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The Science And Joy Of Turning Over A New Leaf

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Everybody gets into bad habits, whether because we are spending time with the wrong crowd, putting the wrong things in our bodies, or delaying what we know we need to do. What’s more, it’s an easy trap to fall into. Once you start a bad habit, it’s difficult to stop it. 

That’s where this post can help. We explore some of the joys of turning over a new leaf and the science behind actually achieving it. Here’s everything you need to know:

Why Turning Over A New Leaf Fills People With Joy

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Turning over a new leaf can fill people with joy for all sorts of reasons. For most, it is a combination of factors that leads to a renewed sense of purpose and well-being. 

Increased Control

One reason turning over a new leaf is so popular is how it enables people to increase control over their lives and make more conscious choices that align with their values. When you are in the throes of a bad habit, it damages your life enormously and prevents you from doing and experiencing the things you want. But when you kick it to the curb, suddenly you discover your life opening up to you. You feel like you are in control again, and ready to go in the direction of your choosing. 


Turning over a new leaf also fills you with a sense of hope. Once you realize you can win one battle, you soon discover you can win more of them. 

Hope can be a tenacious force in your life. If you truly believe you can get through hardships, it can convince you to keep going, even when things get tough. 

It can also make you feel more optimistic about the future. When you see the good things coming to you, it gives you more motivation in the present. 


Turning over a new leaf is also beneficial because of its self-improvement effects. People who successfully turn over a new leaf prove to themselves that they are moving forward. 

For many commentators, this aspect of life is essential. Many believe that “growth is happiness.” If that’s the case, we should be constantly turning over new leaves to improve our lives and get them on the straight and narrow. 

A Fresh Start

Turning over a new leaf also provides you with the opportunity to begin a fresh start. Instead of living in the shadow of your past, you can grow beyond it, trying new things and experimenting until you find something that works for you. 

The shape your fresh start takes depends considerably on what came before in your life. You might want to clean the slate entirely or close a few doors that no longer serve you. 

The first few weeks of a fresh start can feel wonderful. However, make sure you deal with the underlying issue instead of sweeping it under the rug. There’s nothing worse than upping sticks and then watching your problems follow you around!

Positive Reinforcement

Finally, turning over a new leaf brings joy because of the positive reinforcement it engenders. Once you achieve one milestone, the rest fall more easily. 

For example, if you improve your diet, you may notice that better sleep follows naturally. You don’t have acid indigestion keeping you up all night or you can sleep better because you’re consuming less salt. 

The Science Of Turning Over A New Leaf

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The benefits of turning over a new leaf are clear for all to see, but what does science say about it? That’s the big question this section explores. We look at what works and how you can implement it in your life to start achieving the results you want. 

Before we begin, it’s worth pointing out that there isn’t an exact science of turning over a new leaf. While some strategies work better than others, nothing is guaranteed. 

Here’s everything you need to know: 

Focus On You In The Right Way

The first step is to focus on you. Your personal growth journey should revolve around the person you want to become. 

The best way to approach this isn’t simply to focus on your goals or ambitions. Instead, you want to throw yourself into new aspects of life and find meaning in them. 

For example, you might decide to practice mindfulness and meditation techniques. These help to relieve you of the pressure of the mind and allow you to make better decisions in your life. You’re not always being swayed by emotion. 

You also want to spend a little time learning things like self-control and decision-making. While acting on a whim might feel like a good strategy, you might want to refine your approach for improved outcomes. 

Finally, it can help if you seek out more positive influences in your life. The people around you can have a massive effect on your ability to change your life and turn it into something better. 

In some situations, you may have to agree not to see certain groups of people anymore. You might also have to quit your job and try something new. 

Learn Something New

While you are focusing on yourself, it can also help to learn something new when you want to turn over a new leaf. Focusing your energies on a new area of life makes it more straightforward to leave old habits behind and begin afresh. 

During this process, try to step out of your comfort zone. Don’t keep doing the same things you’ve always done, thinking you will change. Instead, push your limits and subject yourself to limited pain. 

(This approach doesn’t sound nice, but it can work. You jolt yourself out of your existing lifestyle and ultimately into a better one). 

Whatever you learn, align it with the outcomes you want to see in your life. For example, you might want to go to the gym every day to ensure better health long term. Or you might decide to learn a new language so you can take on a higher position at work. Whatever it is, make it something that serves you. 

Improve Your Well-Being

While all this is going on, it can also help to focus on improving your well-being in other ways. For example, start developing healthy habits. Taking care of your body provides the extra energy you need to make hard changes in your life. 

Take time out to exercise more. Doing this will help you regulate your emotions and feel better about your situation. 

It can also help to eat a balanced diet and monitor your energy levels throughout the day. Striking while the iron is hot can help you get more done in your most productive moments. 

Finally, look for ways to improve your sleep if you are still having problems with it. Take time to explore why you can’t sleep as well as you’d like and what you can potentially do about it. 

Get Help If You Need It

Turning over a new leaf also requires getting help when you need it. Overcoming challenges isn’t always a solo sport. In fact, working with others could supercharge your progress if you are the type of individual wanting to rely on others. 

Clinics like AddictionsUK suggest getting support in the home. Here, people come to you and provide the services you need while you remain in your usual environment. 

The level of support you need depends on what type of new leaf you want to turn over. It could be something as simple as hiring a coach at the gym, or much more complicated, such as going to a therapist or working with a team of specialist doctors. 

The bottom line is that getting help can be transformative by allowing you to make faster progress. You feel more equipped to deal with the challenges ahead. 

Help Others

Another powerful technique for overcoming challenges and moving on in your life is to dedicate yourself to helping others. It can sound counterintuitive when you are focusing on yourself, but it really works for some people. 

For example, you might want to volunteer some of your time to work in the soup kitchen and provide meals to the homeless. It can also help to find sustainable ways to support your community. 

These channels will help you meet new people and make friends. It will also support your efforts to leave your old life behind if that’s something you must do. 

Forgive Yourself

Finally, it’s a good idea to forgive yourself when turning over a new leaf. Holding onto hurt and guilt can make it more challenging to change by making you feel anxious and depressed, suppressing your mood. 

You may also need to forgive others as part of this process. Other people might have harmed you in the past, causing you to embrace the habits you did. Forgiving them takes the wrongdoing done against you off your mind, allowing you to thrive. 

So, there you have it: why turning over a new leaf is such a joy and the science of doing it properly.