Continuing with our 15-day self-healing article series, today we venture into the realm of what I call social healing. I wouldn’t have believe this even two years ago, but I have since come to realize that WHO you are living with is just as important (or perhaps more important) than WHERE you are living.

Living among healthy-minded, high-energy individuals who remain engaged in the pursuits of a healthy lifestyle and happiness has an extremely powerful rubbing off effect on you. These community support people can lift your spirits, inspire you to embrace positive changes and serve as shining examples of the health change results you wish to achieve.

That all sounds fine, you might say, but what about the people around you who aren’t on board with your desire to live a more healthful life? This is the challenging part: What do you do about family and friends who consistently pursue a comparatively unhealthy lifestyle… and who tend to drag you down along with them?

That’s the tough part, and the closer the people are to you, the more difficult it can be. The classic situation I see from talking to readers is a middle-aged woman who is genuinely attempting to pursue a more healthy lifestyle but whose husband is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy who wants nothing at all to do with healthy habits, salads, superfoods or nutrition.

So, what do you do in these cases? Here’s a simple, three-step approach that you may find valuable for community support.

Three steps to uplifting the health of those around you

Step 1: Keep your goals private (at first).

Even though you may have a goal of losing a certain number of pounds, or overcoming a specific disease, or improving your healthy habits in some noticeable way, don’t necessarily announce that to the community support people around you. Why? Because if they’re not aligned with your health change goals, they will immediately dismiss the idea or even attack you for daring to pursue such a thing. By keeping your goals private (at first), you’ll be able to keep them present in your own consciousness while you experiment with new choices in food and healthy lifestyle habits to find out what’s working for you — without the pressure of everybody watching over your shoulder to second guess what you’re doing.

Step 2: Pursue your health changes with an attitude of enjoyment.

Simply start making the dietary and health changes you have decided are good for you, and the exercise changes you might need, and when you’re asked by anyone why you’re making these self-healing changes, just answer, “Because I enjoy doing this.” Or you can say, “I like this!” You don’t have to explain more. Simply enjoying it is reason enough.

Step 3: Be the example that others admire.

As you pursue these new healthy habits for yourself, changes will begin to occur over time. You may notice improved skin, a reduction of excess body fat, enhanced energy or stamina, improved mood, a reduction in the symptoms of degenerative disease and so on. As this happens, the people around you will take notice. That’s the point where they will begin to get curious about what you’re doing that’s working so well. At some point they will ask you questions like, “Hey, you’re looking younger and more energetic these days. What’s your secret?”

Everybody loves to hear a secret. Especially if it’s a secret that makes them look better or feel better. So, you can say something like, “Do you really want to know the secret? Because it’s so simple, and so easy, and anybody can do it, and it’s really working. But, are you sure you want to know it?”

At that point, no one can resist the temptation to learn the secret. So, they’ll lean in and say, “Yes! I want to know the secret!” That’s when you whisper in their ear, “Juicing” or “daily walking for one hour” or whatever your secret has been.

At this point, they will tend to greatly value the information you’re sharing with them. You see, if you came out and simply told them all this without waiting for them to ask first, they might have discounted the information. But, because they noticed something in you that they wanted to experience for themselves, and because they asked you, they will now value the information so much more. So, the secret here is to refrain from pushing information onto others for community support. Let them come to you and ask about your healthy lifestyles changes, and then be ready to give them good information about what healthy habits working for you so that they can try it out for themselves.

The positive ripple effect

In time, as this phenomenon unfolds in your life, impacting your community support circle of family and friends, you will actually begin to see a ripple effect of positive health changes in the people around you. This, in turn, will translate into mutual support for your healthy lifestyle choices, and you may even find some people who you thought could never be interested in healthy habits suddenly turning around and becoming interested.

You may also find that those who might have criticized you at first (if you had shared your plans with them up front) will suddenly come to you when they are in need of a health solution and self-healing. They may return from the doctor’s office one day with a diagnosis of diabetes, for example, or a lump in their breast. Then, all of a sudden they’re really interested in solving their health problem by searching for new answers. So, they may turn to you with renewed interest and start asking questions about health and nutrition that never interested them before. That’s when it’s your time to shine as an example of a healthy, happy person living a healthy lifestyle.

You don’t have to preach to others, of course, or condemn their current choices in unhealthful foods. Nobody likes to be called an idiot for eating hot dogs and drinking pasteurized cow’s milk. But, you can simply invite them to explore the possibility that they may experience improved results by making improved healthy change choices. And you can guide them in some healthy habit directions for exploration as rapidly as they are interested in making those shifts.

This is how you can work over time to uplift the health of those around you (and thereby create more community support with family and friends that will embrace your own healthy habits, too).

Thinking of moving?

There’s another way to uplift your community support of family and friends: Move to a city that’s more into health.

I’m from the Kansas City area, which is more famous for Barbeque than health, and when I visit Kansas City, it’s always difficult to find places to buy fresh juice or organic vegetables. I was in North Carolina a year ago and noticed much the same thing there, too. I hear Cleveland isn’t exactly a health hub of the country either.

On the other hand, other cities like Miami, New York, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Houston, San Diego, Toronto and Sante Fe are great places to find lots of health-conscious people who are totally into the same healthy lifestyles choices you’re into! If you feel out of place where you currently live, and you want to surround yourself with more health-conscious people, the general advice is to head to either the East or West coast and you’ll find more health-conscious community support there.

Moving to a different city may sound a little drastic, but if you’ve run out of options in the place where you live, and you feel like you would benefit from the support of a community that’s more aligned with your self-healing goals, then moving can be one of the best decisions of your life!

I’ve found that surrounding yourself with health-conscious people who are aligned with your own lifestyle priorities is one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself on that path, too.

So, consider this option. Keep your mind open to this possibility, and check out all the options that can help surround you with a supportive, aligned community of people who demonstrate the kind of health-oriented lifestyle you aspire to make your own. Once you surround yourself with those people, before long you’ll find yourself becoming one of them and getting the results they’re getting, too! Healthy habits begins to rub off on you rather quickly once you’re in the company of healthy, supportive people.

Social healing works. And you can make a conscious decision to either uplift those around you, or move to a different location where you can find more like-minded people who will support your lifestyle choices and health changes. Either way, you come out healthier and happier. Enjoy!

Adapted from: