Friday, October 26, 2012

Are You a Prime Individual?

Answer this question, and you’ll know if you are indeed a prime individual, or if you’re headed in the right direction. Do you want to reach your full potential and gain control over your own achievements and success? If the answer is yes, then yes—you are a prime individual.

And now that you know this is who you are, it means you have decisions and choices to make. To be prime means you set your own goals and standards for your life. You know that the best way to make the world better is to make yourself better. You want to improve your life, and you work toward that improvement. You believe in your goals, and you know you won’t reach them without consideration, effort—and action.

So,  how does this relate to your personal wellness and well-being? Simply this—wellness goals are really no different from any other type of goal you may set for yourself. By identifying your own personal motivational triggers, whatever they may be for you, you can begin to make those lifestyle behavior choices that move you closer to your goals. By being honest with yourself, you can realistically consider what changes are possible within the context of your daily life—and challenge yourself to explore the almost endless opportunities you have to make those choices that are in your long-term self-interest.

Only you can decide if your health and wellness is worth the effort, and only you can make the effort required to achieve it. Your daily wellness behaviors have consequences. If you are a prime individual you understand the consequences and choose to make those choices that will lead you to reach your wellness and well-being goals.

Would you agree that these are indeed the same behavior lifestyle changes that change lives? Now, are you primed for success?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happiness is Healthy

Remember the song—“If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands . . . If you’re happy and you know it, your  life will surely show it . . .”  Harvard Business Review knows what happiness can do for your health. This year they devoted many pages (and a cover) to the topic. 

Yet, happiness isn’t just about being happy. It also taps into your overall wellness and well-being goals. And, you don’t have to block out any time during the day to create happiness. You don’t have to count calories or pay attention to portion size (although you should anyway) to create happiness. You do have to be aware, and you do have to make positive choices that cumulatively will lead to happiness.

There are many definitions of  happiness—feeling  or showing pleasure, contentment or joy,  feeling that something is right or has been done right,  a deep sense of inner stability, peace, well-being, and vitality that is consistent and sustainable. Happiness is important to your well-being because it provides endless and long-ranging benefits.  And, it’s much more than just the absence of negative emotions or feelings.

A few examples from the Harvard study . . .

As for health benefits—a 50 percent reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease, improved immune system function, adds protection against some cancers and slows the progression of disease. And here’s a surprise—happiness is s a greater benefit to increased longevity than quitting smoking.

Anyone following LoneStart Wellness and our  “Wellness & Well-being” Blog knows we are all about behavioral change. Behavioral benefits of happiness include some major personal plusses. You are more likely to make good decisions, you are more likely to be physically active, make good nutritional choices, and get an adequate amount of sleep.

For employers, and this is important, if your employees are happy, you can count on lower absenteeism, lower job turnover, increased productivity, lower healthcare costs, and even improved corporate citizenship.  What’s not to love? Doesn’t just knowing how great happiness can be make you happy?

True, you can’t just decide to be happy—but on the other hand, you can work towards happiness by changing those lifestyle choices that will change your outlook, and in turn lead to the satisfaction of knowing you are doing what you can do to be your best—be in your best health, giving and getting the most from your relationships, making those decisions in your best interests, and living up to your potential in all those areas over which you have control.  

If you have time (give it a 3-minute limit for starters),  how about a moment of reflection on what you have, rather than what you don’t have—and build from there.