The Importance of Consistent Daily HabitsDec 14, 2022
Confession. I go through periods where I fall off my good habits. Everyone does, so I want you to know that you’re not alone. For me, I tend to put in overtime in my work (because I enjoy what I do), but this often cuts into my activity time – such as working out, going for a run, etc. I’ve talked about the importance of not skimping on an activity before, so to be transparent, I want you to know that I sometimes fall off too.
BUT, the important part is getting back on the horse and following your routine.
AND, not guilt-tripping yourself because you fell off your good habits.
We run into trouble when we allow non-compliance with our habits to take over. Allow me to play this out for you:
For example, failing to be active for at least 20 minutes a day leads to a slowed metabolism. A slowed metabolism drags the body down energetically and we start to feel more fatigued. As we succumb to fatigue, we opt for sitting on the couch when we get home, rather than going for a walk or run. Spending more time being stagnant rather than active, does not support circulation, but instead “backs up” certain systems of the body such as the intestinal, lymphatic, and circulatory systems. As these systems back up, they become toxic. Toxic build-up then leads to inflammation…the root of all diseases and improper aging patterns. Sickness and disease are not only painful but also lead to depression and isolation. This is the definition of a downward spiral (aka what we’re trying to avoid). How did we get here? Quick simply actually. But here’s the good news - we can reverse these habits just as fast as we adopted them!
Now let’s look at this scenario: You’ve been feeling depressed moods for months and you finally decide to seek treatment for it. You go to your doctor, they hear your symptoms, and you are prescribed antidepressant medication. At your follow-up appointment 3 months later, your depression symptoms have slightly improved, but you’ve gained 15 pounds and your sex drive is squashed. Yikes. I wish this was a one-off, but it seems to be the rule rather than the exception. We can be doing better.
So if there’s only one takeaway here, allow it to be this: You don’t become depressed because you have a low level of antidepressants in your system. You become depressed either due to an imbalance or a deficiency within the body (and in many cases, both).
Serotonin is often out of balance in those who experience depression. Serotonin is a major player in maintaining a balanced mood and positive outlook on life. Serotonin doesn’t come from drugs; it primarily comes from your gut! Roughly 90% of the serotonin made by your body is made in your gut. This is why the gut is referred to as the second brain. For your gut to make adequate levels of serotonin, it must be in healthy condition. Maintaining a healthy gut means that your gut lining is intact so that it keeps the nutrients in and the toxins out and it maintains the appropriate balance of good and bad bacteria.
So, what if we intercepted the downward spiral of depression at the beginning? How different could this outcome be? Couldn’t society be a happier place? I certainly believe so.
If you or someone you know is experiencing depression, seek guidance from a healthcare professional. The purpose of this posting is to empower you with the knowledge and understanding of what is happening in your body when you experience depression. Depression does NOT have to be your diagnosis, disease, or identity. You are not doomed because it “runs in the family”. You have a different body, different genes, and a different lifestyle than your family members. You are in control.
You are in control of your daily habits. Daily habits are important because small hinges swing big doors. The next time you want to sack out on the couch after work, make it a habit to replace that time with a short walk instead. This is your small change, your small hinge. Your body will then do the work for you, it just needs a nudge to get started. By incorporating consistent movement into your daily routine and replacing a lazy habit with an active one, your body begins to crave the movement. As you begin to crave the movement, you will also crave healthier foods to sustain a healthy body, to support that movement. This is what I mean when I say your body does the work for you. It is amazing the mind-body connection that God has given us. Here is your weekly encouragement to get moving. Commit to seven days and see what happens ;)
Until next time my friend, Stay Refined