Tag Archives: habits

The Power of Positive Rituals

24 Jan

 

Taking the powerWhen clients come to me, we often work on behaviour that has become habitual. When we think about habits, we tend to focus on those habits that we feel are unhelpful – always having something sweet after meals, smoking or biting fingernails.  We talk about our ‘bad habits’, as if they are something we can’t change.

 

What I encourage my clients to do is to find a more positive habit to replace the old behaviour.   When we try not to do something, our minds can struggle.   This is why diets can be so troublesome – we are constantly thinking about the food we’re not allowed to eat!   That’s why it’s helpful to come up with an alternative.   That way our minds have something to focus on and the change feels a lot easier.

 

In their wonderful book ‘On Form’, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz talk about positive rituals, ‘precise, consciously acquired behaviours that become automatic in our lives’, in other words – habits.  We can choose to establish new habits that become positive rituals in our daily lives, an established routine which is faithfully followed.

 

A number of my personal habits have become positive rituals, which form an important part of my life.   Some examples are:

 

  1. Morning Meditation.  This is something that has become part of my daily routine now, setting me up for the day.   On those days that I miss my meditation, I notice that I feel less grounded.

     

  2. Walk to work Wednesday.  I like to walk as often as I can and on a Wednesday, I make a special effort to walk to the therapy room where I am based.  It’s a habit that often spreads to other days of the week and has a positive impact on my body and mind.

     

  3. Curry Thursday.  Now this might not sound like a particularly positive habit (bear with me!)  Curry Thursday is my date night with Mr H and is something we have done since we first met.  It’s now firmly embedded as part of our relationship and is important as often we don’t see much of each other during the week.  It’s a positive ritual that means that we always make this time for each other.

     

So, my challenge to you this week is to think about at least one positive ritual that you can begin to make part of your routine. What area of your life would you like to improve? Maybe your positive ritual could apply to your health, your relationship, your work or your self-care?

 
Take some time to think about it now and feel free to commit to your new positive ritual below in the comments.

Expand your possibilities with OCTOBER-fest

2 Oct

ExpandRecently I read that 95% of our thoughts each day are the same as the previous day and, on average, 85% of those thoughts are negative.  I have heard this fact before, but it really struck me this time.  If we are thinking pretty much the same thoughts each day, then we are going to end up making the same choices, feeling the same, staying in the same place in our lives.

The work I do always relates to some sort of change and I know that many of us feel uncomfortable with change, as our thinking gets stuck in a particular pattern.

I wanted to find a way for you to start expanding your thinking, to become more comfortable with the possibility of change.  To do this, I have come up with OCTOBER-fest (and it’s nothing to do with beer!)

Over on the Horizon Hypnotherapy Facebook page, each day during October I will be asking a different question designed to expand your sense of possibility.  Questions are a great way of getting us to think about something different.  Once we are asked a question, our powerful subconscious mind has to find an answer, so it will go on a quest to come up with one.

The questions I will be asking this October are all designed to get you thinking about what positive change you want to bring into your life, to think about what is possible and to break out of the limited thoughts we often have from day to day.

As an example, the first question is:  What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Notice how you feel as you ask yourself that question.  Maybe you experience a sense of excitement?  What comes to mind?  Is there a project you’ve been putting off because of the fear of failure, or not being good enough? What could you do today to start taking action, a small step?  Obviously one question leads to another!

So, how do you join OCTOBER-fest?   You simply need to like the Horizon Hypnotherapy Facebook page and each day you will see the question that has been posed.  You can either answer in the comments box on Facebook or perhaps you could make October a month to start a journal and write about each question in that?

I would love to hear what you think, so please do comment on this blog post.

Here’s to expansive thinking!

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