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Could Daily Routines Be the Source of Your Stress?

Are Your Habits Controlling You?

woman sitting at a table with a headacheHabit: from old French habitter, arbiter, to dwell, inhabit, have dealings with, from Latin: to live, stay remain, to have, to hold, to possess.

So a habit is something that holds you, possesses you in a certain way, or fixed series of actions or characteristics. a habit is something that you think is part of your makeup or just the way you are.

You know that feeling when you get to 35 years old and say, well I’m fixed in my ways now. In reality, any habit can be changed if it is a bad one, or enhanced if it is a good one.

In his book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear, he says: The more deeply a thought or action is tied into your identity the more difficult it is to change. The biggest barrier to positive change at any level is identity conflict. Good habits can make rational sense, but if they conflict with your identity, you will fail to put them into action.

And yet your habits shape your identity. Once your habits are established they seem to stick around forever, especially the unwanted ones. Despite our best intentions unhealthy habits like eating junk food, watching too much TV, procrastinating, smoking, and the way you sit at the office or in your car or on the bus or at home, the position of your body while sleeping, all these unwanted habits can feel impossible to break.

What is the Result for Your Health?

What are you ending up with day in and day out? Well at the very least your muscles, ligaments, nerves, spinal vertebrae, and joints get contracted and pushed out of place causing stiffness, discomfort, pain and joint disease. All these unwanted results come about because of months and years of habits that our bodies pick up and we feel unable to break.

According to James Clear, the crux of the matter is we are trying to change the wrong thing. Again he says in his book:

“Many people begin the process of changing habits by focusing on what they want to achieve. This leads to outcome-based habits, the alternative is identity-based habits. With this approach, we start by focusing on who we wish to become” For instance, when offered a dessert instead of saying, “no thanks I am trying to cut down on sugar,” you could say “no thanks I am not a person who eats sweet things.” This small shift towards a new identity can really make a difference.

I remember when I first went to Switzerland working as a chef many years ago. I had a terrible time trying to give up cigarettes. When I got to Zurich and was offered a cigarette I said I’m a non-smoker and I haven’t smoked since.

Try to imagine how you would be if your posture at work or in the car was hugely improved. What would that allow you to do in life that you can’t do now? Who would that allow you to be?

One good habit you should embrace is coming to Get Back Health Chiropractic and Wellness Clinic for regular adjustments. This really helps you to focus on who you want to be in life and achieve real results.

John Keane Spinologist

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