Are you concerned about the state of your spouse or partner's health? Many of us are and some of us have been known to resort to trying to nag them into doing more exercise or eating a healthier diet and the like. All with good intentions of course. However, if this has been your strategy it may be time to update it.

A Duke University researcher recently reported that the most effective way to change a partner's health behaviour was by modeling the desired behavior yourself. That's right: You are going to have to “walk the talk” if you really want him or her to change!

Researcher, Tracy Falba, of Duke University reports that from a national survey "``We consistently found that, when one spouse made a positive change in health behavior, such as quitting smoking, drinking, or getting a flu shot, the other was much more likely to do so as well.’’

That was also true for starting to exercise and getting a cholesterol check. And sometimes, it was striking. Husbands whose wives got a flu shot were about 40 percentage points more likely to get a shot, too.
Personal change experts have long understood that taking a negative approach to persuading someone to change can often backfire. All too often the result is either setting off the rebellious part of our partner's personality or forcing their undesirable activity “underground.” Taking a positive approach holds none of these risks.

As well as adopting the same healthy habits we want to see our partner have, you might consider a couple of other simple things you can do. First, help to make the change easier for them. For example, cook more healthful foods or entertain the kids while your spouse goes to the gym. Secondly, it's always a tremendous help to provide positive emotional support and encouragement. Being the cheer leader is whole lot more fun than playing the nagger or food police role anyway!

So remember, if you want your partner to change his or her health habits for the better, it's best to look to to your habits first. Consulting Hypnotists have long known that the only real behavior that we can count on changing is our own anyway. However, start making your changes for the better and you may well end up with two healthy people for the price of one!

Author's Bio: 

Stephen Gruber MA is a Consulting Hypnotist at the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex in Montreal. Discover why Hypnosis is such a powerful tool for changing habits and even learn Self-hypnosis for free at his website.