The best ways to renew body and mind

Give up bad habits and create better ones
Making and breaking habits is not just a matter of willpower. Indeed, the strategies tested can bypass negative patterns and make you evolve towards the positive. These three steps can really help, says psychologist Wendy Wood, PhD, professor at the University of Southern California and author of “Good Habits, Bad Habits” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2019).

1. Watch Netflix while you workout. If you dread a task, you’ll be much less likely to commit to it. Prepare for positive change by making your new behaviors more enjoyable. Wood suggests that you “bundle the temptations” or combine an unpleasant activity with an activity you enjoy. Can’t wait to spend 30 minutes on a treadmill? Activate the show you are currently watching excessively or listen to a captivating podcast. Make a habit of walking while meeting a friend, or prepare healthy meals while listening to your favorite music. “We’re more likely to repeat what’s fun and rewarding in one way or another,” says Wood.

2. Drive home from the gym, not the bakery. Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to change your routine when you move or start a new job? Habits go hand in hand with context, says Wood. When your environment stays the same, it’s all the more difficult to create meaningful change. But you don’t have to change your residence. Changing the context in minor but creative ways can also help old habits fade and set the stage for new ones. For example, if you usually stop at a fast food restaurant on your way home from work, change your commute route to go past the park or the gym instead.

3. Keep your running shoes near the door. Removing the barriers between you and your positive habits can make a big difference. When a data analytics company tracked people through their phones, it found that those who walked 3.7 miles to the gym went about five times a month, while those who walked 5.1 miles did not. did once a month. “It’s a very small difference [in mileage], but represents that convenience makes it more likely that you will do something, ”Wood says. So think about what you can do to make your habits seem obvious, whether that’s keeping your sneakers in plain sight, hitting the nearest fitness center, or stocking your fridge with healthy and healthy foods. easy to prepare.

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