In the 18th and 19th centuries, “cure-all” tonic was all the rage. Usually hustled by traveling showmen or quack docs, these bottles of strange ointments and lotions seemed the answer to equally mysterious health problems.
They were advertised for almost any ailment under the sun: from headaches, fatigue, and hair-loss to colic, cough, even … aging and death!
We now know most of these snake oils were full of altering ingredients like alcohol, morphine, laudanum, even cocaine and heroin. (No wonder they kept coming back for more!)
Maybe you’ve been peddled a cure-all resolution for the New Year…
General, vague, health wishes which claim quick fixes but result in more frustration than progress.
It’s not surprising, then, that only 8% of resolution-makers stick to them for longer than 6 months.
You could probably list off the top of your head many of the popular health and lifestyle resolutions people are making for 2019.
Here are the top resolutions I hear from patients, friends, and family:
- Lose Weight
- Get “in shape”
- Break smartphone addiction
- Eat in more often/cook better food
- Less alcohol or smoking
- Reduce stress
- Get more sleep
We charge in with energy. We write it down, schedule it in, tell everyone. But millions still fall short.
The fact is: most resolutions are set up to fail. The way we chase them down aggravates the very weapon our bodies use to fight drastic change—the stress hormone cortisol.
Why Your Body Hates Your Resolutions
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” ― Albert Einstein
The human body wants to be in a state of balance (also called homeostasis).
Throwing off its status quo—through excessive exercise, diet, schedule changes, etc.—sets off an alarm: “The balance is shifting! The balance is shifting!”
Your cortisol will rise, readying you to fight or flee the new stress. If these levels stay raised, your body will begin fighting you back in… unpleasant ways. Read more about cortisol here.
When you experience the body’s safeguards against change, it makes sense to give up on the goal that’s causing you so much grief.
But change is good. Making new, healthier habits is the right mindset to have coming into 2019.
How do we make changes that will really benefit us—and really stick?
It turns out we have to out-think resolutions by rethinking how we approach them.
A New Approach for a Better You
I’ve put together a NEW top-9 Resolution list—one specially designed to ease your body into those good changes it needs.
Let’s take a look.
- Plan purposeful movement :
Rather than holding yourself to a 2-hour workout every day, start with planned, purposeful movement. Walk 10 minutes around the office each day. Take a flight of stairs when you usually take the elevator. Did you know that movement—any purposeful movement— raises the happy hormone, serotonin, in your brain? Instead of moving to lose weight, move to improve your mood.
2. Meditate or pray 10 minutes:
Again, it doesn’t have to take up much time but plan into your schedule a few minutes to stop everything, calm your mind, and refocus your day.
You can even find structured meditations online that will walk you through—I use calm.com each day for ten minutes. That’s really all it takes. Your cortisol will noticeably lower, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to focus on what’s really important.
3. Sleep smarter
Every adult needs between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. But what most people don’t realize is that feeling rested isn’t necessarily about getting more sleep, but better sleep. It takes practice and initiative—especially in a culture where burning the candle at both ends is encouraged.
Read more about how to recover the Zz’s you need right here.
4. Remember your hormones
All of the top resolutions involve your hormones at deeper levels. They’re messages, controllers, and they affect everything you do. How do you optimize hormones in order to make change as easy as possible?
- Start with choosing fresh foods over processed foods.
- Replace that side of macaroni or potatoes with a serving of highly colored fruits and veggies a day.
- See a hormone specialist for more information on how your specific hormonal needs can be met.
5. Love your gut:
Your body’s overall health is directly influenced by the health of your gut—which is heavily dictated by cortisol/stress levels.
- As with hormones, you can begin preparing your body for healthy habits by avoiding processed foods.
- Avoid too many antibiotics and even store-bought probiotics. They may say “live,” but many are already dead on the shelf.
- Intake fresh fermented food, like kefir, kombucha, yogurt, even a spoonful of sauerkraut for a happy, helpful gut.
- Look into gut supplements like papaya enzyme and l-glutamine.
- Identify toxins. It’s even harder to make healthy habits when your environment is fighting back too. Make it a priority today to go to Ewg.org and compare your household/workplace products to their consumer list. Which ones may be sabotaging your health? Try to get on a healthy, toxin-free regimen, or cut down on harmful products one by one.
It’s always going to be key to a year of health. Set up a fun, daily checklist to remind you to get in those ounces. Find out how many YOU need for your body here. Grab your free resources with more details about your health and drinking more water.
Keep your liver and renal system high-functioning with a good sweat session too, whether a workout or a sitting in the sauna.
Remember, this approach, part of the RecoverMe philosophy, is health that meets you where you are. I can’t change your stressors, but I can help you deal with them better.
Change is gradual—feel better daily, one step at a time, and soon you’ll look back and be amazed at how far you’ve come.
…… about how you can change the way your body responds to healthy habits: —and how you can make this the year of healthy, holistic healing—in my newly released book, Obtainable.