Could Being Busy Help You Make Healthier Choices?

A new study suggests there are positive benefits to having a busy lifestyle.

A team of researchers have conducted a series of studies designed to put participants in a busy mindset. To do so, scientists exposed a group of participants to subtle messages suggesting that they were actually busy people and also had a control group that was not exposed to busy lifestyle-inducing activities. The participants were asked questions about the decisions they make on a daily basis, such as food and working out. The choices gave insight to the researchers about their self-control and how that related to how busy they felt. The results of the research found that people who felt that they were busy tended to make better, more healthful choices than those who were not given such prompting messages prior to the testing.
The authors explain that being busy can create higher self-esteem and to maintain it the participants were driven to make more healthful choices than those who were not quite so busy. Professor Amitava Chattopadhyay reports to Medical News Today, “Every day we make many decisions that involve choosing between our immediate and future well-being. When we perceive ourselves to be busy, it boosts our self- esteem, tipping the balance in favor of the more virtuous choice." Self-esteem, in general, has an enormous impact on the human psyche, as well as overall general health. Low self-esteem can cause anxiety and stress, negatively impact relationships, school, or job performance, and lead to increased chances of drug or alcohol abuse. Higher self-esteem can help us make more healthful lifestyle choices, so we shouldn’t fear having a busy lifestyle. However, do be mindful of the combination of being busy and having time constraints because that can result in impulsive decisions that may be unhealthy.
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4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

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