In a universe of self-help and “How to become a millionaire” books, there comes along a few that provide some health tips that may actually send you on the path to a longer and healthier life so that you can enjoy all those millions.
Change Your Habits, Change Your Life: Strategies that Transformed 177 Average People into Self-Made Millionaires by Thomas Corley is one of those books.
Those striving to achieve success of any kind should read Corley’s analysis of how many achieved their dreams, but if you do apply their teachings, your health may benefit as well.
We need to begin by changing our habits, both physically and mentally — difficult to do after the age of nine, but it can be done with help from mentors, self-education and the school of hard knocks.
Our daily habits, most of which occur unconsciously, hold the secret to success. Good habits like daily reading, learning new skills, meditation, positive thinking and positive emotions (road rage be gone!) can turn on genes that increase IQ, prevent heart disease, asthma, and other disorders.
You are what you believe. Think you’re smart? You are. Think life is full of opportunities? It is. The good thing about beliefs is that the negative ones can be changed into positive with a little effort, you just need to want to.
A negative attitude will hold you back. You can increase your dopamine levels and reduce this anchor with daily exercise and the challenge of learning something new every day.
So put away the remote control, pick up a book and you’re on your way to a happier, richer, and healthier life. It is also important to surround yourself with positive, upbeat, optimistic people if you want to be one as well.
“Being alone or associating with negative types of people reduces the production of dopamine and oxytocin. Worse, these relationships create stress, which depresses the immune system,” he writes. This reduces our resistance to colds, infections, and causes plaque to coat our arteries.
To make a habit of positivity, begin your day with five minutes of meditation followed by a regular exercise routine that may include walking, jogging, biking, or weights.
The more you exercise, the more blood will flow to your brain, bringing in oxygen and glucose (brain fuel) which helps remove free radicals.
Conversely, don’t be a junkie for shock-and-awe news. In the age of fast-news and social media, news outlets and gossip columns that try to catch our attention with shocking and upsetting stories. Corley says that a lot of news is predominately negative. This can cause anxiety, stress, and sadness. It is best to stay current with events by recognizing the news that matters and not just the news that is meant to shock and upset us.
For the rest of the day, make a habit of eating and sleeping better. Nothing new here, but it’s worth repeating: More veggies, fish, salad, healthy meats like chicken and turkey and less junk food. Make sure to take in enough good calories to power your day, but not too much to accumulate fat as fat stores toxins. These new habits can take anywhere between 18 days to two hundred and fifty-four to stick.
Corley’s last piece of health advice is to pursue your own life goals with passion – not your parents or anyone else’s. By passionately following your own dreams, you will find your true calling and meaning in life.
“Passion gives you the energy, persistence, and focus needed to overcome failures, mistakes, and rejection,” he writes.
Norm Letnick is MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country and the BC Liberal health critic.