Three Daily Habits That May be Sabotaging Your Energy
Habits are an important labor saving device. Without habits we would be greatly limited in our freedom to accomplish anything. Most of our daily habits simply allow us the freedom to not stop and think about every move we make. We get up, make the coffee, shower and get dressed in a ritualistic fashion without much thought. We call it our routine and because we repeat it over and over again it becomes habit.
There are habits that support us and then there are habits that enslave us. If we repeat an unhealthy action often enough the subconscious mind will direct us to keep repeating it without being consciously aware of its power.
Now we would think that since we all desire health and happiness that we would always choose habits that lift us upward. But habits are powerful influencers and so a bad habit has a lot of control over how we think and act. Humans are hardwired for pleasure so when a false sense of pleasure is the reward for a so called bad habit, the habit gets ingrained.
Pleasure and pain are simply two sides of the same coin. The itching pain of a mosquito sting draws our energy to a certain spot. But when we scratch the spot we receive the pleasure of relieving the itch. It’s the same spot; holding both pain and pleasure.
Thoughts and actions frequently repeated form habits. These habits can be either positive or negative. Positively they free us to concentrate on other things. We habitually tie our shoes while chatting with our friends. We don’t need to think about how to tie the shoe. So we tie our shoe while being able to focus on other things. It’s an ingrain habit.
The first habit that is sabotaging our energy is stress. Yes, stress is a habit most of us have embraced. Without stress we often feel empty, incomplete and bored. There must be something missing if we are not feeling overwhelmed, overtaxed and exhausted by the end of the day. But is it a habit we need?
Stress is an important part of being human. The stress response has been ingrained into our being as an escape or survival mechanism. You see a threat and the stress response immobilizes the body and the mind to protect itself by either flight or fight. The problem is that most of the stress we experience is self-imposed and not a direct threat to our survival.
The second habit that is sabotaging our energy is sleep. It’s not whether you go to bed early or get up late that counts, but the number of hours you sleep and how restful a night’s sleep you get. With less than seven hours the ability to concentrate diminishes and we are more prone to mood swings. Both of these are a waste of energy. Concentration and a balanced emotional state are necessary when it comes to feeling energized and maintaining good habits.
The third habit that is sabotaging our energy is not eating breakfast. You might think this saves you time, but sprinting out the door on an empty tank is sure to deplete your energy. We all know we should eat breakfast, but really most of us skip it. A quick stop at Starbucks for coffee gives us a false sense of energy. What the body really needs is fuel in the form of carbohydrates and protein to maintain balanced energy. Think of your body as a high performance car. You wouldn’t put regular gas in the tank and expect it to run at top efficiency?
There are several ways to gain the upper hand over our energy zapping habits. One way is to make sure we give our habits only good commands by performing good actions and entertaining uplifting thoughts. Take a breath and let go of the stressful tension in your body. Remind yourself to get a good night’s sleep of seven or more hours. Eat breakfast. An empty tank stresses the body, clouds the mind and diminishes energy. These habits require discipline.
Another way is to starve the subconscious mind of bad impulses by refusing to feed it any more bad thoughts and actions. When stressful thoughts arise push them away. Remove the obstacles that are preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep and get up a little early so you can make and eat a simple breakfast before you dash off to work. These habits require detachment.
Although these sound like good ways to change a habit, you must first recognize what is draining your energy. However, merely recognizing an energy zapping habit is like trying to fill a bucket that is riddles with holes. You have to patch the holes or else even your best efforts will be in vain. What hole is keeping you from filling your energy bucket?
Habits free up our energy. They also take it away. Now if all we are is energy in physical form can’t we change our habits by changing the focus of our energy? By consciously thinking about habits that energize the body, mind and soul we instill discipline and detachment and those are the secrets to changing habits. Remember habits are powerful influencers. They can uplift you or bring you down. Energizing habits are like happiness and joy. They plug the holes in your bucket so that your bucket is always full of positive energy. Be energized. Its’ a positive habit!