We’ve all heard the saying “like attracts like,” meaning that similar people, places and things, bring about similar people, places and things. Studies have shown that people who look alike or act alike will attract people similar in life, work and relationships. What I’ve been thinking about lately is how much like attracts like in our health and habits as well.
I’ve noticed that over time, during my own highs and lows, that I’m never just positively improving or negatively impacting one part of my life. Things always seem to happen simultaneously. This happens to everyone! And in so many aspects of our lives. What we need to do is be aware and ready for it, to stop the cycle and be done with it, before it snowballs into something really bad.
Example: You’re really busy and stressed at work, you don’t have enough time to pack a decent lunch or make a home cooked meal, so you grab something crappy. You’re tired, so you grab sweetened coffee and maybe some other form of processed sugar later that afternoon. It makes you irritable. You’re hungry anyway. You eat something quick and convenient after work and maybe decide to “drink it off” later that evening. Because alcohol seriously inhibits our sleep quality and patterns, you wake up tired, and the cycle continues. Now, let’s throw in a little “I was too busy and too tired to workout this week”…which turns into maybe 2-3 weeks. Now you have created a whole slew of unhappy and unhealthy habits for yourself (How many days does it take to create a habit? 21?) and you’re feeling stuck and icky and annoyed at yourself.
What helps? Awareness, discipline, and support. Acknowledging a problem is the first step in solving it, right? And support? Well, you have that right here, my friend! I’m available as a source of support for things like this and so are many other counselors, therapists, doctors, health practitioners, and your best buds who want you to be happy and healthy…But the discipline. Yeah, I know that one’s not so easy.
I know exactly what it feels like to be down or stressed, when you’re literally having that conversation with yourself saying, if I went out for a walk I’d probably feel better. If I ate healthier, I’d probably feel better. If I chose not to drink alcohol when I’m anxious, frustrated, or stressed, I’d probably feel better. Or maybe you didn’t even know that some of these things can affect your mood and health! However, my point is that like attracts like, and the worse your eating habits become (whether it’s from vacationing, stress or time constraints) they are likely to continue that way. Try challenging yourself or “experimenting” with a “what if” mentality of trying to not cling to your comfy, unhealthy habits when things get crazy and just SEE what it would be like to make healthier choices and how they affect you. Because…
Like attracts like. And if you get up and workout in the morning, trust me, you will not be as inclined to eat a crappy breakfast, or sugar throughout the day, or a fast food lunch or dinner. You may want to walk on your work breaks or in the evenings with your family. You’ll find yourself wanting to workout more often, and crowd out those not so healthy foods with healthier ones, just because of this one concept. But no matter what you are blaming this unhealthy cycle on, it’s up to you to break it.