Herding: to gain better health


Ever notice how animals like to herd together?

It’s a good idea when your likely to be pray to some other animal, to take safety among numbers in a heard, stick with your kin, and share with your brothers and sisters.

imageAs humans we also do the same. We do it for safety, for friendship, to share the same goals or ideas, or when we can’t make a decision.
For example, ever notice two restaurants next to one another, one empty and one almost full? Which one would you chose?
The full one right? Of course but why?
Because you think to yourself “wow this place must be good and the other shit”.
This behavior is called herding. We base our decisions on the basis of other people’s behavior whither its good or bad.

Another form of herding is called SELF-HERDING. This was proposed by Dan Ariely in his book Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our decisions.
He is a professor at Duke university for psychology and behavioral economics and has spoken on the TED circuit.
His self-herding theory suggests that we decide something is good or bad based on our previous behavior. To explain; do you go to the same coffee shop every morning, or the same place to get the same lunch every day? Maybe you have a few places that you always go to. Why? Because you are self herding based on your previous experience and behavior. You have decided it is good and so you stick to the same behavior because you know what your getting at the end of each subsequent decision.

imageWhen we make a decision whilst in an emotional state it will influence subsequent behavior. If you have a bad morning, get angry and go to work, then most likely you will make decisions based on that anger. We may be short with people and make poor decisions. This is another part of the self herding theory. We make decisions based on our previous behavior.

We are creatures of habit, we love to do the same things, eat at the same places, take the same route to work…
We can use this self herding theory to our health and wellness advantage by following these tips:

Train in the morning.

Not only do we decrease our chance of putting it off we also set the tone for our day. Remember we base our decisions on previous behavior? So if you get up and train then your more likely to follow with good, healthy decisions for the day such as eat a good breakfast, walk to work, be less reactive to stress…

Surround yourself with healthy like minded people.

Have you ever tried to give up drinking in order to lose weight, and then pulled into the pub by “friends”? They derailed your efforts for at trying to reach an important goal. I’m not saying you need to get rid of them but maybe spend less time with the people you know will derail your efforts and spend more time with the ones that will help you. It has been proven many times, in many study’s that your close circle of friends influence you and the direction of your life.

Seek out people you aspire to.

Look for the type of people that you which you were like. If you want to be a good dancer then look for people that dance well. If you wish for confidence then look for confident people. See what they do, where they eat, what they wear and emulate it, in your own style of course. Herd yourself into the person you want to be.image

Be self aware.

The more self aware you are the more likely you are to recognize your own behaviors and emotions. If you can become aware of your behaviors and emotions then you can alter your decisions which would normally be based upon the current emotion. For example:
I leave work after a bad day, feeling stressed and defeated.
If I’m not self aware of my current state of emotions then I may miss gym training, eat shit food, feel more depressed, and take it all out on my partner.
If I am aware then I can process through the emotions, deal with them and cast them aside. I will then go to the gym, eat delicious and healthy food, feel invigorated, and get home and have spectacular sex!!
Basically it’s all about building habits or good behavior patterns.

Jungle Brothers are a family and we like to run in a heard. You’ll always find safety in our herd. So come down and join the pack in Harmony park.

Next ill be talking about motivation and some strategies to get all fired up!

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  • January 19, 2014
  • Blog

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