As you are reading this article, take a moment and do the following: Think of a behavior you wish you could change. Is it overeating, smoking, excessive alcoholic intake, checking social media incessantly, overthinking? What may be the reasons you wish to change these behaviors? Is it the adverse consequences, a desire to achieve optimal physical and mental health, or maybe a desire to reduce harm to yourself and others?

Reasons vary but many of us devote time and energy to finding the optimal state of being where our mind, body and spirit are in harmony. Devoting time and energy into changing harmful behaviors is one of the steps to overcoming harmful habits, but we still must take additional steps to make the changes last. Over time, many of us succeed and achieve goals in changing behaviors, which is proof that people can change.

Yeimi Gagliardi is a health educator for WellSpan Health and chairs the Tobacco Prevention Task Force, an affiliate of Healthy Adams County.

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