I am just a few weeks into forming a new healthy habit but I am so hopeful and proud about my decision to reinitiate my Yoga practice. Despite the timing, beginning a new practice has nothing to with a New Year’s Resolution. While the start of a new year is a perfectly good reason to begin a healthy habit, I started my Yoga practice again because I learned new information.
I recently discovered how essential activating the parasympathetic state in my nervous system is to my personal health and healing. I learned that connecting with my breath, creating a feeling of safety, and exercise are all tactics I can use to engage that parasympathetic state. Upon understanding this my mind immediately went back to a time when I practiced Yoga on a regular basis. I remembered that Yoga incorporated all of these tactics quite beautifully. So I started right away with some Yin Yoga and I’m still going with a daily practice.
How New Info Motivates
The Health Belief model, a behavior change model used by Health Coaches and other behavior change specialists, suggests that an individual’s ideas and underlying beliefs about illness, prevention, and treatment may influence health decisions and behaviors (sphweb). For example, an individual who believes Type 2 diabetes runs in the family may never attempt lifestyle changes, like diet and increasing physical activity, which could delay or even prevent Type 2 diabetes.
Conversely, if the individual was able to discover and come to the conclusion that lifestyle changes like diet and exercise can delay and even prevent type 2 Diabetes, then they are much more likely to implement those changes and be successful. This is why it’s important to identify, examine, challenge, and change unproductive thoughts and feelings that might interfere with our behavior change plans.
Identify an idea or feeling that isn’t helping you progress toward your heath goals (Ex: I can’t eat healthy because I’m too busy). Examine your current beliefs (Ex: Do I have 10 minutes to make a nutritious breakfast?) and attempt to challenge them with new information (Ex: How do other busy people eat healthy). Check out some of my favorite resources for research-backed info to inspire healthy change.