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Unconscious Habits

I gave a talk this past week to a Lunch & Learn group here in Billings. One of the items I discussed revolved around some of the habits we do automatically, even when we really don’t want to continue doing them.

Examples of these habits would be sleeping in too late, procrastinating, always running late, being disorganized, eating too much junk, etc.

The simple truth is that somehow, awhile back, we began “practicing” these activities enough times until they became an unconscious habit. There could be many reasons why we developed these habits in the first place, but for the purpose of today’s lesson, it doesn’t really matter how or when they were formed. What matters is the ability to change them for something that works better for you now.

To un-learn a habit or re-train ourselves, we need to take a look at implementing a new strategy that works in our favor. 

And, yes, this will take some time and effort. It will also require a sense of mindfulness from you. But it can be done.

Here are a few simple steps to help you begin to make changes and create more useful habits:

  1. Choose ONE irritating, negative or unhealthy habit you would like to change.
  2. State what it is you WANT (not what you want to get rid of). In other words, state it in positive terms. For example, you could say, “I want to arrive earlier to work” rather than “I don’t want to be late for work anymore.”
  3. Ask yourself, “What would have to happen/change for me to acquire this new habit?” In other words, what would you have to change or let go of? What negative thoughts would you have to release? How would you need to structure your time? For example, you might need to set your alarm across the room so you won’t hit the ‘snooze’ button; you might want to have your clothes laid out; you could have your sack lunch already prepared the night before and ready to grab; you could avoid looking at your phone before leaving for work; etc.
  4. Practice implementing whatever new behaviors you decide upon. Repeat. Be willing to adjust or tweak things as you go along.

Of course, we could make it much more complicated than this. However, this is a good place to start.

As always, if you need help, give me a call!

Until next time,

Connie Kvilhaug, Cert. Hypnotist &