Break Free of Habits

From biting nails to constantly playing around with your phone even when you are with your friends or from bossing around people to procrastinating things, as youth don’t we all have some habits - some common, some peculiar – which we want to break free of? Well, don’t worry; It’s never too late to do that!

There is something that can help you, something which a lot of youngsters are practicing these days and have shared getting benefited.

Let’s take a look at a few habits that some youth have shared and how they can be addressed.

#1 ‘I am constantly looking for praise from other people’

Tips to break free of habits

  • Tempt yourself with something – If smoking is a habit you want to break free of, then tempt yourself by saying, ’If I do not smoke for a month, I’ll buy myself something that I have been wanting to‘.
  • Remind yourself why your habit is not good for you – If procrastination is a habit you want to get rid of, remind yourself that if you keep procrastinating, say working on a deadline, then your boss would really bash you. This will help you avoid procrastination.
  • Promise a loved one that you will do your best to take care of your habit - If eating junk food is your habit, then promise your loved one that you would also include healthy food in your diet. Your love for your loved one will help you give up the habit sooner.

Let’s say you give a presentation in college and nobody really says anything much about it – not that they did not like it, they probably did, but just didn’t say it. Do you go about asking people how was it, hoping that someone would say a few nice words?

Or say you helped your colleague with a project he was working on; now your boss knows that you have a helping nature, so he did not specifically praise you for that particular help; do you still feel bad for not being acknowledged?

Well, is it not very natural to feel happy when someone praises you? Especially as youngsters, we have this feeling of ‘let the world know I am great’. It’s cool to have this feeling, but do we really need reassurance from people all the time that what we are doing is good? Somewhere, we KNOW we are good, right? All we need is some R&R (Relaxation and Rejuvenation).

Regular practice of meditation relaxes you and helps you become aware of this goodness in you. It makes you so confident that you do not require an external praise-booster. The times when you may not be right, it makes you aware of it and then you can go back and make it right.

Tip – The times when no one is praising you, you praise yourself. If someone does, then just happily take that as a bonus.

# 2 ‘I want people to do things my way’

Let’s say you are discussing a project with your colleagues and everyone comes up with different ideas. Do you have the urge to convince them that your ideas will work the best?

Or say, your friends and you decide to eat out together. Now just because you want all your friends to go to your favorite restaurant, do you start justifying your choice by saying, “Dude, it’s near, it fits our budget and the crowd is also nice, I am telling you guys that it IS the best option right now.“

And this urge to make people do things your way mostly comes from the feeling that ‘only what I say or do is right or the best’? And, that’s when we go around bossing people; when we want things done our way, isn’t it?

Well, do not worry! You can easily take care of this habit. All you need to do is accept others’ points of view too. You also need to trust them for their way of thinking and doing things and be open to their ideas. And the good news is: Meditation will help.

When you meditate regularly, you might be surprised to find yourself getting friendlier and more. The quality of acceptance will really help you in the long run. You could also turn out to be a very good team leader.

Tip – Next time when you have the urge to make people do things your way, just ask yourself: If people would boss me around, would I like it?

# 3 ‘I am constantly fiddling with my phone, even when I am among 10 people’

Smiling reading this?

Let’s say you are munching out with your friends at your favorite eating joint. How many times do you pick up your phone, whether to tweet about how much fun you are having or to check a text message or to what’s app someone or if nothing else, simply to check the time?

Have you noticed that your attention is only partly with your friends and most of the time on our phone? If you are in a group, a lot of times you don’t even fully know what your friends are talking about. Well, one of the main reasons is a sort of feeling that you cannot stay without your phone even for a few minutes!

Regular practice of meditation gives you the ability to just be in that moment and completely enjoy it. That moment could be anything - hanging out with your buddies or watching the television. Now, this obviously does not mean that you do not use your phone at all but use it only when really needed.

Tip – If you find yourself fiddling with your phone when you are with people, become aware of it and ask yourself this: ‘Is this really important right now?’ and if it is not, you would automatically keep it back in your pocket and just BE with your people.

Isn’t it amazing how meditation can help us break free of any habit we want to? Well then, what are you waiting for? Start meditating and see yourself breaking through your habits gradually!

Inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks

Written by Divya Sachdev

Based on inputs by Bharathy Harish, Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Teacher

Graphics by Niladry Dutta

Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,The Art of Living is an educational and humanitarian movement engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. Read More