Dr. Lena’s 5 lifestyle tweaks that can drammatically improve your wellbeing

Nessl founder and CEO, Dr. Lena Shahbandar, started her journey of fitness and wellness as a teen who loved sports and health. This love propelled her to become a physician who specializes in  physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) treating people with all sorts of musculoskeletal ailments. A mother and specialist in pain in pregnancy, Lena saw that new mothers are particularly vulnerable to back and joint injuries, due to the changes in their bodies and the fact that they are expected to lift and carry heavy things shortly after giving birth.  She hopes to change this by educating mothers and influencing the baby product industry.  

As seen in her interview with Candice Georgiadis from Authority Magazine, Dr. Lena shares with us her 5 non-intuitive lifestyle tweaks that will dramatically improve one’s wellbeing.  

Lena’s 5 Lifestyle Tweaks:

  1. Assess your values and live by them
  2. Create ladder thoughts 
  3. Start small
  4. Celebrate success
  5. Celebrate failure

Assess your valuers and live by them

We often say we want to eat well, exercise, see the people we love and focus on our mental and spiritual health, but maybe we don’t actually do those things.  It is worth spending some time and deciding what you value. Then compare that to how you currently live each day.  The next step is to shift your living to match your values.  One idea here is to set out four or five little mason jars labeled with the things you care about along with a bowl of beads.  Every day, drop a bead into the jar if you did that thing.  So if one of your values is fitness (and I like to separate food and exercise because we know both are important) then drop a bead in your jar if you ate your veggies or you went on a hike.  

Create ladder thoughts

When we have fitness and health goals we have to visualize ourselves as the person who already does the things we want to do.  Sometimes our goal feels so far off that we can’t really believe the thought. If we want to exercise 6 days a week and stop eating processed foods and we currently don’t do either very well, a ladder thought to “it’s really fun to exercise every day” might be “exercising every day is fun for people who do it regularly” and that might be enough to get you going. 

Start small

This is similar to the thought work above but has to do with the action.  As humans, we tend to overestimate what we can achieve each day, and we pack too much into our schedules then fail to achieve. But what is interesting is that we vastly underestimate what we can do in the long run.  This causes us to continue with our status quo and we are surprised when people make huge changes in their lives.  It is ok to start with small consistent action.  If you are not used to eating vegetables and avoiding processed carbs for instance, you can make your first goal that you are going to stop eating those foods after 8pm.  And do that consistently.  Then add another meal, and so on.   

Celebrate success

We are good at being hard on ourselves as humans.  When you sit down at the end of each day or even each week, try to celebrate the things that you have done right.  Your mind will then be able to remember the successes when you doubt yourself.  We need evidence that we can reach our goals and small successes become the stepping stones to large successes. 

Celebrate failure

Just as important as celebrating success is celebrating failure.  Our brains are wired to avoid failure, in order to protect us.  We must remember, though, that failure means you tried.  And with weight loss and exercise journeys, as with smoking, we know that the more times we try and fail the more likely we are to eventually succeed.  So keep it up and give yourself a pat on the back if you tried but failed.

With these 5 tips, we believe that you will be on your way to better wellbeing. Read more from her interview with Authority Magazine here.