No one wants to be a party pooper! I for one am always the last one to leave a party. My health is definitely the first thing to suffer if I spend too much time socializing. It started me thinking…

What is peer pressure? Could it be affecting me?

Peer pressures can affect all ages and many areas of our lives, peers can influence academically, socially, financially and even your health. From pressures to perform at school, to alcohol and drug abuse, those who are vulnerable can find if very difficult to break away from the group and  ‘just say no’. As adults, peer pressures can force financial worries to ‘keep up with the Jones’ leading to dissatisfaction and depression. Pressure from peers can have huge effect on our health. Trying to feel accepted and fitting in, can lead to bad habits and eventually more serious health issues.

The good news!

There are positive peer pressures too! These pressures can support and drive individuals to succeed. Peers can encourage a change for a healthier you! A push to exercise with a friend, join a spin class, switch to unsalted butter, a game of golf, tennis or football. Pressures from peers can have a huge influence on your goals. To be able to recognize a peer pressure that is negative and the need for a social change is the first step to a happier you. From this point it can be challenging and possibly alienating along the way. Some friends may not understand the new you or your desire to make a change. Accepting and understanding this will be a big part of your success.

Reach your goals

It is important to set goals and make a plan that supports them. To have a strategy and finding  a way to stay focused will be a challenge. You need to tell people about your new goals and not be afraid of missing out, keep the big picture in mind! The excitement of achieving your goals should be at the fore front of your mind, stick photos on the fridge, make a mood board, take time to think about your goal and what that achievement will feel like! In challenging social situations take some time to prepare your self beforehand. Spend 5 minutes before a night out or dinner party to re affirm your goals, it will make it a lot easier to say no when you have your goals so fresh in your mind.

Finding support

To find someone you can talk to about the changes you want to make can be great support. Look for your positive peer groups as well as distancing yourself from the bad! From support groups, exercise groups, online coaching, personal trainers and just being open to new friendships. You will find people to help you keep on track. This positive peer pressure will provide perspective and strength to move away from negative peer group habits.

Finding a new healthy balance between your social life and your health is key to behaviour change and a healthier happier you. So go, get that party dress out! Plan properly and stay focused and you don’t have to miss out!

By: The Fitmo Team

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