However, another perspective is that these are learned behaviors. Reaching for the cheese curls over the bicep curls may be a habit more tied to your environment than you think. According to author/psychologist Jeremy Dean, if you eat enough chips on the couch, you will automatically associate couch time with chip time. “We see major shifts in behavior when people move to a new house.” It’s easier to change our habits in a new setting. You don’t have to relocate to start fresh, but you do need to be aware of the cues that point you to a pint of ice cream and replace that with a healthier alternative. So, change it up. Sit in another room, limit your TV time or turn it off completely.
Awareness of the associations and links to automatic behaviors is the first step in creating change. Add a new behavior like an evening walk or a phone call to a friend. The benefit is two-fold; you have added activities that can improve your physical and psychological well being in a relatively “pain free” and low cost manner with options limited only by your imagination.