Our everyday world is full of stressors combined with unhealthy temptations leading a lot of us have unintentionally built unhealthy habits around coping mechanisms, like emotional eating, binge eating, binge drinking, and unconscious snacking.
The way you respond to certain stimuli, like strong emotions, such as fear or loneliness, teaches you how to behave the next time you experience another strong emotion.
Basically, you learn from yourself with every action and decision.
When you are distracted or busy solving a problem, you go on “autopilot” and still make decisions and take action.
“Health Autopilot” is a state where you naturally choose healthy behaviors and actions because that is what you have trained yourself to do.
You can train yourself to make healthy choices
Have you ever known someone who picks terrible love partners? Who repeatedly enters into abusive relationships and dangerous situations? Even if they say they want to stop?
They do this because that is what they have taught themselves to do.
Based on past choices, decisions and behaviors, that person taught themselves which type of person to choose, regardless of the uncomfortable or unhealthy outcome. So, as soon as one abusive situation ends, they are off to find another to fill the spot.
The truth of the matter is, you will help yourself.
Every day is filled with choices, and sometimes, you aren’t even aware you are making a choice.
Without even realizing, you will help yourself:
- You will help run yourself into the ground.
- You will help yourself make unhealthy choices over and over.
- You will find ways to consciously, or subconsciously, justify your unhealthy choices.
But, you can also help yourself make healthy choices every day.
You learn from every choice you make, whether you realize it or not.
You learn from watching yourself and will therefore repeat patterns, often subconsciously, as if you are on autopilot.
- If you drink soda every afternoon for a sugar fix, you are likely going to be looking forward to that soda by lunch, if not before. And there is no way you are going to skip it.
- If you drink water with every meal, then you will seek out water for every meal.
- If you have a history of starting a diet plan and bailing when it gets hard, you will bail when things get hard. And not just with dieting. You will notice it is easier to bail in other areas of your life when things get uncomfortable and hard.
- If you get up and stretch every morning, you will find a way to do this, even on vacation.
- If you go on an eating binge when you are feeling emotional (sad, scared, worried, stifled, minimalized, disrespected, lonely) then you will seek out that same thing anytime you feel that way or have any other strong emotion.
- If you go for a walk every day and find enjoyment in the time spent moving your body gently, getting fresh air and clearing your mind, you will look forward to and schedule a walk every day.
Set Yourself On “Health Autopilot”
Do you know those healthy people who drink water, eat clean, go to bed at a reasonable time, and say no to sugar? They also tend to stay the same weight year after year.
Those people taught themselves to be healthy.
When you practice healthy habits, you will naturally seek out new and healthy habits and practices.
And by the same token, if you consistently practice habits like self-criticism, binging, or avoiding conflict, that is what you will continue to do.
Simple acts that train you to be healthy
- Carry a water bottle everywhere to drink and refill throughout the day
- Go for a short walk every day – it helps to have a puppy dog or friend to accompany you!
- Carry snacks that are good for you so you can say no to less healthy choices
- Journal every morning
- Notice when you are eating emotionally and make a different choice
- Fix food for yourself that you like and makes you feel good
- Focus on quality sleep
- Spend time with people you love
By doing simple, healthy acts every day, you will find yourself looking for new healthy practices and choices because we, as humans, constantly seek change and new stimuli.
By making healthy choices and taking actions that support your health goals, you will naturally continue to seek new and healthy things to experience.
You can set yourself on “Health Autopilot”.