Updated: Feb 5
When many people hear the word "habit," they tend to think of it in terms of something meant to propel them forward. Habits are things that we, as a society, are continuously looking to build to help us, whether reaching a specific goal or generally becoming better versions of ourselves.
There is something to be said for creating shiny new habits and goals in that it inspires us to strive for something, reinforcing a sense of structure, value, and motivation in our lives, but what if we're going about it the wrong way? Most habits are less practice-based than they are regular tendencies, meaning they occur subconsciously. So, what if, before we build new habits, we first identify the bad ones that are holding us back?
1. Always saying 'yes.'
Saying 'yes' to everything never helped anyone, no matter what the movies or your mind tell you. When we are presented with a choice to take on something new, such as a work project or an invite to dinner, it's easy to feel cramming one more thing into our calendars is the solution to making everyone happy. But, by "everyone" we forget to include ourselves.
Always saying 'yes' to others does not give them a chance to learn what you will and won't do - to learn how to respect you. Set healthy boundaries and avoid ending up feeling overwhelmed by acting according to your best interest.
2. Basing your self-worth on social media
Social media influences how we see ourselves, and the continuous exposure to idealized lives or bodies causes us to question our own. For many of us, what we see that others have only calls attention to what we lack.
The problem with basing your self-worth on social media, whether it's through comparing yourself to others or seeking validation from others through their comments, is that it contributes to negative body images, attitudes, and self-perceptions that contribute to unhealthy behaviors and mental and emotional states.
3. Dwelling on the past
There is no sense in being unhappy, anxious, or dissatisfied over something that has already happened. Still, we do it because the things we missed out on or messed up become perceived opportunities in our minds. We love to relive our failures and wonder what would be different if we had responded another way, but dwelling doesn't give us a chance to go back in time - it only interferes with our ability to move forward today. Learn from your failures and let go!
In order to move forward this year, try changing your inner self-talk to focusing on good, healthy habits that can fuel positivity and wellness. We're here to help with therapy!