Top 6 Ways We Deceive Ourselves About Our Health
There can be a big gap between our actual health status and how we understand, experience and interpret our health on a day-to-day basis.
Below are 6 of the most common self-deceptions related to heart health. How many of these do you tell yourself?
I don’t really have high blood pressure. I just need to reduce my stress levels!
While stress can exacerbate high blood pressure, if you have more than one high blood pressure reading, you need to start paying attention. It’s like more than just stress. Get a home blood pressure cuff and start tracking.
If I can’t feel it, it must not be that bad
High blood pressure usually has no overt symptoms. Damage to your arteries happening every day just doesn’t feel like anything. But left unchecked, it gradually effects the heart, kidneys, brain and retina. One of the first things to go can be your sex drive.
I don’t have the willpower or self-control to lose weight or change my diet
This couldn’t be farther from the truth, so don’t be so hard on yourself! Despite earnest intensions and plenty of hard work, most health programs are set up so you will fail in the long run. It’s not you. It’s the program.
To get healthy I am going to have to do things I really don’t enjoy
Actually the exact opposite is true. If you are going to form new habits and expect them to stick then you have to enjoy them at least a little. So start with the absolute simplest action possible – tracking and learning about yourself. That is easy and slightly satisfying. Once it becomes a habit you can add on other tiny, satisfying shifts.
I have to set clear, strong goals to better my health.
To succeed in the long run, avoid setting absolute goals. Do any of the following sound familiar?
“I’m going to cut out all carbs for a month”
“I’m going to lose 10 lbs. by Thanksgiving”
“I’m going to walk 10,000 steps every day”
Did any of those goals work out for you and make your life better in the long run? Probably not. Setting goals is actually the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Forget the pressure of an end goal and focus on building an enjoyable journey.
I have really good self-knowledge about my habits and body.
(a.k.a. I only read my horoscope for fun)
We all have a lot to learn about ourselves and are interested in learning more. Self-discovery and understanding is one of the things that drives us as individuals.
DECEPTION #7 (bonus)
It’s my genetics
Who cares? Everyone is unique. Everyone was raised in a different environment. Everyone has their own family history and genetics. When it comes to health, one size does not fit all. But everyone can take control and make a difference, using the approach that is right for you.
Traditional clinically driven approaches to heart risk assume that individuals understand their own health issues and how to address them. However, this is often far from the case.