Photo by skitterphoto
I spent more than 20 years struggling with substance abuse. While I did have some success in the car sales industry during this time, I can only imagine how much more successful I could have been had I been living a healthier lifestyle. Additionally, I didn’t find my true career passion until I started treating my mind and body better. Since I became sober and healthy, I have reached levels of success, both personally and professionally, that I never thought possible before. Fortunately, my story isn’t just a random anecdote, studies show that living a healthy lifestyle can, in fact, bring you more success, here’s how:
Exercise Boosts Brain Power and Body Function
We all know that a fitness routine will help strengthen muscles, but the effects go deeper than that. A healthy body can lead to numerous other physical benefits including:
- Decreased risk of heart disease;
- Improved sleep;
- Decreased fatigue; and
- Increased energy and metabolism.
While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, all of these factors can make you more productive, and therefore more successful, at work. Not only does working out help you physically, it also helps you mentally. Exercise has been found to:
- Decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety;
- Increase mental sharpness, including memory; and
- Produce helpful brain chemicals.
I can attest to the benefits of exercise; when I was in recovery, I found that exercise (even just a daily walk), helped me focus on my ultimate goals. I have continued to experience these benefits in my professional life.
Eating Healthy Makes You More Productive
A recent study has shown that poor nutrition can cause up to a 66% drop in productivity. When you eat unhealthy foods, your body is not receiving the life-sustaining vitamins and minerals it needs to function on a higher level. For example, researchers have proven that diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nutrients like Omega-3 can help fight symptoms of depression. Not only can proper nutrition and hydration help improve mood, it can also:
- Increase energy levels;
- Decrease risk of countless diseases; and
- Increase life expectancy.
These factors will make you healthier, but will also help improve your mental sharpness and productivity at work. In the addiction recovery industry, I have seen the positive impact that proper nutrition can have. When addicts come to us, they often show signs of malnutrition. Since they have been abusing their bodies with drugs and alcohol, they have not focused on their health. When these individuals begin to see the benefits of eating healthy and taking supplements, their motivation to continue a healthy lifestyle increases dramatically.
Proper Sleep Results in Higher Levels of Functioning
For many of us, sleep can be elusive. Even when we can get to bed at a reasonable time, our busy minds can remain awake late into the night. Sleep deprivation can cause:
- Mental sluggishness, including memory issues;
- Increased risk of cardiovascular or heart disease; and
- Depression and anxiety;
After a poor night’s sleep, our work can be significantly disrupted. In fact, studies have shown that as sleep deprivation increases, work quality decreases. This fatigue decreases your focus in the workplace, and can therefore lead to poor performance. By practicing healthy sleeping habits, you are more likely to succeed in the workplace. The same is also true for individuals in recovery.
Simply following a nighttime routine (such as showering before bed or going to bed at the same time each night) can significantly improve your ability to sleep. Also, practicing relaxation techniques, such as meditation, can help a busy mind slow down. Also, remember to tune out before bed, meaning, put down your electronic devices and get some shuteye.
Avoiding Drugs and Alcohol is Key to Success in Business and Life
Even a few drinks at happy hour or a few cigarettes a day can drastically decrease your success at work, and in life in general. In fact, studies have shown that smoking, alone, can cause a 28% decrease in productivity. Not only do drugs and alcohol make your mind and body sluggish, they also leave you at a higher risk for a number of diseases. Furthermore, drugs and drinking can cause you to miss work due to the negative effects, and smoking requires frequent breaks during the day. These all add up to decreased productivity, and therefore decreased success at work.
Needless to say, I have seen the positive benefits of sobriety both in myself and in the countless patients who have successfully completed treatment at my facilities.
Per Wickstrom is the founder and CEO of Best Drug Rehabilitation, one of the top holistic rehabilitation centers in the country. He found sobriety after a decades-long struggle with addiction and has since dedicated his life and career to helping others find the same life-affirming success he has. His program is based on natural and holistic methods and has helped lead hundreds to recovery. Connect with Per via Twitter or Facebook.