Changing Habits – 3rd update

As you may recall, I have been on a mission to try and change some habits, starting with a greater use of my left hand. I’ve had a few more days of catching myself doing something automatically and changing something of my behaviour to help reprogram my brain. The teeth brusing, breakfast eating and mouse usage are all coming along nicely, with my left-hand use increasing and becoming easier (teeth brushing now only feels ‘partly’ weird, as opposed to freakingly weird!)

The biggest changes I’ve had over the past few days is my reaction to things that don’t go my way. There are oftentimes (when I am deep in my thoughts) that I ‘snap’ at someone or something around the house, almost always for something trivial and small. Well, I vowed to reduce the number of ‘snapping’ incidents this week, and so far I think I’m doing OK. There are still times where my subconscious (or as Steve Levinson mentioned in the comments section of the “When Is A Habit Not A Habit?” blog post, “what we do automatically“) simply takes over and before I can catch it, the snap has occured. I know this is part of the Fight vs. Flight response governed by the amygdala, but taming this and consciously making decisions more and more can only benefit my life in lots of ways, such as:

  • Keeping me motivated to stay on my current ‘fitness’ path instead of simply doing something easy like sitting in front of a ‘screen’
  • Helping reduce the amount of stress I cause in my family (by snapping less and thinking more) – this will also help me get rid of thoughts as quickly as they come
  • Helping me make better decisions in times of crisis, bad news, unexpected news, etc.

I am sure there will be other habits I can change, and the key to this seems to be ‘attention’, more-so than time. Steve mentioned:

When it comes to changing habits, I’m convinced that attention is a far more important factor than time is.

In a way, I came to this conclusion myself a couple of days ago BUT Steve put it into words. I’ll be trying to pay more attention to these things over the coming days and letting you know how successful I am. In what ways are you attempting (& succeeding?) in changing your habits? Leave your comments and let me know 🙂

One thought on “Changing Habits – 3rd update”

  1. Learning not to snap is a very difficult thing to do. When you are use to doing thing right here and now, snapping quite often is the quickest answer, but not always (in fact very rarely) the right answer.

    After my marriage broke down, I snapped less, as I seemed to have more time to do things, but then I filled the void that had been created, and what do you know, the snapping came back.

    It wasn’t until I went through cancer treatment that the snapping stopped. Not a recommended way of beating snapping mind you.

    While I am not a religious person, I have also taken on some of the principles of Buddhism, the main one being to not shout and to remain calm at all times. It is amazing how that has helped me to deal with situations, and to remain more focused on the task at hand.

    The other thing I am finding that helps is to do yoga on my wii fit. Not only is it relaxing, but it makes me laugh at how bad my flexibility is these days.

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