This blog was written in collaboration with TOVI's mental health expert, Dr. Lorena Ruci. Learn more about Dr. Ruci here.
There’s no doubt getting healthier will set you up to feel and look better. A simple way to approach it is to think of a luxury-brand car. When you’re putting sub-prime fuel in your engine, your car will run, but you won’t be getting the best mileage. When you are making regular unhealthy choices, you're putting sub-prime fuel in your engine.
Why do people struggle to make healthy choices?
There are plenty of reasons people make unhealthy choices. Healthy choices might require more time and effort than unhealthy choices, or people may struggle to see where they can make sustainable changes. High-stress people, in particular, tend to neglect themselves if they don’t have an effective way to manage their stress.
What is the best way to encourage the people around me to get healthier?
Whether you’re trying to convince your significant other to exercise, or you’re a manager trying to help your employees manage their stress, the best advice is to lead by example. If others perceive a task as too difficult or not important enough for you to participate, you’ll have problems convincing anyone else to participate as well (this is particularly true if you’re the leader of a team).
Communication is also important when encouraging those around you to invest in their health. People can’t be forced into making healthy choices until they’re ready to make healthy choices. Having conversations with people to gain an understanding of why they’re following health advice (or why not) is important to help any person make health improvements. Not only will it help you empathize with them, but it will also help them become more self-aware.
Being an example to others and creating an honest environment where people feel safe discussing healthy choices are two of the most fundamental steps that will help people make healthy choices in their own life.
Written by Ashley Miller-Dykeman, MA
Ashley is a science communicator and writer with a background in biology (BA, Boston University) as well as bioethics and science policy (MA, Duke University). In addition to writing for TOVI, Ashley is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and a loving dog mom.