Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Spreading Wellness: How hard can it be?!

This fall I was invited to one of the most fun and laughter filled employee meetings of my life.  Student Services here at CSS is filled with amazing and hilarious people.  A group of them unveiled their Campus Life Calendar at that meeting with the phrase, "How hard can it be?!"  The other weekend when my husband and I were replacing the back brakes on his car, we both struggled with a tiny little spring, boy, it was strong!   As I struggled with that little piece of metal, I kept reflecting on the laughter filled meeting, with continuous reminders of "how hard can it be?!" Many times I stopped to regroup, both my mental and physical strength...continuing the mantra of "how hard it can be, this spring is tiny?!" This kept me going until, ploop, the spring was connected appropriately, and the parking brake worked once again. Team work, reading and re-reading directions, laughter, and perseverance had finally prevailed.

Perseverance, resources (books, directions, blogs, wellness staff), and team work (social support) are also components of making lifestyle changes...positive habit changes. And, maybe it isn't scientifically proven, but in my experience, the ability to laugh at my mistakes also helps. According to research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology 40, 998-1009 (2010) Published Online 16 July 2009, habit formation is a non-linear curve, meaning that early repetitions of the habit you are trying to create results in a larger increase in automaticity than those repetitions performed later in the habit formation process. This study also revealed three other practical applications to improve positive habit formation.  1. Use external cues to trigger behavior change. 2. Stay as consistent as possible. and 3. The more complex the behavior you are trying to create (example: exercise), the longer it will take to create the habit.

Are you looking at ways to make positive lifestyle changes?  If so, please take advantage of our WellU Shape Up program, or any of the other programs available. Our programs this year revolve around helping participants take action to improve their wellness. We have a wide variety of options, including a Walking Club, Body Weight Interval Training, Zumba, Brown Bag Lunch and Learns, Book Club, and Weight Management. We understand that they all may not interest you, and that you have other time constraints, but we are programming to help meet your needs with a wide variety of options. So, How hard can it be?! You are the only one to determine that.  Gather your tools for your toolbox, and remember to consider a dash of each of these...perseverance, resources, team work, social support, and a little bit of laughter throughout your process. I now challenge you, to sign up today at imleagues.com, and begin your journey down a road to improve your wellness. And, if anyone has done research on the benefits of laughter and lifestyle change, please post them in the comments section. We at WellU would be happy to learn more!