How To Create Uplifting Habits Efficiently
Habits are easy to create but hard to eradicate... Many of them are harmful. How to create a good habit and accelerate happiness? Learn it today.
What Are Habits
A habit is a routine of behaviour that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously."
In other words, everything that is done on autopilot, unconsciously, is a habit. So when you think in a given way, eventually it becomes a habitual pattern, combined with emotional reactions created by chemicals released by the brain.
The Anatomy Of Habits
Habits consist of two elements: the trigger and your response. To change or create a new habit, you need to alter any of these two elements. Here are the examples of habits built according to this formula:
TriggerResponseAs soon as my alarm clock rings
When I hear someone laughing behind my back
When I go to the bathroom before going to bed
I get up instantly.
I become annoyed and irritated.
I put some toothpaste on my toothbrush and start brushing my teeth.
Examples of habits
Good And Bad Habits
It is relevant if a given habit is good or bad. Why? Because the same habit may be helpful in one situation and harmful in the other. Or, in moderation, it is desirable. For example, trying to control your savings may be beneficial but not in this case, it becomes an obsession of someone who is avaricious. So I'd rather call habits helpful or unhelpful. Here are two example lists of habits:
Examples Of Unhelpful Habits
- Procrastination - of anything, also your spiritual growth.
- Neglecting doing physical exercises.
- Self-sabotaging and self-criticism.
- Avoiding solving your problems.
- Worrying about your flaws and the future.
- Trying to control everything.
- Blaming others, circumstances and yourself.
- Trying to be something you are not.
- Being too petulant, sensitive.
- Rumination about the past.
Examples Of Helpful Habits
- Eating healthy foods.
- Avoiding cursing.
- Going to bed at the same time.
- Playing Outdoors.
- Clearing the clutter.
- Be responsible with money.
- Saying 'Please', 'Thank You', "I'm sorry"
Learn how to work with your mind - the article continues below:
Take Action Now
Now, when you know the anatomy of habits, take your diary for self-development (I assume you have got one) and a pen. List all the activities that you do regularly, concerning:
- physical life (exercies, diet, sleep etc.),
- reactions on stress, failure, someone's verbal attack,
- spiritual life,
- habitual thoughts when things go wrong.
When you have the list ready, answer the question for each of your habits:
DOES THIS HABIT MAKE ME HAPPY IN THE LONG RUN - PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY, EMOTIONALLY AND SPIRITUALLY?
How To Create New Habits
Now you know which of your habits is helpful and which is unhelpful. To create a happy life, change the habits which do not serve you. I need to warn you, though.
Habits are like river beds. To eradicate the old ones, never build a dam but dig a new river bed and cover the old one with soft soil, through which water slowly goes through. As your negative habits will never disappear totally, keep an eye on them not to come back. It is cut and dry but can be overwritten. Every habit created activates neuro associations, the nerve cells firing and wiring together.
The more often you will use the new habit, the stronger it will become, and the old one will weaken, like an unused muscle. So how can you change, I mean to deactivate, the old habit? There are two ways of creating new habits:
1. Big And/Or Sudden Life Changes)
Habits work in context – time, place, people. Imagine that you have changed your university and now study in a different location. Once you change the environment or your life circumstances become different, habits have to be rebuilt. It takes some time to recover for nature after the earthquake, to which, e.g. moving to a new town, can be compared. Then you will need to learn how to study in the new dormitory, where is the library in the new university building, create a new group of friends.
Unfortunately, while changing the environment, both helpful and unhelpful habits are destroyed in the form they have existed before. Suppose that you were going running with some friends at the old place. Now you have new running tracks and need to find new people to accompany you.
The sudden changes in your life may include: changing your material status, moving out, having a baby, starting a new job or studies, the death of your loved one. Again, as in the case of changing the environment, you need to create new habits. For example, when you become widowed you need to learn how to function on your own, how to cope with negative emotions, how to find new friends.
You can artificially create changes in your life. Go to training and meet new people there, renovate your house or flat, move out, rearrange your place of work, drive or walk by a different route to your local shop.
Take Action Now
Now it's your turn. Think of one bad habit which you want to overwrite with the new one. Write it down. What is the trigger? How do you react? Next, list three changes you could make in your environment to weaken the old habit.
