Eating junk food.
Sleeping four to five hours a night.
It can be frustrating to see your loved ones living in a manner that you know is detrimental to their health and well-being.
What’s even more frustrating is that, oftentimes, our approach to trying to help them to live more healthily can backfire.
Understandably, our loved ones’ well-being is an emotional subject. In our efforts to help them change, we can come across as angry or upset–which makes them respond in a defensive manner.
Here are three ways you can successfully encourage others in your life to realize that health is a gift and, therefore, inspire them to make changes to improve their well-being.
#1: Emphasize the Positives.
You may already have hopped on the healthy-living bandwagon–and the benefits of a good diet, exercise, and sleep are no-brainers for you.
However, these benefits may not be so obvious to others.
For some people, telling them that they’ll gain weight due to their diet or have a higher chance of developing cancer because they smoke can be demotivating.
On the other hand, utilizing positive psychology and focusing on the benefits can be more effective in motivating them to make changes.
In your conversations with others, try to find (seamless) instances to mention how good it feels to wake up feeling fully rested and ready for the day, or how much money they might save if they quit smoking and stopped buying cigarettes.
#2: Team Up.
Venturing into the unknown and developing new habits or lifestyles can be tricky and overwhelming for people.
When it comes to supporting your spouse, friends, children, or parents, simply knowing that they won’t be alone can work wonders when it comes to helping them kickstart their new exercise regimen or nutrition plan.
For example, if you want to help them get started with an exercise practice, invite them to take a walk around your neighborhood every morning.
Or, if they are curious to explore new eating habits and a healthier diet, have them over to cook a healthy meal.
Make the process fun, have a positive attitude, and cheer them on. Before you know it, they might be teaching you something new!
#3: Educate Them 0n the Facts.
In point #1, I discussed how some people are more encouraged by positive psychology.
On the other hand, the opposite can be true. And no, I don’t mean that you have to be unkind or unfriendly.
In this circumstance, I’m referring to sharing the statistics and facts that demonstrate the negative outcomes of living unhealthily.
Studies have found that the more we perceive our behavior as harmful to our health, the more likely we are to want to change.
Therefore, it may be effective to educate your loved ones on the potential consequences of neglecting their health and wellbeing.
For example, kindly and sensitively, let your friend know that their cigarette habit increases the risk of heart disease and cancer, and that you’re concerned about him or her.
Or, educating your boyfriend about the mental health risks associated with inactivity may help him consider joining the gym (offering to go with him on gym dates may also be a motivator!).
Tony Robbins once said, “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”
It can be hard to help your loved ones make changes in their lives, but letting them know that you care about their well-being and that you are there to support them in making these shifts can help in a significant way.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to help your loved one quit smoking, check out this article.