What You Say and Do DOES Make a Difference!

August 22nd, 2012 | By J.Kip No Comments

New research indicates that bolstering a person’s sense of well-being may help promote healthful weight loss. It’s true. Participants who focused on important personal values or goals had a greater sense of personal integrity and self worth. As a result, these participants had the self-control needed to exercise more and avoid overeating. These and other findings were shared recently at “The Science of Getting People to Do Good” briefing, sponsored by the Center for Social Innovation of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

It has also been shown that most people who are overweight or in poor physical condition already feel bad about themselves. Thus, if they are bombarded with negative messages or feedback from family and friends (and the media and society in general), things can get even worse. The bottom line is that those who feel good about themselves are more likely to lose weight, keep it off, and be healthier in general.

We all know people who seem to have low self esteem and lack the confidence and commitment needed to make the tough lifestyle changes that will make them healthier. They may be a parent, friend, sibling, spouse or child. How can you help them feel good about who they are and what they can be?

  • Take time to get to know people. Play with every kid in your class.
  • Compliment people on their personal strengths like nice smiles and fun personalities,
  • not just on what they’re wearing.
  • Take note when people do something nice and then let them know that it was appreciated.
  • Ask questions and be a good listener. It tells others that you care about what they think and feel.
  • Look beyond what a person wears or looks like before you decide whether you want to get to know them better … chances are you will find a really cool new friend.

Boosting kids self esteem and helping them set positive life priorities starts by setting a good example. So, if you are a parent, grandparent or teacher, try asking yourself these questions:

  • How clear am I about what my life’s priorities are?
  • How do I model nurturing those values for the children I am in contact with?

If your priorities include a healthful diet and a lifestyle that includes regular exercise, the message you are sending the children is that being fit and healthy is important to you. (This is true when you prioritize dental and physical checkups, personal hygiene and other health-related activities, too.) But it’s more than just serving as a good role model. You need to have regular discussions with children to help them think critically about the type of life they are creating for themselves.

But it’s not just about talking to those we love about diet and exercise and overall healthy living. It’s also about helping them feel good about who they are, how they live and how they look and feel. Educators, parents, clergy and adult friends can play a significant role in helping the youth of our nation – and everyone else, for that matter – feel good about who they are and how they look and feel.

When you encourage others and help them see the good things about themselves, they will do the same with you. In the long run, you’ll all feel better about life in general, and feeling better usually translates into living a longer life, forming closer relationships, having confidence and making choices that will contribute to a healthier, happier life.

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