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Creating a Positive Health Outlook

Ask yourself: What does “good health” mean?

It is likely that your first thought is: “good health is not having an illness.” And yes, that is true, but health is so much more than that. In fact, health is resource for everyday living- a source of power-an enabler. It is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being.  Good health is also a process.calories-walking-resized

Focusing on the negatives and feeling like we are not “living a healthy lifestyle” can give health a negative connotation. We’re all guilty of thinking of health in this manner. If I think, “Hey, I’m going to go on a run today- I don’t want to gain those extra pounds”, that is not very motivating and it makes fitness feel like a chore- not a hobby. When I think this way, I am focusing more on the negative of not going on the run verses viewing my run in a positive light.  If health can be viewed as something fun, inspiring, and exciting, chances are it’ll be more attractive to pursue. If I change my attitude of the run; think about how much better I will feel afterwards, about the time I will have to myself to decompress, or about how I will sleep soundly that night, I will likely enjoy the run more. I repeat these phrases in my head while I am exercising as well to keep me going. And after I am finished, I am much more likely to be active again tomorrow (while also looking forward to it) and take a bike ride, try yoga, or go to the gym.

Another way to develop a positive health outlook is to think of things in your life that you value, for example: family, hobbies, and work. What are some activities that you want to do? What are daily challenges? What would you like to improve? Set health goals that you believe you can accomplish in order to surpass these obstacles. For example, let’s say you’ve always wanted to go on a hike but thought the hills would completely wear you out, so it keeps getting pushed to the side. Start by improving your endurance by walking the dog a few extra minutes each day, taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, and parking farther away from the grocery store. Eventually small changes here and there have more impact on your health than expected. Soon, you will be able to conquer those hills and enjoy a great hike!

Never forget that you can do this! It is possible! You just have to take the first step.

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