Quantum Happiness Series- Healthy habits


Seeds of success

 “We are what we repeatedly do.”

To free ourselves of ennui and find inspiration, we must first take stock of our habits to determine where our valuable time and energy are being spent.

how to cultivate healthy habits at TammyTalk.com

Habits are like seeds. If carefully chosen, planted, and tended, they bloom into beautiful accomplishments that bear creative fruit. Bad habits, on the other hand, are like weeds that can’t simply be plucked out since an untended space may produce yet another weed. A fruitful seed must be introduced in its place.

For instance, we might decide to savor our morning coffee outside instead of drinking it mindlessly while watching television.  Or we might make a habit of cooking dinner with friends and family in the evenings instead of ordering takeout.

By taking conscious control of our daily rituals and routines, we replace seeds of ennui with productive passion flowers of creativity, excitement, and adventure
Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash

Four ways to cultivate healthty habits

Roots of ennui

“Ennui is the echo in us of time tearing itself apart,”
—Emile M. Cioran

A multitude of bad habits spring from the roots of ennui, that insidious vine. Its gray blooms reek of despair while its tentacles sap color from our lives.

Struggling to break free of its grasp, we long for excitement and adventure, often planting weed seeds by mistake. Self-destructive habits such as procrastination, tardiness, road rage, and even drug and alcohol abuse are just a few of the dreaded weed seeds some sew to crowd out the dreaded ennui. 

We know that putting things off until the last moment, making others wait while we run late, unloading on other drivers, and waking up hungover and full of regret are toxic for both us and those around us. But such actions deliver a surge of energy and adrenaline that gets our heart rate and blood pressure rising while feeding our need for excitement in much the same way fast food feeds our hunger.

We often unknowingly participate in these self-destructive, stress-inducing habits in our misguided search for excitement because anxiety, anger, fear and excitement all produce the same adrenal response in the body and are accompanied by the same physiological changes:

·        Shallow breathing,

·        rapid heartbeat,

·        heightened awareness,

a.k.a pure energy.

This powerful energy, produced in a response known as fight or flight, (sometimes referred to as hyperarousal) is the body’s way of preparing us to either defend ourselves or flee in the face of danger. However, these dramatic moments of our own making don’t usually allow us to engage in battle or flee the scene. So, we end up frustrated and exhausted, like a caged bird beating its wings but accomplishing nothing. It is energy turned toxic.

Seven ways to stress less

When we cultivate healthy habits that provide this same incredible surge of energy and excitement, it becomes fuel for our fire and fertilize for our goal garden.  If we are excited about our goals and focused on our priorities, we don’t need to generate toxic energy, which fuels frustration and nourishes ennui. Instead we radiate healthy, vibrant excitement that leads to creative passion and heightened inspiration.

Sex, drugs, rock & roll

Unfortunately, drug and alcohol abuse are common examples of toxic energy emanating from the roots of ennui. I graduated high school during the 1980’s, and the motto of our generation was, “sex, drugs, and rock & roll.” Like many of us, I held onto that mentality far too long. It took me years of feeling depleted and defeated to realize that the self-destructive behavior I was indulging in over the weekend was affecting the rest of my week.

I was living with a perpetual hangover and didn’t even know it. I anticipated the weekend all week, overindulged with food, drink, and whatever else was available, from Friday afternoon until Sunday night, then didn’t understand why I felt so horrible during the next week. But as I began to examine my habits, look for patterns, and search for alternatives, I discovered that self-destructive root of ennui and began pruning it from my life.

Today when I feel the need for energy and excitement, I pack a lunch and go paddle boarding, fishing, hiking, exploring, something that gets my heart pumping and my adrenaline surging without drinking in a club or partying until dawn.

The leadership habit

This has been an excerpt from the Everyday Vacay e-series. Stay tuned next month for Healthy Habits -- Seeds of Success. 

Check out the entire video series here.

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