Much has been written about the influence of
others in shaping our attitudes, perceptions and actions. We know we are more likely to engage in a
behavior, healthy or not, if those who surround us support that behavior. We also know that social support becomes even
more critical when we are trying to change a behavior. Seeking the support of others on our journey
to better health can result in positive peer pressure, increased
accountability, constructive feedback, and access to collective wisdom which usually
yields superior results over individual efforts.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t have
face-to-face relationships that can function as a support network when we
decide to modify our lifestyle choices.
Online communities can provide social support for those of us making a
health change. Social support is crucial
to successful behavior change and will empower you to make healthier choices,
as well as you exerting positive influence on the decisions of others.
Connecting with others has even greater
benefits when we take on the role of volunteer.
Research shows that volunteering can improve your own physical and
mental health. If you are not already
volunteering, find a worthy cause and figure out how you can help.
The Role of Health Champions in Behavior Change
A Health Champion is someone who has figured
out how to live a balanced and healthy life while faced with many of the same
obstacles and challenges many of us cannot seem to overcome. Health Champions know that taking care of
themselves allows them to be high performers at work and in their personal
lives. They can serve as our role
models, mentors and coaches.
Most Health Champions are eager to share their
strategies for making healthy choices the norm. When asked, Health Champions
can usually point to someone in their past, who inspired them to make lifestyle
changes and are often willing to pay it forward. Find someone who can be your Health Champion
and ask for help. If you are a Health
Champion, congratulations! Find ways to
share your success with others. Health
Champions serve as important resources in behavior change efforts.