Make new habits easy
Habits are activities that require little awareness to become part of our daily routine. Habits are neither inherently good or bad, but depending on the ones we create they can benefit our health and wellness...or not.
Are your diet, exercise, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, screen time, work, and sleep habits where you want them to be? Or maybe you've been wanting to create a new wellness routine.
How can we make it easy to start a habit?
A huge benefit of creating habits are that as desired activities become automatic it frees up time and energy for other activities you value (i.e., spending time outdoors or being with friends and family). Here are some habit science tips.
What: Create a timeline to make it easy!
If you are looking to improve sleep habits your goals might be:
"I want to move my bedtime from midnight to 10:00pm."
"I will move my bedtime up 15 minutes for 8 weeks."
"I will set an alarm on my phone 15 minutes before my bedtime to remind me."
Why: Your behaviors reflect your identity and who you think you are. Start believing you are doing the changes you envision and understand what you are looking for in the new routine.
Your reasoning for better sleep may be "I want to feel energized and refreshed"
How: Trigger the behavior with information about location, time, emotion, involved people, and preceding action. Know the specific action and reward you want.
Use this sentence to help trigger a behavior: "Right after I _____, I will _____."
For example if you want to create a wind down routine before bed you may say "After I brush my teeth, I will turn off all screens for the night."
Chinese Medicine Perspective
Falling back on bad habits
Unhealthy habits often happen due to stress. The liver in Chinese Medicine is responsible for the easy movement of blood, fluids, and nourishment throughout the body. This organ is affected by excess emotions like stress, anxiety, anger, and frustration.
Other symptoms of liver qi stagnation can include irritability, neck and shoulder tension, teeth grinding, headaches, frequent sighing, waking between 1-3 a.m., and PMS.
Intention to create new habits.
Each organ system in Chinese Medicine is connected to an aspect of the mind. The spiritual aspect of several organs allow us to create and then follow through with our goals.
Liver: The spiritual aspect connected to the Liver helps us realize our purpose and is responsible for planning, clear vision and direction.
Spleen: This organ system allows us to set strong and clear intentions.
Kidney: The spiritual aspect of the Kidney includes willpower and persistence to follow through with our plans.
How acupuncture can help
Reducing your stress and anxiety by regulating the nervous system, bringing us out of "fight or flight" mode and activating the "rest and digest" response.
Reduce cravings, improve sleep and emotional well-being
Improve energy and mental focus