Making healthy choices isn’t just about choosing an apple over cake or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Making healthy choices includes considering risks, outcomes, and the future. Mental health can impact even more than physical health; mood, outlook, and even diet and movement rely on mental wellness. Learning how to make healthy choices is vital to living a successful, happy, and balanced lifestyle.
Why Make Healthy Choices?
Teenagers are a lot more capable than many adults realize. They may have a messy room or listen to loud music, but they are creative, curious, and able. Those characteristics are all benefits that promote growth, but they can also encourage risk-taking and bad behavior. Of course, everyone makes mistakes, and learning from them sets one up for success as an adult, but making the healthiest choices now encourages positive outcomes later on.
As children develop into adulthood, they become more capable of advancement. As they absorb more knowledge, they create an identity and decide who they are and who they want to become. The skills they develop now instill confidence and set them on the next path. Developing self-acceptance, learning to manage stress, and coping with challenges prepare young adults to make healthy choices. Through experiencing life, their choices will impact their future.
Healthy choices are not fundamental. They are the result of compassion, support, and understanding. When someone recognizes signs that they need help addressing troubles and refocusing thoughts patterns, they are more likely to make the healthiest choices for themself. Healthy choices are about finding a balance between confidence, independence, respect, and positivity.
Unhealthy choices are often made out of negativity and can lead to self-destructive behavior. Behaviors such as substance abuse are something many teens fall into as a result of poor choices. Learn how to empower your teen and care for them so they can make healthier choices.
How to Make Healthy Choices
Making healthy choices might sound easy. However, young adults are smart and know right from wrong, but unhealthy decisions have consequences no matter how invincible they think they are.
Their state of mind impacts their decisions, and a negative outlook can lead to poor choices. To make healthy choices, children need to work on balancing their minds and emotions. They may want to punch a wall after failing a test out of anger or frustration. It is perfectly acceptable to feel angry or frustrated, but letting those feelings out in a destructive manner is an unhealthy choice. The healthy alternative would be to assess where they went wrong. Did they study? Are they still struggling to absorb the information after trying hard? What can they do now to solve this problem? Who can they ask for help?
Teens have every right to feel their emotions. They are valid. However, releasing them in an emotional outburst can lead to consequences that only worsen their mental state. When deep in intense emotions, it is best to take a step back, breathe, and rethink. Acting on impulse can have unhealthy and even dangerous results.
It can be difficult to learn that level of self-awareness. Regulating emotions is a challenging skill to master, so it takes practice. Breaking down self-destructive thought patterns requires addressing trauma and stress and developing self-confidence.
Practical Tips for Making Healthy Choices
Some things that can help teens make healthy choices are:
Teenagers enjoy learning and developing in life, but finding a measure of self-awareness is essential. They want to experience moments in the present. Paying attention to their surroundings will help them slow down and think before acting on impulse.
With practice, this can help them gain control over themselves. If they can accept things and find healthy coping methods, it will keep guide them on the right path.
Children may not be able to take away pain, stress, or trauma, but they can face it and minimize it. No feelings are permanent. Learning to accept that and manage unpleasant circumstances and emotions instead of denying them or letting them overpower your child helps them remain calm. Through doing so, they will find it easier to say no to things they know aren’t healthy for them when they have power over their emotions.
Friendships are a huge part of everyone’s life. Peers can influence poor decision-making, but they can also encourage positive choices. Being open and intentional with friendships helps navigate relationships and leads to more control.
Friendships offer support, connection, and motivation. Not only do teens have a lot to gain from healthy friendships, but they also allow them to help others. They can understand them, become less judgmental, and see other perspectives by learning from others.
Your teenager can’t always make things go their way. Sometimes, that’s actually a good thing. Taking time to understand something before making choices is an effective way to become more balanced and less impulsive. With the acceptance of negative circumstances comes the discernment and rationality to make healthy choices.
Making healthy choices now will affect the rest of a teenager’s life. Healthy choices include diet and exercise, as you’ve surely heard many times before, but they go beyond that, too. Mental health and wellness play a significant role in choices. Deciding who to be friends with, how to respond to bad news, and how to go about the day impacts who we are and who we will become. No one expects their children to be perfect or never make mistakes, but learning how to make the right choices can set them up for success and happiness later in life. Here at Havenwood Academy, we work with teen girls on all fronts to encourage their positive self-growth, confidence, and healthy decision-making. If your teenager is struggling with healthy choices due to trauma or other mental health issues, we are here to help. Call us today at (435) 586-2500.
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