What Is Health Psychology And Why Is It Important

Posted on

Healthy lifestyle psychology is there really such a thing? I wonder! When looking for healthy lifestyles related keywords, I get mostly nutrition, eating, weight, and dieting responses. But healthy lifestyles are much, much more right.

What Is Health Psychology And Why Is It Important
What Is Health Psychology And Why Is It Important

Let’s face it there is a definite connection between good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. After all, you are what you eat. Exercise, physical activity, and weight management are important too. So could a healthy life be so elusive because we have no clue what it is?

Healthy Lifestyle Psychology Confirmed. When I searched for healthy lifestyle psychology I got a slew of listings. Based on my findings it would seem that healthy lifestyle goes deeper than the physical. The mood, stress, and self opinion all play major roles in affirming its achievement.

Certainly aesthetic attributes are an outward sign of health. However, true confirmation of health lies deep within the person themselves.

Healthy Lifestyle Psychology 4 Steps Plus

My favorite source for health related information is WebMD. Needless to say I found quite a bit on this subject. 4 Steps to a Healthy Lifestyle by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD really grabbed my attention. She started by listing 4 attributes of healthfulness, which are:

  • Not smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy weight (a BMI of 18-25)
  • Eating 5 servings minimum of fruits and vegetables daily
  • Exercising 30 minutes, 5 times/ week minimum

These attributes are a standard for any weight loss clinic program. Then deeming the list inadequate, she goes on to include her top ten list of additional characteristics. They include actions like:

  • Getting a good night’s rest
  • Meditate and or pray daily
  • Enjoying regular family meals
  • Practicing good dental hygiene
  • Walk for the enjoyment and not for time and/ or distance
  • Learn and practice yoga to unwind and increase flexibility
  • Have a positive attitude

Further digging helped to confirm what has always been clear in my mind. The healthy lifestyle is only attainable when the seeker includes healthful attitudes and practices in the totality of their life.

People with good psychological hardiness are better able to cope with stress, remain flexible in tough situations, and adapt to the challenges of life. In addition they tend to enjoy a longer life and better relationships at home and work.

Pursuit of Good Health is Continuous!

Exercise has a positive effect on mood as long as the practice is continued consistently. Individuals who actively engage in physical activity regularly tended to be in a healthy, non-depressed mood. Conversely, people to exercised regularly and then stopped dropped to depression scores similar to non-exercisers. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to measure levels in participants.

Healthy Lifestyle Psychology Mood Swings

Further evidence of the healthy lifestyle psychology is demonstrated in the effects mood has on our lives. Moods can determine the effectiveness of the rest cycle. Holding on to stressful news and events can keep the brain highly active. When the brain doesn’t rest, the body has difficulty sleeping.

How many times have you blown off move related activity at the end of a bad day? Poor mood can influence motivation to exercise, dance, walk, or engage in any movement activity.

“You know what? I may not be able to stop this butt kicking, but a nice stiff drink will help ease the pain!” Sound or feel familiar? Comfort food, alcohol, and other euphoria seeking activities can influence the type of nutrition choices you make. Do you know the “munchies”?

Finally mood can influence the motivation to interact with family and friends. Dinner can go from a hot sit down meal to sandwiches on the fly when someone plucks that last nerve. Skipped any planned outings because you “don’t feel up to it” lately?

Wrapping It All Up

Psychology is the study of mental processes and behavior. Mental processes and behavior are the driving forces in any life. Feeling good physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally affect our behavioral responses at all times. Healthy lifestyle psychology alludes to a cooperation of processes and behavior necessary for living a healthy life!