How to Build Good Habits With Mindfulness
Mastering the art of mindfulness can be a powerful way to transform your life. It can help you gain a new perspective on the world around you, help you get in touch with your emotions and feelings and help you find the balance that you are looking for in your day-to-day. However, one of the biggest ways that you can use mindfulness in your everyday life is by harnessing the power of mindful action and using it to build good habits, or furthermore change bad habits into good ones.
The first step in using mindfulness to develop good habits is to understand what habits really are. Habits are behaviors that are performed so frequently, they become automatic. Many times, people don’t even realize they are starting to form habits because it becomes so natural. With bad habits, this means many times these habitual behaviors are difficult to break. For instance, biting your nails. You may not be realizing how much you are doing it, or even notice what triggers you to start doing it, and you may begin to do it more when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
However, not all habits are bad. There are also good habits and when these become part of your everyday life and actions that you repeat without thinking, it can have a great effect on your life. Here is how you can use mindfulness to your benefit in this type of situation.
Start With Recognition
The first step is being mindful of or noticing the habit that you want to change or the habit that you are trying to form. Realization and recognition is always the first step. This will not change the habit but it helps build a foundation. You also need to practice being mindful in stressful situations. Many times, people are great at changing bad habits in certain circumstances, but when stressful situations arise, it becomes even more difficult when stress comes into the picture.
When you do fail to change bad habits in stressful situations, it gives you the opportunity to realize what is making your habit change so difficult so that you can be aware of it and prepared next time it arises. Over time, you will start to become stronger and more resilient to the difficult situations that make good habit forming possible.
Changing habits with mindfulness isn’t going to be an overnight process. It will be gradual. It takes a long time for you to change a bad habit and long time for you to form a new, better habit. The key though is repetition and to constantly be patient and remind yourself of what it is that you are trying to change and why.
If you are mindful of the fact that this is a gradual process, you won’t let setbacks get in your way. You will also be able to be more patient and realistic with your goals. Plus, the more you are able to build up your capacity for mindfulness, the easier it will be to apply your mindful actions to your habit forming, especially when you need it most.
If you are struggling with changing or forming habits, work on your mindfulness and your daily meditations. It may not seem like it is directly impacting your ability to change or form habits, but in reality it is giving you the strength that you need in order to make the lasting changes that you seek. Whether you are trying to get in the habit of making your bed or trying to break the habit of smoking, your mindfulness can make all of the difference in your life and the habits that inhabit it.