For many people, starting a diet is primarily about the physical transformation, with not much thought given to psychological benefits. But as science shows, the two are closely linked. When you focus on your physical wellbeing, taking steps such as a better diet and more exercise, you also boost your psychological wellbeing, and we all want more of that.
Focusing on psychological wellbeing can improve your weight loss mindset by making you more motivated to maintain healthy diet and exercise habits. In short, when you feel good about yourself on the inside, that can spur you on to take good care of yourself on the outside, and vice versa.
That’s why the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet aims to help members get a balance of physical wellbeing and psychological wellbeing. In fact, our members told us they experienced a boost in self-confidence, satisfaction, and mood through the plan.
Our program features positive psychology tools – and as you’d expect from us, they’re all backed by science.
Following research-based evidence, we’ve created a three-pronged approach to boost your wellbeing:
One of the best things about kindness is that the more you practice it, the more you benefit.
Dr Brindal analysed seven studies of compassionate acts and found the best wellbeing impacts came when people wrote down acts of kindness, which could include anything from holding a door open to giving a compliment.
In one study, known as the Counting Kindness study, people who kept track of every act of kindness over a week experienced increased happiness.
In another, participants were given different types of kindness activities to perform over a week, including actions towards family and friends, strangers and themselves. The results? Improved happiness across the board.
Gratitude means acknowledging when you feel thankful for what you have received.
Some studies analysed by Dr Brindal asked people to keep a ‘gratitude diary’ to record moments of gratitude, while others asked people to write letters expressing gratitude to others for how that person has impacted their lives.
Benefits ranged from improved life satisfaction, hope, happiness and self-esteem, to reduced stress levels and depressive symptoms.
Imagining your life in the future – a version of yourself where everything has gone well – is the essence of Best Possible Self interventions.
This exercise could include your vision for areas including your home, fitness, finances, children, relationships, friends, career, health, hobbies and personal development.
In the research examined by Dr Brindal, participants spent 10 to 20 minutes contemplating and writing about their ‘best possible self’.
Outcomes from the research included better life satisfaction, happiness and optimism with one study noting the effects were still visible a month later. So get writing!