How Mindfulness Helped Me Drop Bad Habits

Most people will confess that there are areas of their lives or behaviors they would like to improve. Some feel that they could be kinder and more compassionate. Others feel assertive. Still others may believe they have the ability to be happier and more peaceful.

A few years back, I believed I was able to be more calm and less explosive. I was short-tempered and would often result in very cruel words which I didn’t think through well or just simply be violent. This was something that I didn’t enjoy at all. 

Although I attempted a few anger management techniques, it was not enough to make a difference. When I almost gave up on this character improvement project, it’s when I discovered mindfulness and went on to work with it to overcome this problem.

This is a detailed breakdown of my Mindfulness-Based Approach to Overcoming Anger

Step 1. Step 1. Learn more about mindfulness.

Even though I was able to get a general idea about awareness, I wanted more detailed information. For information about mindfulness, I relied on reliable online sources that are trustworthy and trusted in the industry of self-improvement. 

Additionally, I read books, visited self help websites, watched videos, listened to mindfulness podcasts, and also listened. 

Step 2. Step 2. 

My research led me to try and figure out how it could be applied in real life. Mindfulness meditation is a type of mindfulness training, so it was natural for me to start mindfulness training by doing meditation.

I started with meditation and then tried other mindfulness methods to improve my mindfulness practice.

Step 3. Step 3. Get mindfulness meditation started immediately

Once I had a clear vision of what my approach was, I set out to start the meditation practice immediately. To help me understand mindfulness and learn the practice of mindfulness meditation, I used guided meditations. As I became more comfortable, I increased my meditation time to 5 minutes. This is an important step because most people don’t take it. They don’t get started.

Step 4. Step 4.

After just a few meditation sessions I realized that I had made a lot mistakes. I felt weighed down and overwhelmed by my practice, as well as feeling too hard to do. As I wanted to improve my meditation sessions, I began researching the issues from others who had experienced them. I found the solution to my meditation issues through online meditation forums and communities.

“Mindfulness is the kind of light that shows us the way. Mindfulness is the inner Buddha within each one of us. Mindfulness gives birth to insight, awakening, compassion, and love.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Step 5. Step 5.

My goal was to control my anger to the point where it couldn’t affect me even when I was told anything that might trigger negative reactions. It was important to me that I didn’t feel insulted and did not flinch when it was said. Every now and again, I would think about how my life should be. The anger would bring up specific issues and then I would look for ways to solve them. Then I would imagine myself applying these solutions to the areas that are needed. I would consciously tell my mind that the visualized solution is exactly how I’m going to be doing things in my life going forward. This helped me to remember how to respond to situations like these and it made the process of applying solutions easier because I already knew what I desired through visualization.

Step 6. Step 6.

Now applying the solution every time isn’t easy. While it might seem easy to apply the solution for the first time, making sure they stick is difficult. What I found to help with the issue of consistency and habit creation is that you have to view the solution like a new habit you’re going to form that’s going to stick with you forever. 

So when you apply it the first few times successfully, you should still remind yourself that it’s what you’re going to do again when you’re in the same situation in the near future. Then I put it into practice and continued with my physical efforts. I made a conscious effort to notice my emotions, then to remind myself about what I had decided to do, then to take the necessary actions. Sometimes, I choose to just walk away. Other times, I keep my mouth shut and try to be quiet so that I don’t speak.

Step 7. Step 7.

From my own experiences I learned that it is important to be aware of your self at all times. Not just when you are trying to fix a problem but in every moment. It helps to avoid getting in trouble by becoming aware. 

It is not easy to be aware all the time. To achieve this, I practice mindfulness meditation every day for between 10 and 20 minutes.

Mindful listening, speaking, mindfulness walking and commuting, walking mindfully to and from work, eating mindfully during meals, taking a shower, and using mindful language when talking with people were some of the other things I practiced. You should take every opportunity you have to maximize your awareness and be fully aware of it. 

But, prior to using these techniques, I used only mindfulness meditation to stay aware when I encountered trouble. I then tried the mindfulness techniques that helped me to remain always present.

Moreover, I’d take my time in the evenings to review how my day was and how I did with regard to calming down my anger. And I’d visualize how I would approach the next day when I had the same anger problems. I’d take different versions of scenarios that would get me angry and see myself handling them much better without being lost in emotions. This allowed me to instantly remember what I needed to do in these situations.

It took dedication, commitment, discipline, focus, and determination to achieve this goal. It worked eventually!

Addicted 2 Success first published How Mindfulness Helped me Lose Bad Habits.

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