Three Resolutions You Should Make This Year, And Its Not Why You Think: Graham NC Counselor
Every year I go through the motions of making new years resolutions. The main beneficiaries of my past resolutions have been the YMCA and the Weight Watchers people. In the past, my resolutions, although well intended, have been short-lived. I have gone to the gym or continued to stick with my diet for a month or so and then my resolve has waned. Finally, after a month or two, I have given up. Maybe you’re familiar with this pattern. If you are like me, you want to make changes that are sustainable and that make quality of life for you and your family more positive and more healthy. Here are some suggested resolutions and why they can help people who want to be healthy. The resolutions might sound familiar, but the reasons behind them might not.
I need to work out
This one is we hear all the time. I am going to work out this year. I need to lose weight. I’ll be happier with myself if I was twenty pounds lighter. Although these are good reasons for increasing your physical activity, there is a better reason to exercise. If you have anxiety or depression or cognitive struggles, exercise affects brain functioning in a notable way. When we exercise the brain releases chemicals that can help moderate some of these issues. So the reason that you should exercise this year is that it can help you to be more cognitively and emotionally healthy. It can help increase a sense of calm and balance. So whether it is working out at the gym, walking the dog, the water aerobics class (my preference), it just amounts to getting your heart rate up.
I need a hobby
Too many people work hard, do for their family and others and never make time for themselves. I would never suggest that you stop doing for other people because that is one the things that make you great. However, make some time for yourself. Find a hobby that you can do for an hour or so every week or so. It could be playing your piano or guitar, playing tennis or golf, or taking a class. Taking classes are great because you can schedule around them and a class is something you do at a certain time. My wife and I are taking a cooking class and a stained glass window class together this year. So find something to do that you enjoy.
I need to Sleep More
Of the many things that we do to take care of ourselves, sometimes getting enough sleep is not one of them. But sleep health is an important part of being healthy. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that children need as much as ten hours of sleep and adults between seven to nine hours of sleep a night. However, Gallup polling suggests that as much as 40% of Americans get less than the recommended amount of sleep. Gallup research also indicates that in the United States as the number of people who felt like that were getting adequate sleep decreased the number of people who felt they weren’t getting enough increased. The problem is that when we don’t get enough sleep it can influence brain health. While you are sleeping, your brain cycles through sleep stages and toxins are removed by cerebrospinal fluid. This is a process that can only take place while we are asleep. So, in conclusion, try to get enough sleep, take naps, get enough rest and be healthy.
Each of these resolutions is a potential positive brain health contributor. My hope for you is that 2018 is going to be a great year for you and your health.