Unhealthy temptations are the cause of an unhealthy life. Education is often touted as the main way to avoid unhealthy temptations. What you may not have known is that positive friendships can have a huge influence on whether you drink that beer or smoke that cigarette.
The Journal of Consumer Research revealed that positive friendships have a great influence on whether someone bows to an unhealthy temptation or not.
But this article is going to go into how it works and how positive friendships can give you the healthy lifestyle you want.
A Physical Stop
To put it simply, for a moment you are going to imagine that you have a problem with alcohol. You are in a friendship circle with people who drink rarely or not at all. They know that you have a problem with resisting temptation.
They provide a physical boundary between you and your temptation. A good friend will lay a hand on your shoulder and tell you thats enough. Therefore, since you still have control over your senses you will agree. This happens every time you are struggling with temptation.
Over time, this will develop into a habit and your own personal willpower will enable you to resist. Without that, theres nothing to stop you from bowing to your temptations, which only leads to a cycle of depression and anxiety. When you get into this vicious circle its difficult to break out.
Theres a reason why high-functioning alcoholics become alcoholics in the first place. Most of their friends will usually drink just as heavily as them. The only time they will meet these friends outside work is when they are at the bar together.
Good friends wont always spend time with you at the bar. A positive friendship will develop in multiple places. If you are not constantly making a negative environment your home, the chances of you developing an unhealthy lifestyle are slim.
If you have a serious problem, friends will even make sure you are not put in a scenario where you are tempted.
Less Stress More Willpower
But what makes a good friend?
A good friend is someone who lifts you up. One thing they would never do is add more stress to your life. Bad friends are those who are constantly complaining about their problems and the problems of others. Instead of spending time with these people, get away from this toxic environment.
More stress will only grind you down and make it harder for you to resist unhealthy temptations. You should feel relaxed around your friends. They should energize you.
Heres a simple test you can do. When you are surrounded by your friends, do you feel less stressed or more stressed than a night at home alone? If the answer is more stressed, you know that you need to find new friends.
Why People Are Tempted
Good friendships are a distraction. They are a distraction from a temptation, and temptation happens because people are bored or depressed. People are tempted by things like chocolate, alcohol, and drugs because they claim it makes them feel relaxed and happy.
You can get all this from simply having the right friends. They act as a distraction so you are never tempted by your vices. You are too busy enjoying the company of those around you.
Simply having a distraction doesnt make you weak. Its what everyone uses to beat their vices. Rather than spending a night on the sofa with a bottle of wine, you are attending a dance class or a meal at a restaurant. You are so busy talking and laughing that you have no reason to have that extra glass of wine.
Its such a simple concept that can vastly improve your health.
Developing a positive friendship takes time and effort. Finding the right people is 90% of the process. If you have yet to find these people in your life, dont lose hope. Theres no reason why you cant discover and use them to enhance your life.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that this works both ways. Good friends want you to boost their self-esteem and their willpower as much as you want them to do the same for you.
Think about how you can be a good friend and what you bring to the table. If this is a struggle, it probably explains why you are not surrounded by the people you want to be surrounded by.
How are you going to find high quality friends today?