Motivation to get healthier and improve our lives is obviously compelling when it comes to achieving our health-centered goals. In fact, we get very caught up in positive motivation when we wish to make a health improvement. However, what the post below argues is that the importance of motivation is not limited to establishing good habits, but in reducing bad ones as well. In fact, if we can work out why we are acting in unhealthy ways, we have a much better chance to pull out the cause for unhealthiness by the roots. Rather than just attempting to plaster a positive habit over the top. A topic that this post will discuss in more detail.
What are our bad habits?
Before you begin on this journey of discovering your underlying motivations, you need to identify the habits that are doing you harm. Of course, some are very obvious such as self-harm, consuming too much alcohol, drug use, and smoking cigarettes.
However, some can be a lot more subtle and harder to identify. Often because they are already such a large part of ‘normal' life. I'm talking here about social media use, binge eating, binge behavior in general, and even over-exercise.
Luckily, if you look a little deeper, you will find that the key to identifying whether a habit is negative is the harm it causes (or could cause). Although, it is also smart to look out for feelings of being out of control. It fact, if you no longer feel as if you are in control of a habit, and instead it is controlling you, then the chances are that is harmful in some way.
Why do we do them?
Once you have established which habits are harmful, it's time to look a little deeper at the reason why we do them. Of course, what we often find is that a dangerous habit gives us short term relief to a negative experience.
In fact, this is the premise of the reality therapy techniques that are used for one of the most harmful habits there is drug addiction. Something that demonstrates how powerful this approach of looking for the reasons and function of a dangerous habit can be.
Of course, once we have identified what we are trying to get away from, we can address that issue and start to heal it. Something that often begins to take away some of the power that an unhealthy habit has over us. In fact, by using mindfulness and acceptance techniques, as well as replacing unhealthy habits with healthy ones, we can find a much more adaptive way of coping.
Of course, the critical point here is that to become healthier, we need to not only be motivated to fulfill our positive goals. In fact, we also need to uncover our motivation for anything we are doing that is harmful to our health as well.
To that end, addressing the root of the problem in more depth is vital. This being something that should help us to eliminate the need for the unhealthy habit in the first place, and so effectively boost our health and wellbeing over the long term.
Wife, mother, grandma, blogger, all wrapped into one person, although it does not define her these are roles that are important to her. From empty nesters to living with our oldest and 2 grandchildren while our house is rebuilt after a house fire in 10/2018 my life is something new each day.