How the Small Choices You Make Influence Health

Making Good Choices
28 Nov

Last Updated on November 28, 2016 by Michael Brockbank

Have you ever sat back and thought about how even the simplest of choices can affect the outcome of your day? What if you decided to brew your own coffee today instead heading off to 7-11? Perhaps you took the scenic route to work today just for a change of pace. It’s these small choices that may shape how the rest of the day unfolds, and you probably don’t even realize it. They may even contribute greatly to your health.

The Choice to Remain Miserable

Meet GoalsA lot of people make the decision to remain miserable. However, not all of these individuals want to admit it. Take myself, for example. There are times when it seems like I prefer to be sad or depressed rather than happy. As psychotic as it may seem, it’s actually quite more of a problem than what a lot of people realize.

So, what drives these people to remain comfortable in their misery? Are they psychotic? No. In fact, a large chunk of them will do it to gain sympathy from others. Another large portion of them will do it as a way to punish themselves for something they think they did wrong. I belong to the latter group.

I never really put much stock in the idea that you can fully control whether you’re happy or not. But in reality, there is a lot you can do to affect your mood. Although situations and mental states will influence how you feel, it is possible to make the choice to feel differently.

The hardest part is admitting to yourself why you’re wallowing in self-pity. Is it as bad as you think it is, or are you trying to gain the attention of others? Perhaps you’re missing something in your life and being miserable is the only way you think you can get it.

To Thine Own Self Be True

Not everyone likes to admit things to themselves they believe are bad. As cliché as it may sound, admitting you have a problem is the first step in fixing it. Yes, I totally ripped off Alcoholics Anonymous just now. However, it’s a true saying in virtually every aspect of life.

Whether you’re making choices to stay a certain way for attention or punishment, you need to discover these aspects about yourself. In extreme cases, you could be looking at the worst parts of your own mind. It’s what you choose to do with the information that makes a difference.

Small Choices Can Lead to Greater Health

Throughout life, you’ll be faced with a plethora of choices. These can be ultra-intense or so small that you may not even notice them. But in the long run, every one of these decisions will impact your physical and mental health.

Physical Activity

Morning WorkoutThe choices for getting more physical activity are not as difficult as some might think. A lot of times, these can be simple things throughout your day that you really don’t put much thought into. For example, making the choice to clean the bathroom can actually burn quite a few calories.

But it’s not just chores around the house. It’s things like getting up and getting your own coffee rather than ask the children. Walking to the store instead of driving. Even spending time on your feet cooking dinner is more physical than the drive-through window.

Choices to get more physical activity are abundant in your life. You just need to set aside the lazy part of your brain and get up.

If you think about it, more physical activity can also improve your mental stability. It’s all about getting blood going to the brain and fueling it with oxygen. Increasing your physical activity can improve focus, rational thought and overall clarity. This says nothing about changing your overall emotional state.

Eating Healthier

Pork Chop and GreensObviously this one had to be in the list. Yes, the smallest of choices regarding your food intake will influence physical and mental health. Think of it like preparing yourself for one inevitable outcome.

Let’s say you decide to skip breakfast this morning because you are either too busy or simply not hungry. From that point, there could be an unlimited number of possibilities that can unfold. What if you have hypoglycemia like myself? Not eating can greatly affect your mood and overall health.

What about the other side of the coin? Let’s say you decide to eat breakfast and choose something rich in vitamins and proteins. Most people would have a much better start to their day while feeling more energized and alert.

The foods you eat can have an impact on how your day develops. At this point, you’re making a conscious decision about how you want to be affected. Depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, alertness and more can all be changed with the right foods.

Changing the Way You Look At Things

Fitness CrossroadYour perceptions regarding any situation or circumstance is going to influence your choices. Do you choose to look on the dark or light side of things? It all depends on how you want to advance. Instead, ask yourself do you truly want to be sad or happy?

The hardest part about altering your perceptions of life and health is being truthful with yourself. Are you really doing things because you are truly unhappy, or is it something that can be easily changed by simply looking at the brighter half of the problem?

Then there are some things that you just can’t pull yourself out of no matter what you do. Even if you try to be happy, they may still make you miserable. It’s when you’ve truly exhausted methods of being happy that you can say that you are truly miserable.

It’s often the most simplest choices in life than can make it have more vigor and vitality. All it takes is dedication from yourself to realize the real difference in how choices can alter your reality. No matter how small, simple decisions can greatly alter how the rest of your life continues.

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