“It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.”
- Benjamin Franklin
Humans are habit creating machines. Almost everything we do creates habits.
These habits can be empowering or damaging. It is interesting to note that these habits serve a purpose.
Our habits are mostly used to decrease stress or make us feel better about ourselves.
Habits that can have a negative impact:
ü Reacting aggressive
ü Junk food
ü Being rude or dismissive
ü Road Rage
ü Shopping (getting addicted)
Since habits have such a huge impact on our lives don’t you think we should look at how to create or change habits?
Here is a simple method of changing or creating new empowering habits:
1. Focus on one habit at a time. Let’s say Road Rage.
2. Become aware of when you feel this way and how it manifests within you. This might happen when another driver cuts you off. This is the stimulus or trigger. Make sure you are aware of the trigger. This will help you recognize it when it happens.
Look at how you feel. Where does the emotion come from? Is it coming up from your chest area or your stomach? By reflecting and being aware of how you feel you create time between the stimulus/trigger and your reaction.
3. Deliberately choose a different reaction. Maybe you need to slow down your car. Breathe. Ask yourself: What are the consequences if I react the same way I always do?
4. Celebrate. Once you have successfully reacted differently make sure to celebrate! Tell other’s about the change you made.
The point is to live more deliberately and not be the victim of your habits.
So, where do I start? Start by making a list of all your habits you feel have a negative impact on your life. Ask the people around you what they think. Also reflect about what these habits do for you. Is it to relieve stress or maybe to stroke your ego?
Then go into the habit changing steps:
1. Focus on one habit at a time.
2. Become aware of when you feel this way and how it manifests within you.
3. Deliberately choose a different reaction.
However, before you can change any habit you need to realize one thing:
YOU ARE NOT YOUR HABITS AND YOU CAN CHANGE ANY HABIT!