It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.Benjamin Franklin
Have you ever felt this way:
- You wake up in the morning with pain in your body
- You lack energy throughout the day
- You feel like the day is too slow!
- You seem tired all the time
I can say I have felt this way many times in the past. And it the terrible feeling. Sometimes I would feel I was going to die soon. It’s a terrible feeling. You’d agree with me if you’ve ever experienced this way.
I felt that beyond certain age, you feel lethargic to even do normal tasks. One day few years ago, I woke from my sleep with almost my whole body in pain. I had no recollection of what was going on in my life. But it felt terrible in my back, neck and stomach.
I immediately went to the doctor to see what was happening. And as usual doctor mentioned there was nothing wrong and prescribed some medicine, which I did not take.
While introspecting, I found that some of my habits had made into my daily routine which were a drag on my life.
And I started by eliminating these 5 habits to lead a positive and energetic life:
#1. Intake of Junk Food: 🍔
Who can resist a bite of a freshly baked pizza with double toppings of mozzarella cheese with Pepperoni? And don’t even get started with a juicy chicken burger!
Junk food does not stop there! Excessive snacking too is a part of this. I loved these junk foods. Especially if they were fried.
When I met the doctor to diagnose my health, one of the first NO he said was to my junk food habits.
Junk food messes with your whole system and can affect in the following ways:
- It may cause memory problems
- It may increase the risk of dementia
- It reduces your appetite for other food
- It can lead to depression
- The cravings only increase
So it was an irony when I saw a woman at a mall ordering double top cheese burger with Diet Coke!
The below graphic from healthline.com provides a good overview of the negative impacts of junk food.
- Eliminate or Reduce junk food to less than 5% of your overall diet.
- Increase intake of vegetables and greens
I have not completely stopped having junk food. I do occasionally have pizza or a burger. But not at the level I used. I try and consume these quite less these days.
#2. Anxiousness: 😟
I can say with confidence that once upon a time I used to be anxious; not only about the future but even the past.
I used to think about all the possibilities if I had taken a certain step in the past and it ruined my day, months and even years.
- If only I had invested in this stock 4 years back!
- If only I had this girlfriend instead of that!
- If only I had taken Science instead of Arts in college!
- If only I had studied in that University!
- If only I was recruited in that company
..and so on.
I regretted most of the time for my past actions. Well, as you’d guess, things didn’t go well in the past. And I was ruining my present and the future. I used to overthink about things and spoil my current and future life.
How I eliminated Anxiousness and Overthinking?
- I started to write everything in my journal releasing my mind of any thoughts and regrets.
- I started to meditate with an intention to cure
- I started to share my regrets with my friends and family
The more I shared my thoughts the lighter my mind became. I became happier. I started making better decisions in my life. My life changed!
#3. Inconsistent Sleeping Patterns:😴
I was a fan of binge-watching any serials on Netflix and other platforms. Sometimes, movies too! It did not matter whether this was during the weekend or during the week. All that mattered was entertainment.
I believe I have spent more time watching Netflix than my actual passion. All this had to show up somewhere in my life.
It showed up lack of concentration and lack of enthusiasm in anything less entertaining. At my age, I should be getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Due to my inconsistent sleep habits, I suffered from:
- Impaired memory
- Low quality of life
- Sleepiness throughout the day
- Lack of concentration
- Consistent headaches
- Falling sick regularly
- Low productivity
- + many other ill effects
But then, I started loving myself. And sleep became my priority. I like a good night’s sleep these days. At least 7 hours. I also make sure to take a 15-30 minute downtime during the day to re-energize myself.
How to get better sleep for an energetic day?
- Keep a regular time to go to bed and wake up in the morning including weekends
- Do meditation before going to bed and after waking up
- Keep temperature consistent during your sleep
- Make sure the room you sleep has no light during the light
#4. Negative Influences: 👍
Everyone goes through negative influences in their lives. However, not everyone takes steps to navigate away from these negative influences. You may have faced the following negative influences:
- Negative media online
- Online arguments
- Toxic friends and relations
- Self talk which is negative
- Negative working environment
- Very high expectations from self
Most of us are exposed to negative influences these days. The moment you go on social media and see the perfect life your friends are leading, makes you live the same life. But you can not and this leads to thinking critical of self.
Your self worth is the most important asset that you have. The way you talk to yourself determines the quality of your life. If you are always self critical, imagine the effect you are having on your own well being and health. Your mind is constantly looking for ways to make you happy.
Rules to follow to avoid negative influences:
- Make up your mind: You are worth it
- Get rid of your toxic friends and relations and throw them out of your life
- Don’t to negative self talk – embrace positivity with others and with yourself too
- Don’t feel guilty about your past or your actions
- Surround yourself with positive people who encourage you
- Get out of your comfort zone. The world has so much good in it.
#5. Living In the Past: 🏺
Just last week I was researching a stock to invest. What I saw, made me sad. I had been looking to invest in this company and this year alone the stock has risen by more than 200%. I felt terrible. I kept on telling myself ‘what a douche I was!’
You also may have faced this similar situation in other areas of your life. You think and regret why I did not take the step then?
But if you are living in the past, then you are missing out on a great future that lies ahead of you!! We hold grudges, we hold negativity deep within us. You have bottled so much hatred within you that your current life is miserable.
Do you want to live this way? And live in the past?
This will drain whatever energy you have. Everyone makes mistakes. You need to move on from your mistakes to the whole new world of possibilities around you.
How to live in the present?
- Stop being mean to yourself
- Think of the possibilities in the future and what future holds
- Think: No one has made it big delving in the past. We can ofcourse learn from the past. But don’t live in the past.
- Expand your view of the world and see the positive in others around you
- Forgive people who have hurt you and forget about them
- Don’t hold grudges
- Don’t get into FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out.
I know it takes a lot of energy and will to get out of your old habits. All these above-mentioned habits are true and I have faced them in my life. It’s not humanly possible to 100% eliminate these habits, I challenge you to start at some point. Slowly but surely, you will succeed in giving up these negative habits.
May you be well. May you be happy.
Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.Stephen Covey
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