Healthy habits make us happier! So you can make the right changes today.
We all know what it’s like to be a habit animal. Even if it is unconscious, we will certainly take comfort in the little rituals we usually do. Netflix at bedtime; double espresso on the way to work; Jog around the park to clear your mind after a long day.
There can be many practices that have themselves implemented into our lives, some of which are more deeply rooted than others. From brushing your teeth to grabbing a chocolate bar after lunch, or deliberately washing dishes straight after dinner. Our life is made up of many good and bad habits.
My fascination with habits has led me to think about how we can revise our behavior and make changes for the better. Discovered on my own habitual journey, here are five important steps to make healthy habits changes for a happier day’s routine:
Analyze existing habits and ask yourself why
When it comes to tweaking a habit, first look at your current behavior and why you’re doing it.
Maybe it’s a temporary relief from stress, such as a few glasses of wine after work every night. It can therefore be a stress in the workplace, which is the cause of habitual drinking.
Find ways to deal with stress – rather than drinking, maybe sign up for a course you’ve always wanted to do, or attend a dance class to shake off the day.
Self-care in the heart of everything
Self-care is so important; I can not stress that enough. Our habits should reflect love, kindness and compassion for ourselves. Remember to put into practice the habits you need to become the best version of the wonderful person you already are. Be aware of your self-esteem and know your value as an individual.
If you look at your habits, ask yourself: is this habit healthy?
Then ask yourself: does this habit make me happy?
The answer to both questions must be yes, otherwise you have a habit that does not serve you.
Let the guilt go patiently
Guilt is a complex emotion. That does not mean that you should allow it to govern your life.
If you have a habit that makes you feel guilty (my chocolate used to eat only after work and hid the wrappers), then remember the rule of self-care.
Yes, the chocolate made me happy for a while, but soon guilt crept over me (so the evidence was hidden). Why did I feel guilty? Because I knew it was not a healthy choice. I knew it was only a temporary relief from the stress that underlay my actions.
The exit from the debt and the positive progress will not happen immediately – first we have to adjust to how we feel and how we accept it. It’s important to us, that’s why we feel that way. Transform guilt into a strength, a consciousness, a desire to do better.
Next we need patience. A fast company for your life. Be patient with all your changes. Be patient with your new custom goals. Be patient with you. You will arrive there with kindness and time.
Keep it bite-sized
Small changes make the difference when we adopt a new habit or change a bad one for the better.
Keep your new habit simple.
Make it small and make it easy; Giant life changes that happen suddenly can be overwhelming or cause us to lose motivation too soon.
For example: Instead of promising to never touch unhealthy food again, cook a healthy meal every week. Or exchange a bag of fries for a handful of almonds or a piece of fruit.
Instead of explaining that you’re going jogging every day, maybe try a minute of exercise instead (or 10 squats or 5 sit-ups). Once you get used to being bite-sized, you can build on it.