Most of us have habits that put us to sleep, that we use to numb and soothe ourselves – and which, in the process, disengage us from life.
If you want to work with this, a productive place to start is to invent new habits that are genuinely nourishing and which you can put to work in replacing the old ones. A few ideas to start with:
begin a conversation with a friend or colleague
write in a journal – in ink, on good paper – whatever comes to mind
breathe – a long in-breath, a longer out-breath, two or three times
go and do some exercise – run, swim, walk
listen to a talk from a podcast
listen to some music that inspires you
take up a simple ten-minute meditation practice
read a novel, chapter by chapter
paint, draw, doodle, invent
post to a blog
study a new subject you’ve never looked at before
take breaks in which you eat, rest, talk
go outside and look at the sky for a few minutes
write a letter of gratitude to someone you love
volunteer some of your time to others, for nothing
allow yourself to feel whatever you’re feeling…
… and stay with it until it changes into something else
There are thousands of other possibilities of course, some which will suit you and and your circumstances more than others. But in case you can ask yourself – am I feeling more alive, more nourished, more courageous, more open to the world with the habits I’m cultivating, or less?
And if your habits are having you feel less alive, are you sure that’s a price worth paying?