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June 10, 2020
A habit is a certain behaviour that is repeated either daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. A positive habit is one that is not only repeated, but is also beneficial to one’s mental or physical wellbeing.
A non-habitual behaviour is an action that you have to consciously decide to do. Whilst most of us feel that all of our actions are decided by us, you may be shocked to find out that more than 40 percent of everything we do is actually a habit. For example, do you have to think about what you have for breakfast? The chances are you wake up at the same time each day for work, walk down the stairs without having to think about where to place your feet, they simply just meet the steps safely. When you go to make your first meal of the day, do you think about what you are going to have? Chances are this is also a habit. Whether you reach for 2 and a half Weetabix or slice of strawberry jam on toast, this is probably something you do in exactly the same way each day.
Positive habits can range from extremely small minute things such as turning off the light when you leave a room, all the way up to the big things like practicing forgiveness everyday before bed. Good habits can also spam to every aspect of your life such as healthy eating habits, healthy relationship habits, positive living habits, and positive mindful habits.
With positive habits you will find your day becomes more organised, your work more productive, it easier to plan for the future and importantly… positive mental health.
One of the most powerful aspects of forming positive habits is that by unconsciously carrying out tasks, you allow yourself to do simple routine activities without exorbitant mental effort. If you have to consciously decide to do everything in your day you will end up feeling exhausted by the evening.. No, lunchtime! You know how knackered you get after driving for two hours? Whilst you aren’t physically doing much, the level of concentration required can mentally exhaust you. Now think if you had to focus on every detail like that, all day, everyday? This is why forming good habits is important for giving us a mental break and preventing us from feeling overwhelmed. This auto-pilot mode might sound like something you want to avoid, it is a vital part of coping with the amount of everyday tasks we have to do. From putting on socks, to buttoning our jeans, brushing our teeth, combing hair, drinking water, checking emails to locking the door, every habit we form is one less thing to consciously decide to do.
With nearly half of everything we do decided by habits, it is extremely important that our habits are strong and positive. If the habits you form have a negative impact on your mental health and physical wellbeing, you will be stuck in a vicious cycle, repeating these bad habits every single day. Alternatively, if you incorporate good habits into your everyday routine, you will unconsciously be contributing to a positive mental wellbeing and a healthy physical state. Instead of having to think and decide every day to exercise, you will automatically find yourself taking a 20 minute stroll outside on your lunch break, visiting the gym after work, or practicing mindfulness in your shower.
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