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4 Health Lessons You Need To Learn From Introverts

4 Health Lessons You Need To Learn From Introverts

We have a problem.

And by “we” I mean us introverts.

You see, there’s this thing called the extrovert ideal. It means society rewards those who are loud, outgoing, aggressive, and gregarious.

While it’s true our brains are wired differently and us introverts spend a lot of inside our heads, we can actually teach everyone else a thing or two … especially when it comes to health (both mental and physical).

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Here are 7 health lessons you can learn from introverts.

Listen more than you talk.

It’s not that introverts don’t like to talk, it’s just that we prefer to listen before we talk. And from a health standpoint, this is an invaluable skill. Take it from us: being willing to listen to others about your health is imperative. Sometimes, we can’t see the forest for the trees and someone else in our lives, a doctor, a partner or friend might notice something that we did not — whether it’s a funky-looking mole or an unhealthy habit. And when you stop talking, you can also really “listen” to the inner workings of your own body and mind too.

Enjoy alone time.

For some reason, our extroverted friends and family members feel compelled to make excuses for us when we’re not living up to their standard of affability.

“He just needs to come out of his shell a bit.”

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“Oh, she’s just shy.”

Wrong.

Shyness means being inherently uncomfortable and afraid of negative judgment.

Some introverts qualify as shy—but most of us could care less what people think about us. Believe it or not, we actually like having quiet time to ourselves. It’s how we recharge and unwind. It helps us create balance: both physically and mentally. You should try it. Do a little “soul searching” every day by finding a quiet spot and just focusing on breathing for 5-10 minutes. Research shows this can have a profound impact on your health.

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Make exercise “you time”

I know a lot of people who work out with a partner. This is great … until your partner bails on you because he/she is too busy. We introverts prefer to be alone when we’re at work and when we’re working out–mainly because research shows we prefer minimal noise and distractions in these types of environments.

Working out solo helps us build healthy habits that help us stick with a fitness regimen in the long-term. If you really crave being around others, try a group class–but do it with people you don’t know. Exercise is a very individual thing and the more you make it about you, the more likely you’ll be to stick with it.

Practice healthy behaviors

There’s a psychological phenomenon known as deliberate practice, and it’s one of the most important things you can learn from introverts. Think of deliberate practice as “self-study.” If you want to learn a skill, each day you’d devote time to focused practice.

Here’s an example for you: let’s say you want to learn how to do yoga. The first thing you’d need to do is start small so you can create a habitual routine of it. You could either attend a class or find some videos online to learn the basic movements. Then each day (or at least several days per week) you would practice those movements. Introverts thrive in this type of environment because it allows them to be alone and focus their energy on one thing at a time … which is important when you’re trying to master any healthy behavior.

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Final thoughts.

It’s difficult for extroverts to understand introverts, say education researchers Jill Burruss and Lisa Kaenzig.

I disagree.

Remember this: we don’t just look—we try to see. We don’t just hear, we process. We don’t just learn, we apply. These are the most important things you can learn from introverts.

Featured photo credit: MightyBoyBrian via flickr.com

More by this author

Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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