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How can you live longer?

Tips to making those lifestyle changes stick…

This week was a week where one of those studies that states the obvious comes out and revealed to us the lifestyle changes that could help us live longer.

The advice is as follows and apologies if you’ve heard it all before..

  • Eat well.

  • Avoid cigarettes.

  • Get a good night’s sleep.

  • Be physically active.

  • Manage stress.

  • Avoid binge drinking.

  • Be free from opioid addiction.

  • Have positive social relationships.

These are things that most of us know but can struggle to maintain. Knowing what we need to do and doing it are two very different things.

“Insight alone is not enough” as the old phrase goes. We need to couple this knowledge with action if we want things to change.

How do we make that change?

Firstly, knowing why you want to change is a good start.

If we know why we want to do something and it means something important to us. It will be a lot easier to motivate ourselves.

Holding this purpose in mind, it is then about taking a step towards the behaviour you want to change.

Perhaps it’s getting to bed 15 minutes earlier?

If you manage get this bit done, the next key step is to cultivate an awareness of how it feels when you have made a change in your life.

How did it feel when you went to bed slightly earlier?

Slightly smug? Relieved?

How about when you got up?

Still knackered!

Any shifts in experience?

Actually my day felt slightly easier today.

Actively reaffirming these changes in our minds, allows our brains to begin to associate the rewards of the new behaviour and it becomes something we are more likely to stick with if we do this over time.

By doing this again and again and learning to become more present in our lives, we can begin to make more decisions that can lead us towards who we want to be, rather than stuck in old patterns.

These are skills which I help my clients to uncover and build in therapy. Working in a holistic style these 8 lifestyle changes are not something that we might address directly in sessions but often develop as by products of taking care of physical and mental health.


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