While reading the other day, I ran across the word, Habitudes. The word is a marriage of two powerful forces in our daily lives: habits and attitudes. Depending on how we utilize these forces, our health can be affected positively or negatively. To learn more about Habitudes, click here.
Let’s look at habits first. I often get asked: “Doc, why am I having this pain? I have not done anything.” My response, “Maybe that is the problem.” I say it jokingly because I am fully aware that the person sitting in front of me wants to know why they are in pain and how to avoid it again. As I explain my answer in further detail; they start to become aware of their own habits that would be causing or preventing their pain. Truth is this; our habits (even when not aware of them) drive our health or lack thereof. Knowing that habits affect patient’s health, one of my jobs as a chiropractor is to make them habit-aware. What is habit-aware? It is taking an inventory of your daily life choices and how your habits (good or bad) affect your health. As Will Durant noted, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Let’s be excellent in our health!
Habit-aware can be broken into 3 categories:
1. Physical Habits: Dietary choices. Movement patterns. Sedentary lifestyle. Postural concerns.
2. Mental/Emotional Habits: Entertainment choices. Social Media addictions. Relational concerns. Traumatic experiences.
3. Spiritual Habits: Identity concerns. Sabbatical rhythms. Devotional choices. Prayer lifestyle.
A note of interest – if you (or I) are unhealthy in one habit-aware category then it will eventually affect the other area. They cannot and should not be treated as isolated events but rather parts to a whole; that whole being YOU! If you would like more in-depth information about habit-awareness, click here.
I have learned (ok, I am still learning) that my attitude not only affects me but those around me. It influences family, business, friends and patients. My attitude – the way I choose to respond to my day – affects every area of my life. Charles Swindoll says it so much better than I ever could. He notes, “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company … a church … a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you, we are in charge of our attitudes.”
To sum this up: How we view ourselves and others matter. Our habits and our attitudes influence our health. Combined they can be called Habitudes. It is that simple. Julie Smith said it this way, “You can’t make yourself feel positive, but you can choose how to act, and if you choose right, it builds your confidence.” Choose the right Habitudes so your confidence grows. As that grows so does your life!