Health Watch - A Matter of Mind: Making Changes

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


Your own mind can be your best ally or your biggest enemy when it comes to improving your health. Your mindset makes a big difference in the actions you choose to take and whether you’ll succeed in making changes. Before you can make positive changes in your life, you may have to face some negative things about yourself.

Making a change for the better can be difficult, and not just because eating a healthier diet, exercising more regularly, losing weight and flossing nightly are such difficult tasks. Dr. Timothy Wolff, a psychiatrist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says change can be a challenge because it requires us to look at negative aspects of ourselves, which can make us feel bad about ourselves. It’s easier to ignore problems entirely, which means we don’t make changes. Change can also be difficult because our habits and behaviors are so deeply ingrained. The good news is that habits take about a month to form, so stick with it and you can be successful.

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January 2011


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