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Adam

The Power of Habit
By Adam Watson, a member of the Health in Mind online community and founder of The Habit Coach.

For me, our personal habits are what make us who we are. Everyone has their own habits that they perform either consciously or unconsciously on a day-to-day basis and they effectively set the groundwork for how our day ahead will go. This was something I learned about and wanted to share with others as it has had a positive impact on my mental health.

For example, I like to wake up and make my bed every day. The day I forget to make it, I tend to feel a bit strange like something isn’t right. If I wake up and there’s no toothpaste left, brushing my teeth will be an unconscious habit that I won’t be able to carry out. 

These are habits of a smaller scale that we all do. The challenge I encountered was when I was trying to form larger habits that required more commitment such as exercising more, reading more, eating healthier or getting enough sleep each night.

I consider myself a gym-goer and someone who reads a lot. I don’t see myself as someone who reads every now and then or someone who tries to go to the gym a couple of times a week. This made me realise I was able to form those larger habits.

Sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet are what I know keeps me well. 

Our habits can be important to our wellbeing. There are two techniques that can help when you’re trying to build new habits into your day. 

Intention implementation: The act of writing down, in detail when and where you plan to carry out the new habit you are trying to implement into your life. I have found this extremely useful, and it really helped me as I had a plan, and I knew exactly what I needed to do.

Habit stacking: With habit stacking you write out a list of the current habits you have in your day-to-day life. You then write a new list with your current habits and your new habits that you want to add in. You add these new habits in at a time that is convenient to carry them out. An example of this is: 

  • Have my breakfast
  • Do 10 minutes of meditation
  • Brush my teeth
  • Read my book for 10 minutes

Developing new habits that improved my physical and mental health has completely transformed my life. 

I feel a lot happier in my personal life and would recommend both tips if you are looking to form new habits.

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