“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.” – Gandhi
There’s sometimes a misconception about good habits, that if you fall off the wagon then it’s all over. Never again. It’s done. This is something I used to struggle with when it came to food. I would put some personal rules in place to ensure I ate in a more balanced and healthy way, but as soon as I ordered a pizza or ate a bar of chocolate, designated the whole operation as a failure.
Good habits often fall by the wayside after a while as normal life makes them trickier to adhere to. This is normal and absolutely not a disaster. But, if you are feeling a bit all over the place at the moment, maybe it is time to wipe the slate clean and start again. Time to take a deep breath and put some good habits back in place to help you to feel more positive, energised and, well, happy.
Meditation is one of the easiest ways to keep your mind clear and all of the noise in your head in check. It is something, as referenced in last week’s post, that can be easily employed in times of mental stress when many thoughts are cluttering up your mind. However, regular meditation, even five minutes a day, will go a long way to prevent such build-up of mental clutter from ever occurring. A simple focus on the breath, in a quiet place, every day will be enough to make your daily existence more focussed and clear-headed.
2. Your Relationship With Food
I’m not advocating a diet, cutting out foods or demonising meals that you enjoy and make your heart sing. No. However, if you are anything like me, you can sometimes feel like you are losing control over what you are eating. I’m referring, really, to passive eating. When I’m not paying attention to what I’m putting in my mouth, in other words, not eating consciously, I often feel lethargic and slightly out of control. I control this by going back to square one. I meal plan for the week, putting thought into the meals that I plan. Yes, this generally means that my intake is more balanced, but most importantly it gives me a sense of control over my nutrition; another step to making my life feel more ordered and comfortable.
Exercise is one of those habits that can appear lofty and unattainable, especially if you don’t really like sporting activity or have mobility issues. However, exercise can be as simple as a walk. What I really mean is that moving more, whether it’s cleaning the house a bit every day, walking the station instead of getting the bus, or using the manual whisk instead of the electric one, will make your body feel more engaged and energised.
4. Valued Relationships
One of the habits that have been trickier to get into of late is making the effort to connect with others. Once we had all been in lockdown for a while, there was little we could say to one another, as it had all been said. It is an effort to reconnect with those people that we love and miss, but an effort probably far less strenuous than you might think. It starts with a text.
5. Your Home Surroundings
The place you come back to at the end of the day, to relax and unwind, can get out of hand fast if you are busy. I have had a whip around this morning… vacuumed, put my sones toys away, sorted through a few papers… and now the lounge from which I work feels much more uplifting. I sometimes forget how much mess and clutter affects my mood, and a regular morning tidy-up can result in a very tidy house in just a few days.
These are all habits that help me feel more secure. Perhaps spend a moment dwelling on which habits you have let go of that you would benefit from rediscovering.
By Chris Thomson
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