Why Can't We Break Our Bad Habits?

We all have bad habits. No one is perfect or free from them. In yoga philosophy we call them “samskaras”—mental and emotional patterns we are, some believe, born with: the things we do habitually that do not serve us. 

For some people it could be something as simple as indulging in ice cream a little too often. 

For others, it’s the darker stuff – sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, bad relationships

It doesn’t necessarily have to be an addiction – a little too much of something that’s no good is just, well, a bad habit. But the truth is, bad habits only create negativity in our lives.

So if we can identify our bad habit(s), which I believe most of us can, why don’t we do anything about it? 

The real question is: how badly do we want that thing that’s so BAD? How much self-control can we drum up at any given time?

It’s a question I ask myself when it comes to my less-than-savory habits. 

Why am I doing this to myself? Because it feels good in the moment? Because it’s all I know? Because doing the opposite is actually UNCOMFORTABLE? Because as humans we are drawn to the easy way out, and it’s easy to throw self-control out the window?

Isn’t it is just ridiculous to admit a BAD HABIT is the easy way out? 

he familiarity of it is so attractive, we throw consequence by the wayside.

I am very much an all-or-nothing person. I can cut someone or something out of my life if I just put my foot down and say I’m going to do it. I stick to my word. 

I’ve eaten a cheeseburger and fries three weekends in a row then done a 6-day Kundalini yoga and juice cleanse so successfully, I added a seventh day on my own.

But I went back to cheeseburgers and boxed macaroni and cheese, yes, the kind with the fake orange powder in it, afterwards. So what was the point of spending hundreds of dollars for a week-long cleanse, only to say “screw it” when I fell back into to my comfort zone? 

Unfortunately, burgers and Kraft mac ‘n cheese are not my worst habits. In fact I’ve been vegan for over 3 months now, which works here in Santa Monica because they’ve perfected a delicious vegan cheeseburger in several restaurants here. 

The point is, it’s time to break the all-or-nothing attitude. That in itself is a bad habit. 

I’d like to try a little harder to live life with moderation in mind. Especially when I know self-control is a good thing, and is HEALTHY, but too much of it, too much rigidity, is not. 

And we should all be able to admit feeling good feels SO much better than feeling bad.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Rebecca is yoga teacher based in Los Angeles, having completed her 200-hour training through YogaWorks. A graduate of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Rebecca is a television producer when she's off the mat. Her career has taken her from the White House to the Cannes Film Festival, as well as Costa Rica, Hawaii, and New York. Growing up in New England as a competitive figure skater, Rebecca has used her yoga practice to quiet the ego and calm the breath. She loves music almost as much as she loves yoga, and finds herself at concert venues all over LA throughout the year. Rebecca has lived in Southern California for 10 years and currently resides in Santa Monica. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @SeedYoga, or check out her website www.rebeccaseed.com.