Nobody wants to get sick, and nobody wants to die young. Yet far too many of us live lives that make those things more likely — and, in some cases, tragically inevitable. The harsh reality is that certain lifestyles are much more dangerous for your health and mental well-being than others. And if you’re living in a way that could hurt you, it’s up to you to take control and reclaim the life that you want and deserve.
It won’t be easy to overcome a truly dangerous lifestyle, especially when serious health issues like addiction are involved. But with a few key decisions, a serious sense of commitment, and the support of the right professionals, you can do it. Here’s how.
Know why you’re Changing
If you don’t know why you’re making a major lifestyle change, then you won’t know why you ought to stick to it. So decide, first and foremost, why you’re doing this. What’s important to you that your lifestyle is keeping you from, or may keep you from if it makes you sick or kills you? Why is change right for you? Whether you’re drawing inspiration from a terrible rock bottom or a positive change in your life, you need to know why you’re turning over a new leaf.
You know why you need to change. But what do you need to change?
As objectively as possible, consider what you’d prefer to be different about your life. This doesn’t mean that you should get angry with yourself or bring yourself down, but it does mean taking a clear-eyed look at your habits and choices. Keeping a journal may help you identify problems.
Do you eat too much? Exercise too little? Are you making dangerous choices like binge-drinking and getting into fights? Are you abusing drugs? Are you a smoker? Do you work too much? Are you just not getting enough sleep? Keep listing things until you’re out of ideas.
Get Professional Help
Regardless of how dangerous your lifestyle is, you could probably benefit from professional help. If all you’re really concerned about is an extra five or ten pounds around the middle, you could still make progress faster by turning to a professional personal trainer.
And if you’re dealing with a more serious and more dangerous issue, like substance abuse, turning to a professional only becomes more appealing. Substance abuse is not a thing to tackle alone, advice experts who run a Toronto drug rehab center that caters primarily to Americans and Canadians.
To make real progress and protect your healthy future, you need to rely on experts and professionals. Depending on what you discovered in your inventory, that may mean personal trainers, nutritionists, physicians, mental health care professionals, and others.
Build from the Ground up
Addiction is not the only thing that can make your lifestyle extremely dangerous. For some people, the biggest health risk in their lives is what they eat. Then there’s exercise (or lack thereof), risky behaviors, mental health issues — you name it.
All of these things deserve to be addressed. And you can and should consider intensive lifestyle change for some or all of them: Experts say that intensive lifestyle change can work for diets and other things. At the same time, you do need to consider your priorities. If you’re overweight and an alcoholic, you need to remember that committing to sobriety and committing to not eating that last cookie are not equally important. And while your goal should be to address all of your lifestyle’s dangers, you need to build up with meaningful change starting with the most fundamental and far-reaching of those dangers.
With that in mind, work with the health professionals that will guide you through this process. Speak to your mental health care provider and doctor about coming up with a plan that puts the right emphasis on each challenge and addresses all of your issues, whether it be all at once or one at a time. The important thing is to get from where you are to the better life that you need and deserve.