Moods are tricky things. Sometimes, for what seems to be no reason at all, your mood can shift, completely changing your outlook on life. From happy to sad, from peaceful to angry, these changes can affect everything.
There have been dozens of studies that look at how moods and attitudes can affect relationships, work, and your general quality of life.
And now many scientists are studying the fascinating relationship between moods and weight.
That depression can cause weight gain is a widely accepted concept.
However, you can turn this on its head and say that happiness, or the feeling of contentment, can actually aid in weight loss. Surprising?
Well, if you’re a little skeptical, keep reading!
Attitude and Weight
Certain emotions are known to trigger binge eating. Amongst these are depression, boredom, or that general feeling like you can’t control anything. Any one of these issues can send people to the cupboards, where they are more than likely to eat foods that make them feel good, those high in sugars and salts.
This leads to a downward spiral of emotional eating that often isn’t recognized or diagnosed.
On the other end of the spectrum, and just as powerful, is how a positive mood can affect weight loss. If you start your day with a generally happy outlook, your mood is going to keep you feeling satisfied and enthused throughout the day.
And these outlooks won’t just be towards people and your work, it will also be towards your weight loss. Instead of seeing what you haven’t accomplished, you’ll naturally focus on what you’ve accomplished.
You’ll feel confident throughout that day and that feeling will compel you to keep up your diet and exercise routine.
Your attitude towards your weight loss is what will keep you striving to achieve your goals. Those who approach their diet and exercise with dread are more likely to quit at some point.
However, if you keep your eyes on your goals and revel in your small accomplishments, being happy with every little thing, you’ll find your journey isn’t as harrowing.
Happiness Breeds Happiness
Here’s the best part about happiness and weight loss. If you approach life with happiness and positivity, you’ll continue to become stronger and healthier. And as your body begins to get more and more healthy, your moods will begin to even out.
This doesn’t’ mean you won’t have any emotions, it just means that your hormones will be more balanced so you won’t have drastic mood swings.
As your body begins to equalize and your moods become steadier, you’ll become happier! This will, of course, cause you to become more and more positive towards your strives in weight loss, which will make you happier.
It’s a cycle of happiness that will continuously improve your life.
Happiness and Thought Processes
Unfortunately, for many people, the concept of happiness and contentment sounds great in theory, but actually achieving this attitude is extremely difficult. This is completely normal.
If you aren’t used to being consistently happy, the idea of it can seem impossible and a little exhausting. But, the best part about being happy is that you can control it.
If you’re unsure of where to start in your attempt to become happier, consider this: Are most of your thoughts positive or negative? Only you can answer this truthfully, so take a moment to think about your answer.
When you approach a situation, are you more likely to see the good or the bad? Most people answer that they see the bad, which is perfectly normal! But, if you want to be happier and you want your happiness to positively impact your weight loss, you’ll need to start changing the way you think.
Happiness and Weight Loss in Action
So, what exactly does your new happy attitude look like when applied to your weight loss journey? If you’re still unsure of how to start, try these tips to get you started.
For the first few days of trying to think in a more positive way, you will need to be very deliberate. Wake up and think of five positive things before you get out of bed.
If you exercise in the morning, repeat these five things over and over as you work out. This will help you associate these positive things with exercising, which will begin to change how you look at exercise.
Eating healthily is a huge part of losing weight, but it can also be the most difficult part. Instead of focusing on how hard it is, think about how everything you put in your mouth is making you stronger, even if it doesn’t taste as delicious as other less healthy foods.
If you get frustrated about making your meals, remind yourself about how your actions now are stepping stones for the health and future you want.
Happiness and Reality
Even the happiest people in the world have down days, where they don’t feel as positive as they usually do. If you have a down day, you should not feel bad. Allow yourself to feel and react.
But don’t wallow in these emotions too long, or else you’ll find yourself skipping workouts and eating unhealthily again, which would be counter-productive.
If at all possible, surround yourself with other positive people who are just as committed to their health as you are to yours. Support systems like this will help you keep your focus when you can’t do it for yourself.
If there’s no one around you who can share your journey, try joining a group online. There are websites, Facebook pages, and blogs that offer support for positive attitudes and weight loss.
Most importantly, remember that your thoughts control your actions. So, even if you have a little dip in attitude, you can’t let it take over everything.
If you find yourself in a stressful or maddening situation, find five positive things about your current situation to think about. It will take practice, but soon you’ll see how this tiny shift in thought will change your life.