We are all very diligent about practicing. In fact, we are practicing something in every moment. The problem is that most of the time, we are unconsciously practicing unhealthy behavior. And if we’re not fully aware, it’s inevitable that we will inadvertently practice something that’s unhealthy or that isn’t aligned with our life values.
Which of these two behaviors below would you rather be practicing? You choose.
There is a simple yet powerful question that will help you shift from unconscious, destructive practices to healthful ones. Throughout the day, practice mindfulness by asking yourself: What am I practicing in this moment? The purpose of asking this question is to become aware of what you are thinking, feeling, and doing and give yourself the opportunity to try something else that’s more likely to enhance your health.
Following are some ways you might respond to the question as your awareness improves. As you can imagine, some are healthy and others are not:
Are you aware of spending a lot of time practicing self-critical thoughts, or ruminating repeatedly over a familiar issue or problem? You may find that your thoughts spin like a hamster in a wheel— running nowhere. And the more you do this, the more you will continue to do it. You will ultimately get very good—expert, even—at something you really wouldn’t want to do at all if you were fully aware of how this practice impacts your health and happiness.