Contemplation: A Healthy State of Mind

The Huffington Post:

Most dietitians will tell us that the first step in achieving a healthy body weight is buying a good bathroom scale. The second is using it, regularly. Knowing our weight keeps us honest, and this basic bit of information is a key motivator for the nutrition and exercise changes needed to stay fit over the long haul. And it’s simple and effortless.

Except that it’s not. Many people do not have a scale, and what’s more, do not want one. Or if they have one, they never use it. There are many explanations for such avoidance. Some people hold on to a bygone image of themselves, believing that they are still fit and healthy. They don’t want this cherished delusion shattered. Or they don’t want to face the rigors of a diet regimen, so they choose to remain ignorant of their unhealthy condition. Or they find the very sight of the scale aversive and depressing.

And that’s just what they found. As described in a forthcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science, far fewer contemplative volunteers avoided learning their diabetes risk. This suggests that prompting people to deliberate the consequences of learning or avoiding health information — this cognitive shift can actually reduce avoidance of crucial health information.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

Wray Herbert is an author and award-winning journalist who writes two popular blogs for APS, We’re Only Human and Full Frontal Psychology.

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