We talk a lot about our health every day, every day, all day. The vast majority are involuntary, uninspired, and energetic.
One particularly sinful dessert brings a warning: “You shouldn’t have eaten this.” Gasping for air after two flights of stairs, yells annoyed: “I’m out of shape!” Getting a diagnosis leads to a mental overload of “What if I don’t survive this?” Thoughts.
When I found out that my diagnosis of chronic kidney disease was leading to kidney failure, I was flooded with terrible thoughts and worst cases. When I wasn’t in control, these messages left me tired, breathless, and stressed out.
Deciding that I was tired of worrying and panicking, I watched as I talk to myself about my health. I corrected a few sentences, ruled over my fears, confirmed the facts, and reminded myself of the health I still had. I believed in my ability to face the challenge ahead.
Today, eight months after the kidney transplant, I can say that a lot of what I originally told myself never happened: irrational worries and unfounded fears that have nothing to do with it. demonstrate.
Whether you’ve been diagnosed or decided to make improving your health a priority, it’s important to pay attention to the messages you are sending yourself about your health. Here are five great posts to get you started:
(My body knows how do its job. )
Watching your heart during an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) is a wonderful experience. This complex grouping of cells and electrical impulses knows exactly how blood flows to the brain and big toe at the same time!
With all the ways we want to improve our bodies, it’s amazing how it is.
Even with everyday stress and food slides, your body has your best interests in your heart and will work to bring you back into a state of equilibrium.
- I am ready to change. Health is a combination of laboratory and lifestyle results. It’s a long-term view of how you want to feel and function in five, ten, or more years. That means swapping unhealthy habits for dark leafy greens and going for a walk in the evening. If your health is struggling, look for changes that you can make to empower your health team.
- (I can find ways make healthy living fun. )
Our two most important levers for health are diet and exercise. Both can be overwhelming and discipline is not easy. However, the diet and exercise zone also offers spaces for creativity, togetherness and fun.
Think beyond the treadmill and the salad and discover new ways to live a healthy lifestyle. A quick internet search for your favorite food with the term “healthy” gives you delicious ways to recreate your favorite recipes.
Exercise can be at the gym or it can also be walking, biking, swimming, dancing, or even hop-scotch with your kids. A helping of imagination can turn a dreaded staple into a precious new hobby.
My body is unique.
The internet has become a risky new diagnostic tool for many people. It is very easy to sign up and be misinformed about nuts or stomach upsets. We search celebrities, blogs, and discussion forums for the latest must-have diets and supplements.
Your size, shape, and body chemistry are unique to you. Learn your body. Work with healthcare professionals who have studied you to find the right balance between treatment and lifestyle changes for optimal health.
I’m in control.
It is easy to feel helpless when part of your body is no longer working properly. Control is transferred to diets, doctors and medication. However, for every symptom and challenge, there are ways to exercise control and participate in our care. We can choose the health professionals to work with.
We can influence our treatment options. We can make lifestyle choices that are good for health. When you feel like your health rules your life, ask for a break and make a list of all the ways you can be in control.
If you take your health seriously, it is time to take seriously the way you talk to yourself about your health. Five new messages can open up a new perspective and lead to measures that improve health.
Which health messages work?
Is it better to be positive or negative? Many of the loudest public health calls have been negative (“Smoking Kills” or “Drive, Drive and Die”), but do these negative messages work when it comes to changing eating habits?
Previous reviews of the literature on health messages presented as positive or positive versus negative or loss-based have been inconsistent. In our content analysis of 63 nutritional education studies, we uncovered four key questions that can fix these inconsistencies and predict what type of health message is best for a particular audience.
The more questions are answered with “yes”, the more effective a negative or loss-related health report is.
Is the target audience very involved in this issue?
The more informed or involved the target group, the more motivated they are by a negative or loss-based message. On the other hand, those who are less involved may not believe the message or just want to avoid the bad news.
Less engaged consumers generally respond better to positive messages that represent a clear, actionable step that will make them feel positive and motivated.
For example, telling them to “eat more sweet potatoes to make their skin look younger” is more effective than telling them “your skin will age faster if you don’t eat sweet potatoes”. The first doesn’t require you to know why or the sweet potatoes bind to vitamin A.
Is the target group detail-oriented?
People who love details, like most people who design public health messages, prefer messages with negative frames or at loss. They have a deeper understanding and knowledge base on which to build the message.
On her article cover for Food Navigator, Elizabeth Crawford noted that the majority of the public are not interested in details and are more influenced by the superficial features of the message, even if it is more positive or attractive compared to others.
Things that are vying for your attention at this time.
Does the target group have a risk aversion?
When a positive result is certain, profit reports work best (“You will live 7 years longer if you are a healthy weight”). When a negative result is certain, the messages framed with losses work best (“You will die 7 years before if you are overweight”).
For example, we found that a positive message (“eat broccoli and live longer”) is more effective than a negative message if it is assumed that more fruits and vegetables lead to less obesity.
Is the result uncertain?
When the claims seem objective and convincing, positive messages tend to work better. If a person believes that consuming soy will extend their life by reducing the risk of heart disease,
the best thing is a positive message saying so. If they’re not so convinced, a more effective message might be, “People who don’t eat soy have higher rates of heart disease”.
These results show how health messages such as health professionals affect designers differently than the general public. If you write a health message instead of addressing the opinion of experts, the message will be more effective if presented positively.
The general public is more likely to accept the encouraged behavior if it sees a possible positive outcome. Talking about fear seems like a great way to get your point across, but this study shows that actually the opposite is true: telling the public that a behavior helps you be healthier and happier is, in fact, more efficient .