Top 6 Ways We Deceive Ourselves About Our Health
There can be a big gap between our actual health status and how we understand, experience and interpret our health on a day-to-day basis.
Below are 6 of the most common self-deceptions related to heart health. How many of these do you tell yourself?
I don’t really have high blood pressure. I just need to reduce my stress levels!
While stress can exacerbate high blood pressure, if you have more than one high blood pressure reading, you need to start paying attention. It's like more than just stress. Get a home blood pressure cuff and start tracking.
If I can’t feel it, it must not be that bad
High blood pressure usually has no overt symptoms. Damage to your arteries happening every day just doesn’t feel like anything. But left unchecked, it gradually effects the heart, kidneys, brain and retina. One of the first things to go can be your sex drive.
I don’t have the willpower or self-control to lose weight or change my diet
This couldn’t be farther from the truth, so don’t be so hard on yourself! Despite earnest intensions and plenty of hard work, most health programs are set up so you will fail in the long run. It’s not you. It’s the program.
To get healthy I am going to have to do things I really don’t enjoy
Actually the exact opposite is true. If you are going to form new habits and expect them to stick then you have to enjoy them at least a little. So start with the absolute simplest action possible - tracking and learning about yourself. That is easy and slightly satisfying. Once it becomes a habit you can add on other tiny, satisfying shifts.
I have to set clear, strong goals to better my health.
To succeed in the long run, avoid setting absolute goals. Do any of the following sound familiar?“I’m going to cut out all carbs for a month”“I’m going to lose 10 lbs. by Thanksgiving”“I’m going to walk 10,000 steps every day”Did any of those goals work out for you and make your life better in the long run? Probably not. Setting goals is actually the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Forget the pressure of an end goal and focus on building an enjoyable journey.
I have really good self-knowledge about my habits and body.(a.k.a. I only read my horoscope for fun)
We all have a lot to learn about ourselves and are interested in learning more. Self-discovery and understanding is one of the things that drives us as individuals.
DECEPTION #7 (bonus)
It’s my genetics
Who cares? Everyone is unique. Everyone was raised in a different environment. Everyone has their own family history and genetics. When it comes to health, one size does not fit all. But everyone can take control and make a difference, using the approach that is right for you.Traditional clinically driven approaches to heart risk assume that individuals understand their own health issues and how to address them. However, this is often far from the case.It's hard to improve your health if you don't really understand where you stand now or don't really know how to approach it. That's where Hello Heart comes in. (iOS, Android).
Hello Heart is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment. You should always consult with your doctor about your individual care.
1. Gazit T, Gutman M, Beatty AL. Assessment of Hypertension Control Among Adults Participating in a Mobile Technology Blood Pressure Self-management Program. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(10):e2127008, https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.27008. Accessed October 19, 2022. (Some study authors are employed by Hello Heart. Because of the observational nature of the study, causal conclusions cannot be made. See additional important study limitations in the publication. This study showed that 108 participants with baseline blood pressure over 140/90 who had been enrolled in the program for 3 years and had application activity during weeks 148-163 were able to reduce their blood pressure by 21 mmHg using the Hello Heart program.) (2) Livongo Health, Inc. Form S-1 Registration Statement. https:/www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1639225/000119312519185159/d731249ds1.htm. Published June 28, 2019. Accessed October 19, 2022. (In a pilot study that lasted six weeks, individuals starting with a blood pressure of greater than 140/90 mmHg, on average, had a 10 mmHG reduction.) NOTE: This comparison is not based on a head-to-head study, and the difference in results may be due in part to different study protocols.
2. Validation Institute. 2021 Validation Report (Valid Through October 2022). https://validationinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Hello_Heart-Savings-2021- Final.pdf. Published October 2021. Accessed October 19, 2022. (This analysis was commissioned by Hello Heart, which provided a summary report of self-fundedemployer client medical claims data for 203 Hello Heart users and 200 non-users from 2017-2020. Findings have not been subjected to peer review.)