Why Do We Avoid Making The Changes That We Know Will Make Us Healthier And Happier?

Why do we avoid making the changes that we know and understand we need to make in order to live a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life?

It all comes down to the primitive parts of our brain that move us to make decisions based on whether we believe this choice will provide us with pleasurable feelings or whether this choice will lead us to suffer from some discomfort or pain.

We allow our “reptilian brain” to make some imperative decisions in our lives that are not always working for our long term benefit.

We tend to each have certain areas in life where we are not at the level of success we believe we deserve to have and this is because we make choices in this area of our life in an unconscious way. We base our current choices on past attempts at similar actions that have led us previously to suffer feelings of discomfort or pain.

Yesterday I took my daughters to eat ice cream in a place that sells healthy vegan ice cream. It’s a 20-minute drive from our house, but the drive is worth it for me. When we were there, a woman came in and asked the saleswoman what this ice cream was about, and she answered that this was a healthy vegan ice cream parlor and stated some of the health benefits. The customer said: “Over my dead body! I didn’t do anything bad to anyone to eat such ice cream”…

She was of course joking, but you could quickly see that this lady associated healthy food with discomfort and pain. She wasn’t even willing to give the ice cream a try for free as the saleswomen offered her.

We all have these associations in our life that prevent us from making better choices for ourselves to avoid perceived discomfort or pain.

Can you think of times when you are associating pain with an action that you know you should be doing but aren’t doing?

Could it be that in the past you tasted the so-called healthy food and they were very unappetizing, to say the least and from that moment on you began associating healthy food with discomfort and pain?

Try to notice these behavioral patterns that are keeping you from achieving something of importance in your life. Don’t go to your comfort zone and avoid feeling the discomfort, instead, change your mind about the feeling of pain and try to find some pleasure in the new habit that you know will get you closer to your goals.

I know that changing these associations is not easy, but the first step to change these limiting associations is to begin doubting these beliefs.

Is healthy food REALLY less tasty? No. Healthy food is not less tasty; it’s just that our taste buds have become accustomed to all the salt and unnatural additives added to processed foods to make them so addictive.

It takes time getting used to the natural foods we were intended to eat, but once you remove unhealthy food options, you will quickly begin enjoying the delicious taste of natural food.

Find a way to associate eating healthy and nourishing food with feelings of pleasure. For example, associate healthy food with an energetic, healthy and long life.

The best way to do this is to make the new association often. Scientists have now concluded that we need 66 days for an activity to become a habit. That means we need to choose the new and healthy activity every single day for 66 days for it to become our default behavioral pattern.

So go ahead and find those actions that you know you should be doing, put yourself in circumstances that you know you will be tested to make a choice, form the new association of the new habit with feelings of pleasure, and choose to go with the decision that will get you closer to your goals. Find the pleasure in the result rather than in the short-term feeling of comfort.

You can do it! I know you can!

With love,

Galit Goldfarb

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