Do you know 40 % of your actions are not conscious decisions of your life, they’re your habits? So, now you know habits are a big part of your life. How do we form a habit? They do not happen overnight, we adapt them little by little into our lives until they become second nature.
It’s one thing to have a habit, it’s another thing to have habits that block your overall growth in life. These habits may look very small and irrelevant but they have a huge impact on your brain and how you do things in life.
When you form a habit, your brain works less, because your reaction to a situation is the same so it doesn’t require your brain to process much. Yes, we all want more mental energy to focus on better things but some of these habits can be unhealthy for you and just do not add any value to your life. These habits are there because you don’t want to deal with certain things in life so you just push back those feelings and create an automated response to them.
They need to be eliminated from your life or replaced with a much better productive habit. But the most important thing is to remove them. Some of the habits that need to be stooped right now are –
1. Over stressing
Stress can be both positive and negative. Positive stress helps you avoid danger, get your work done on time, be on time, etc. This type of stress brings a positive impact on life and helps you be organized. On the other hand, negative stress or you can say over stressing is not a healthy habit. It can make you feel frustrated, nervous, or angry about things you can’t really control in your life. Stressing about your future. situations out of your control or something very small is actually stopping you from focusing on more important things in your life that you can control. Over stressing can cause you a lot of health problems – physical or mental along with restricting you to function at your full potential.
How to stop?
Inculcate a positive attitude towards life and accept that there are events in your life that you can control. Change your perspective by being assertive. Try relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga when you feel stressed.
2. Being Around Negative People
The negative environment here means the negative energy you might get from people you interact with daily. This creates a whole negative environment that can affect you very adversely if you don’t recognize it timely. Negative energy can influence your mood and stress levels which in turn affect your growth because if you’re constantly surrounded by people who have this negative energy, who have a habit of pulling you down every time you try to do something good, it acts as a huge de-motivation and you may end up not doing anything at all. It can be unintentional from their side but it will very much block you from doing things to move forward. It can be difficult to pull yourself out of these toxic friendship but that is what’s best for you.
How to create a distance from them without hurting feelings?
Limit your time with them. Don’t let them disrupt your peace as and when they like. Create a boundary around yourself, object whenever you feel insulted or made feel bad about yourself. Eventually, they’ll feel that they can no longer act and affect you like they used to.
3. Unhealthy eating
Consuming junk food or having a poor quality diet might feel very exciting to you but it has long term effects on your body. People having unhealthy eating habits have a higher risk of developing depression, heart disease, diabetes, and digestive issues. Not only this, but it has also been seen that these people are more prone to having a stroke or cancer. You certainly don’t want to be sick when you’re looking forward to growing and become the best version of yourself.
How to stop?
Replace every unhealthy food item in your refrigerator with a healthy one. Plan your meals a day ahead so you don’t grab a snack when you can’t think of anything else to eat. Try to make healthy food interesting by adding your favorite sauces or spice mix, or even adding colors to your food with different vegetables.
4. Taking things personally
Many people have this tendency to take things personally. Someone might have said something and you took it as an insult or someone talked to you about something that made them uncomfortable and it offended you. It’s not really about you always. Things might not always be the way you interpret. The other person might not even have any intention to insult you or hurt you in any way. This actually puts a bad impact on you, you might spend too much time thinking why did they said that to you or did that particular thing. It may cause you to feel angry or worsen your self-esteem. When you take things personally, it may be an insecurity of your own that gets triggered and you start thinking negatively of yourself.
How to stop?
You have to realize that when someone is rude or acts differently towards you, it is a reflection of them and their own thoughts. It is not your fault. Value yourself enough to not let anyone take advantage of you or control you in any way.
5. Avoiding spending time alone
Being alone is often linked with being lonely or depressed. But being alone or being lonely are two different things. There is enough evidence by researchers that prove spending quality time by yourself is crucial for the growth and well being of a person. It allows you to be calm with your thoughts and enjoy your own company. There are some things which are better done alone without any influence from other people. It builds confidence and self-sufficiency.
6. Wasting time on things that don’t matter
Your time is extremely crucial. Choose wisely on what is important and what isn’t. There are so many things that consume our time that doesn’t even matter. We fail to realize the importance of time and focus on pointless things giving us no advantage whatsoever.
How to stop?
Take control of your life. Don’t indulge in pointless drama, there’s nothing in it for you. Stop keep checking your phone or social media constantly, if something important happens, you will eventually get to know through calls or messages. Live in present instead of past, let go of the baggage, it’s only pulling you backward.
7. Comparing yourself to others
No two persons are the same, there may be similar traits but no one is exactly the same as you. Comparing yourself to others is just another way to waste your time and energy. It fills you with negativity which is not good for your mental health. Constantly worrying about how the other person is better than you or how you are better than them is not going to be of any benefit to you. It stops you from growing and loving yourself the way you are.
How to stop?
Focus on yourself. If you want to be better than someone, it should be your older version. Direct your energy towards how you can bring positive changes in your life by analyzing your past self. Believe that you are unique and no one can be you.
8. Following the crowd (lack of authenticity)
We are social beings, we love to relate to one another, communicate, and influence each other. We all look for validation and approval from the people around us. Most of the time, they don’t believe in doing something out of the box. They all are stubborn about their choices and always think in the same way. It is almost like if you try to do things differently from them, you’re doing something wrong. We have this notion ” If the other person is doing it, it must be right” That’s when we get lost in the crowd. We forget what we want to do and follow what others are doing, simply because we want to be accepted, we don’t want to fail.
How to stop?
Staying real and standing out is the only way. Change your mindset. Live your life based on your standards. Stop yourself when you unknowingly start following the crowd and remind yourself that your life is unique to others. You don’t need to blend in to be successful. Successful people always stand out.
9. Overspending or shopping to relieve stress
Everyone loves shopping. You get a sense of euphoria while you shop and make you feel happy. But once you start to stress stop, this is going to go downhill for you. Overspending on things that you don’t need, shopping whenever you’re feeling stressed might give you the satisfaction you need at that moment, it’s going to come to bite you in the back when you are over the feeling and analyze things carefully. It is not only bad for your finances but also affects your thoughts because eventually, you will start to regret those buying decisions. You’ll end up having piles of things you don’t need.
How to stop?
Discard the things that you don’t need, donate them, or sell them. Make a list of things that you actually need. Plan a budget and stay within its limits. Avoid impulse buying, think before you pick up something – Do I really need it or am I just buying it because I like the look of it. Try to shop with cash, so you’ll know the real cost of an item and avoid buying expensive things.
10. Abuse of alcohol/ drugs/nicotine/caffeine
This cannot be stressed enough. Harmful use of any substance is just going to cause problems in your life. Along with physical health issues like headaches, vomiting, nausea, cancer, heart problems, it also affects your mental health such as impaired judgment, memory loss, trouble concentrating, anxiety, and many more.
How to stop?
If you are experiencing strong symptoms of alcohol abuse, you can seek treatment from a trusted doctor. You can join meetings and have therapy sessions to overcome this habit.
Lastly, your habit may have probably been in place for years, so it will take some time to unwind. This means you will keep doing it even when you don’t want to. Be gentle with yourself, but don’t lose focus. Start small, and keep going, seeing each experience as an opportunity for learning.
Let me know in the comments what are the other habits you’re looking forward to stopping? How are you trying to get rid of it?
For Productivity tips, check out 10 ways to have a productive life