It’s the thing that everyone wants to master but it requires more than desire to achieve it.
You’ll have to work for it through consistency if you want to reap its rewards.
But just because it’s difficult, doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Almost like riding a bike, here are 9 habits that will benefit you forever.
1) Emotional regulation
There are a lot of habits that can help you make emotional regulation a part of your life.
Including but not limited to:
- Creative expression
- Nervous system regulation
The key is to elongate the time you feel a certain feeling, to the way you react to it.
I believe that a lot of us shame and judge ourselves for emotions because we don’t understand them. So we base our opinions of ourselves on how we react.
But emotions aren’t one-dimensional – they have layers! Which means they transform as your understanding of them does.
As they say, the only way is through.
Be patient with yourself, it’s the only way you’ll know what I mean.
2) Tapping into your intuition
A lot of people are afraid of their intuition because they don’t know how to differentiate their anxiety from it.
When you aren’t used to regulating your emotions, your body’s response to fear or anger can taint the way you perceive your intuition.
So first, start by not relying on your intuition to tell you what to avoid in your life. Before you hire it as your personal security, it should be your fairy godmother.
The voice that tells you how you can be more creative, respectful and positive! And make you a beautiful ball gown if you’re lucky.
This is also a helpful way to figure out what your ideal method of emotional regulation is! As well as teach you what makes you feel safe.
Because how can you know what’s “bad” for you if you don’t know what’s “good” for you?
The process won’t be perfect, but the point isn’t to be perfect. It’s to familiarize you with being optimistic and feeling safe.
It’s not a luxury, it’s a right.
3) Staying positive and open-minded
Having control over your thoughts comes with distinguishing your emotions from them. It’s necessary if you want to figure out what needs validation and what needs challenging.
And staying positive is different from toxic positivity – one validates while the other represses.
One teaches you something new about yourself, while the other keeps you one-dimensional.
So try reframing sitting with your less than ideal thoughts as a form of self-compassion.
As you value your well-being over perfection, your perspective on a lot of things will change. Embrace the change as you become more open-minded.
And don’t blame your past for not resembling your present, that’s what got you here.
This ability to perceive nuance will help you navigate the way you coexist with others.
4) Disagreeing amicably with others
Also known as thinking for yourself.
I had a really hard time socializing when I wasn’t at peace with myself.
I wasn’t fully aware of it, but as I became more self-aware, the people pleaser in me became insufferable.
And it was because I correlated peace with being agreeable. Which didn’t leave much room for authenticity.
I know a lot of people can relate to that feeling because some of us were raised in an environment where you had to choose conformity over safety.
So communicating your truth despite what everyone might say will help you improve everything I talked about above.
Remember, the way people react to you is a reflection of their journey with themselves. And the more you do the work for yourself, the easier it will be to healthily detach.
5) Asserting your boundaries
Knowing how to set boundaries isn’t just about speaking up for yourself.
It’s also about standing up for yourself against your inner critic and taking back your power within your own mind.
Emotional regulation isn’t something that’s mastered entirely on your own in the comfort of your home. True growth comes from applying those skills in your day to day.
To meet yourself and the world in the middle, you need to know yourself before you try to control what you allow, and what you want to be a part of.
Otherwise, you’ll just become a control freak with no respect for yourself or others.
Something that helped me stay balanced was taking notice of what I am denying in myself when I deny them in others.
It’s a lot to juggle, but challenging your view of the world while you learn to set boundaries will help you discover what you truly care about.
6) Staying sober
I’m still figuring this one out because I have a hard time with absolute thinking.
But nonetheless, it deserves a spot on the list!
Because being real with yourself about how certain substances affect the way you think for yourself, is a habit that will save you a lot of unnecessary pain.
If you’re struggling with staying sober, I’d hope you’re seeking help beyond the internet. But if I may, I’d like to offer my thoughts and some solidarity.
Addiction and your subconscious mind can go hand in hand. So overcoming it will take more than quitting cold turkey.
Sobriety isn’t a habit that happens on its own, everything from emotional regulation to communicating your inner world is going to influence it.
Awareness is key, start small by trying to understand what emotion you’re trying to avoid. And seek support before you try to do it alone.
As for some practical advice, I find that eating teaspoons of cayenne pepper can curb mild cravings.
7) Morning and night time routine
If you’re a creature of dopamine, healing your reward system with self-care will change the way you view life.
I’m one of those people where the sun can go down and another personality will emerge.
And while I don’t feel ashamed about my moods, I had a hard time feeling like I was a product of the Earth’s rotation.
To give myself a healthy dose of control, I found that keeping a routine for when I wake up and go to sleep really helped.
There were days and nights I really didn’t feel like going through the trouble.
But I found that fighting through that feeling and doing it anyway helped me see the value of discipline.
It helps to make it your own! Experiment with different skin care products if you’re into that.
Don’t stress about what time you do it – I’m not a morning person either.
8) Resting adequately
Again, another one I’m working on!
It goes beyond having a sleep schedule that works for you. Not everyone has the same circadian rhythm that allows them to conform to capitalism’s 9-5.
Resting is also about doing nothing and how you feel about it.
After a day off, do you feel like you have a lot of “should’ves?”
Or do you spend it by indulging in unhealthy coping mechanisms to cope with the fact that the rest is temporary?
I wish I had something smart to say about how you can get better at doing nothing. But the truth is, I don’t think there is a specific formula.
I think peace from resting comes from a greater awareness that we live in an imperfect world where you can’t just “do nothing.”
So resting for me, is an act of defiance more than anything.
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but once you do, it relieves a bit of the burden. That it isn’t entirely your fault that you have a hard time relaxing.
It makes you wonder if talking about the realities of our planet is what will free us from it, and help you sleep better at night.
So maybe the formula is to find a community that understands you.
9) Being self-sufficient
The discomfort you feel from disciplining yourself are growing pains as you become more independent.
And becoming independent can feel like punishment if you feel like you lacked support in your early life.
It’s important you start by acknowledging that you had no control over how you were raised, and it isn’t your responsibility to change the past.
It’s not like you can, either.
Because while I am a close confidante to my inner child, I understand that my main responsibility is to figure out what I need now.
Take your power back from everyone that overlooked it, and live to create – not undo.
So learn how to cook! Clean! Save money! All the practical things!
Learn to look to the past to use it as fuel for how you can better your present and future.
Not just for how you have gained what you lacked, but for how you didn’t let any of it affect your ability to start anew.
It’s better to have a hard time getting better, than to have a hard time period
Along with a new passion for conquering myself, my life has changed drastically for the better since I started incorporating these habits.
While I feel like the undefeated champion of my world, I look back often to see how far I’ve come.
And it tells me that if I can do it, then so can you.