During my year long journey of intention I explored breaking habits. Habits form about 95% of our behaviour which means a lot of what we do is done unconsciously, with out thought. Our health and well being is often left to chance unless we have consciously created healthy habits.
For example you eat you lunch and then start to wonder which chocolate bar to have today? Or upon arriving home from work you pour your usual glass of wine to relax you. Or you light up your 6th cigarette for the day with out thinking.
These are just habits. Things we do with out having to even think about it.
If you find a habit is not working for you any more the first step is to bring your awareness to it. Upon doing it ask yourself;
- what you are getting from it? how is it serving you?
- if you are committed to living a healthy life, then how is it holding you back from this?
- and finally what could you replace it with?
It takes 21 days to build a new habit or neural pathway. So to begin with creating a new habit will require will power, creativity and determination but after 3 weeks it will be a lot easier. To take the pressure off yourself simply say "I'll just do this for 21 days" rather than forever.
Following are 5 easy healthy habits I have created that I find serve me well;
1) Upon waking I drink a mug of ginger tea. It's great for digestion, it's anti-inflammatory so good for the healing process, it gets rid of congestion, it's warming and it improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body. Sometimes I also like warm lemon juice although I find it makes my teeth hurt, I think it's all the acid.
2) I meditate and practice yoga after my mug of ginger tea. Some days for 2 hours and some just for 20 minutes, all depending on how much time I have. Even just going into child's pose, doing a couple of sun salutations and then lying with my legs up the wall for 10 mins sets me up for the day ahead.
3) I use a lot of tumeric in my cooking, like ginger it's so good for you. It calms your digestion, is anti inflammatory, antioxidant, it protects the liver, reduces blood cholesterol levels, protects against Alzheimers disease, cancer and heart disease. I regularly make lentil and carrot soup with this in and lots of veggie curries.
4) Seeds. Seeds are great to snack on, put in soups, salads and on porridge. They are slow release energy so great for balancing blood sugar, are filled with healthy fat, are high energy, contain many minerals such as magnesium, zinc, calcium and phosphorus needed for bone development, immunity and energy production. A little trick I have for making them tasty for snacks is to sauté them in a little bit of soy sauce and chilli.
5) Oatcakes. Nairns make sweet and savoury oatcakes. The sweet biscuits come in different flavours like ginger, chocolate and mixed berry. They are so good if you like to have something sweet in the afternoon but are cutting down on chocolate.
So those are my easy habits. Two slightly harder ones that have served me well have been to cut down alcohol consumption and caffeine to a bare minimum. The benefits have been huge; balancing my blood sugar, sleeping well, less headaches, my digestion system is good, my energy is maintained through out the day, I can think clearly and consciously. It also stops me from craving unhealthy foods.
It's the start of Spring, there is lots of fresh energy around right now bringing in new good things to us. So why not use this time to create a new healthy habit? Just for 21 days.....