'We Handle our New Year's Resolutions the Wrong Way'
Do you still dare to share your resolutions with others this year? For a lot of people, it has become a ritual which they don't really believe in anymore. Being a therapist, Alexcis Spencer Lopez often saw clients who failed to succeed in their resolutions. Therefore, Quartz listed a number of tips which might them in succeeding this year.
"We handle our New Year's resolutions all wrong", Lopez writes. "We try to deal with the symptoms instead of the causes. Unhealthy habits, like smoking, eating too much or exercising too little, are usually the consequence of underlying emotions and motivations (or the lack thereof). It is not until we acknowledge that which causes this behaviour, that we can make conscious decisions to change our behaviour."
Here are three tips that can help in this.
1. Train your emotional consciousness
We seldomly think about our feelings. Everyone should now and then ask themselves: "What do I feel?" If you haven't done that in a while, you probably initially won't be able to answer that question properly, but the more you practice, the better you will be able to recognize your own feelings.
If it comes to changing bad or unhealthy behaviour, than the right moment to gauge your own feelings is the moment right before you would light a cigarette or open up a bag of crisps. Do you feel angry, stressed or bored?
If you know the answer to that, you can try to find a healthier way to deal with these emotions. It is not until you become conscious of these kinds of feelings, that you can find the right way to deal with them.
2. Every now and then, give yourself an emotional break
Negative emotions, such as stress, anxiety, or sadness, can be very tiring. If you are confronted a lot with these kinds of feelings, it helps to implement a conscious break every now and then. We all have ways in which we can feel happy and calm down.
For one person that means going out all night, while for another person sleeping in is the solution. Make a list of the things that can recharge you and do these activities at least once a week. You will notice that by creating a better balance between negative and positive emotions, you are capable to do a lot more.
3. Learn to be appreciative
Research at the Berkeley University has shown that a regular sense of appreciation not only offers emotional but also physical and mental advantages. If we feel grateful for something, the hypothalamus in our brain becomes more active.
That part of the brain is responsible for the regulation of essential bodily functions, such as the metabolism, sleep, and the ability to cope with stress.
So train yourself in recognizing the things in life that make you cheerful and happy. It will provide you with a better feelings about yourself and the people in your environment. And feeling good is an important motivation to make good and healthy choices in the behaviour you want to accomplish. That makes it a whole lot easier to realise those New Year's resolutions!04-01-2015