Advertising
Advertising

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?

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

Focus On Yourself, Because Most Of The Time No One Really Cares 30 Ways To Treat Yourself No Matter What 3 Things To Give Up If You Want To Take Control Of Your Life All You Have to Do to Sleep Better How Social Media Is Making You Feel Bad about Yourself Every Day

Trending in Communication

1 12 Things High Self-Esteem People Don’t Do 2 10 Essential Books on Relationships To Help You Understand Love 3 12 Things That Will Always Motivate You to Do a Good Job 4 Need a Mood Booster? Here Are 5 Ways to Get Happier in 1 Minute 5 5 Ways to Help Yourself Advance Your Mental Strength

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 13, 2020

12 Things High Self-Esteem People Don’t Do

12 Things High Self-Esteem People Don’t Do

Having high self-esteem is important if you are aiming for personal or professional success. Interestingly, most people will high levels of self-esteem act in similar ways. That’s why it’s often easy to pick them out in a crowd. There’s something about the way they hold themselves and speak, isn’t there?

We all have different hopes, dreams, experiences, and paths, but confidence has its own universal language. This list will present some of the things you won’t find yourself doing if you have high self-esteem.

1. Compare Yourself to Others

People with low self-esteem are constantly comparing their situation to others. On the other hand, people with higher self-esteem show empathy and compassion while also protecting their own sanity. They know how much they can handle and when they can offer a helping hand.

In the age of social media, however, social comparisons are nearly ubiquitous. One study found that “participants who used Facebook most often had poorer trait self-esteem, and this was mediated by greater exposure to upward social comparisons on social media”[1]. Basically, you will feel worse about yourself if you are constantly getting glimpses into lives that you consider to be better than yours.

Try to limit your time on social media. Also, when you do start scrolling, keep in mind that each profile is carefully crafted to create the appearance of a perfect life. Check yourself when you find yourself wishing for greener grass.

2. Be Mean-Spirited

People with low self-esteem bully others. They take pleasure in putting other people down. People with positive self-esteem see no need to down other people, choosing instead to encourage and celebrate successes.

Advertising

If you find that you feel the need to put others down, analyze where that’s coming from. If they’ve had success in life, help them feel good about that achievement. They may do the same for you one day.

3. Let Imperfection Ruin Your Day

Perfectionism isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but obsessing over making everything perfect is a sign that you have low self-esteem and can lead to never-ending negative thoughts. This can turn into an inability to solve problems creatively, which will only make self-esteem issues worse. 

Those with high self-esteem disconnect from the results and do their best without expecting perfection.

People with that kind of confidence understand that messing up is a part of life and that each time they aim and miss success, they’ll at least learn something along the way.

If you miss the mark, or if your plan doesn’t work out exactly as you would have liked, take a deep breath and see if you can pivot in order to do better next time.

4. Dwell on Failure

It’s common to hear people dwelling on all the ways things will go wrong. They are positive that their every failure signals an impossible task or an innate inability to do something. People with healthy self-esteem discover why they failed and try again.

Advertising

People with higher levels of confidence also tend to adopt a growth mindset[2]. This type of thinking supports the idea that most of your abilities can be improved and altered, as opposed to being fixed.

For example, instead of saying, “I’m just not good at math; that’s why I did bad on the test,” someone with a growth mindset would say, “Math is difficult for me, so I’ll have to put in some more practice to improve next time.”

Next time you experience a failure, check out this video to help you believe in yourself again:

5. Devalue Your Self-Esteem

People with high self-esteem value their own perception of themselves – they understand that they come first and don’t feel guilty about taking care of themselves. They believe charity starts within, and if they don’t believe that, they’ll never have a healthy self-image.

Self-care is often top of the priority list for people with self-esteem. For some ways to practice self-care, check out this article.

6. Try to Please Others

They can’t please all the people all the time, so confident people first focus on doing what will make them feel fulfilled and happy. While they will politely listen to others’ thoughts and advice, they know that their goals and dreams have to be completed on their own terms.

Advertising

7. Close Yourself off

Confident people have the ability to be vulnerable. It’s those with poor self-esteem that hide all the best parts of themselves behind an emotional wall. Instead of keeping the real you a secret, be open and honest in all your dealings.

As Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly, points out, “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen”[3]. When you embrace each facet of who you are and allow others to see them as well, it will create deeper, more meaningful connections in your life. When that happens, you’ll realize that perfection doesn’t lead to people liking you more.

You can learn more about the power of vulnerability in this TED talk with Brené Brown:

8. Follow and Avoiding Leading

People with low self-esteem don’t believe they can lead, so they end up following others, sometimes into unhealthy situations. Rather than seeking a sense of belonging, people with high self-esteem walk their own paths and create social circles that build them up.

9. Fish for Compliments

If you’re constantly seeking compliments, you’re not confident. People with high self-esteem always do their best (and go out of their way to do good deeds) because it’s what they want to do, not because they’re seeking recognition. If you need to hear compliments, say them to yourself in the mirror.

You can even try some positive affirmations if you need a confidence boost. Check out these affirmations to get started.

Advertising

10. Be Lazy

People work harder when they have high self-esteem because they’re not bogged down by doubts and complaints. Those with low self-esteem end up procrastinating and wasting their energy thinking about all the work they have to do rather than rolling up their sleeves and just getting it done.

This may also bounce off perfectionism. Perfectionists often feel intimidated by certain projects if they fear that they won’t be able to complete them perfectly. Tap into your confidence and simply do your best without worrying about a perfect outcome.

11. Shy Away from Risks

When you trust yourself, you’ll be willing to participate more in life. People with low self-esteem are always on the sidelines, waiting for the perfect moment to jump in. Instead of letting life pass you by, have confidence in your success and take the risks necessary to succeed.

12. Gossip

People with low self-esteem are always in other peoples’ business – they’re more interested in what everyone else is doing than themselves. People with high self-esteem are more interested in their own life and stay out of others’ affairs.

Instead of participating in idle gossip, talk about some positive news you heard recently, or that fascinating book you just finished. There’s plenty to talk about beyond what this or that person did wrong in their life.

The Bottom Line

Self-esteem is to success in life. People who maintain a healthy level of self-esteem believe in themselves and push themselves to succeed, while those with low confidence feel a sense of entitlement.

If you need a boost in your self-image and mental health, avoid negative self-talk and the other mistakes of people with low self-esteem. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

More Tips on Building Confidence

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem
[2] Brain Pickings: Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives
[3] Forbes: Brene Brown: How Vulnerability Can Make Our Lives Better

Read Next