We all run habits. Some of us are aware of these, others are not. Some support our wellbeing, others do not. Understanding what these are and whether they support our ideals and the way we envision our best lives is key to unlocking emotional maturity; whatever one’s age.
Habits & routines
If we trace behaviours back to our intentions behind them, we find that they are, mostly, simply habitual. Think of key habits and routines, many were probably programmed so long ago it’s difficult to recall exactly when. [add link
What about rituals?
Others have been forged more intentionally. Dedicating more time in the morning to a daily ritual allows us to prepare for a busy day ahead with greater mindfulness. Whether it’s a spiritual practice, journaling, nature walks or exercise, embracing a few positive habits and ‘replacing’ the negative ones will only lead to a better quality of life. [add link
This may explain why, according to research published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, early risers tend to be more proactive throughout the day compared to those who stay up late. This does not mean getting up at an absurdly early hour, but rather, taking some quiet time in the morning to truly ‘disconnect.’
James Clear’s novel, Atomic Habits, [add link here] is essentially the manifesto for motivation and productivity – it explains how small, incremental changes in our day can lead to remarkable results. Clear describes how around 50-60 percent of our lives are spent through habits and if we actively try to improve on our negative ones, we can have a better standard of life. Stacking up our good habits, for example by ‘priming our environment’ – a fancy term for keeping our space clean – or a few minutes in the morning spent for ourselves will help us feel less anxious in the long-run.
When does a habit become and addiction?
No matter who we are and how complex our lives are, everyone wants to make their days run smoother. When our behaviours trip us up and we engage in them without control to the detriment of our wellbeing and self esteem, then it’s time to begin to consider one’s addictive traits.
By staying alert to our internal default drives and by committing to incremental small changes in our habits, replacing unhealthy ones with positive ones, we are surmounting hurdles we have put up ourselves to our own productivity and happiness.