Our habits can either lift us up or bring us down. If we have empowering habits, we’ll create better experiences and results in life.
Likewise, if we have dis-empowering or toxic habits, they can affect our lives and those around us in a detrimental way.
As most things we do are habitual, it’s makes sense to be more aware of which habits may affect us in a negative way.
5 Consequences of Having Toxic Habits
- Poor overall health.
- Lower levels of confidence, drive and motivation.
- Unhealthy or estranged relationships.
- Slower progress towards goals.
- Less willingness to take new risks or try new things.
The more toxic habits we can replace with empowering habits, the better our lives will be.
I recently read Gabrielle Bernstein’s book, “Judgment Detox,” because I wanted to learn more about letting go of my judgments towards others as I felt it was a habit that was not serving me. I noticed that my judgments often turned into frustration, which resulted in me not being in a healthy emotional state.
After going through the processes in the book, I have now added in a new daily habit, a judgment release exercise, which I do every morning, that only takes me a couple of minutes. Just having the awareness of what triggers my judgments has helped me shift my focus from what I don’t like about a situation to what I’d prefer instead.
5 Toxic Habits to Consider Giving Up
- Not being willing to face uncomfortable situations. An uncomfortable situation may be a present reality that’s not working for us, or it could involve addressing things with another person. I have learned that avoidance is a short-term strategy for comfort but is a long-term strategy for suffering. The sooner we face the situations we need to, the quicker we can move past them.
- Trying to control things all the time. There are so many things in our daily lives that are beyond our control. While having some level of control of our lives is useful, it can become a problem if we try to control every outcome because that will inevitably lead to disappointment. Not everything in life will go as planned so if we’re trying to control everything, when things don’t work out, it can be a big setback.
- Not being able to manage or process your emotions. Our thoughts determine our emotions. If we’re predominantly thinking unproductive or negative thoughts, it will cause negative emotions such as anger, resentment, judgment, frustration and overwhelm. The better we can process and let go of unhealthy emotions, the better frame of mind we’ll be in.
- Focusing too much on the past and future. We cannot change the past and the future is not here yet. All we have is the present moment. The past and the future can be used more intelligently to experience the present moment better. We can learn from our past and aim for the future, while embracing the present moment we have.
- Not being intentional about who you spend most of your time with. We become like those we spend most of our time with. If we’re around uplifting, supportive and inspiring people, we will become like them and be more inclined to pursue things important to us. Likewise, if we spend time with people who like to complain or blame others about their reality, we’ll be influenced by them and see our world through similar lenses. It’s best to spend more time with those who’ll uplift us.
As our habits define who we are and who we will become, giving up as many unhealthy habits as we can, will result in a dramatic improvement in how we think, what we feel, how we communicate and what we experience daily.
Action Step: Choose one unhealthy or toxic habit that isn’t serving you for the next few weeks. Focus on what the positive opposite of that habit is so you can give more attention and energy to it.
Question: What is another toxic habit we should consider letting go?