Habit; the word is known to us all. I became acquainted with this word in my childhood days when my parents invariably would say “such a bad habit you have of waking late”. Now, without much ado, let’s get straight into the topic of discussion. Habit is an action that consciously or unconsciously gets incorporated in your daily schedule. Are you struggling with bad habits that create a hurdle to your way of well-being?
Fortunately, you are not alone. It’s a common human tendency to include bad habits first. For instance, checking your phone quite often, procrastinate until the deadline comes and stir up your adrenals. Craving junk food and stuff your tummy with toxic ingredients, permit lethargy to avoid the gym. All these are relatable right? I am quite sure these are.
Now the question is: how do you uninstall a bad habit from your system and download a good one instead? It’s not easy, but not impossible. But there’s no quick fix. Remember these habits took months or even years of repetition to get installed into your system. Likewise, they would take time to leave you. But it depends on you how you replace them with good habits. Let me give you a clear idea of how you can attain it.
To simplify your task, you may keep a journal and jot down the list of old habits that you want to eradicate from your system and include those that would spark up your life.
Morning habits: Most of us have the cringe habit of sipping tea or coffee on an empty stomach after waking up. Though it gives you an instant stimulus to kick start your morning, it’s toxic. Instead, the first thing you should do after rising is to do some exercise, be it yoga, pranayam or freehand. It will give a boost to your blood circulation through pumping your heart faster. After that, you can intake a glass of lukewarm warm water with lemon, which will cleanse your system.
Food habits: That roadside Hakka noodles, delicious momos, saliva secreting panipuris — arouse the taste buds and hit the dopamine instantly, right? Do these thoughts come into your vision when you think about food? Then you are on the wrong track. Stop binging those. You have no doubt, become a junkie. Stay away from processed foods and junk foods. Sometimes you can have these. But the foods that you intake regularly should be unprocessed, whole grains and homemade.
Include veggies and fresh fruits into your plate as much as you can. One common mistake that we are still making is eating carbohydrates in large quantities. Half of your plate should include food items other than carbs. Make it a habit and you will see a gradual change. Changing your diet will change many health problems. Ancient Ayurveda says 50% of your health problems originate from the stomach.
Mental health: Mental health matters a lot in daily life. Your mind is like a shrine. Do you keep your shrine dirty or unorganized? Not hopefully. Then why congest our minds with clumsy thoughts. Cleansing your mind is equally important as cleansing your body. Eager to know the ways? Let me tell you then.
First, I will highly suggest meditation. Meditation is the ancient practice of mental tranquillity. Regular practice of meditation makes you calm and poised. Second, clean and organize your surrounding. Recently I have gone through a book called The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. There I came across a line saying, “When you clean something you cleanse your soul”. The line touched me to the chore. The practice of cleaning your surroundings is a spiritual habit and I suggest you incorporate this into your life.
Third, reading books. Reading books is always better than binging on Netflix or meaningless whatsapping. When you read a book, you engage your mind to think. It’s a mental exercise. It will enrich your vocabulary at the same times. But be selective while reading a book. There’s so much cringe flooding the market. So choose prudently. Now, you have to be persistent with any new habit you pick up. Do not give up midway no matter how dull they are to stick by. Little changes gradually lead to a big revolution; history has taught us.
To conclude, I would like to quote the famous laureate, John Dryden:
“We first make our habits, then our habits make us.”
So choose wisely and don’t be chained and doomed by your creation.