The best way to achieve Success with your health is to effectively “Train your Brain”
Forming a new habit, one you’ll do automatically, as your “default” setting , takes at least two weeks of faithful repetition. The reason is that you’re rewriting your brain. Researchers have discovered that giving up bad habits such a overeating, watching TV instead of exercising, or anything else that may feel good but isn’t so good for your health works against the brain’s pleasure systems. Your brain may actually go into withdrawal when you swamp bad habits for good habits, because you’re no longer supplying the activity or foods that send surges of the feel good chemical dopamine washing through your brain cells.
Outsmart withdrawal by substituting another feel-good food or activity. Experts suspect that sticking with a new, healthier pleasure long enough will teach your brain to release dopamine when you experience it, so that you actually look forward to that walk or slice of whole-wheat cinnamon toast in the morning.
One myth out there is that change has to hurt to be good for you. Like no pain, no gain. But the fact is, if it feels bad, it will be very difficult to stick with it. Exercise should make you feel good – feel beautiful. It should match your body type, your likes and dislikes, and your needs. When it does that, you’ll be able to stick with it.
A change that is right for you will help you feel energized yet relaxed. You may feel a little tired if you’ve just taken a walk or performed a few strength training moves, but you shouldn’t feel achy or exhausted. You may feel a little lighter in the tummy if you’re eating more moderate portions, but you shouldn’t feel starved. If you’re trying to add more relaxation, more hobbies, and more socializing to your day, you should expect to feel excited and busy, but never overwhelmed.
Change shouldn’t become a source of stress. Research shows that when it does, stress hormones impel us to do whatever we’ve always done to calm down. That might mean eating a cupcake or smoking a cigarette, having a glass of wine or complaining. Stress, then, can interfere with your efforts to change.
Remember, that the point is, if you start with changes that are easy to make, and stick with them for a few weeks, you’ll find that the next wave of changes are even easier. And suddenly, you are well down the path towards the long life and health you deserve.
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