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Your Role as a Healthy Influence

You plan meals, encourage exercise, and promote healthful living. Yet you can’t seem to motivate your friend or your partner to schedule an annual physical or better manage stress levels. You ask, but you’re met with stubbornness. These conversations can dramatically impact your partner’s health—but how do you ensure you remain a positive influence and not a nag? Change your strategy and here's how you can change the dynamic:

 

Study Your Tone

Consider your approach in asking questions. Instead of pleading, threatening, or demanding, try being a cheerleader. Instead, take a positive, lighthearted tone. Understand that your partner may have a reason for his or her reservations. If you are encouraging a friend to adopt healthy habits - model them yourself! When at lunch, choose a healthy salad and your friend likely will as well!

 

Identify Your Goal

Be clear about your intentions—to live healthier lives together—but choose your battles. How important is getting glucose levels checked in comparison with chores around the house? Discuss what you want and why you want it to illustrate your point. Choose a good time for the most effective conversation - a time with few distractions.

 

Practice Encouragement

Everyone has hang-ups and dislikes. Your partner may hate exercise or may be struggling to kick the smoking habit. Be a positive example and encourage healthy success. Use positive reinforcement—and celebrate positive milestones and progress together—to make even stress management fun.

 

Are you up-to-date on health screenings? Check Beebe Healthcare’s guidelines at https://www.beebehealthcare.org/healthscreening

Beebe offers free smoking cessation counseling.

This article appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of the Beacon.