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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

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Scott Christ

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

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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