Lifestyle Behaviors are Really Contagious
If you want to see change, you must first start within. It’s that simple and it’s that profound. You know it's not what you say, but what you do that makes all the difference. Be your word. Lead by example. You are who you hang around so be careful who you surround yourself with. Children do what we do, not what we say. It's your energy that is contagious. It's all about who are you being not what you are doing.
These words all sound familiar right? But think about it in the terms of your lifestyle affecting your family. My mission is supporting moms on their wellness journey and creating a ripple affect to their everyone around them. I assume you want a Healthy lifestyle, healthy relationships, a healthy relationship with yourself, a thriving career and abundance in all areas for yourself and everyone you care about right? Is there someone in your life that you love, a spouse a friend a parent or a child that you would like to see healthier and happier? If the answer is yes, then you get to do some work on yourself.
Make a list of three things you would like to change in someone in your life. Now make a list of three things that you would like to change in yourself. Do you see any similarities?
Make a commitment to work on changing the things on your list. Make this your priority. What is one action step you can do each day to start creating the change in yourself you wish to see in someone else?
Three weeks from now, go back to the list and see if anything has changed. The explanation lies in the spiritual principle that we can’t change anyone else. The only way to affect others is to change yourself. After all, if I want my husband and son to stop screaming at each other I can’t keep screaming at them to stop. If I want my family to eat their greens I can't expect them to eat them If I'm not eating them. I can’t expect my son to have healthy self-esteem if I’m struggling with that issue myself. Nor can I expect my child to value the truth if he hears me on the phone lying and making an excuse to someone of why I am breaking a commitment.
Look at the evidence:
A study by Harvard researched 12,067 people over more than three decades in the Contagion Theory of Lifestyle Behaviors. They found that the risk of becoming obese spread almost like a virus from person to person. In married couples, if one partner becomes obese, the other has a 37% likelihood of falling victim to the disease. If a friend becomes obese, the likelihood is as high as 57%. This figure skyrockets if one's entire social group suffers from obesity - a whopping 171% likelihood. The study shows that overweight and obese men and women are more likely to have romantic partners, best friends, and casual friends who are also overweight.
The good news? Overweight men and women with more social contacts trying to lose weight positively influence them to also do the same. It is all about who and what you surround yourself with. At the same time, you can act as a positive influence on those around you to make the positive changes you are working towards, too.
The best leaders the world has ever known are the leaders who were accountable and responsible for their own change. Be the change and make someone's life a little bit healthier. It all start with you! Is your lifestyle behavior worth catching?
I invite you to share in the comments below. Your story may be just what someone else needs today.
( Miriam Nelson, Jennifer Ackerman “The Social Network Diet: Change Yourself, Change The World”)