All of us are habit slaves. What has been programmed during our formative years by all the experts in our life? Our parents, family, and society who impose their wills and viewpoints on us. That life has to be lived only by their politically correct standards. We end up imbibing some really stupid habits that have a detrimental effect on our wellness and happiness.
After having to struggle for years from the effects of a very toxic childhood, I realized that unless I change some key habits I am forever going to stuck in that cycle of unnecessary stress. Understanding that daily life is made up of decisions. Whether to do something or not? How to react? What to do or not?
Here are 5 key habits we need to be aware of that negatively impact your mental wellness and happiness.
1) Being Indecisive
Survivors of a toxic childhood are wracked with confusion. We were primed to avoid violence or rejection. We want to be loved and accepted. As a result, we become ‘people pleasers’ and ‘yes women’. We are indecisive about taking a stand and confused about whether to say ‘yes’ or say ‘no’.
There is no easy road but if we learn to listen to our needs whether saying yes is what I need to do or whether it is because I don’t want to seem bad. Once we are clear, this is what I really want, get on the road and don’t look back with musts and what ifs.
Remember there is no right decision, for every action, there will be reactions. Don’t let it bother you. If you truly did things with good faith things will work out for the best.
2) Taking Things Personally
Don Miguel’s Second Agreement, Don’t take anything personally is my favorite quote. Not giving a f**k anymore has been liberating. When you make a habit of not taking anything personally, you don’t need to place your trust in what others do or say. Learn to trust yourself to make responsible choices.
The action of others is not your responsibility. When you truly understand this and refuse to take things personally, you will cease to be affected by the actions and words of anyone. You will be truly free to live life the way you want, with authenticity and courage.
3) Giving Second Chances
This is another sore spot for those with a trauma history. We give second, third and a hundred chances to someone who behaves badly. As a Christian I naively believed that even if someone behaves badly one must forgive and let go not once but seventy-seven times seven. This is really bull crap. Giving second chances gives the message that their bad behavior is acceptable which leads to further abusive behavior.
I have made it my rule that not more than a second chance. In most instances, I try and cut my losses and move on in the first reprehensible action. Unless someone has a major change of heart, he/ she will be in the same behavior loop. It is for you to not get caught in the cycle of repeated abusive behavior. You have to protect yourself.
4) Getting Into Needless Arguments
It is really silly to watch people arguing about politics, religion or race. If the other person is not willing to hear you out on an issue you should desist from wasting your time trying to convince him. Let him be with his views and you don’t have to change yours. If you know that this person has an opposite view to yours on a matter, just avoid the subject.
Life is not a debate of viewpoints. There is so much to do than wasting precious moments as to who is right. If someone has really controversial views which seriously affect your mental equanimity then simply avoid the relationship. There is no point in just grinning and being with someone who is the antithesis of what you stand for. Relationships should bring comfort and joy not unnecessary stress.
5) Simply Tolerating Things, Being Nice
The last but most important is our mistaken belief of tolerance which we take too far. In the outside world we have to tolerate idiots but within our close relationships being walked over will only fill you with anger and rage. When we habitually tolerate all forms of unacceptable behavior – from colleagues, employers, family, and friends we define what is acceptable. Once we pass and let go something obnoxious we give the message that we are fine with bad behavior.
However, this diminishes us and fills us with loathing, we eventually begin resenting the other person. A simple statement about how their behavior is bothering you can help avoid a lot of future pain. If the other person will not change, we check out of this demeaning relationship. Being nice and saying nothing is never the correct longterm strategy for any relationship. It will blow up one day and then the repercussions will not be good.
Good Habits & Stress-Free Living
Unlearning the above 5 habits is an important step to living a stress-free life. You will no longer feel pushed by confusion and doubt. You need to realize that you are in control of how others relate to you. Once you are clear about your boundaries and able to stand for what you want, you will feel empowered.
Knowing that you are in control as opposed to being controlled is the key to feeling fine and being mentally healthy.