How To Overcome Habits
A reader asked me “do you have any articles on overcoming habits?” and “what is your daily spiritual practice?” so I was instantly inspired to write this article about breaking habits because the answers I have intertwine with each other.
A habit is: a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. Synonyms: practice, tendency, custom, pattern, routine, style, norm, etc.
Many people find themselves trapped in the same repetitive patterns that habits are, so it’s important to look closely at the emotional and mental triggers that keeps you stuck in the loop of repetitive patterns you live your life on.
The first key is to have a willingness to change (you have to be persistent and not give up) and the second is to be open to see yourself clearly and honestly, to have self-awareness; to have the courage to face the darkness within yourself in order to transcend and transform what’s there that hold you back or restricts you.
A habit is a loop of emotional and mental processes, and they have to be broken and re-directed and it’s only when we become aware of our patterns and repetitive cycles that we can transcend them.
Our state of being consist of our predominant thoughts, feelings and actions, and they form our habitual patterns and not all of them are life-affirming and positively affecting our overall well-being, but I think all habits are great to break at times just to make new pathways in the brain because it allows us to grow and evolve in many areas of life.
It opens up the world for us.
Even small things like taking a different route to work, or changing what we eat for lunch if it’s always the same old thing.
This opens up the mind to new experiences and by doing things differently now and then, even small things, we allow for a more curious and “seeking” type of mind and not an ingrained mind that is stuck in habitual patterns but rather a mind that is open for newness and spontaneity.
Here’s an audio for you where I share an exercise that you can do that helps you see your repetitive behavior and thinking patterns and how to break them: mariaerving.com/get-unstuck-with-self-awareness
Habits can also be addictions, and people can be addicted to substances, food, sex, or they can be addicted to what they get emotionally from other people and so on, but many people are also addicted to their thoughts and emotions which they refuse to let go of.
They might be holding on to resentment, unforgiveness, and bitterness and this creates an emotional loop that keeps them stuck in the same repetitive thought patters of being a victim, but all these patterns can be released and let go of, provided there’s an willingness to change.
Forgiveness-work is huge – in all spiritual and personal transformation there has to be a letting go of the old before the new can take form and unfold freely, whether it has to do with letting go of using drugs or other substances, or toxic relationships where there is neediness, or if it has to do with forgiving someone in your life, or even yourself.
There’s always forgiveness-work involved in whatever (negative) habits you have formed or experienced in your own life.
You might find this article helpful:
And here’s a free PDF for you about forgiveness: Click Here (Direct Link)
By forgiveness we free up energy from our past and we open ourselves up to a new future; we set ourselves free and we set the others free, or we neutralize a situation by forgiving all involved.
But let’s concentrate on habits that are more of the norm which mean our mental and emotional habits, our thought patters and old programs that only recreates the same old scenarios and situations if we don’t break the habitual patterns.
This is where routines comes in, or practices, which simply are other words for habits.
They need to change and there’s a lot of great practices one can do to change the subconscious patters that control our conscious actions and behaviors, such as being committed to start every day by introspection, meditation and self-awareness.
Here’s also an e-book by me where I explain more about how the conscious, subconscious and super-conscious mind works and how to use it:
This is something that will transform your life, guaranteed, if you make it a priority in your life.
We should all make it a priority to consciously connect with Source first thing in the morning before we do anything else, but what I often hear is that many people postpone meditation and stillness to another time when they have “more time” or when their life is not so hectic and chaotic.
I always tell them that once they begin their day right then their life will naturally become more harmonious and peaceful, and that it’s really all about prioritizing and making time for it.
To me it’s the most important time of the day.
Every morning I do my spiritual practice and in that time I meditate, I go within for guidance, I ask myself powerful questions and I do whatever spiritual work I have been guided to do at that particular time in my life.
Whatever the ‘additional’ inner work is and how that varies depends on where I’m at in my own unfolding (in regards to my life vision) and it’s always different things as I evolve and grow, but the meditation and asking for guidance is always something I do, always.
Sometimes it happens that I wake up super-inspired though and when I do, I can’t ignore it and I just have to jump right in and get it out 🙂
And after I have done what I was inspired to do, then I do my meditation time and spiritual practice.
Life is an eternal journey of transformation and the vision always expands and grows so this is where I have my focus when I have ‘breakfast with God’.
And every evening I write/journal, I contemplate the day and so on, and I do all these things for my personal, spiritual life and it has nothing to do with my outer work or the world, other than what I ‘become’ by doing them, or what comes through me to others and the world as a result of my practice. (Everything is our own consciousness objectified and expressed.)
These precious moments are appointed times I have with myself, or the God-within, and they are very important to me as they set the tone for the day, and they also end the day in a great way as well.
Sometimes I also do a meditation in the middle of the day, and I also make sure I spend some time in nature every day.
It’s really a way of life for me, a natural way of being which has become or norm in my life. (And “norm” is a synonym to “habit”.)
So, this is what I recommend anyone to do even if it’s a 20 minute meditation every morning before you leave home or open up your laptop to check your emails;
Set aside those 20 minutes to really connect with yourself and your inner guidance and your life will transform and change for the better.
Very quickly, as you continue your spiritual practice, you will begin experiencing significant changes in your world, both on the inner plane and on the outer, I promise you that.
This new routine will become a new habit that actually serves you, and you will move through your day feeling connected to Source and It will guide you in such clear ways that you can’t but being filled with a sense of awe and deep gratitude for the connection you have with it.
I don’t know specifically what kind of habit the reader asked me about, but whatever it is, in those private moments “with God” that you have in the morning, you can ask for guidance on how to break the habit that you want to overcome so that you can be free, and as you do that you will become more and more aware and attentive to what shows up in your life during the day.
This in turn will make you keenly aware of the times when you go against yourself where you repeat the habitual patterns that makes you suffer and that brings you emotional or mental pain, or even physical pain.
You will come to know when you’re harming yourself but you will also be more connected to the power and wisdom within you because you have made conscious contact with it in the morning, and that power will now be able to help you through your hurdles and challenges so you will feel an invisible support and help that is always with you.
It’s the most wonderful feeling to have!
To always feel guided and directed by a power greater than your surface mind that always has your back and that always wants you to live a life of freedom and true fulfillment.
And to live your life in this way you also open up for the solutions and help you need in order to move forward in your life if you’re in need of outside help in the form of support, healing or counseling.
The right people will show up for you, the resources will show up for you, and you will be drawn to and guided to whatever it is that you need in order to break free from your habits that are harmful.
So give yourself the gift of really taking the time to connect with the power that created you and you will always be prompted to move in the right direction and to take the right actions in your life and thus create new, life-enhancing habits and behavioral patterns.
Here’s a few other articles that can be helpful to you:
Do you know why you do the things you do? Everything we do, we do because on some level it has value for us. Even the things we hate doing. Here’s why: mariaerving.com/are-you-being-true-to-yourself
Usually when people say affirmations they say them once in the morning; they go through their list of affirmations for five minutes and then again in the evening for five minutes, but this is not a productive way to do it at all. Here’s why: mariaerving.com/when-affirmations-dont-work
From the moment we are born we get into the training of the world and the most important things are basically left out for many people. We are not encouraged to be authentic, rather to fit in and do as everybody else. Here’s why: mariaerving.com/how-we-get-programmed-by-the-world
And lastly, here’s a great symbolic thing you can do that will help your subconscious mind to release anything that no longer serves you: