Breaking Bad Habits with Gratitude

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It seems like we are always focusing on what we can’t do– on what’s not good enough.  We want to do better in our lives.   We see ways we want to improve, but somehow it seems we just bounce back to earlier behaviors.  Why is that?   When we come down to times that we break our resolve, these are the reasons that I hear most often.

bad habits can change with gratitude

There are typically a number of reasons that we have created bad habits.   Since I deal in all things health, let’s take “dieting” on as an issue.  Many of us have tried and tried to lose– having some success that eventually brings us back around to the old us.   The one that used to be there, or maybe was always there, lurking about.  

it must be hereditary.  Diabetes runs in my family.

I’m eating too many carbs.

I like food too much.

I’m not working hard enough.

These sentiments and reasons may have some foundation, and a good plan goes a long way to providing results.   But it is keeping the results long term that seem to elude us.   So I propose a different solution altogether.

We have an inner struggle.

When we start a new diet plan, we have resolve, but we also have apprehension.   There’s that little person inside us, the naysayer, that says “Oh really?  You’ve been here before.”  It leaves us with the feeling that we may be wrong, and that we may not be good enough to achieve this.  Success is for other people.  It’s for the lucky soul with all the willpower in the world, or for the beautiful people who are naturally gifted.

This is what I call the beast.  We have psychological underpinnings that justify our addictions.  First of all, we never want to be social outcasts, so that’s why we choose to make unwise choices at social events.  That runs very deep in our subconscious.  Then there’s the pleasure center of our brain that signals us to directly do things that consciously we know are harming us.  All addictions come from this place.  It’s our primitive brain, our beast that sabotages us.   So what now?  How do we tame the beast in a world where pleasures are rampant?

gratitude is enough

Gratitude Changes Everything.

When we can see things that we might have overlooked in our lives — or taken them for granted, we can stop putting so much pressure on ourselves.   When we stop to take notice, there are so many things we have already accomplished and so many things we have that are wonderful!  When you start the day off with what is right in your life, it helps to tame that negativity within.

 So I chime in with what keeps me focused on doing the best for myself….. daily.   I start my day with simple gratitude.  I think of, and then write down, three things in my life I am grateful for every single day.   Then when I meet with the first stressor of the day, as we all ultimately will, then I remind myself what is good in my life.   I find it much easier to deal with a bowl of candy or passing a fast food restaurant when I remember what I am– what I have to be grateful for.  Self love emerges when we find the thankfulness in our lives.  It is a daily practice.   Once I put daily gratitude into practice (it is definitely habit forming– another thing to be thankful for!) I start noticing thoughts, personal beliefs and outside social situations that are not serving me in a positive way.

positivity and gratitude

What do you begin to notice as gratitude seeps in your thoughts?

You will naturally become aware of the situations that cause the negative thoughts to arise.  What are they for you personally?  What social events do you create or attend that sabotage you and leave you angry or depressed?  Do you have certain habits or cravings you have developed that undermine you?  Where do they show up in your life? By being in gratitude, you serve your higher self, and you may just pass up those destructive behaviors.

When you become aware of what you really want, and are thankful for all the attributes you already have to achieve your goal, you will step up to serve your greater good.  You’ve got this, because you already KNOW that you do! 

So what happens when you do fall off track?  Gratitude means that you let yourself off the hook.  You already know you have some things about you that are powerful and awesome, so you just get up and try again, with a new start.  And remember, it is a daily practice.   It is a way of thinking and a way of life that brings daily progress and joy into our lives.

Be curious as to why you fall down and live in gratitude for your mistakes!

Allow yourself to explore and question your choices. Be honest from your heart, and not bitter.  So often we are harsh and judgmental– more with ourselves than others. Take the attitude of observation and exploration and then you can find the patience and the joy to achieve your goal.  Weight loss doesn’t have to be hard– or whatever personal goal you have in mind.  Self love and patience is key. Know that you can change what you think by remembering you are powerful.   You are in charge and you have a long list of things that are good in your life.   One day at a time always. I hope today is a day that you can practice patience and make some powerful choices– and most of all that you can find that gratitude for YOU in your heart.

gratitude floats the heart

Want to hear more from me?  Check out this article on why we view change as difficult. BUT it is easier than you think!!   This article will give you insight into your thoughts and your actions and inspire you to make better decisions!

To learn more about how to put gratitude into practice, I have included this neat article for you to peruse at your leisure and gain some new insight and inspiration.   If you would like to have daily inspiration and meet others in our community, please consider joining our Life in Harmony Group on Facebook.   We would love to meet you!

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