The world has seen a rapid development in the tech world in practically every industry including the health sector. Yet, problems like smoking, obesity and abuse of alcohol have become such a menace that world governments are struggling to find solutions for them. Many of these health problems are a direct result of unhealthy lifestyles. Therefore, to deal with these challenges, there must be public efforts being made to encourage people to lead healthier lifestyles. But how do you convince a friend that they should improve their health without being overbearing?
To solve the unhealthy lifestyle challenge, it is important to identify the reasons why people are generally unwilling to change make changes to their way of life even when they know it could cost them their life. The irony sometimes is that even the professionals like doctors, nurses, nutritionists, who are supposed to be at the fore in teaching societies on the virtues of leading healthy lifestyles are also often caught in the same trap.
Nurse practitioners, for example, who according to salarieshub.com earn a decent salary of close to $100,000 a month, can even with all that money sometimes find themselves unable to help their patients the way they should because they don’t serve as excellent examples of healthy living. Therefore, the majority of today’s society is in need of encouragement and education on better, healthier lifestyles. Here are a number of ways you can encourage your friends and family to improve their health:
A Gentle Nudge
The principle behind this method is to get people to make better health decisions without feeling that their freedom to choose has been violated. This approach borrows behavioral research findings from sociology, anthropology, economics and psychology. The nudge approach (PDF) involves managers using irrationality patterns to craft the context as well as the decision making process that ends up influencing people’s choices. For example, you could limit the availability of unhealthy foods in the cafeteria, essentially making people end up taking healthier foods like fruits and vegetables.
Talk About the Benefits
Regular talk about the benefits of eating healthy, exercising and cutting back on smoking and drinking can have a positive effect on a person’s determination to improve their health. Although it might be clear to you why it is important to have habits that encourage healthy living, it may surprise you to find out that that information may not be as clear to your friend. Associate your positive references of healthy living to your friend by, for instance, saying how it would be great to walk the stairs without relentless gasping for air and that simple everyday exercises can deal with that challenge. Telling your loved ones how their change of behavior could be beneficial to you can also encourage them to change.
Some people believe that shaming is an effective way of getting people to live healthier lives. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, available research shows that shaming has the opposite effect. Shaming a smoker, for example, has been found to heap stress and tension on the smoker, making it harder for them to quit the habit.
Habits are developed over a long period of time. Therefore, the process of withdrawal will also take time. Your friend or loved one will need you to be patient with them as they do their best to lead healthier lifestyles. Your love and support through the process can be the difference between the failure and success of such an intervention.