Say what you like, but we all have the capacity to be floored by destructive patterns, addictions, and poor habit loops at some or another point of our lives. There are simply many ways in which we can sabotage ourselves, and it takes a pretty good amount of awareness and proactive behaviour to keep things on the right track.
If you’ve struggled, or currently do struggle, with destructive behaviours and habits that stop you from living your best life, you need to take steps to restructure your life so as to reduce the impact of those things in your life.
If you’ve faced a serious addiction, you may need to look into a facility like to ANA Treatment Centre to begin setting things right. But ultimately, you will need to count on positive habits to set things right and to maintain a steady course.
Here are a few examples of positive habits that can help to offset destructive behaviours.
Begin Bookending Your Day
When people fall into negative habits and damaging or unproductive routines, it’s often because they lack a productive and consciously self-imposed structure that can keep them focused on the right priorities.
When life is chaotic and unstructured, it’s very common for people to end up completely out of control, doing all kinds of things that they know they ultimately shouldn’t be doing. There seems to be some kind of psychological principle at play where, if you don’t define and control your behaviour in general, you will struggle to know where to draw the lines, or how to enforce them, in specific instances.
One of the best things you can do to restore positive order to your life is to begin bookending your days with morning and nightly rituals that help you to take stock, plan, consider your options, and unwind.
Start each day, for example, by writing out your thoughts, meditating, and reflecting on what you achieved the previous day. Finish each day by writing out a to-do list for the next day, and reading in bed.
Begin A Committed Fitness Routine and Be Consistent With Your Training
A good fitness routine has the potential to be what author Charles Duhigg would refer to as a “keystone habit” — meaning a habit that has a domino effect on other dimensions of your life.
Beginning — and sticking to — a committed fitness routine can cause an immensely positive and powerful domino effect in your life.
Perhaps you start training and want to improve your performance — so you tidy up your diet. Then you sleep better because you were physically active. Next thing you know, you feel less inclined to binge drink at parties.
Take Up Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is an incredible practice because it allows you to gain a bit of distance from your thoughts. Note that this isn’t the same as “stopping” your thoughts.
With mindfulness meditation, you practice maintaining your awareness on different objects of focus — such as your breath — and gently return your attention to that object of focus every time your mind wanders.
Research has shown that regular mindfulness meditation makes people more resilient to stress and better able to deal with issues in their lives in a calm and effective manner.
Many poor habits are rooted in the inability to step back from thoughts and emotional impulses. Mindfulness meditation helps you to step back.