This summer, I’m really trying to slow down, think rationally, and positively, so I can be my overall best self. To that end, I’ve identified some not-so-great habits that I’ve slowly adopted for one reason or another, that I’d like to cut to help decrease my anxiety and increase my productivity and positivity. Do any of these bad habits resonate with you? Below each of these not-so-great tendencies I’ve listed a strategy that I’m going to use (and you can to) to try to eliminate it from your life.
The habit: Waking up and immediately becoming “available” at work. The alarm sounds and boom, you automatically pick up your phone and start checking emails.
The solution: Be conscious of enjoying the morning for yourself. Technology enables us to be constantly connected to work and other responsibilities. As a result, you have to actively make it a priority to create a division between your life and your work, or work will consume your life (which doesn’t sound fun). Drawing a boundary between your personal morning and your work morning is one way to do this. Maybe you leave your cell in the kitchen overnight so when you sit with your morning coffee or omelet, you’re not reading work emails. Maybe you rise to a 3-minute meditation. Maybe you get better at preparing your day the night before so all you have to do is wash up and ease into the morning. Whatever it is, make sure you set aside some time right when you wake up for you.
The habit: Thinking every situation will end in the worst case scenario (i.e., nobody will talk to you at a party, everyone will stare at you when you walk into a gym, etc.)
The solution: Know your worth + be realistic. What is the basis for that worst-case-scenario thinking? Is it grounded in reality? Have you actually gone somewhere where everyone stared at you or refused to talk to you? I doubt it. Start by taking a step back from the situation & putting your anxieties into perspective. In most situations, you’re going to be your harshest critic. Nobody is half as concerned about you as you are about yourself, most likely because everyone else is focused on their own worries, just like you. Take a breath and remember the fact that we’re all in the same situation, and are all just trying to gain acceptance.
The habit: Saying sorry. Even in the CVS aisles. Even when it’s not my fault. Even when I’m not really sorry.
The solution: We need to start an, “I’m not sorry” revolution. Every time you say, "I’m sorry" out loud you’re confirming that you’re at fault, even if you’re not. Talk about bad energies. I recently read an article that encouraged readers to replace their “I’m sorry’s” with “Thank You’s.” Responding with a “thank you” sets you up for empowerment and positivity. The article advised, “rather than seeking bits of approval and reassurance in apologies, [you] give them to [your]self.” The more you shift these negative thoughts to positive ones, by making small changes like this, the more you’ll begin to believe in yourself, and the progress you’re capable of.