December 22, 2019

3 Toxic Habits to Leave Behind in 2019 (Hint: They are all in our Heads).


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The end of the year is quickly approaching.

We are already preparing for the New Year by setting goals to create a new improved version of ourselves. These goals could be eating better, more exercise, better work-life balance, success at work, or improving our personal relationships. However, what about a new mindset? What have we done to ensure that we can create that in the New Year?

Our mind is the driving force for all our actions, and if our mindset isn’t occupied with healthy thoughts, then it becomes almost impossible to achieve a healthier, happier, and stress-free lifestyle.

Here are three important tips that can help us ditch our toxic habits. (Hint: they start in our mind.)

Critical thinking

Self-criticism, blaming, or holding ourselves responsible for every single thing that happens isn’t helpful, constructive, or conducive to our happiness. This type of thinking keeps us stuck, trapped, and unable to move forward in life. We must learn to speak to ourselves with compassion rather than criticism. Ask yourself, if that was a loved one speaking or thinking the way that I am, what would I be saying to them?

Visualise a loved one and what you would be saying to them and the tone you would use. No doubt the response would be from a place of kindness, compassion, and care. It is important that we get into the habit of speaking that way to ourselves.

Fear of judgement

Our self-image is made up of our judgements and the fear of being judged. We worry about coming across as being stupid, saying the wrong thing, being rejected, failing, or not being good enough. This judgement is what makes us live a life based on what we think we should be doing rather than what we want to be doing.

Imagine what our life would be like if we could do what we wanted, be who we wanted, and do the things we wanted. Now is the time to release this judgement and live a life based on the values, expectations, and desires that are true to you and not based on the social pressures that come from our external environment. Take time to consider this question: “What is it like to be me when I am not judging myself?” This simple question has the power to give us insight, awareness, and an understanding of our true, pure, genuine, and authentic self, a self that has not been contaminated by social conditioning.

Holding onto the past

When we have been hurt or are hurting, it is difficult to let go of the past. This is our brain’s subconscious way of protecting us from being hurt again. However, in doing so, we are blocking ourselves from future opportunities, establishing new relationships, new experiences, and pushing past our comfort zone. Although we can still lead a quality of life, we are unable to unlock our true potential and lead a life of brilliance. In order to let go of the past, we have to learn to forgive. The only person we have to forgive is ourselves, not anyone else.

Forgive yourself for not knowing more. Forgive yourself for staying in that relationship for longer than you needed to. Forgive yourself for not changing your situation sooner. Forgive yourself for not walking away from that situation earlier. Forgive yourself for giving others another chance. Forgive yourself for not fighting for something. Forgive yourself for whatever happened. Accept that it wasn’t your fault; you didn’t know any better. Believe that you did your best.

When we look back at life, it is easy to be overly analytical and critical, giving ourselves a hard time about how we could have done more or done things differently. Hindsight is 20-20 vision. The reality is, at that point in time, knowing what you knew and based on all the resources you had, you did the best you could. Your best was good enough. If there was more you could have done, you would have.

Using this new realistic lens, reflect on your past and see things accurately and as they were. Release whatever you are holding onto and leave it where it belongs, in the past.

Wanting to create a happy, healthy, and nourishing lifestyle using a toxic mindset is the equivalent of having a shower or bath in dirty water and then wondering why we aren’t clean. Using these three tips we can shed our negative and unhelpful habits, leaving them in 2019, where they belong, and we can enter into the New Year with a mindset that is kind, caring, compassionate, non-judgmental, and accepting. Imagine how this new mindset can enhance our life and the amazing possibilities it can bring us.

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