As I sat to type this blog post yesterday, my youngest one came up to me, poked her fingers upon my trousers to understand why I was not attending her tea party.
She had prepared tea for me and was waiting for me in her kitchen. Plastic cups, water instead of tea, a giant cookie that she gobbled on as she stared at me. A small chair that didn’t fit my weight, I sat on the floor, gazing at her talking to me about how difficult it is to let go of this bad habit.
What bad habits do you have? I asked in amusement.
Oh, you know daddy…. I am a clumsy eater…I do not like to share my cookie… not even with you!” crumbs of cookies fell from the sides of her mouth as she then giggled at herself and then told me to get back to work.
While my daughter was being quite introspective about her bad habits, I realized that not all of us are that mindful or even aware of the destructive habits we might be engaging in and how these habits have now become our own worst enemies.
So what are these Destructive habits and how does one cultivate these?
It’s simple. Destructive habits are any set of routines that you follow almost automatically. An example of these includes getting angry and snapping immediately after someone else disagrees with you, feeling depressed or anxious when things do not go your way, and blaming it all on yourself.
How exactly does one cultivate these destructive habits?
Imagine you are a kid who has just learned to voice your words out, you are likely to mimic or repeat words of your immediate family members. Now I do not mean that your destructive habits are solely adapted or learned through early childhood experiences, but they do play a vital role in aiding them for the future.
Once you have learned or rather observed that by shouting or getting angry at another person, you can get away with anything, you are likely to continue that behavior, irrespective of its consequences. So even as an adult, you are likely to first use the automatic habitual way of acting rather than be aware that it might not be the best behavior to engage in. So you can cultivate destructive habits, from anywhere, school., friends, college, peers, or just yourself.
One interesting fact about these destructive habits is that once you find that there is a certain degree of comfort that is associated with them, you are always going to engage in them. I call them COPING MECHANISM. Every time my colleague feels anxious about presenting in front of a large audience or people, she has to light a cigarette only then will her presentations go amazingly well. Now, this has become so ingrained in her that she cannot go without a cigarette before every presentation.
So there have to be some repercussions of these destructive habits right?
Engaging in any activity that is meant to harm you physically, mentally, or spiritually qualifies as being a destructive habit. It might feel like it gives you a kick or a boost of adrenaline or makes you look cool in front of others, but is it worth it?
The repercussions are either external or internal. External pain could be in the form of physical injury to pain or wounds. But the most severe damage that would be felt would be an internal one. They could also cause an imbalance in your chakras, for example, if you engage in overthinking, fail to stop your racing thoughts every time you are faced with an uncertain situation, you are likely to block your crown chakra and experience feelings of confusion.
So how does one let go of their Destructive habits?
Define your motive.
I read this quote somewhere…Bad habits are spiraling slides that drag you round and round down the narrowing end of a cone that eventually ends up in a dark, tight, confining spot. So the first thing that you can do to let go of your destructive habits is to define your motive for engaging in the other habit. Decide what you truly wish to gain by engaging in this particular habit. Is it a sense of calm? Relaxation, achievement?
You cannot engage or do something without knowing the “WHY”
Journal it down :
I have found this to be one of the best techniques to begin with, any new spiritual or mental journey, writing. The reason why writing will help you in setting yourself free from your destructive habits is that when you write you are truly aware. You are directing your entire concentration upon solely the one thing that you are going to do, ie, define which new habits are you going to engage in now?
Here’s an exercise I would like you to try.
My Destructive Habit
Advantage of engaging in it
Disadvantage of engaging in it(Cons)
My new healthy habits :
You can always write the feelings associated with the pre destructive habit phase and post that once you are engaging in the healthier ones.
Since a lot of you would already be familiar with the usual way of meditation for the use of change or to start a new spiritual journey, I thought this time I would introduce you to a newer version of it. This one just requires you to imagine yourself already engaging in the newer evolved habit.
For example, let’s say you wish to get rid of this bad habit of shouting at your subordinate. The destructive habit you cultivated was that you shouted at him in front of others and also made him look like a fool. Now every time you see him, you remember his mistake and wish to engage in the same destructive habit.
Here, I would ask you to either lie down in the Savasana pose or simply sit back in a comfortable position, close your eyes. Now imagine the same subordinate is coming in front of you. Yes, you are bound to feel angry, irritated, frustrated. Let those thoughts associated with snapping, bursting out, go.
Tell him assertively what you would like him to do, instead of shaming him, belittling him, or targeting him. Be as assertive as possible. Maybe you can do better next time…just ask me if you ever need any help would work too. Next, slowly imagine him feeling a bit better too as well as yourself.
Now gradually open your eyes. You have successfully cultivated a new healthier habit. YAY!
- Crystals and affirmations :
Many crystals are available in the market that work upon the exact chakral habit you wish to evolve from. For example, amethyst would be beneficial if you wish to let go of the destructive habit of overthinking or getting anxious. I use it too. Always make sure you have washed or sun-bathed your crystal before you use it. I often try to pair with my affirmation, eg, I set myself free of these racing thoughts, I welcome mental peace. I am open to receiving new positive vibrations from the universe.
Hopefully, these tricks should help you to let go of the destructive habits and adapt to newer healthier ones!