Tips For Changing Your Behavior To Develop Healthy Habits That Make A Difference
Pegasus Home Health Care is an equal-opportunity organization. Our clients, staff, and professional caregivers are diverse in culture, background, and experience. We honor each individual by practicing equity and inclusivity in all we do.
Pegasus skilled in-home caregivers in Sylmar and elsewhere assist individuals of all ages and conditions. They know that healthy habits make a difference for themselves and their patients. Career home health care nurses explain how to overcome undesirable habits and develop healthier lifestyles.
A habit is something a person regularly does, often without thinking about it. It’s something they just do at certain times of the day or in specific circumstances. For example, you may habitually turn on the coffee pot first thing each morning.
The Good, The Bad, And Your Health
Drinking your coffee black with minimal additives has scientifically proven benefits. Adding spoonfuls of sugar to your morning coffee negates any benefits. Accompanying it with a pastry or a cigarette harms your whole body.
Coffee, donut, and cigarette are habits. You drink, eat, and smoke without thinking. They are all automatic, and each has a “trigger” that starts the process.
Perhaps you have your morning coffee because it wakes you up and gives you energy. But that coffee triggers the added sugar, the pastry, and the cigarette. The pleasure center in your brain loves all of it and will fight any change.
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
The first step in parting ways with your bad habit is understanding what motivates you to eliminate it. Everyone is different, but improving their quality of life is an incentive for many people. Knowing you will be healthier can help you stick to a new behavior until it becomes automatic.
Then you need to spend time discovering your triggers. Often, they’re related to pleasure or convenience. Once you know why something has become a habit, you can begin to modify it.
Environment is the circumstances surrounding a bad habit. Environment often triggers behavior, and changing it helps overcome the activity associated with it. For example, having your coffee in a different room weakens the trigger to accompany it with an unhealthy snack.
It’s Not Easy Being Green
Nor is it easy to form healthy habits. Unless you have exceptionally strong willpower, you can’t make behavioral changes all at once. You increase your chances of success with incremental improvements.
- Setting achievable and detailed goals. Ambiguity and indefinite goals such as “eat better” rarely work. Instead, try goals like, “I will replace desserts with fruit” or “I will cook meals at home on weeknights.”
- Establishing a different environment and related positive triggers. Create a routine that enables you to practice until the new behavior becomes automatic.
- Making it fun. Remember, habits are built through repetition, and you’re more apt to repeat an enjoyable activity.
- Being flexible. Try different ways of accomplishing your goal. Boredom with a new routine can lead to relapses. And if you don’t try different ways, you really won’t know what works best to keep you on track.
- Getting encouragement. Tell friends and family about your goal. They’ll offer support, and they’ll hold you accountable.
Relapses are inevitable for most people. Avoid discouragement and self-criticism if you temporarily revert to your bad habit. Keep making little improvements daily to create a difference in your life and health.
One New Behavior At A Time
Everyone knows they need to exercise more, eat better, get enough sleep, maintain their weight, and quit smoking. There’s no disputing the health benefits of these and similar lifestyle changes.
You may have some good health practices you don’t think of as habits. Those are activities like brushing your teeth or showering regularly. You can consciously make other things habitual to help maintain your health.
For example, form the habit of washing your hands frequently. Schedule regular appointments with physicians, dentists, and optometrists. Get all appropriate vaccinations.
Consider going beyond the obvious habits that maintain good health. Think about improvements in emotional, mental, and physical behaviors that increase your quality of life.
Suggestions for healthy habits include:
- Reading more books
- Staying hydrated
- Incorporating Meatless Mondays into your diet
- Learning how to do something new
- Keeping your space tidy
- Focusing on what you’re eating rather than TV or other distractions
- Spending time each day away from social media
- Setting aside adequate self-care time
- Living within your budget
Remember to start with one behavior at a time and make it automatic before choosing another.
Join The Team That Cares
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. Our skilled in-home caregivers in Sylmar and our other locations customize their assistance to meet the needs of each individual. Our career home health care nurses teach their patients how to develop good habits that improve their well-being.
We’re hiring professionals dedicated to improving the quality of life for others. As a member of the Pegasus team, you’ll have support from experts in achieving your professional goals. Your skills and abilities will be validated by trust, appreciation, and respect from your colleagues.