Awareness is the key to changing bad habits

Why are bad habits so ingrained we have trouble changing them?

I spent two years studying the Alexander Technique which has some interesting things to say about habits of mind and posture. What did Alexander discover? That we rarely see our own habits and when we do we find it hard to change.  He investigated this and found that noticing what was going on is key to allowing change to happen.

Pause, breathe, become very aware and the habit itself will change.

So Awareness is a key to changing habits. I prefer to talk about habits evolving. Eckhart Tolle is also very interesting on this subject. He mentions the will power most of us think we need to diet, work harder etc and how this will power is ego based and will eventually fail us. Very interesting eh? So all this business of trying harder and head down, concentrate that we are taught at school could be counter productive if that is all we do. My mantra is to pause and breathe when I notice an unhelpful habit (like putting off writing or editing!) Then spend a moment or two noticing how you feel, in the body not in your head! Be kind. Be aware. Have humour about your habit. Now it is going to change. The ego cannot resist humour and awareness and nor can our habits.

PS incidentally we also have very good and necessary habits. Think how long it would take us to get out of bed if we had to tell each muscle when to move. But we don’t have to, our wise bodies have habits that help us through our days.


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