We all have habits – that in itself is not a bad thing. But by being mindful of how our habits affect us, both short- and long-term, positively or negatively, we can ensure our habits enrich our life rather than detract from the quality of life we want.
With a few tweaks in our choices and awareness of these habits, we can alter the effects in a life-enriching way.. leading to increased happiness and overall quality of life.
Drop These Surprisingly Common but Insidious Habits to Enrich Your Life
1. Being jealous
Jealousy harbors negative energy (within ourselves and emanating to others), and yet can have a positive spin when we look at the root of it and alter our interpretation. When we feel jealous, we are most often wishing to be like someone else, coveting what they have, whether traits or material things.
That “jealous” feeling (or acting) is simply a habit we develop.
Rather than interpreting that feeling as jealousy, with a change in approach, we can choose to honor what the other person has or does. Allow them to be a model of what we want and someone we can learn from rather than viewing them as an opponent.
With awareness, this habit can become one of lifting up others and yourself.
Gossiping is another habit that is most often slanted negatively. Yet again, gossip, at its root, can be enriching with a thoughtful approach.
According to an article in Psychology Today, “65% to 80% of our daily conversations are about other people…” so gossip itself is part of our everyday lives. But when misused with negative intent, it becomes harmful and can lead to hurt feelings, depression, and antagonistic behavior.
If you realize that the information you’re sharing about someone else is a negative comment, based on an unfounded rumor, or intended as hurtful, re-think your communication with an empathetic mindset.
Ask yourself how the other person would feel if they heard your comments.
Just being mindful of your particular gossiping habits can ensure they are enriching experiences rather than ones that leads to negative outcomes.
These habits are particularly insidious in that they become so ingrained into our daily lives that we often don’t even think about them as choices or habits at all.
3. Making poor choices about media influences
Our culture is filled with 24/7 media in various forms, and our media habits stem from each related choice we make.
While “entertainment” isn’t inherently a bad thing, it takes awareness and conscious choices to ensure we’re exposing ourselves to influences that are enriching rather than draining.
We make daily choices about what news we choose to watch or read and what television shows to watch. This can range from sitcoms to reality shows (filled with commercials) and everything in between.
So what are you choosing? Documentaries, inspirational content, theatre, and music can be some of the most enriching media selections. Others can provide less-than-exemplary examples of how we want to live our own lives.
Simply being aware of how your media choices are affecting and influencing you is a step in the right direction to more enriching experiences. We can and should choose to develop media habits that enhance our lives rather than detract from them.
4. Choosing convenient (highly-processed) foods over quality choices
Today’s culture and society is one of instant gratification and convenience. Grocery stores are filled with far more choices in boxed foods and ready-made meal and snack choices than they are with wholesome choices.
We see fast food chains everywhere (and commercials to go with them).
Marketers spend HUGE amounts of money on research to determine strategic placement of products in grocery stores. This is researched to the point of learning how a typical customer walks through the store and drawing customers to what they want them to buy based on this.
For example, you may not be aware that marketers can now use “eye tracking” devices to research and determine, with accuracy, what an average customer experiences. It tracks how a consumer reacts visually to product placement to influence buying choices.
From a consumer perspective, especially as marketing technology evolves, we need to be even more aware in making planned and conscious choices. This can lessen the detrimental effects of influential marketing that aims to steer our buying choices in the wrong direction.
Awareness is the key here to make the best choices to enrich your life.
Know what you intend to buy before you walk into a store. And know that your “impulses” to make additional or alternative buying choices are often being strategically influenced by high-paying marketers.
Choose food purchases that are healthy and make you feel at your best. Not ones that are being sold in a colorfully packaged box in the right section of the store and at the right height to draw your attention.
5. Staying in Your Comfort Zone
Staying in your comfort zone is great, right? (It’s nice and comfy there.)
We’re not saying yes to excitement and new adventures. We become hesitant about (or fearful of) change.
Remember that (both positive and negatively-perceived) change leads to personal growth.
So get out there beyond your comfort zone…even in small ways. Chances are, it will enrich life in surprising ways.
Think about how you spend your time and things you do on a regular basis (your habits). For a more mindful approach, ask yourself these questions:
- Is this something that tends to make me (and/or others) feel better or worse?
- Does it impact me (and/or others) in a positive or negative way?
- Is it something I think about, or something I just DO…and why?
- Is it a thoughtful choice or a habit based on the influence of others? (And if influenced, is it a positive influence or a potentially negative one?)
When it comes to the habits we adopt, being aware and mindful of your choices can help steer your habits along a positive path to truly enrich your life.