Most of your habits (both physical and mental) were formed at a very young age.
Physical habits include activities that you routinely do – like brushing your teeth in the morning, for instance. And mental habits are your automatic thought patters – like for example, cynicism or having an inferiority complex. It is to be noted that mental habits drive physical habits.
Our unconscious mental habits keep us stuck
Because mental habits are automatic, they happen in the background and hence can be called unconscious habits. They remain in the unconscious realm until we shed the light of awareness on them. In other words, we use our conscious minds to become aware of these habits.
Here are 6 unconscious mental habits that you need to become aware of in order to optimize your mental and physical health and thereby get unstuck and move towards the success and life that you deserve.
1. Being overly judgmental
There is a verse in the Bible that says, ‘For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged‘.
The actual meaning behind this verse is this: when we judge others harshly, we judge our own selves harshly too. It always works both ways.
Our mind is habituated to judging, and it does so on an automatic basis. So how do we stop this habit? The solution is to become aware of your mind’s judging.
When you find yourself judging someone, become aware that your mind is judging and let it go. No further analysis is required. The very fact that you became aware of your mind judging is enough to weaken this habit.
For example, if your mind says, ‘look at how fat this person has become‘, instead of further analyzing this thought, simply become aware that your mind has generated this thought. You can say, ‘there you go, my mind’s judging again.’ and drop the thought.
Do this every time you catch yourself judging and you will soon drop this habit.
2. Comparing yourself to others
Your mind creates a subjective reality by comparing and contrasting. So comparison is at the very core of the mind’s functionality.
From an early age, you start to develop a sense of self by comparing yourself to others. For example, you might come to a conclusion that you are tall in comparison to others who are shorter than you.
So if the mind works through comparison, how do we stop comparing ourselves to others? Again, the answer is awareness.
Whenever you catch your mind comparing, start by becoming aware of it and then consciously divert your attention to positive qualities in you instead of believing the mind’s story that others have it better.
Remind yourself that you are unique and are blessed with unique gifts that you need to cherish and work with.
3. Playing the blame game
Blaming others is an easy way to escape responsibility. Our minds use this tactic to protect us from hurt.
We often blame our past for our current state of being. For example, “My parents did a bad job of bringing me up, and hence I ended up like this.”
Even though blaming others can help us feel better, it is a waste of energy. When we blame others we are essentially giving our power away. The energy that we waste on playing the blame game can be invested in a better manner towards self growth and finding solutions to existing problems.
As with everything else, the best way to break this unconscious habit is to bring your awareness to it.
The next time you catch yourself blaming the external, simply acknowledge this fact and consciously shift your attention towards your future goals. Focus on how you can use the resources at your disposal to come up with solutions and reach your highest desires and ideals.
4. Holding on to the victim mentality
Blaming the past in the long run turns into self pity and the victim mentality.
Many of us spend our time and energy loathing in self pity over things that happened to us when we were young.
When we are young, we do not have the power or knowledge required to act in negative situations, but as grownups we do. The moment we stop playing the victim by making a conscious effort to not live in the past, we start using that power in the right direction.
A simple way to change your mindset from victim-hood is to change your internal dialogue from “everything happens to me”, to “everything happens for me – to help me grow into a better human being”.
Always be aware of the programs of victim-hood running in your mind and stop feeding them your attention.
5. Harboring feelings of hate and revenge towards others
The best way to release unwanted people from your life is to stop thinking about them all the time!
When you hate someone you keep thinking of them and in a way create an energetic bond with that person and keep attracting same or similar people into your life.
Some people use the energy of hate/revenge to motivate and fuel themselves but this is highly counterproductive in the long run as the energy of hate with burn them up. It will eventually take a toll on their health and well being.
A simple way to release hate from your system is to become conscious of people who cause hate inside you. Bring this person into your mind and instead of focusing on the thoughts of hate, divert your focus inside your body and consciously feel the sensations this thought creates in your body. As you become aware of these sensations, the energy of hate begins to release its grip on you.
This does not necessarily mean that you start unconditionally loving everyone, this just means that you give up the grudge you are holding so you free up energy to invest in other constructive pursuits.
6. People Pleasing
People pleasing is another unconscious habit that we pick up from our childhood days.
The best way to stop people pleasing is complete self acceptance. You accept yourself for who you are without the need for external validation. If you get validation, then well and good, but you do not crave validation.
If people think bad of you, let them. If people think good of you, let them. You simply stay rooted strongly in your sense of self.
7. Negative self talk
Self talk in most cases is automatic. When you pay conscious attention to your self talk, you will realize that some of it is pretty negative and demeaning. You might be in the habit of talking negatively to yourself whenever you feel that you did something wrong.
For example, some things that I regularly used to think was, ‘that was so stupid of me ’, ‘I knew it, this always happens to me’, ‘I knew I will mess this up’, ‘here’s another boring day!’, and the list goes on.
Once you become aware of your negative self talk, you can then flip them around to something positive or enpowering. For example, if you catch yourself saying ‘I am so stupid’, flip it around and say ‘I am a genius!’ or ‘I am very intelligent!’ . Anything positive will do, you don’t have to overthink this.
These are 7 common mental habits that keep you stuck in life. All that is needed to become free of these habits is to bring them to your conscious awareness. So always be mindful of your thoughts.