Do you ever stop and wonder why am I doing this, this is totally unfulfilling or unhealthy for me? During much of my journaling time, I have been bothered by many things that our society has normalized that are completely and utterly unsatisfying for us. But unfortunately, so many of us do these things like it’s our job. I believe many of us are just going through the motions each and everyday without realizing how destructive certain things can be to our physical or emotional health. There are three unfulfilling and mindless habits I’d like to focus on: muting our opinions, constant technology use, and regularly eating highly processed foods. Read below to find out why these habits drive me crazy and ways I try to combat them myself.
Muting our Opinions
We live in a world where speaking your opinion can be a very hard thing. Many of us are afraid to stand up for what is right in our hearts and fall back to the option of staying silent. I always think about what we ask our own children to do. Wouldn’t we want our kids to speak up if they or someone they knew was being bullied at school? But yet, many of us don’t model that own behavior to them. Voicing our opinions as an adult is on a different level than a child’s, but in the end it boils down to the same principle for a child as it does an adult-do you have the courage to use your voice and stand up for the right thing? In my last job, I had a couple of coworkers who made it a very toxic environment for me to work. They were constantly whispering about me and talking negatively about me to other coworkers. I felt alone and defeated. But one day, I decided enough was enough. I went up to them, asked them why they continually talk about me in a negative manner, and said I was tired of it.
This left my coworkers speechless. Although it was difficult and uncomfortable, I also felt so empowered I stuck up for myself and voiced my opinion. “If you’re striving every minute to make everyone happy, then you’re not making yourself happy, and you’re not saying and doing what needs to be done to live a successful, fulfilling life (Forbes).” And who wants to make everyone happy anyway? Let’s not just go along to get along. Stand up for what you believe in. Your voice is important and our world needs it!
Constant Technology Use
For many of us, picking up our phone is the first thing we do when we wake up, it’s the last thing we do before we go to sleep, and screen time fills up much of the time in between. “Americans spend an average screen time of 5.4 hours on their mobile phones daily” (Techjury). That is shocking and also scary when you factor in the fact that the average American sleeps 7 hours a day. So that’s 30% of your waking hours on the phone. So many of us are living in a mind-numbing state for a large portion of our day. You aren’t going to look back at your life and wish you had checked social media more but you may wish you were present to your surroundings more. Such a downfall to this is many of us are missing out on our life’s purpose because of it. Instead of chasing after our dreams we are just going through the motions of life, much of which includes constant technology use. Technology use is a huge hurdle generations in the past haven’t had to worry about. But for us, it is a major hurdle to jump over.
Think about your mindless triggers on your phone. For me, mine was always social media. One step I took to lessen social media use was I took the apps off my phone so I would have to log in with my username and password every time. This small step made it more time consuming to check my social media and so I ended up not checking it as often. I’ve also made it a habit to ask myself if I am doing something productive on my phone or am I just checking it because I am bored. Am I using my phone to call a friend, send a message I need to send, pay a bill, or am I using it to do something that serves no purpose? These addictive habits have been developed for all of us over many years and they are hard to break. So think about ways you can begin to cut down on phone use and I guarantee you, you’ll be happy you did.
Constantly Eating from a Paper Bag
I get it! Sometimes you have no other option and sometimes it’s nice to have a little junk food but this has become an everyday thing for many of us. So many of us our tired, low energy, and grumpy and many times this is linked to our diet. New research from UCLA points to the former. Eating sugary, processed, and high-fat foods can actually cause tiredness, a lack of motivation and decreased performance” (DrOzShow). I can speak for myself, when I eat junky, I am grumpy, tired, and have no desire to be productive. Another interesting fact is that health or disease all begins in the gut. “All disease begins in the gut” – It’s a quote attributed to the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates nearly 2500 years ago. Well he wasn’t far off. Every time we eat or drink or expose ourselves to chemicals and hormones, we are either feeding disease or fighting it! Isn’t that amazing” (Lucy Frew, nutritionist). Naturally healthy foods grown in a garden fight disease while highly processed, sugary foods in bulk and overtime lead to sicknesses. Let’s get back to eating the foods that consist of the colors of the rainbow and cooking delicious home-made meals. Let’s start planting gardens again and enjoying the fruits of our labor. We will be happier, healthier, and more productive. We only have one life to live!
All of these changes are hard. It is not easy to speak up to others, limit your technology use, and cook and eat healthy foods-but life isn’t meant to be easy. Those who work hard, challenge themselves to grow, and make choices that are sometimes uncomfortable are the people who live the most fulfilling, abundant lives. So if you’re ready to see the world from a more fulfilling lens, one of joy, excitement, and discovery, try pushing back on what society pushes on you. You’ll be happy you did!
Check out my post, No More Excuses! Simple Practices to Prioritize Health in 2022 from Former Fitness Competitor Turned Super Mom, to read about implementing healthy practices into your everyday routine.
Read the article, All Disease Begins in the Gut by Lucy Frew, below.
Hope this gets you thinking about ways you can push back to live a life of health and wellness!