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Rewards Help You Make Lifestyle Changes

By Randi Morse

It can be very difficult to maintain lifestyle changes, especially if you are making large changes. It's been proven that one of the biggest things that helps a person maintain lifestyle changes is their motivation. Without the right motivation it is easy to fall back into bad habits. Learning about the reasons you should be healthy is often not enough motivation to help someone maintain healthy habits. 

Different Motivation Types

In order to understand what motivates you, we need to understand the different types of motivation. There are two different types of reward-based motivations and they are called hedonia and eudaimonia. Let's call them H-rewards and E-rewards. H-rewards are all about the superficial things you'll gain from your lifestyle change, such as how you'll look in the mirror or that you may be more accepted by others. E-rewards are rewards about meaning and purpose. They contribute to your well-being. If your focus is more on H-rewards, you may have a more difficult time sticking to your lifestyle change. E-rewards, however, can be the key to maintaining your healthy changes.


If you have a motivation for a healthy lifestyle that connects to E-rewards, such as trying to get healthy so that you will live a long life, or lowering your cholesterol so that your heart remains healthy, you are much more apt to continue your lifestyle changes. This is because E-rewards work by activating a region in the brain that is called the ventral striatum. Activating this part of the brain helps alleviate depression. H-rewards, on the other hand, can make you feel more depressed, making it more difficult to maintain your changes. 

Focusing on E-Rewards

If you're making big changes in your life and you want to be successful, focus on finding your E-rewards. Losing weight so that you can look good in a bathing suit is an H-reward, but losing weight so that you can be healthy for your children is an H-reward and is much more likely to help you succeed. So if you're in the market to make some changes, try figuring out what your E-rewards is before you change anything. Ask yourself why it's important that you make these changes, and how you, and your loved ones, will benefit from the changes.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Dawsonville, Ga.

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