Making changes for the better

April 12, 2018 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Minds

Stuck in a rut? Life is full of beginnings and endings. One chapter closes, another begins.

Change can be a good thing — no matter how small.

Consider the butterfly effect. The theory is that a butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately delay, accelerate or even alter the path of a tornado. In other words, one small change can result in large differences later.  

It’s true, even small changes can make a big difference — for you and others. Have you ever noticed the small actions of another that influenced you in a big way? Or how the minor roles we play in the lives of others resulted in significant differences for them later on?

Butterflies are a symbol of spring because they are synonymous with transformation and change. In keeping with this theme, what healthy changes can you make in your life?

Try these 10 tips to get started:

  • Get rid of the negative. Negativity breeds stress and sickness. It snowballs. If you harbor negative thoughts or surround yourself with negative people or things, you can’t stay healthy.
  • Simplify. We fill our lives with so much, and we have so much coming at us. If you’re feeling overloaded, get rid of the nonessentials. Identify what matters most to you and focus on that.
  • Be grateful. Showing gratitude has its health benefits. If the only change you make is to wake up each morning and write down one thing you are grateful for, you’ll be in a better place.
  • Laugh at yourself. As you get older, this gets a lot easier. You’re going to mess up sometimes. We all do. Let yourself off the hook when it happens.
  • Pay it forward. It doesn’t matter how small the good deed is — you never know what kind of impact it can have on someone else. Buy a coworker coffee. Pay the toll for the person behind you. Hold the door open. You’ll make someone’s day brighter.
  • Don’t be the victim, be the victor. Approach problems with positive actions and solutions. Take responsibility when you get it wrong. Avoid a “woe is me” attitude. It will hold you back.
  • Commit to move. We’ve all heard exercising is good for your health — your mental health too. Exercise gives you confidence, drive and purpose. Don’t look at it as a chore. Make it fun.
  • Take charge of issues. This can be the most difficult one for people. If a mental health issue, eating disorder, substance use disorder or another issue is interfering with your life, seek help.
  • Take baby steps. When we look at the big picture, we can get overwhelmed, which immobilizes us. Instead, break your goals down into systematic, manageable baby steps.

When you make healthy changes, it becomes like a domino effect. Good things start to happen.

Like the flap of a butterfly’s wings, one small act can yield a windfall of good — not just for you, but for everyone around you.

If you’ve tried all you can and still can’t seem to make a healthy change, consider seeing a professional therapist.

Get support from Linden Oaks Behavioral Health.

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