Cultivating healthy habits is an integral part of the Kaufmann Lifestyle.
Many of us can easily identify the bad habits in our lives––the habits that prevent us from achieving our full potential or enjoying optimal health. Bad habits are easy to slip in to and extremely tough to break. However, learning how to break bad habits and cultivate good habits is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
Diet is an excellent example: More and more, we are learning the role that poor food choices and sedentary lifestyle often play in diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other diseases. The good news is, since bad habits are known to play a role in these diseases, hopefully good habits can help prevent them. And as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This line of thought, however, extends to other areas of life, both physical, emotional and spiritual.
Common knowledge says a new habit takes 30 days to cultivate. It is worth asking what your life would like 1 month, 3 months or even one year from now if you committed to turning some bad habits into good habits. Why not give it a try? Will it be easy? No. Does it take a certain amount of determination? Yes. Will you make mistakes? Most likely. Failure to try, however, defines failure most accurately. You do not have to change every bad habit you’ve ever made overnight. Here are 7 ideas to start with. Maybe just implementing one can make a dramatic difference in your life, health and well-being.
1. Cook Your Meals At Home
Poor dietary habits are likely among the most prevalent of bad habits, and our fast-paced, instant gratification-driven society does nothing to make this any easier. For most people, it is easier to hit the drive through, stop at the convenience store or sit down at a restaurant on the way home from work. Or, perhaps its easier to buy prepackaged food at the grocery store––something ready to eat or ready to toss in the microwave.
What if instead you actually prepared your meals from fresh ingredients for a month? Yes, it takes time and thought and effort, but knowing the profound role that diet can play in health, the difference you experience might be profound both in the long and short term. The Kaufmann Diet focuses on fresh ingredients, so committing to preparing your own meals might be an excellent way to start the diet. Many dieters feel remarkably better after committing to the Kaufmann Anti-fungal Diet for a 4-6 weeks.
2. Go To Bed Early, And Get Enough Sleep
Since most people must be up at a certain time, staying up late into the night is a often a good way to not get enough sleep. We know that getting enough good, restorative sleep is key for maintaining good health, and lack thereof is known to promote poor health. Whatever the distraction is––screen time, work, or even hobbies––commit to getting to bed at a reasonable time every night. Without question, making sleep a priority is an important, healthy habit.
A couple good rules to help ensure this are limiting caffeine intake after around 1-3PM and turning off all screens at least an hour before sleep; certain frequencies of light can interfere with melatonin (the hormone that helps ease you into sleep) production in the brain. Make your bedroom a peaceful, dark space with no distraction, and get to bed early enough to ensure you sleep long enough to feel refreshed.
3. Wake Up Early, Start Your Day With Prayer Or Meditation
In tandem with going to bed early, committing to waking up early enough to start your day with prayer or meditation is a healthy habit to cultivate. Sleeping in too late often leads to rushed mornings––a stressor for many. Instead, starting the day with meditation, prayer or quiet time is a method that has been shown to lower stress and the subsequent deleterious health effects it promotes.
4. Swap Screen Time For Active Time
Sedentary lifestyle is likely among the worst habits to cultivate; truly, you must move it or lose it. Most people argue that they do not have enough time to exercise, yet how many hours do we often spend leisurely looking at our phones, tablets, laptops of televisions? The truth is, most of us have the time––indeed, we all the same amount of hours in the day. Use your time wisely and cultivate a sensible exercise regimen. Many studies show that 30 min to an hour 3 to 4 days a week of moderate exercise is all it takes to begin gleaning the benefits.
5. Learn To Say No
Learn to say no to unhealthy temptations, whether it is unhealthy food, the temptation to forgo your exercise regimen, or the invitation to take part in toxic relationships. Learning to say no protects you from the inevitable stressors that are invited into your life when you say yes to everything. Sometimes, it is best to forgo a social event, or pass on dinner with friends, or say no to dessert. Learning to say no allows you to say yes to the things in your life that promote your health and well being.
6. Think More Positively
Negative thinking is prevents untold numbers of people from reaching their potential. It is also complicit in ruining diets, exercise regimens and even relationships. Even science has begun to show the negative (and positive) ways our thinking can physically affect our body. Simply put, the power of positive or negative thinking can profoundly experience your experience and outcomes in life.
It is easy to think negatively of yourself if you make a mistake. It is easy to feel sorry for yourself if you are in a bad situation. It is also a bad habit. Cultivating positive thinking allows you to see mistakes as challenges, not as ruining everything you have worked for. Positive thinking keeps the big picture in mind and allows you to get past mistakes and move forward in your health journey or in other areas of life. Everyone makes mistakes; how you view them makes all the difference in the world, especially when it comes to cultivating good habits.
7. Cultivate Mindfulness About The Products You Use
Most people would not consider lack of mindfulness about consumer products a bad habit. However, in light of the evidence that has arisen over the years of the toxic nature of many of the consumer products we regularly use, we really must begin to understand the implications for both our health and that of the environment, which ultimately comes back to affect we individuals. Does this mean you need to throw out every household cleaner under the sink right now? Not necessarily. Consider the study that found cleaners to be as dangerous to lung function as smoking; many people would not think that cleaning their house would be as dangerous as cigarettes! This is one example, but the line of thought extends to all the products we use. While it is certainly not worth obsessing over, cultivating mindfulness about the products you use is a good habit to develop. (www.ewg.org is an excellent resource to this end.)