And finally, define the new habit (you will change the response for your trigger). Here is an example:
When someone teases me, I instantly raise my vibrations by saying 'Thank you.
This method of changing habits (creating the new, better ones and weakening the old) is quick, but you cannot use it in all cases as you do not move out or have a baby every week (big changes in life). Then the second method is useful:
2. Training New Habits
As I wrote above, you need to weaken the old, bad habit and create a strong alternative habit, i.e. you change the response, leaving the same trigger. Before you start forming a new habit, learn about the old one as much as possible.
2.1. Learn More About Your Old Habits
You will need a good diary or at least a notebook and a pen, plus some self-discipline. Every day, for a week, observe the old habit before preparing a good strategy to change it.
You have to learn three things here:
- triggers - activators of a habit,
- exact responses (what your body, mind and emotions are when your habit is activated),
- warning signs - thoughts, emotions and body reactions before even your trigger activate the habit.
Learn to recognise the trigger of your old habit. When you know what fires them, you will be more aware of when to focus more on applying the new behaviour. In the meantime, note down all the triggers for the habit which you want to overwrite (i.e. change).
Learn about your reaction when the habit is activated. Let's say that you are socially anxious and panic attacks occur while being around new people. But what does it exactly mean? How strong is your panic attack? When does it happen the most often (not all people frighten you in the same way)?
Learn the earliest warning signs of the old habit. For example, when you have epilepsy, seizures are proceeded by such symptoms as feeling dizzy, blurred vision, etc. In the case of bad habits, it is often will be a feeling of discomfort or tension. While monitoring the old habit, mark which symptoms appear in your case.
Meet the old habit in detail. Let's say that you have social anxiety. Write down all the triggers increasing your fear, like hearing people who are talking, laughing, especially behind your back. There probably will be places where you feel uncomfortable (e.g. bright restaurants full of people at lunchtime or Sunday evening) or situations (like asking someone for help, public speaking).
What Else To Monitor
Every evening, after having written down your observations, answer the following questions:
- How often did you react according to the old pattern?
- How strong was the trigger (1 - 10 where 0 means "extremely low" and 10 means "extremely strong")?
- How strong ws your response (1 - 10 where 0 means "extremely low" and 10 means "extremely strong")?
- When were you the most vulnerable to the trigger?
Fort example, in the case of social anxiety, the answers may look as follows:
I felt anxious whenever I went out (a couple of times today) seeing strange people in the street. They were looking at me and it was very intimidating. The trigger was considerably strong (8 points), but I managed to assuage my reaction to 5 points only. I felt the most vulnerable in the city centre in the morning, before starting my work.
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2.2. Create And Train New Habits
Now the time has come to create a new habit, to overwrite the old reaction. You use the same trigger, but the reaction is new, more positive. What can your new response be?
You train your brain to react to the same trigger in a new, more desirable way. What can you do instead of your old, undesirable reaction? Here are some examples:
- Counting to 60
- Focusing on breath
- Imagining the consequences of the old bad habit
- Count your steps
- Put your hand on your buttocks
- Remind your goal connected with this habit
- Motivational quote
- All desirable activities which you want to train (cleaning, tidying your house, getting up at x, going to bed at y etc.)
For example, in the case of social anxiety, you can write: When I go into a busy restaurant, I focus on my breath for 60 seconds, counting to sixty. Any time the fear comes back, I repeat the procedure.
Apply the new response and stop using the old one. Do it any time you face the trigger. And this is learning your new habit. Remember that the new response must last for one minute to be effective. Therefore, you can count to sixty or do sixty breaths to program the new habit.
Find the people who will support your efforts. Social approval will dramatically increase your chances of creating new behaviour. Think of one friend who can motivate you to work on your habits.
Meditating is also a habit that will help you to enjoy holistic happiness. You not only train a new way of living but also accelerate the creation of other good habits, connecting with helpful forces of the Universe.
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Connect remotely during joint meditation on Saturdays at 8 pm GMT. I will meditate with you and other people then use telepathy. Send your intention to the Universe. Transform your life and the world. Check and join upcoming meditations.
In A Nutshell
Today you have learnt how to create new, uplifting habits. You can either make radical changes, manipulate your triggers or train the new habit like a new skill. Good luck and lots of love,
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