I was asked: Which habits made your disturbed life calm and peaceful?
I wouldn’t say my life is now calm and peaceful. But it was definitely more disturbed and is calmer now.
Here are a few habits I attribute improvement to this area of my life.
I had prayed before; I only increased frequency and length of my prayers.
In fact, almost always I’m aware of my thought processes and ‘idle’- meaning I don’t have to use my mind in this particular moment — I pray.
Hey, God is the only Person that loves me exactly the way I am, and it’s great to remind myself about Him and His love. I’m getting disturbed mainly because of my own vices, sins and neglect.
Prayer helps me overcome this disturbance and go back on track, instead of dwelling on my shortcomings.
2. Gratitude Journal
Nowadays, I keep three gratitude journals and jot down about 25–50 entries in them. I started this activity in 2012 from one journal and 1–3 entries.
Gratitude has the power to make your brain positive. I attest for that. My life motto was “Expect the worst, you will have only pleasant surprises.” Today, I look forward to the future with optimism.
“When the brain is positive, every possible outcome we know how to test for raises dramatically.” — Shawn Achor
I attest for that as well. In the last five years, everything in my life got better. Dramatically.
- I lost 15% of my body weight
- I doubled my income
- I beat over 180 personal fitness records
- My reading speed increased by 250%
- I have more friends
3. Personal Mission Statement
Every day I repeat in my mind my personal mission statement and look at a vision board that is based on this statement.
Dissatisfaction and frustration in my life came mainly from the lack of purpose and meaning. I was restless, because I felt deep inside me, that I can do better than I did.
My personal mission statement is my compass in life. Now I have meaning. Now I know what I live for.
It’s not a delusion either. My mission statement is gradually materializing in my life.
When I created it in November 2012, one of the sentences in it was: “I’m becoming a writer.” Personal mission statement should be written in the present tense, because it’s the only tense our subconscious mind accepts. But you see, I couldn’t honestly say back then that I am a writer. I had only a vague feeling what ‘being a writer’ means.
But 15 months later, I changed this sentence into “I am a writer.” I had already published five books and sold over a thousand copies of them in March 2014.
Another example: “I earn money to gain freedom for my wife and me.” My wife is quitting her day job (she has already given a notice), because I earn enough from my books and coaching.
4. Intermittent Fasting
This is my tool for keeping my weight at bay. I have a hopeless case of sweet tooth. For years, I had been steadily gaining weight. In 2012 and 2013, I lost 15% of my body weight, but what really helped me to keep my weight down was intermittent fasting.
And keeping an optimum weight is crucial for me to have optimal energy levels on a daily basis. I hustle very hard to improve my life and the situation of our family.
Changes of mood that accompany indulgence and overweight are really disturbing. Fasting causes me to have one less thing to be worry about.
I journal six days a week and review my entries on Sundays.
It’s amazing how much venom you can take out of your head by writing things down.
Thanks to journaling, my self-awareness greatly increased. I got a grip over my negative self-talk. Journaling provided me with desperately needed ‘me’ time.
If I wasn’t busy with my day job, side hustle, household chores, kids, wife or church community, I was occupying my mind with computer games, fiction or TV.
Now, thanks to journaling and more prayers, I keep my mind at home much more often.
It has benefits similar to journaling. The awareness about your self-talk is its biggest benefit, in my opinion. In fact, my journaling brought me better results, because I always considered meditation as ‘doing nothing.’ Well, sometimes you need to do nothing to charge your batteries.
I journal much more than I meditate. But meditation created one unique hack for me: I use it quite often to fall promptly asleep and catch a nap. With my crazy schedule and workload, that’s a very handy skill.