How Your Feelings Affect Your Habits

Have you ever noticed now your feelings can affect your daily habits? For example if you grew up in a home where your parents always argued, you may develop a fear of relationships.

You may think it is perfectly normal for adults to constantly argue. If you have been surrounded by money issues, then this subject can always make you fearful or angry.

A habit is just a set of steps that you do repeatedly, so you can see how negative feelings and thoughts can affect this.

A child may grow up expecting that they will never have money. So they don’t bother taking steps to counteract this.

Instead of learning how to save or budget, they accept that they won’t have money when they are older. The point here is to not let your negative feelings affect your efforts into trying to make changes. First you have to understand what it is you want out of life.

Persistent Bad Habits

Factors such as the need for social acceptance and plain old human defiance play roles in persistent bad habits, a study done by University of Alberta researchers

Dr. Cindy Jardine, an assistant professor of rural sociology at the University of Alberta, said:

“We get a sense of belonging that is important to us. We can see ourselves as part of a social structure; it’s very hard to change a behavior if it is still accepted socially.

For instance, stress is bad for us, yet we wear it as a badge of honor. It is seen as a socially desirable thing to be overworking. We don’t seem to have the same respect for people who work a 40-hour week.”

One case study involved a survey conducted in two northern Aboriginal communities in Canada. Almost everyone in the communities ranked risk associated with alcohol use (96 to 100 per cent of the respondents) and smoking (80 per cent of respondents) as “very dangerous”.

Risks associated with trace contaminants and doing traditional activities in a harsh environment were ranked as less risky.

When asked about personal and community health issues, the respondents in the survey freely acknowledged that they knew about the hazards of risky behaviour like choosing to drive while impaired, about secondhand cigarette smoke and about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, when unborn babies are damaged by their mothers’ alcohol consumption.

“So they know alcohol is bad, but risk communicators aren’t looking at the underlying reasons why people drink–poverty, unemployment, there is a history of abuse in some of these families.”

Goals And Habits

Do you want to own your first home? Do you want to have a happy marriage? Or do you want to go to college?

Whatever your goal is write it down and then figure out the steps you need to achieve this. How much money you need for a down payment for a home, for example.

Then start thinking good thoughts about your choice. Be positive that you will save enough for your down payment. That you will get accepted into the college of your choice, or find the person of your dreams.

Now that you have a plan of action you need to form the habits to achieve your goals. This can include learning how to put money aside weekly. Or it might involve taking a night class so you can get accepted to college.

As you start doing these things repeatedly they will become part of your daily routine, and will form a habit. Before you know it you will be saving regularly without thinking twice.

Losing weight requires the forming of new habits. You need to eat smaller portions of healthier food to achieve your weight loss goals.

You may have already tried to lose weight unsuccessfully. This usually happens because your mindset is not positive. You may think that you will never lose those 20 pounds or that you will still feel the same as you do now.

If you can get passed these negative feelings and turn them into positive ones, your chances of success will improve. Start thinking about how great you will feel when you can fit into that little black dress again.

So if you aren’t that happy with your current life, start working on changing the way you feel about yourself, and about others. This small change of mind can lead to huge improvements in your life.

As for risky behavior, until the psychology behind it is really understood, people won’t give up their vices, no matter how much they know, Jardine said. She suggests researchers and other risk communicators need to talk to the people they’re trying to reach, before forming messages.

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