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Living With A Roommate Might Help You Become Healthier – Here’s Why

Living With A Roommate Might Help You Become Healthier – Here’s Why

Whether it’s for a few years in college, to save money by choosing a shared housing option, or just as a lifestyle choice, many of us will live with a roommate at some stage. Occasionally, there can be friction. Who hasn’t had an argument about whose turn it is to take out the trash, or who should be the one to clear up after dinner? However, living with another person also comes with many benefits.

You know that there’s always someone else around, which can help you feel safer and more secure. There’s always someone to talk to, so you need never be lonely. Beyond these obvious advantages are some less readily apparent benefits. For instance, did you know that living with someone else means that your diet is likely to be better than if you lived alone?

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Why Living With Someone Else Will Improve Your Diet

We’ve all seen stereotypes in the media that depict roommates chilling out together over pizza, beer, and other kinds of junk food. However, scientific research paints a rather different picture of the effect a roommate can have on your diet. It seems that we are actually more likely to eat healthier foods and stick to healthier eating patterns when living with others.

To examine the effect of living alone on diet, Australian university researchers looked at 41 scientific studies on the subject. They found that people living alone tended to eat lower quantities of fresh food including fruits and vegetables, which can have a significant negative impact on long-term health. Everyone needs the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that these foods provide, so this is concerning for those who do not live with a partner, relatives, or roommates.

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Interestingly, the authors of the study found that this trend could be seen across various demographic groups. Whether rich or poor, those who lived with others generally benefited from a more varied diet compared to those in single-occupancy homes. When the results were broken down by gender, men have more to be worried about compared with women. Males tend to consume an even worse diet when they live by themselves.

What could explain these findings? The researchers believe that the social and cultural roles played by cooking, food preparation, and eating may be important considerations. For example, those who live with friends or a partner typically have someone else to go shopping with, and this may mean that they are likely to go out and buy higher-quality fresh food on a regular basis.

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Cooking skills may be another factor. If a person living alone finds they do not have the knowledge required to prepare a particular dish or cook a certain food, they may fall back on ready-made, less healthy food. However, if they lived with at least one other person, they may be able to ask for help.

The power of routine is another relevant consideration. A person living alone can eat whatever they want at any time of the day or night without attracting comment or criticism. Whilst this may be very liberating, it can actually be helpful from a health point of view to have someone around who questions your decision to eat frozen pizza at 3am for the third night in a row. In other words, roommates can draw your attention to unhealthy or abnormal routines. Humans are social creatures after all, and most of us crave the approval of others.

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So, if you have a roommate, be thankful for the positive effect they could be having on your diet. If you currently live alone and find yourself fighting a losing battle against poor eating habits, why not consider sharing a home with someone else? You could encourage one another on to greater health and well-being.

Featured photo credit: Robert Judge via flickr.com

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 17, 2019

10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

Positive thinking can lead to a lot of positive change in your life. Developing an optimistic outlook can be good for both your physical and mental health.

But sometimes, certain situations arise in life that makes it hard to keep a positive outlook. Take steps to make positive thinking become more like your second nature and you’ll reap the biggest benefits.

Here are 10 ways to make thinking positive thoughts easy:

1. Spend Time with Positive People

If you surround yourself with constant complainers, their negativity is likely to rub off on you.

Spend time with positive friends and family members to increase the likelihood that their positive thinking habits will become yours too. It’s hard to be negative when everyone around you is so positive.

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2. Take Responsibility for Your Behavior

When you encounter problems and difficulties in life, don’t play the role of the victim. Acknowledge your role in the situation and take responsibility for your behavior.

Accepting responsibility can help you learn from mistakes and prevent you from blaming others unfairly.

3. Contribute to the Community

One of the best ways to feel good about what you have, is to focus on what you have to give.

Volunteer in some manner and give back to the community. Helping others can give you a new outlook on the world and can assist you with positive thinking.

4. Read Positive and Inspirational Materials

Spend time each day reading something that encourages positive thinking. Read the Bible, spiritual material, or inspirational quotes to help you focus on what’s important to you in life. It can be a great way to start and end your day.

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Some recommendations for you:

5. Recognize and Replace Negative Thoughts

You won’t be successful at positive thinking if you’re still plagued by frequent negative thoughts. Learn to recognize and replace thoughts that are overly negative. Often, thoughts that include words like “always” and “never” signal that they aren’t true.

If you find yourself thinking something such as, “I always mess everything up,” replace it with something more realistic such as, “Sometimes I make mistakes but I learn from them.”

There’s no need to make your thoughts unrealistically positive, but instead, make them more realistic.

6. Establish and Work Toward Goals

It’s easier to be positive about problems and setbacks when you have goals that you’re working toward. Goals will give you motivation to overcome those obstacles when you encounter problems along the way. Without clear goals, it’s harder to make decisions and gauge your progress.

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Learn to set SMART goals to help you achieve more.

7. Consider the Consequences of Negativity

Spend some time thinking about the consequences of negative thinking. Often, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For example, a person who thinks, “I probably won’t get this job interview,” may put less effort into the interview. As a result, he may decrease his chances of getting the job.

Create a list of all the ways negative thinking impacts your life. It likely influences your behavior, your relationships, and your feelings. Then, create a list of the ways in which positive thinking could be beneficial.

8. Offer Compliments to Others

Look for reasons to compliment others. Be genuine in your praise and compliments, but offer it frequently. This will help you look for the good in other people.

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9. Create a Daily Gratitude List

If you start keeping a daily gratitude list, you’ll start noticing exactly how much you have to be thankful for. This can help you focus on the positive in your life instead of thinking about all the bad things that have happened in the day.

Getting in the habit of showing an attitude of gratitude makes positive thinking more of a habit. Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

10. Practice Self-Care

Take good care of yourself and you’ll be more equipped to think positively.

Get plenty of rest and exercise and practice managing your stress well. Taking care of your physical and mental health will provide you with more energy to focus on positive thinking.

Learn about these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

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Featured photo credit: DESIGNECOLOGIST via unsplash.com

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