Want to kick that life limiting long term habit? Don’t! Don’t give it up, swap it out…
It’s a lot easier to swap a vice for a virtue than it is to convince your brain to simply stop the vice. Our brains see “giving up” a habit as denying ourselves and removing part of our identity, so that sneaky unconscious resistance sets in.
I have developed a new, productive habit. I began taking “10K steps” walks in July and took it up in earnest from August. I have taken walks so often that it is now part of my day; I prioritise and set aside time to take a walk at least every other day. Indeed I have walked so far and so often that my average step count has risen from a “sedentary” 2-3K per day to a “highly active” 8.9K per day and I now walk more than 86.5% of similarly aged female app users!
For years I struggled with depression, a sense of hopelessness and overwhelming mental and physical tiredness. I would keep going back to bed and hiding from challenges, sleeping away my life, avoiding my unhappiness. All the motivational talks and courses were worthless when things got too difficult and the mood swings kicked in. I also struggled with comfort eating and binge eating, literally eating my feelings for lack of any other successful coping strategy.
When I decided to take up walking this summer it was for health and fitness reasons. I didn’t want to fall victim to the dreaded middle aged spread! Little did I realise that my whole lifestyle and mindset would change.
Walking has channelled my mental and physical energy, calmed my system, woken me up, improved my stamina, reduced my weight, given me a goal, cleared my mind, improved my mood, reconnected me to my body, given me a sense of accomplishment and improved my self esteem. As I began to feel the physical and emotional benefits of walking I began to see it as a tool for state management (handling my emotions); when I felt stressed I walked, when I felt sad or angry I walked, when I felt cooped up inside I walked. I stopped comfort eating and binge eating and started walking. Without realising it, I changed my mindset from running away from a problem to taking action, and replaced two long term life limiting habits with one productive, empowering habit; I no longer needed to comfort eat or sleep away my depression because the root cause of those habits, my lifelong lack of confidence and self esteem, had been resolved.
Want to kick a limiting habit? Don’t struggle to give it up – create an empowering one and watch that habit fall away. Try it today.
Here are some of the gorgeous sights I have been lucky enough to spot on my walks. Nature rocks! I post the photographs from my walks to my Instagram page, along with my daily quotes. Follow me for more beautiful pics and your daily dose of motivation, affirmation and inspiration.
Header image by TeroVesalainen on Pixabay.com