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Creating Better Habits

A major factor in our daily lives, and in our addictions and mental health issues, is our habits. We often develop habits that are unhealthy and self-destructive. Along with our addictive behaviors, we also often neglect self-care and engage in toxic patterns. A helpful way to think about recovery is the idea of implementing better habits for ourselves.

We might tend to think of our bad habits as the smaller things we do like biting our nails, or hitting snooze on the alarm and being late for work, but our habits make up everything we do. We have our daily habits, our relationship habits, our habitual thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

When we are dealing with addictions, depression and other challenges, we often struggle to feel motivated. We can have a very hard time accomplishing even small tasks. Sometimes we don’t show up for our responsibilities. We feel like we’re disappointing, hurting and betraying ourselves and the people who care about us. Our habits have a lot to do with it.

When it comes to assessing ourselves and our lives, we often tend to see things through a filter of negativity. We beat ourselves up for procrastinating. We judge and criticize ourselves for our bad habits. We compound our challenges when we focus on how ashamed we feel. When we put ourselves down, we aren’t helping ourselves do better, we’re actually chipping away at our resolve and determination.

To create better habits, let’s start by encouraging ourselves instead. “I am strong enough to do what’s best for myself. I have the power to change my habits. I can do anything I set my heart and mind to.”

What are some habits we can start to implement that would help us prioritize our mental and emotional wellbeing? We can start setting intentions around those things- getting enough sleep, making time to meditate, eating healthy foods, exercising. Joining a support group or starting therapy. Journaling, being creative, doing things we enjoy.

We can create habits around choosing patience when we are stressed or frustrated, forgiveness when we are angry, compassion when we are in conflict. Habits we can try are:

-Taking deep breaths when we feel our thoughts starting to race or our hearts beating faster.

-Meditating on forgiveness, using affirmations like “I choose to forgive. I choose to be at peace.”

-Meditating on compassion,“I see your hurt. I see your humanity.”

We can consciously look at our habits- how we respond to life’s daily challenges, how we react to other people, what directions we allow our thoughts and feelings to go in. Then we can intentionally begin to create habits for ourselves that feel better and serve us more.

Treatment at Enlightened Solutions includes working with wellness and nutrition, life skills and recovery planning. Call (833) 801-LIVE.

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