Meaningful Living

Unlearning bad habits

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Phaytea’s Pulse is participating in the #AtoZChallenge for 2017. The Theme is ‘Awakening of Self’ and ‘Unlearning bad habits’ is our entry for letter U. The theme focuses on character traits that will gear us towards Meaningful Living and will run for 26 days in April except sundays. Please stop by the blog everyday for subsequent posts as we read the 26 letters of the alphabet together. Enjoy!!☺☺

As a kid, i pretty much grew up getting most of the things I wanted . 

I didn’t get out of order, I was respectful, had parental guidance and all but I rarely got ‘no’ for an answer. 

Well, if i did get a ‘No’, it always came with an explanation fit for a child.

The story changed as I got older and started interacting with people outside my home. Let’s just say I found it difficult to understand how people’s opinion were different from mine and why they were not really interested in giving me an explanation as I would usually get at home.

Basically, i argued a lot and that led to lots of quarrels, not agreeing to share my story book/snacks and picking friends to share lunch time with.??

I later got to learn that you cannot always get the ‘home treatment’ anywhere you go and i began to adjust to not expecting too much or no explanation at all from anyone who disagreed with my opinion.

That is one habit I had to ‘unlearn’ because it started affecting my relationship with people around me. 

I still argue sometimes, but the good thing is i am older, i can be calm and I know when to draw the line…..And if I start drifting, mum is there to remind me ??

(With the way I argue, some people have wondered why I did not study law in school).

All through life, we must have picked habits from childhood or presently as adults.

These habits can be beneficial for living a meaningful life. However, there are some habits that are detrimental to our personal growth and relationship with the people we meet daily.

Those detrimental habits are the ones we need to look out for and ‘unlearn’.

We can recognise a bad habit when:

  • We always have to explain ourself.
  • We keep convincing ourself that it is fine to do it.
  • We never get a compliment from doing a particular thing.
  •  It is always yields a negative result.

We should also look out for those things we do without moderation. For instance, Eating too much, sleeping too much, drinking too much,playing too much etc 

Emphasis on ‘Too much’.

Unlearning a bad habit is not magical as it cannot be done in the twinkling of an eye.

However, a frightening encounter can make us stop a bad habit but if that is not the case, we will have to put in conscious effort and focus on achieving the desired goal.

Bad habit

Using different examples in the 8 steps below, I will explain how we can unlearn habits that deter us from living a meaningful life.

  1. Accept there is a ‘bad habit’ that causes you harm: Nothing can really be done, until we accept there is a problem and we desire to get it fixed.
  2. Identify what triggers you to indulge: For example, Do you binge eat or drink because you are sad? Do you sleep a lot because you are bored
  3. List out the harmful effects of indulging: Here, identify the negative things that happen when you indulge in a bad habit. For instance, complaining too much alters a relationship between two friends or eating without moderation is not good for the body.
  4. Determine to stop indulging: Reach to the conclusion that you need a better relationship with others or you need to keep fit.
  5. Try to control the triggers: If you tend to be disrespectful when speaking, try to be calm and avoid replying immediately. Pay attention to your choice of word and thoughts.
  6. Break routines and create new activities: If you will usually go to your favourite icecream spot after work, substitute that for time at the gym or for learning a new skill.
  7. Monitor your progress: Write down your challenges and try to fix it gradually, observe people’s reaction to the changeso you have made.
  8. Involve friends that will genuinely call you to order: Let your friends know they can call you to order when you start derailing.

We are human, so do not expect to unlearn bad habits overnight.

Do not also beat yourself up when you faulter.

Just always recognise that anything we do that stands as a barrier and stops us from reaching our relationship, career, family or personal goals should be dropped.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please share your thoughts.

Do you have any bad habit you are willing to unlearn?

What others method have you used to unlearn a bad habit?

Have you ever missed an opportunity because of a bad habit?

I will love to read from you.

Love, Peace and Cupcake




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