Published: 03/19/2010 - Updated: 07/10/2017
A habit is a behavior that is repeated frequently, it is customary for us to do, react, say or think of certain types of things. Indeed, there are no bad or good habits, in fact, habits are only small actions that will ultimately create, cause or transform things, experiences and / or realities. These "small paths" we leave behind every time you repeat the same behavior simply lead to different destinations, which can be something pleasant, enjoyable and admirable or something like it or not is neither fun nor enjoyable and admirable.
Life is made up of habits and each person has many of them, our life is the result of our habits, many of them achieved so mechanical and so fast that free pass in our lives, i.e. we are not aware of them or we are so used to them than simply assumed as part of our personality.
Within the long list of habits, we can mention many we do every day and we undertook as part of our character or personality and style. Some of these habits are routine:
Answering in certain ways, eating a certain way, talking with certain gestures and tones of voice, walking with certain positions, brushing teeth in certain ways, brushing hair, hand washing, washing dishes, etc.
There are other habits that stand in our lives and then complete our personality.
These habits are:
Food habits (diet we carry), the routine of work we choose, the way we communicate with another human being, what we do with spare time, how we use our body, etc.
Within this huge world of habits and hobbies, there are also those that are considered inappropriate; these habits usually tend to be rejected or not accepted socially, so some of them are hidden, or are not so easily showed. Some, although not as well regarded, are unavoidable, have been rooted in personality and are displayed as they are, leading, in many cases, people do not feel very comfortable with themselves, they create uncertainty or feel ashamed when someone makes fun of the obvious habit that is not considered acceptable or appropriate. Such habits are:
Thumb sucking, nail biting, teeth grinding, pulling the lips, smoking, drinking excessively, eating certain foods that are not considered adequate for the health, overeating, expressing anger screaming, eating making noise, etc.
A habit should not be removed only because it is considered "bad", this is a weak argument for anyone wishing to change their habits or those who try to help others to change their habits. Saying "this is bad" is not enough. By this reasoning all you get is opposition, rejection or dislike for the person who try to help you, because a habit, on balance, is something that is important.
You should know that it is equally difficult to remove a habit that is deemed inappropriate or harmful, to change habits that are not considered bad (such as brushing teeth or washing dishes). In general, the mind is used to do certain things, and when you try to change the "path", you resist or do not want, and find plenty of justification to pursue these activities in the way that you do it. So it is so important not to lose sight of our habits, because many of them become so mechanical.
The power of self-observation
If you want to take away a habit that you do not like or believe that this will get you somewhere where you feel amazed and pleased with yourself, then the first thing you do is slow down and watch you with curiosity, when you make the habit. For example, if you constantly bite your nails or light a cigarette often, then the first thing is to not reject the action and, instead, observe. You have to take a moment and try to do it slowly, very slowly, savor your habit. Then see what you feel when you perform this action, see how you look doing it, and try to see the thoughts that you cross your mind every time you do, see what you're doing slowly and consciously. See yourself slowly, notice that makes you "feel good" or "bad" when you do, and so on.
Observing your habits is powerful, and the first step to begin to dissolve them. Now, If you only look at the habits but cannot find something to replace them, then the work will not be finished at all, because there are habits that require a little more force than mere observation, such as smoking, eating sweets or drinking alcohol, because such habits often create strong dependencies. Thus, it is necessary that after watching you slowly try to make your mind "change map" with another habit to replace it, and ensuring that you choose is something you enjoy and like it.
Thus, the second step to accelerate and transform a habit, find anything else to do and enjoy or selects a better "target". Rather than repeating the habit, say, “every time I catch myself doing this, I'll write something on a sheet of paper”, or I'll take half a glass of water, fruit, or I will buy myself a gift, etc.. Next time, stop the habit and substitute with another of your choice. For example: If you're grinding your teeth at certain times, a glass of water after you've seen the habit or written on a sheet of paper what you feel at that moment. Writing is a great way to see how you feel.
This is a wonderful way to use your "habits" to strengthen your mind and start to educate them to sail to where you tell and not to where they want. If you practice this with will, you see that little by little you will feel more confident, and with less need for the habit you had, one day you will be surprised that simply you don’t have it anymore, and your mind will have become more nimble and creative.
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