustainable health habits is hard! We all know that we need to eat more vegetables, get regular exercise, sleep more, and incorporate a daily stress-reducing routine. But making, and sticking to, these changes is hard. One of the reasons why sustaining healthy habits is so hard is because we are emotional beings and many of our habits are driven by how we feel. Many of our unhealthy habits are driven by negative emotions and breaking bad health habits and instilling healthy habits requires a positive mindset.

If you are waking up in the morning and looking in the mirror and thinking, ugh, I have gained so much weight, or have gotten so flabby, or look so old, or stressed. Or if you jump out of bed thinking about all the things you have to do and how stressful your day is going to be, you are setting up for a day of failure. Not only will you struggle to achieve your daily goals, but you are also telling yourself that you are not worthy of getting healthy, nor do you have the time or energy to focus on your health. Your emotions and outlook on life are key components for creating healthy habits.

Here are 2 quick and easy ways that can help flip the switch for a more positive mindset:

The Maui Habit

The Maui habit was developed by Dr. BJ Fogg, a behavior scientist at Stanford University and author of the book Tiny Habits. The habit grew out of inspiration from a birthday card Dr. Fogg received one year from a Hawaiian friend. The words on the front of the card read “Every Day is a Gift.” Being deeply touched by those words, he began incorporating that sentiment into his life by waking up every morning and stating what a great day it is going to be. He began to see how this one tiny habit of starting the day with a positive mindset had a huge impact on his life.

The Maui Habit is to start each day repeating the phrase “today is going to be a great day” or “an awesome day”, or “an amazing day.” Saying and repeating this simple phrase can trigger your brain for positive thoughts and positive outcomes throughout the day. This simple 3-second habit helps to create positive energy for the day, which will intern help you to make positive, healthy choices. Additionally, these positive thoughts crowd out those negative, self-sabotaging thoughts that lead to destructive habits.

Positive Self-Talk

Self-talk is that running internal dialogue that goes on in your head every day. It can be negative like “you are not good enough”, or “you can’t do anything right” or it can be positive like “you are doing great.” The way that you talk to yourself can have a profound impact on your behavior and your habits. It is very hard to stick to a health goal if you don’t feel as if you are ever going to achieve it, or deserve to achieve it. Positive self-talk boosts your self-confidence in your ability to achieve your goals and instills the belief that the things you want are achievable. Then, when you are faced with certain challenges or barriers to your goal, it is easier to find ways to overcome them. Even a small shift in that dialogue in your head towards more positive words can have a tremendous impact on helping you change your behavior and reinforce healthy habits.

Just having a positive mindset can improve your health. 

Positive thinking has been associated with:

  • Increased lifespan

  • Lower risk of depression

  • Greater resistance to the common cold

  • Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease

  • Better coping skills during stressful times, reducing the harmful effect of stress on your body

People with a positive mindset tend to live healthier lifestyles; they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet and don’t smoke or drink alcohol in excess.

Keeping a positive mindset, engaging in positive self-talk, starting your day with a positive thought like “it is going to be a great day”, I believe, is the first step in helping you to make those proactive changes that lead to long-term, sustainable health habits.

 

Need help achieving your health goals? Reach out, I can help! Susan@nurturedbones.com/703.738.4230

 

Proper Exercise and Nutrition

“Susan Brady is very knowledgeable about osteoporosis. In 2016, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis in my lower back. Through proper exercise and nutrition, Susan was able to guide me towards a regimen that would in turn almost reverse my symptoms. Because of her method, I have been able to curb my bone loss, gain strength, and improve my overall health. I feel that I am on the road to a happier, healthier lifestyle thanks to Susan.”~ B.L.

Prescription Holiday

Initially, I went to Susan Brady because my family doctor told me to take a holiday from the prescription bone density medicine that I had been taking it for many years. I avoid dairy since I am lactose intolerant and sensitive to dairy protein. I was confident that Susan could recommend a superior quality calcium, balanced with other supplements that would help provide the nutrients I needed for bone health. In addition to recommendations for supplements, she has evaluated my diet and my exercise regimen, making suggestions as needed. With guidance from Susan I have been able to maintain bone health without additional bone density medicine for several years now. ~K.N.

Osteoporosis Nutrition

After being diagnosed with osteoporosis, I began sifting through all the information available on nutrition and osteoporosis, but it was confusing and time consuming. Even though I thought my diet was good, Susan gave me advice on how to make it even better! I benefited very much from Susan’s nutritional advice and guidance for safe and effective exercises. My recent bone scan showed improvements in both my hip and my spine, so I am encouraged that all the changes that I have made are working! ~ M.R.

Alkaline Based Diet

While providing rehabilitation after my two hip surgeries, Susan also educated me in the importance of proper nutrition for strengthening my bones and improving my bone density. She encouraged me to eat an alkaline-based diet and to eliminate the junk food I was so fond of. Not only did I heal quickly, but also the doctors were amazed by the rapid bone growth as noted on my x-rays. I continue to include chia and pumpkin seeds in my diet, as well as other foods that are alkaline based. I honestly have Susan to thank for this complete transformation in my diet which has allowed me to go back to wearing heels which I thought I would never be able to do again. Nutrition matters — I am a perfect example of good bones from good food! ~R.G.

Surgery Rehabilitation

While providing rehabilitation after my two hip surgeries, Susan also educated me in the importance of proper nutrition for strengthening my bones and improving my bone density. She encouraged me to eat an alkaline-based diet and to eliminate the junk food I was so fond of. Not only did I heal quickly, but also the doctors were amazed by the rapid bone growth as noted on my x-rays. I continue to include chia and pumpkin seeds in my diet, as well as other foods that are alkaline based. I honestly have Susan to thank for this complete transformation in my diet which has allowed me to go back to wearing heels which I thought I would never be able to do again. Nutrition matters. I am a perfect example of good bones from good food!” ~R.G.

Susan modeling Weighted Vest

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