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  • Writer's pictureSarah M.

The habits we have

How long does it take to create a new habit? Can we really choose to be happy?

Do you first run water over your toothbrush bristles and then add the paste or do you add the toothpaste before you run it under the water?

We as people have thousands of habits we have no idea about. Others will notice them far before we know what is going on. And many of our habits are useful; they help us to create order in our daily lives.

Without looking down and really thinking about it, can you say which sock goes on first; every single time?

How and where did we get these sometimes odd habits? I find this fascinating (as I do a lot of things). Can we create a new habit by making a conscious decision? Deciding to fill our days with happy thoughts, over driving the old, sometimes negative drifting of a thought that suddenly fills our minutes, days, weeks and years. And then all of a sudden there we are, standing in disbelief that we have become this negative person, dwelling on "all of our problems".

What if it's never too late to start rewiring our brain, creating new habits, feeding our mind with goodness, love and happiness? Letting go of things we were taught, bad habits that cause hurt and resentment.

'I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.' — Carl Gustav Jung

Can we really choose to be happy? Is happiness a choice? I think so.

The European Journal of Social Psychology found it took an average of 66 days to form a habit. But in the study, the actual number of days ranged from 18 to 254 days - indicating that it can take a very short or a very long time. I'm guessing it depends on the habit, you and everything around it.

I believe there are many ways to break a habit but one of the easiest is to replace it with a more positive one.

How does one create a new habit? How to reach happiness? Well there's thousands of books, blogs and writings on the subject and the truth is that it's not a place we ever reach and then we become happy but moments in between every day things.

For me listing things I am grateful for and acts or service, serve as instant gratification and make me immediately happy.

I say thank you out loud and in my head literally a hundred times a day, this didn't happen over night or unconsciously. I started out with three things a day; easy, simple things like; waking up, running water so I may brush my teeth and the air I breath.

Today being grateful is part of my daily thinking, a habit; a habit I created. And trust me it wasn't easy, but nothing worth having ever is. Sure, I fell off the wagon and forgot to be thankful on "busy days", but the key is to keep at it.

So I challenge you, for the next week every night before you go to bed, while brushing your teeth, think of three things that you are grateful for. It's up to you to keep investing in creating a new habit and to make the list longer.

Today YOU are on my list, thank you!


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