What are ‘thinking habits?’
Our lives are made up largely of habits, good and bad ones. Habits are physical and mental. An individual’s attitude towards something is simply the way they habitually think about it. Many of us have bad thinking habits that cause us unnecessary stress. If, for example, you always automatically blame yourself when things go wrong, you have a negative habit which will probably increase your stress. Alternatively, if you have a habit of staying calm and asking pertinent questions when things go wrong, then this will help to reduce the stress in your life.
Good preventative habits
The key point about adopting good stress management habits is that they have to become part of your daily routine. It is the regular practice of good habits during the easy times that ensure their full benefit during the difficult times. This is really no different in principle to any other form of preventative maintenance. Most of us have the good habit of brushing our teeth. We know that it is the regular cleaning that keeps out teeth healthy. No one would think of only brushing their teeth when they get toothache, and neglecting them the rest of the time. It would be too late.
Habits and attitudes can be changed
This exercise is designed to increase your awareness of various habits and attitudes that can influence your vulnerability to stress. Many of us create stress in our lives through having habits and attitudes we picked up some time in the past when our lives were not as complicated as they are now. The trouble is, unless we have good reason to change, we carry on with the same habits and attitudes without being aware of them. Changing habits is not easy but you can do it if you are sufficiently motivated and, if you are aware of what you want to change.
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