Last week, I graduated as a certified habit coach from coach.me.
My coaching statement is simple — I help people improve their emotional health with simple daily habits.
Let’s explore the four easy habits I recommend my clients follow to improve their emotional health.
Here are a few questions I will answer in this post
- Does science back up these habits for better emotional health?
- How soon will you see the results?
- What has been my experience with this habit?
- What would be the challenges to follow the habit?
- How can you get started?
This one habit helps you to slow down — (Pause)
Sitting on a chair or wherever, closing your eyes, and simply breathing. Not entertaining any thoughts, and if any thought pops in your head, gently letting it flow and go.
You can call it mindfulness or meditation, or you can choose not to give it any name or title and call it an intentional pause.
Sit comfortably, breathe, and pause your brain for a few moments every day. Do it multiple times a day. Starting with 10 deep and slow breaths works well. It takes about one minute to do so. That’s how I coach my clients.
It will be weird and awkward at first. You will get a lot of thoughts and ideas in your head — and that’s okay; your brain is supposed to work. We are trying to pause our brain for a few minutes intentionally.
Research publish in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows — A meditation practice produced increases over time in daily experiences of positive emotions, which, in turn, produced increases in mindfulness, purpose in life, social support, decreased illness symptoms, etc. In turn, these increments in personal resources predicted increased life satisfaction and reduced depressive symptoms.
Within 2–3 weeks of consistently practicing your intentional pauses, you will start seeing results in your behavior and emotional health.
My therapist recommended meditation. It helped me move on from a traumatic breakup in a few months, and I have had a regular meditation practice ever since.
This one habit helps you with self-awareness — (Reflect)
In his book “Open awareness open mind,” Karma Rabgye mentions that we don’t become masters in a field with only practice. We also need to analyze our strengths and weaknesses consistently.
He also recommends developing an evening routine of daily analysis and contemplation. While doing this analysis activity, he recommended me to reflect on a few simple pointers —
- What went well today?
- What didn’t go well today?
- What will I change tomorrow?
I have been practicing this habit for more than four months now, and it has helped me manage my impulsive actions.
Last month, I coached a dozen clients to develop this habit of daily reflection. Daily reflection helped one of my clients to improved her emotional health, it helped one client to cope with grief, and it helped another one with
You can practice this by answering the above mentioned three questions in a notebook after you wrap up your day. It’s really that simple.
This one habit helps you clear your mind — (Let it out)
Multiple therapists have recommended this to me on different occasions to help me regulate my emotions better.
Here’s how you do it — when you are ready to wrap up for the day, pick a piece of paper, and drop your thoughts on that paper.
You don’t need journaling prompts — you would want to let your thoughts come out on the paper. You don’t have to keep the paper — tear it off and throw it away. If you don’t have personal space like if you’re living with people around you all the time, you can try this activity in any note-taking app too.
Sometimes it may take you two minutes to finish this activity, and sometimes you may want to write five pages of everything that’s wrapped inside of you.
I do this usually once a week, but when I was starting with this habit, I used to do it more often.
You can see this habit’s impact in less than a week of doing it regularly.
This one habit helps you regulate your emotions physically — (Move)
A study published in Sports Medicine mentions —
“Increased exercise or strength training has been shown to reduce depressive symptoms significantly. Anxiety symptoms and panic disorder also improve with regular exercise, and beneficial effects appear to equal meditation or relaxation.”
Lockdown and corona outbreak had forced us to stay indoors. A lot of us are still working from home and avoid going out. In that sense, movement is even more significant for our bodies than ever.
You don’t have to aim for six-pack abs or losing 100 pounds of fat unless these are your priorities. A 20-minute HIIT workout can be just right for you. Feel free to try Yoga, jogging, calisthenics — whatever you might like to explore.
I tried this 20-min full-body workout, and my goodness, it was so intense. Here’s the video —
Your habits have the power to save you
I helped 200+ clients to improve their emotional health with the mindset and identity shifts in 2020. In 2021, my goal is to help more people improve their emotional health by helping them develop daily habits.
Your brushing teeth everyday habit saves you a lot of unnecessary dental clinic visits. Likewise, these easy four habits in your routine can save you from so many emotionally-troubled times.
You don’t have to aim for perfection in these habits — like meditating for one hour every day or doing a 100-kg bench press in the gym. Being regular with them, noticing the progress and improvements, and keeping a healthy check on your trajectory — that’s a more substantial pathway.
Before you decide to read another piece or stop reading this one, try answering these two questions —
- Which current habits are helping you create the future you want?
- Which current habits are helping you avoid the future you don’t want?