Generating Positive Habits

We often aren’t aware that a large component of our thoughts and actions are more habitual than intuitive. I define habits as anything you have done or thought for so long that they have now become commonplace. These may consist of habits that supports our ideals or one that doesn’t.

Often problems arise with habits that have been practiced so long is that it can be a pattern that contributes to limiting beliefs in our lives and we may not even notice the effects they are having. We tell ourselves stories from the moment we take our first waking breath. For example, we may begin worrying about our day or our family. We may turn these negatives stories into limiting thoughts that deplete our energy, starting our day with fear and tension and, in fact, directly contributing to how our day will unfold.

An important part of changing our thought patterns is taking the time to notice how we are thinking at various times throughout the day. Pay gentle attention to the thoughts before you begin any task at home or work. What do you habitually tell yourself? You may be surprised by what your inner voice is telling you.

Knowing that we are making up habitual thoughts and that action patterns follow our thoughts means we have the active ability to create new stories and habits. Taking a decisive role in consciously shaping our life is so much more empowering than letting our world unfold based on fear, insecurity or just ignorance.

Creating new thought habits will set the foundation for new action habits. You will quickly notice how positive thoughts will set the stage for the way you live your life. Start by writing down the stories (both the negative and positive) as they appear, you can use this list to make counter stories and/or to reinforce the positive stories.

For each limiting story, write a new habit or thought and then begin to seek the steps you need to take to make the positive words and thoughts transform into reality.

We all carry Samskaras, past impressions that can generate karma, in our daily life. Samskaras are defined as a cause and effect principal that are believed to be stored in the subtle body and they influence our thoughts and deeds under the guise of instinct. Samskaras, translated roughly as “perfume”, are considered to be like lingering residues of experiences.

What is important to do about these lingering habits and negative thoughts is to start by noticing them in your life, and begin simply to start to cultivate a practice of awareness.

The habits and the stories we tell ourselves can have a positive or negative influence in our lives as a whole but they can be managed by the very simple act of changing our thoughts. By simply refining our awareness and taking an active role in our thoughts and actions, we can start to change our lives both internally and externally.

As we begin to turn negative Samskaras towards positive Samskaras, we will slowly start to feel more inner peace and detachment from troubles or lingering negative thoughts. Eventually, with clearing and with increased consciousness, we will no longer experience actions and thoughts driven by past beliefs or baggage.

You will still experience a full range of emotions, but your actions and responses will be generated from the “now” moment instead of from a reaction to a past fear or negative thought habit or practice.

Every time we practice Yoga, Pranayama or Meditation we have an opportunity to clean our slate and continue on our journey towards living in the peaceful conscious now.