7 Habits of Healthy people

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Our health has got huge impact on our sense of fulfillment, achievement and happiness. Being a Physiotherapy professional I came across many people suffering from various health issues.  In my years of practice I’ve observed that mindset has an influence on the recovery process of person. Sometimes some patients get amazing recovery, while some linger with same health issues for years. One major distinguishing factor among these groups is their mindsets.

I love reading books especially the self-development books. Couple of months back I got the chance to read a bestselling business and self-development book “7 habits of highly effective people” by Stephen R. Covey. This book shares 7 mindsets that a person needs to develop in order to be successful. When I was reading this book I realized, the habits of effective people synchronizes well with the habits that one needs in order to live a healthy life. I could relate how the mindsets mentioned in the book can help a person achieve healthy outcomes. In this blog I am going to share these habits and tell you why I believe these habits are helpful for a person willing to stay healthy and happy.

The book is based on Covey's belief that “the way we see the world is entirely based on our own perceptions. In order to change a given situation, we must change ourselves, and in order to change ourselves, we must be able to change our perceptions”.

When people suffer from a health breakdown they look for quick fixes. They want quick relief, immediate results and are not ready to put in efforts to correct the problem from the core. But these “shortcuts”, are simply Band-Aids that will yield short-term solutions; they don't address the underlying condition. Covey writes, “We must allow ourselves to undergo paradigm shifts -- to change ourselves fundamentally and not just alter our attitudes and behaviors on the surface level -- in order to achieve true change”.

That's where the seven habits of highly effective people come in and if applied in life it allows us to lead a healthy and fulfilled life.

Following are the 7 habits by Stephen covey.

Habit 1: Being Proactive

We’re in charge. Our choices determines our lives. We need to use this self-awareness to be proactive and take responsibility for your choices. What distinguishes us as humans from all other animals is our inherent ability to examine our own character, to decide how to view ourselves and our situations, and to control our own effectiveness. In order to be healthy one must be proactive. By being Proactive you recognize that you have responsibility -- or "response-ability," which Covey defines as the ability to choose how you will respond to a given stimulus or situation. In order to be proactive, we must focus on the things we can do something about.

HABIT 2: Begin with the End in Mind:

We need to start with a clear destination in mind. Covey says we can use our imagination to develop a vision for the outcomes that we want for our health. Our self-awareness empowers us to shape our own lives. But before we as individuals can start setting and achieving goals, we must be able to identify our values. When we start focusing on the outcome that we want for our health with the core values in our minds we can become proactive to make healthy choices.

HABIT 3: Put First Things First

In order to live a healthy life we need to make healthy choices, and to follow healthy choices we should be able to manage our routines effectively. We must have the discipline to prioritize our day-to-day actions based on what is most important, not what is most urgent. In order to maintain the discipline and the focus to stay on track toward our goals, we need to have the willpower to do something when we don’t want to do it. We need to act according to our values rather than our desires or impulses at any given moment. “The challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves." -Stephen Covey”

Usually we react to urgent matters. We spend our time doing things that are not important. In order to focus our time in things that are important like workout or a practice that can help you heal or improve your health. We also need to be able to delegate effectively. Plus, when we focus on things that are important but not urgent, it means we’re thinking ahead, working on the roots, and preventing crises from happening in the first place!

HABIT 4: Think Win-Win

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Many people think that they are not able to achieve their goals or are not able to opt for healthy choices because of other people in their life. You need support and collaboration of others to achieve your outcomes. To gain this support you need to establish effective interdependent relationships, you must commit to creating Win-Win situations that are mutually beneficial and satisfying to each other.

Another important factor in creating Win-Win situations is maintaining an Abundance Mentality. Most people operate with the Scarcity Mentality -- meaning feelings like “if you get it, I don’t. People with the Scarcity Mentality have a very hard time in trusting others, sharing credit with others, knowledge with others. To achieve Win-Win, we need to keep the focus on results, not methods; not problems, not people.

HABIT 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

Healthy relationships are key to healthy life. Misunderstandings are the biggest cause of misery, unhappiness and poor health.

In order to achieve better health outcomes we need to make right choices and support of others is required to stay with these choices for long. The people around us are the ones who can help us. Hence one needs to let people around him understand the meaning of choices. 

Habit 5 says that in order to have healthy relationships we must seek first to understand, then to be understood. In order to seek to understand, we must learn to listen.

To listen emphatically requires a fundamental paradigm shift. Most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. At any given moment, they’re either speaking or preparing to speak. When we listen with our own perspective as our frame of reference -- we tend to respond in one of four ways:

1. Evaluate: Agree or disagree with what is said

2. Probe: Ask questions from our own frame of reference

3. Advise: Give counsel based on our own experience

4. Interpret: Try to figure out the person’s motives and behavior based on our own motives and behavior

But if we replace these types of response with empathetic listening, we see dramatic results in improved communication. Which leads to healthy collaboration and support.

HABIT 6: Synergize

By understanding and valuing the differences in another person’s perspective, we have the opportunity to create synergy, which allows us to uncover new possibilities through openness and creativity.

Synergy allows us to create new alternatives and open new possibilities. It allows us as a group to come up with constructive solutions.

HABIT 7: Sharpen the Saw

To be effective, we must devote the time to renewing ourselves physically, spiritually, mentally, and socially. Continuous renewal allows us to increase our ability to practice each habit.

There are four dimensions of our nature, and each must be exercised regularly, and in balanced ways:

Physical Dimension: The goal of continuous physical improvement is to exercise our body in a way that will enhance our capacity to work, adapt, and enjoy. To renew ourselves physically, you can: Eat well, Get sufficient rest and relaxation, Exercise on a regular basis to build endurance, flexibility, and strength.

Spiritual Dimension: The goal of renewing our spiritual self is to provide leadership to our life and reinforce your commitment to our value system.To renew yourself spiritually, you can: Practice daily meditation, Communicate with nature, Immerse yourself in great literature or music

Mental Dimension: The goal of renewing our mental health is to continue expanding our mind. To renew yourself mentally, you can: Read good literature, Keep a journal of your thoughts, experiences, and insights, Limit television watching to only those programs that enrich your life and mind.

Social/Emotional Dimension: The goal of renewing ourselves socially is to develop meaningful relationships. To renew yourself emotionally, you can: Seek to deeply understand other people, Make contributions to meaningful projects that improve the lives of others, maintain an Abundance Mentality, and seek to help others find success.

 Renewal is the process that empowers us to move along an upward spiral of growth and change, of continuous improvement.

This book and these principles has been a life changer for me, it has helped me to be a happy and healthy person. And through this blog I want to share this goodness to more and more people with the hope that they can live healthy and happy life.