What is a Habit?
A habit is a well-learned behaviour or sequence of behaviours that is relatively situation specific and has relatively become motorically reflexive and independent of motivational or cognitive influence- that is, it is performed with little or no conscious intent.
-American Psychological Association dictionary of Psychology
Humans are creatures of habit. Our habits play a huge role in building our life, shaping our personality and guiding our decisions. Good habits and bad habits equally affect us. Hence, to ensure a good life we must inculcate good habits.
What are Good Habits?
Consistent practices which have a positive impact on your life are considered good habits. These are conscious efforts taken for a positive change that go on to become regular habits.
Good habits may include daily exercise, meditation, healthy food consumption, digital detox and many others.
50 Good Habits to Acquire
1. Exercise regularly: it releases endorphins which in turn cause a positive feeling
2. Eat healthy and balanced meals: a healthy body ensures a healthy mind and vice versa
3. Maintain a fixed sleep schedule: the release of melatonin makes us feel sleepy, keeping a fixed sleep schedule maintains the melatonin levels.
4. Set achievable goals for yourself: having goals motivates you to work hard and achieving your goals gives you satisfaction
5. Make your bed every morning: this prepares you mentally for the day ahead
6. Continue filling your knowledge bucket: gaining more knowledge keeps your mind alert and open to new ideas therefore increasing your productivity.
7. Practice gratefulness: being grateful keeps you humble and increases spiritual maturity
8. Spend some “me-time” regularly: paying attention to your own emotions and body helps cater to your own needs
9. Stay hydrated: water is proven to have calming effects which can control your stress levels and anxiety.
10. Be empathetic towards others: practising empathy increases your emotional intelligence
11. Indulge in your hobbies as often as possible: doing the things you like enhance our well-being and positivity as well as control stress levels.
12. Practice mindfulness: mindfulness allows you to pay attention to details, it increases your self-awareness, emotional intelligence, concentration and decision making.
13. Limit use of gadgets: gadgets provide readymade information, they preoccupy our brains and reduce the capacity of our creativity
14. Maintain physical hygiene: keeping yourself clean reduces chances of shame, inferiority and social isolation
15. Stay connected to your loved ones: it provides you the care and affection required for emotional balance
16. Prefer pre-planning: keeping a plan ready reduces chances of increased stress and uncertainty, it also enhances perception and decision making.
17. Do not entertain people who create drama, manipulators, gossipers and are toxic: such people cause unnecessary confusion and negativity in life
18. Practise positive-thinking: thinking positively about everything gives you the will to do it
19. Keep your immediate surroundings clean: dirty surroundings have been observed to increase anxiety
20. Set firm boundaries: setting boundaries gives you the space you require and protects you from unnecessary situations.
21. Meditate: meditation has numerous benefits for your brain functioning, emotional health and physical health.
22. Avoid consumption of alcohol, nicotine or any such substances: substances that addictive cause an imbalance in your neurotransmitters and hormones which damage the functioning of your brain
23. Journal your thoughts, plans, major incidents: it helps you express and introspect.
24. Share your feelings: sharing makes you feel heard and controls overthinking
25. Spend time in nature: it helps you connect to the world around you, reduces anger,stress and fear, increases creativity.
26. Draw a clear line between work and personal life: having work-life balance is essential for your growth
27. Laugh often: laughter stimulates release of endorphins which are essential for the balanced functioning of the nervous system
28. Read the books that interest you: reading gets your mind working, brings you new information and increases creativity
29. Give yourself a break when required: a constant hectic schedule increases perceived stress and leads to burnout.
30. Fix a morning routine: it increases your productivity and prevents your from decision fatigue
31. Cook for yourself occasionally: it helps you nurture yourself and has been proven to increase self-esteem
32. Bring out your creative side frequently: it gets the brain functions running and helps connect to your inner-self.
33. Dedicate some time to help others: helping others makes use of empathy and makes you feel useful
34. Don’t hesitate to ask for help: asking for help makes you humble and teaches you new things
35. Be open to suggestions: opinions from others may boost your own creativity and help you gain a new perspective.
36. Minimise consumption of sugar: high sugar intake is related to depression and other mental disorders.
37. Socialise often: socialising increases your communication skills and confidence
38. Do a digital detox whenever necessary: give your mind the space it requires to rejuvenate
39. Do not give everyone and anyone access to your mind and body: keep yourself protected from the negativity.
40. Give a hand at gardening: it has been proven to increase levels of self-satisfaction.
41. Keep updating your skills: going along with the update gives you the confidence required to work and socialise.
42. Save a fixed percentage of your income: savings give you a sense of assurance and save you trouble during times of need.
43. Be kind to those around you: it helps maintain relationships and keeps you positive.
44. Be particular about punctuality: it makes you trustworthy and reliable
45. Express affection through words or actions: expressing yourself leads to better interpersonal relationships and makes connect better to yourself
46. Maintain an optimistic attitude: keeping a positive attitude helps deal with things better.
47. Avoid juggling many things at once: doing too much at once causes confusion, stress and may overwhelm you.
48. Play puzzles or games: they stimulate your brain and increase problem solving skills.
49. Spend a few minutes of the day to learn about the happenings around you: this keeps you connected to your surroundings and maintains stability.
50. Explore new places: exploring keeps your brain active
All the habits mentioned above impact an individual’s mental health directly or indirectly. The positive effects of good habits on mental health ensure a balanced mind and brain.
Inculcate good habits through consistent therapy.
Step towards a healthier lifestyle.
Benefits of Good Habits
Certain habits, if ingrained, have the power to increase the quality of life and ensure an overall better life. For instance,keeping an optimistic attitude will help get a positive perspective on life.
Good habits are the pillars of achieved goals. Set goals are not achieved overnight. They require consistency and zeal. Both of which are a product of the habits we have attained.
Some of the above mentioned habits may seem unnecessary at this point but they will build self-discipline and reap lifelong benefits. Such as a morning routine will get you into a habit of waking up early and doing some fixed activities such as some workout, in the long run this will discipline your body to a fixed sleep schedule and keep you healthy.
There may be days when you are not in the mood to go about your day, this is when your habits maintain your motivation. If you are in the habit of going for a walk daily, your habit will make it easier for you to get off your couch, put those shoes on and step out.