Do These Habits Prevent You from Enjoying Life?

deckchairWe are creatures of habit, but unfortunately the habits we pick up often limit our happiness and sense of fulfilment. The worst habit we can have is the inability to make any changes, but continue with a perpetual negative attitude. If we can recognise our own bad habits we can create the necessary steps to making meaningful changes in our life. These are some of our most common bad habits in modern life.

Constantly Busy

Is your life constantly hectic, with a never ending strain on your time and nerves? Do you have time to enjoy the finer things of life? Sometimes, even the most financially successful people find it difficult to create leisure time where we can relax and be at peace. It is always possible to create activity and things to do, but many of these activities are invariably non essential. Modern technology is supposed to help make life easier, not make us constantly busy. Learn how to let go of things like email addiction – create time for yourself and your own relaxation. How to Find Time for Relaxation

Getting up Late

The best part of the day is often the morning. Yet, the mind and body can be uncooperative, causing us to sleep in for longer than necessary. It is a shame to waste so many hours. Create good sleeping habits, that help you to get up early in the morning; once you have got used to more hours in the morning you will not want to go back to having more sleep than necessary. 8 Ways to get better sleep
Worrying About Money

We cannot avoid financial issues, but we can prevent them from dominating our lives. Sometimes money worries occur because we create ever increasing levels of personal debt. This can be due to unnecessary overspending or poor financial management. Don’t feel happiness is dependent on levels of consumption; if we avoid overspending and creating debt we can avoid much mental anguish. At the other end of the scale, even people who are financially successful can still give too much priority to money. There is more to life than just earning money; don’t use every moment of your life to think how you can increase your wealth. Don’t sacrifice current opportunities and your current happiness just to save money for when you retire. Have a positive attitude to money that doesn’t allow financial concerns to dominate your life.

Lazy Diet

Our diet doesn’t just affect our physical health but also our mental health. Experiment with a fast food diet, and then a diet of healthy well cooked food and notice the difference. Also, we become accustomed to the food we are used to. If we eat a lot of salty, fatty and sugary foods, this is what the mind tends to crave so we eat more and more. However, if we can break these habits and eat good foods for a couple of weeks, we will be pleasantly surprised to find that we actually lose our taste for Double cheesburger’s and fries; we will get much more pleasure from eating wholesome foods. The important thing here is the willingness to change, and not just continue with a diet because it is what we have done in the past.

Addiction to Computer Games

It is easy to pass several hours playing solitaire on our computer, but after playing even the most advanced computer games, do we gain a feeling of real satisfaction and achievement? It is easy to get in the habit of playing computer games but later regretting spending so much time. Computer games have an addictive quality we don’t always like to admit. They can give a limited pleasure, but if we allow them to dominate our lives there will always be a feeling of something lacking. If it is not computer games, it could be something similar like watching several hours of not very good TV each evening.

Self Criticism

Self criticism can be beneficial if we look at our habits in a measured way. The process of self inquiry is essential for overcoming bad habits and learning to improve. However, self criticism can become harmful if it becomes an irrational self hatred. The mind can exaggerate the smallest mistakes and make them appear very harmful; this kind of attitude lowers our self esteem and creates an unhealthy feeling of guilt. Learn from your mistakes but, avoid beating yourself up at the time.

Defensive Mechanism

How do you respond to any kind of criticism? Often our instinctive approach is to build up a defensive mechanism where we seek to avoid feelings of hurt and injured pride. If we are always defensive and rigid we make life difficult for ourselves. We falsely equate our happiness with proving that we are right. Our pride becomes a barrier to making change and learning from our mistakes. Let go of the desire to always have the last word; don’t worry so much about your self image and pride; happiness does not depend on the constant appreciation of the world… See: How to Reduce the Ego

Photo: Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries